Galaxy S9: Your complete guide to Samsung’s upcoming flagship

Samsung Galaxy S9: Specs, release date, price, and all the latest news

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the next big flagship phone release for the company and we’re expecting to see it unveiled at MWC 2018. But what will it change from the Galaxy S8 and will it worry the iPhone X? Let’s have a look and see. Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S9’s specs, release date and price is right here, along with all the latest S9 news, rumours, and teaser videos.

In this guide, we’ll answer the following questions.

  • What’s the latest Galaxy S9 news?
  • When is the Galaxy S9 release date?
  • What will be new about the Galaxy S9 design and specs?
  • What will be the Galaxy S9 price?

Without further ado, here’s a look at the latest news and teaser videos.

Samsung Galaxy S9 News: Latest updates and teaser videos

An XDA-Developers member uncovered a reference to the Galaxy S9 in Samsung’s Unpacked 2018 application on Wednesday (February 21), which was later exploited by an eager Redditor, who managed to tear down the client and retrieve some renders of the handset. The mockups in focus cast a light all the colours the unit is set to ship in: Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black and Titanium Grey.

Related: Best Galaxy S9 Cases

Earlier this week, the Galaxy S9 broke cover in a batch of leaked promotional material, corroborating almost everything we’ve heard about the handset to date – including that it will feature a 5.7-inch edge-to-edge Infinity Display, an in-house Exynos 9810/Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a repositioned centre-mounted fingerprint sensor and a high-end AKG-tuned stereo speaker setup.

Galaxy S9 | Image: WinFuture

Galaxy S9 stereo speaker setup | Image: WinFuture

Galaxy S9 variable aperture in action | Image: WinFuture

The renders surfaced a matter of hours after Samsung previewed the revamped Over the Horizon ringtone the handset is set to ship with. That, for those unaware, is the ringtone that’s been present on the firm’s smartphones for as long as we can remember. They also came a few days after the firm took to its YouTube channel to share the official English language teaser video (below) for its next-gen flagship.

Previously, on Wednesday February 14, Samsung released a trio of new Galaxy S9 teaser videos in its native South Korea that offered a similar look at the forthcoming handset. The clips were published to YouTube and, at just 15 seconds long each, don’t reveal too much new information – although they did again hint at the new camera features and 3D emoji we’ve heard all so much about.

Prior to the new clips being released, respected mobile tipster Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, posted a handful of renders of the S9 and S9 Plus on Twitter. Among other things, they confirm a new colour option, Lilac Purple, as well as giving us our clearest look yet at the different camera configurations: the S9 will feature a single snapper, while the S9+ will get a dual camera setup. Both will reportedly be capable of shooting video in a new ‘super slo-mo’ mode that’s being touted as the pair’s killer feature.

Another leak showed off the rumoured ‘DeX Pad’ and the fact that the S9 will likely come with both a headphone jack and the Bixby button.

We also now know that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S9 at MWC on February 25, with pre-orders rumoured to go live a week later on March 1 and a speculative shipping date of March 16.

More on that in our release date section below.

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Read on for a full guide on what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S9, or scroll down to the bottom of the page for a very brief summary of the key details. Our latest update features new details on the Galaxy S9’s release date and its likely battery spec.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Release Date: When will the Galaxy S9 come out?

Samsung has confirmed it will be launching the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday February 25, with pre-orders expected to commence a week later on March 1, ahead of a final March 16 shipping and distribution date.

The news was announced by Samsung in a tweet ahead of invitations being sent out to the press – we’ll be among those in attendance.

Prior to that, our first real peek at the Galaxy S9’s release date was via a leak from respected mobile tipster Evan Blass, aka @evleaks.

In a tweet, Blass posited that the Galaxy S9 will indeed – as we’d been privately predicting for some time now – be unveiled at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

Why the 24-hour discrepancy between Blass’ schedule and what Samsung ended up confirming? Well, while Blass pointed to a February 26 Samsung event, the nature of the mobile accessory supply chain means it’s likely that his mystery insider is based near Samsung’s South Korean base. Because of time difference, an evening event in Barcelona on Sunday, February 25 would be the morning of Monday, February 26 in Seoul, and therefore makes quite a bit of sense.

Here’s a historical look atSamsung Galaxy S phone launch timings, for those curious.

It’s not difficult to discern an obvious pattern.

The overwhelming majority of Samsung Galaxy S phone announcements take place in either February or March, with incremental upgrade years (such as 2018) typically coinciding with Barcelona’s annual Mobile World Congress technology trade show. They also typically take place on the day before the show opens to the public, so Samsung and its latest flagship can properly bask in the limelight.

As we now know, this year isn’t going going to be any different.

Related: iPhone 8

Samsung Galaxy S9 Design and Display: What will the Galaxy S9 look like?

Esteemed tipster Evan Blass took to Twitter to share a render (below) of the front of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus on January 26, seemingly corroborating rumours claiming they’ll sport a near-identical design to last year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus | Image: Evan Blass / Twitter

Here are some of the key Galaxy S9 display and design tip-offs.

