The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are coming on February 25 at an event in Barcelona, Spain during Mobile World Congress. They're going to be an iterative updates to the popular (and still-great) Galaxy S8 series, with a focus on imaging, better speakers, and an improved biometrics experience. Beyond that, here's what we know about the two new 2018 flagships from Samsung!

Specifications

Category Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9+
Display 5.8-inch Super AMOLED
2960x1440
6.2-inch Super AMOLED
2960x1440
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (U.S.)
Exynos 9810 (international)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (U.S.)
Exynos 9810 (international)
RAM 4GB 6GB
Storage 64GB 128GB
Rear Camera 12MP
Adjustable f/2.4 to f/1.5 aperture, OIS
12MP
Adjustable f/2.4 to f/1.5 aperture, OIS
Secondary 12MP sensor, fixed aperture
Front Camera 8MP 8MP
Audio 3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
Battery 3,000 mAh 3,500 mAh
Security Fingerprint sensor
Iris scanning
Fingerprint sensor
Iris scanning
OS Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo

The Galaxy S9 will look a lot like the S8

If you were hoping for a big design upgrade with the Galaxy S9, you better stop now before you get your hopes up too much. From CAD mockups to renders obtained by Evan Blass, it's clear that Samsung won't be introducing a radical new design with the Galaxy S9. Then again, that's perfectly fine. The Galaxy S8 was (and still is) a gorgeous looking smartphone, and if the Galaxy S9 is an improved version of that, count me interested.

The Galaxy S9 (left) and Galaxy S9+ (right)

We still don't understand Samsung's reasoning for putting the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 where it did, but with the S9, it will be placed below the camera lens. In other words, unlocking a Samsung phone with your finger will no longer make you want to rip out your hair. Woohoo!

As for colors, Samsung will offer the Galaxy S9 in Midnight Black, Lilac Purple (pictured above), Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue.

A feast of Snapdragons

The Galaxy S9 is expected to be the first phone available to the public running the Snapdragon 845 platform. Qualcomm says that it has completely redesigned the chip to boost CPU and GPU performance by 30% and 40%, respectively, along with reducing power consumption by roughly the same amount.

U.S. and Canadian Galaxy S9 customers are expected to be able to buy the Snapdragon version of the phone, while those in Europe and Asia will likely have access to the Exynos 9810, a homegrown chip similar in speed and power efficiency to Qualcomm's latest.

The phone will focus on the camera

As part of the Galaxy S9 event invite, Samsung highlighted camera upgrades for the series with a tagline, "The Camera. Reimagined."

You can expect a variable aperture of between ƒ1.5 and ƒ2.4 on both phones, but only the larger S9+ will have a similar dual camera setup to the Galaxy Note 8, giving it access to more granular Live Focus (AKA portrait mode) photos. It's unclear whether the smaller S9 will be able to do portrait mode with only one lens, à la Pixel 2 but anything's possible. Even if portrait mode doesn't make it's way to the S9, however, both the S9 and S9+ will benefit from an ultra-slow motion video mode that'll allow users to record at an impressive 960 FPS.

In a preview video released to the company's Korean YouTube channel, Samsung is emphasizing improved low-light photography from both phones, likely thanks to a combination of a higher-aperture lens, an upgraded sensor, and improvements to the optical image stabilization module. Software tweaks to HDR should also help low-light photography, as will the upgraded DSPs inside the new Snapdragon and Exynos processors. In other words, the S9 series should be camera contenders in 2018.

If low-light capture isn't interesting, perhaps Samsung's take on Apple's 'Animoji' will be. In the same set of teasers, Samsung appears to be ready to introduce full AR replicas of its Galaxy S9 users, similar to the way Bitmoji creates cartoon likenesses of its user base. It's unclear how Samsung will achieve this, but improvements to the front-facing camera system seem like a good bet.

'Intelligent Scan' will use a combination of iris scanning and facial recognition to unlock the Galaxy S9

Samsung 'Intelligent Scan' is going to leverage improvements to both Iris Scan and Face Unlock features to improve the speed of biometrics on the Galaxy S9. According to various leaks, Samsung will improve the reliability and speed of its iris scanning abilities.

Along with this, a report from The Korea Herald says that Samsung will be upgrading the front-facing camera on the S9 from 2MP up to 3MP, and this will allow for faster scanning even when users are wearing glasses or in dark environments. The time it takes to unlock the S9 using iris scanning will be shorter than the current one-second time on the S8, and there will also be improvements on the software side of things to make iris scanning just as (if not more) secure than Face ID.

The Galaxy S9 will be announced on February 25

Samsung Galaxy S9 event invite

Samsung has confirmed that its Galaxy S9 launch event will be held on February 25 in Barcelona, perfectly coinciding with the MWC 2018 trade show. This marks Samsung's return to announcing at a major trade show after a few years of announcing its big phones at their own separate events, and in doing so it's basically going to flatten any other phone announcements from the show. LG and Honor are both expected to push their announcements to later in the year so they don't collide.

Don't worry – the 3.5mm headphone jack will remain

Samsung Galaxy S8

The 3.5mm headphone jack is here to stay 🙏

One trend we've seen throughout 2017 is the rapid removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is something that the likes of Apple, Google, Motorola, and HTC have all been more than willing to follow suit with, but we shouldn't have to worry about this with the Galaxy S9.

Venture Beat's same source supposedly confirmed that the Galaxy S9 will keep the headphone jack, and this lines up with a leaked case render for the phone that shows a covered section for the coveted port. Additionally, the CAD renders mentioned above also show the Galaxy S9 with this.

Battery capacity is going to stay the same 😐

There's not much to dislike about the Galaxy S8, but aside from the phone's awkward fingerprint sensor, one area that can be an annoyance is battery life. The S8's battery isn't bad, but it's also not the best we saw on a phone in 2017.

According to a massive report from WinFuture, Samsung won't be making any changes to battery capacity this year. The Galaxy S9 will share the S8's 3,000 mAh battery, and the S9+ will have the S8+'s same 3,500 mAh unit. We should still see longer stamina thanks to the Snapdragon 845, but even so, it is disappointing that we won't see any upgrades in this department.

What about the Galaxy X?

Many rumors about the Galaxy S9 have also been peppered with bits of information on the rumored Galaxy X foldable phone, which is supposed to slot in above the Galaxy S line with a crazy foldable display. At this point it's seeming unlikely that the Galaxy X would make any sort of appearance alongside the Galaxy S9 and S9+ when they're announced, and at best we'll get some sort of a mention from Samsung that something else is coming later in 2018.

Samsung Galaxy X foldable phone: Rumors, Images, Details, and More!

Updated February 19, 2018: This post has been updated with all the latest Galaxy S9 rumors and leaks.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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