Samsung is gearing up for its first flagship launched of 2018: the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones, both of which will be unveiled a day ahead of the official Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Samsung typically has two flagships in its yearly cycle with the S series at the start of the year, while the Note device is the flagship for the second half. The new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are expected to go on sale later in March.
The big expectation with the Galaxy S9 series is the camera. This is one aspect which Samsung’s teasers are also highlighting, so there is considerable hype around what the new S series will offer in this department. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will also compete against the current Apple flagship, which is the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus as well. And if the focus is camera, then the comparisons with Google Pixel 2 will also take place, considering this currently regarded as the top smartphone camera in the market.
The big focus is around camera and a new dual aperture system on both phones. Exactly how this will work is unclear, but Galaxy S9 will come with the promise of improved low-light performance which still remains a challenging scenario for most smartphones. Also, Samsung might just follow Apple’s path of restricting the option of dual-cameras to the more high-end Plus variant.
According to leaks, Galaxy S9+ will have dual rear cameras with 12MP+12MP sensors, while the S9 will sport a single 12MP camera at the back. Typically, Samsung has kept the camera specifications as uniform across the variants of the Galaxy S series, but 2018 could start the mark of an important differentiation point. A dual rear camera on the bigger variant might also push more users to consider this, especially if they wish to get the latest camera capabilities on their phone.
With the Galaxy S9 series, leaked specifications and images have already given away key details on what will be unveiled. Samsung will stick with a similar glass and metal design like the previous phones and the Galaxy S9 will have the same 5.8-inch Infinity Display, while the Plus variant will get 6.2-inch Infinity Display. The international variant of the phones will be powered by the Exynos 9810 processor, while the US variant will have the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Samsung is likely to keep the battery size the same as last year’s Galaxy S8 series as well.
It has also been hinted that the Galaxy S9 series will sport an Animoji-like feature, similar to the iPhone X. Exactly how Samsung executes this will be closely watched, but it will not be surprising if more players start adding the option for 3D animojis to their phones. We will also have to wait and see if Samsung adds new features for Bixby, its voice assistant which was introduced with the Galaxy S8 series and has now been included on other devices like Note 8, Galaxy A8+, etc as well. Reports have also indicated that Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ could both be priced than the previous versions.
Disclaimer: The reporter is in Barcelona attending MWC 2018 at the invite of Samsung India, which is paying for accommodation and travel.