Related: iPhone X vs Galaxy S8

Curved on four sides: In an article published in April 2017, Korean news outlet ETNews reported that Samsung was working on a new lamination process that would allow phone screens to be curved on all four edges. The report, which cited unnamed industry sources, tipped the technology as being available as early as the end of 2017, making the Samsung Galaxy S9 a potential host device for the new display.

Familiar sizing: A separate report by The Bell suggested that we’d see the same size panels on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ as we have on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The article notes that Samsung has already placed an order with suppliers for 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch edge-to-edge, curved Infinity Displays.

However, the report goes on to suggest that these displays will be improved by the addition of an in-screen fingerprint sensor. That’s good news, as one of the chief complaints about recent Samsung phones is the awkward placement of the fingerprint scanner next to the rear camera – smudge central, basically.

Unfortunately, latest industry rumours suggest that the in-screen scanner won’t actually be available on the Galaxy S9 – but may be ready in time for the Galaxy Note 9 later in 2018. The criticism hasn’t gone unnoticed, though. Samsung has reportedly relocated the fingerprint reader to just below the camera on the rear of the handset, making it easier to reach with one hand.

Is that an iPhone?! Another fun rumour comes courtesy of the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) – please, stick with us here.

According to the KIPRIS, Samsung has successfully managed to bag a patent for a smartphone chassis with a cutout in the top centre part of the display. This ‘notch’ aesthetic is the same sort of design we’re seeing on the iPhone X. The design allows for a display to cover almost all of a phone’s front, while providing a small amount of surface to house essential external components – like a camera and sensors.

It doesn’t, however, seem likely that Samsung is planning on using the patented design for the Galaxy S9 as reliable Weibo tipster Ice Universe revealed in December that the handset will feature the same symmetrical design as the Galaxy S8, with a black bar occupying both the top and bottommost section of the Infinity Display.

Modular madness: Next up is a leak from Eldar Murtazin, a well-known tipster in mobile leaking circles, who claims that the Galaxy S9 may feature a modular design.

This means it would utilise a system whereby users can attach and detach “modules” that upgrade the phone with new features. It’s a similar system to the MotoMods functionality we’ve already seen on flagship Motorola phones – and the Essential Phone.

According to the tip-off, Samsung is planning to introduce magnetic pins on the back of the phone that will allow external modules to be attached. These modules could include improved camera lenses, a battery pack, or additional sensors.

However, modular phones have had mixed success, with Google’s Project Ara having struggled to get off the ground, and the LG G5‘s modular system largely deemed a failure. That’s why we’re not counting on Samsung to adopt the system until we hear more solid rumours in its favour.

Incredible new camera: The Galaxy S9 is widely rumoured to ship with a single camera configuration à la Galaxy S8, though it could benefit from a souped up sensor that’s capable of shooting at an eye-watering 1,000 frames per second, putting it head-to-head with Sony’s Xperia XZ and Xperia XZ Premium in the camera department.

The Galaxy S9 Plus, on the other hand, is expected to come with a dual-camera. Details are sparse, though esteemed tipster Evan Blass revealed in November that it could be vertically-mounted, like the setup found on board Apple’s flagship iPhone X. There’s no word on whether it too could tout a 1,000 frames per second sensor – but it seems likely.

New colour: Specialist blog SamMobile has reason to believe that the Galaxy S9 will be available in four different colour options: black, gold, blue, and purple.

The latter is interesting, mainly because the Galaxy S8 was also rumoured to come in a purple/violet variant – a tip-off that never came to fruition.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Specs and Features: What’s new?

We won’t hear much information about finer Samsung Galaxy S9 details for a while, but given the long run-up to a processor launch, we already have a good idea about what to expect in terms of the Galaxy S9’s CPU.

Samsung phones typically ship with two different chips, either of which will be selected for a certain market region where the phone will be on sale. You’ll either get a Samsung-built Exynos chipset, or a Qualcomm-designed Snapdragon chipset.

The Snapdragon 845 chip has already been confirmed by Qualcomm, and will once again be manufactured by Samsung’s chip-making division. It will be built on an efficient 10nm process, just like the Snapdragon 835 before it.

The 10nm chip architecture denotes the manufacturing process, and simply refers to the distance between each transistor – those are the tiny electronic switches that enable computing tasks to take place. A smaller number is better, because it means you can fit more transistors onto a single chip, paving the way for more power and better power efficiency overall.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 ran on a 10nm chip, which is already seriously efficient – so we’d expect similar capabilities from the new model.

Also interesting was a report in late August from Ice Universe suggested that Samsung would be hoarding 2018’s initial supply of Snapdragon 845.

This was followed in early October by a tweet written by leaker Eldar Murtazin, who said much the same:

According to Google Translate, the tweet reads: “In terms of availability, 845 goes to S9 / S9+ for the USA at the beginning, the rest will be later. S9 a month earlier than usual.”

