Fresh from CES 2018, where the latest and greatest of technology was showcased, many are anticipating product launches and announcements that usually accompany Mobile World Congress. MWC 2018 Barcelona will take place end February, and many are anticipating the launch of Samsung’s S9 and S9+ at a press conference prior to the start of MWC. Despite the lack of information on what to expect in terms of form factor, several rumours and leaks (mostly unconfirmed) have emerged about this landmark device.
Last year at MWC 2017, the LG G6 and Sony Xperia ZXs were actually launched at the event, but Samsung’s teaser of their flagship device, the Galaxy S8, swept the show off their feet. VR Zone explores the rumours and what to expect on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ this February.
1. The Camera
Samsung’s Galaxy S series devices have been historically dominant in the imaging department. You can check out VR Zone’s shootout between the greatest flagship devices of 2017 here. However, with strong competition from the Google Pixel and the iPhone X, both of which topped the industry in terms of imaging performance according to DxO Mark, the pressure on Samsung to perform has never been greater.
Samsung has confirmed rumours that it will be adopting a proprietary stacked-sensor solution: ISOCELL. Various iterations allow different advantages for different handsets. For example, ISOCELL Fast allows blazing-fast autofocus, and ISOCELL Slim allows phones to be thinner than ever. This technology, which was also seen from Sony, creates imaging possibilities never seen before.
Samsung has already implemented a variable-aperture camera on the Samsung W2018, and some sources have stated that there could be two aperture settings on the S9 for nighttime and daytime photographic applications.
The triple-stacked sensor also allows for super-slow-motion video. It will also allow blazing-fast dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus.
A dual-camera set-up seen to be featured on leaked images, a first onboard Samsung Galaxy S devices. This opens up many possibilities: portrait mode, optical zoom, or an ultra-wide camera. The cameras are stacked in the middle of the back of the device, right above the fingerprint sensor.
2. The Form Factor
The Infinity Display, which we have seen on the S8 and S8+, seems to be maintaining its 80%+ screen-to-body ratio. Apart from the other obvious changes like the vertically stacked camera module (that we expect to be flush with the chassis), and the welcome relocation of the fingerprint sensor beneath the cameras, it seems that little else could change.
Some reports have stated that certain iterations of Samsung’s ISOCELL sensor module allow for an entirely bezel-less aesthetic by shrinking the front-facing camera to minute proportions. We think that’s unlikely, but rather cool.
With underdog Vivo showcasing through-the-screen fingerprint scanning, perhaps we would see more revolutionary changes in future iterations – perhaps on the S10?
3. The Fingerprint Sensor
The fingerprint sensor is now located below the cameras – Samsung users would rejoice, after the wave of complaints about the sensor being right next to the camera on the S8 devices, causing unsightly camera smudges.
Facial recognition is also rumoured to be improved on the S9 devices.
With Samsung implementing Bixby on many of hits appliances and devices, and with the emergence of home assistants with the likes of Alexia, Google Home and the upcoming Apple HomePod, we can certainly expect Samsung to implement a comprehensive assistance-cum-AI feature on the S9 flagship devices.
5. Price Point
Call it inflation, or call it a markup. Samsung usually increases the price of the newest iterations of its flagship devices by about SGD200 over the previous batches. Be it what it will, we’re certain Samsung would price the S9 and S9+ at a competitive price given the current market conditions with budget options abounding with flagship features.