Last year, Samsung was accused of buying up the early Snapdragon 835 stock – a processor that Samsung’s own chip-making arm manufactured for Qualcomm – for the Galaxy S8 in North America, forced LG to utilise last year’s Snapdragon 821 for the LG G6, with other phone makers like Sony and HTC allegedly having to delay their flagship handsets in order to acquire Snapdragon 835 units.

According to Ice Universe, it seems we’ll be seeing a similar story play out in 2018, but there’s no proof yet.

The other big news is that the Asian, European and Middle Eastern variant of the Galaxy S9 is going to pack Samsung’s recently-announced Exynos 9810 chipset, which features an octa-core setup, as well as a standalone security management unit that’s complete with an enhanced face-tracking engine for improved face recognition.

It’s also equipped with the industry’s first Cat. 18 LTE modem for faster data transmission (up to 1.2Gbps); a dedicated imaging processing unit, capable of shooting 4K Ultra HD video at an eye-watering 120fps; and a deep learning-based artificial intelligence software.

The Cat.18 6CA-supported LTE modem is 20% faster than last year’s and will likely make it into select regional versions of the Galaxy S9, including the variant that’s set to hit the shelves in the United Kingdom. Samsung says the modem will make the most of existing 4G networks and help set the stage for 5G.

“With the increase of high-quality online content services, the demand for high-performance LTE modems continue to rise as well,” said Woonhaing Hur, VP of LSI Protocol Development.

“The 1.2Gbps maximum downlink speed with 6CA support highlights Samsung’s leading design capabilities and well positions Samsung for the upcoming 5G era.”

Related: Android Oreo features

One last spec titbit is the rumoured inclusion of an environmental sensor. This rumour can be traced to a patent application filed by Samsung in South Korea, which describes a sensor that could be built into smartphones and measure the amount of harmful particles in the air – expect depressing readouts in London, folks.

Finally, we expect that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will run on Google’s new Android Oreo software, which you can read about here: Android 8.0 Oreo.

As far as accessories go, the firm’s reportedly working on a second-generation version of its DeX desktop accessory, which is rumoured to launch alongside the Galaxy S9.

Not a great deal is known about the unit, other than that it can lie flat, leading us to believe that you’ll be able to use your handset’s high-resolution edge-to-edge Infinity Display as a touchpad or virtual keyboard, thus eliminating the need to lug around a – wired or wireless – mouse or keyboard.

Elsewhere, a recent filing with Brazilian telecoms regulators seems to reveal that both the S9 will pack the same 3000mAh capacity battery as its predecessor – though chipset improvements are likely to mean it will still benefit from added stamina. If that’s the case, expect the Galaxy S9+ to also sport the same, slightly beefier 3500mAh cell as the S8+, though this information is purely based on a leak and we can’t independent verify it.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Price: How much will the Galaxy S9 cost?

Samsung Galaxy S9 price leaks had been in shortly supply for a while, but that’s no longer the case. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news seems likely to end.

Multiple reports in recent weeks have ‘revealed’ that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be more expensive than their predecessors – and by some margin.

UK-specific leaks have been thin on the ground, but Dutch tech blog TechTastic claims that the S9 and S9+ will cost €899 and €999 in the Netherlands, respectively. That’s a bump of exactly €100 over last year’s flagship duo, which were priced at €799 and €899 in (most of) Europe.

TechTastic doesn’t have a flawless track record, but it has been right in the past with regards to such matters. Combined with other similar leaks, it looks like the Galaxy S9 and its big sibling could be a fair whack more expensive.

In terms of UK pricing, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were available for £689 and £779, respectively, when they launched in 2017, so if these rumours are correct and we apply a comparable increase, we’d be looking at a price of around £789 for the Galaxy S9 and as much as £879 for the Galaxy S9 Plus.

Independent retailer Clove seems to think we’re on the right track for the smaller model – with it listing the Galaxy S9 on its website for £799 and the Galaxy S9 Plus for an eye-watering £999. It’s still awaiting word from Samsung, however, so best take the information with a considerable pinch of salt.

That said, £779-399 seems like a reasonable price range for the Galaxy S9. It’s an iterative upgrade that’s set to bundle a handful of improved internals – including a souped-up camera and processor – so anything more than a £150 premium on the Galaxy S8 would have been a little too optimistic.

Here’s to hoping Samsung has a pleasant surprise for us all at MWC – and we don’t mean a new purple colour option or a snazzy camera mode.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Summary: What to expect

Here’s an in-brief look at what to expect from the Galaxy S9 when it launches:

Samsung Galaxy S9 Release Date: The Galaxy S9 will almost certainly be announced at MWC 2018, with the smart money on February 25-26. It should be available shortly after launch.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Design, Specs and Features: The main rumours include a new display that’s curved on all four sides, and a powerful new 10nm processor that could increase performance and power efficiency.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Price: Expect to pay somewhere between £649 and £799 for the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.

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