Over the years, Samsung has followed an annual release schedule for its Galaxy S flagship smartphones. Usually, Samsung announces the latest Galaxy S flagship variants at either MWC, or at a dedicated event held later. This year, for example, the company announced the Galaxy S8 and S8+ at an event held on March 29, and the phones were available for purchase three weeks later.
However, the schedule seems to have been changed for the successors of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. According to Evan Blass on VentureBeat, Samsung is planning to reveal the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ earlier than usual. The report stated that the phones are scheduled to make their first public appearance at CES, which will be held in January 2018.
However, it isn’t clear how much information about the devices will be revealed at CES. The report added that Samsung is still planning to hold an official launch event in March, just like the March 2017 event for the Galaxy S8 and S8+.
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are said to have a nearly identical appearance to their predecessors, according to the report. It added that 2018 will be a “tock” model year for Samsung, with no major external design changes. This would follow the “tick” year of 2017’s Galaxy S8. The last “tock” year was 2016, as the Galaxy S7 had a similar appearance to the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are codenamed Star 1 and Star 2, and their model numbers are SM-G960 and SM-G965 respectively, according to VentureBeat. The phones will feature the same 5.8″ and 6.2″ curved-edge Super AMOLED “Infinity” displays, just like the S8 and S8+. The report stated that the new processors to be used in the 2018 Samsung flagship phones are said to be a fabricated on a 10nm process. This would make the inclusion of the Snapdragon 845 and a new Exynos chip (the Exynos 9810?) likely as the processors of choice in the US and international variants respectively.
The report notes that while the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were identical in every way other than the screen size (and the battery size), this won’t be the case for the S9 and S9+. The S9+ will not only have a bigger display, but it will also offer more RAM than the S9 (6GB versus 4GB). It will also have a second rear camera, like the Note8. Both phones are said to pack 64GB of internal storage, and will support expandable storage with a microSD slot. Both phones will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The report added that both phones will vertically orient the elements on the back of the device, with the fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the camera. This will fix the off-centered fingerprint sensor placement on Samsung’s 2017 flagship phones, and it also confirms that Samsung will not use an in-display fingerprint sensor on the phones. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will also have AKG stereo speakers.
Finally, VentureBeat noted that Samsung is planning to “introduce a backward-compatible DeX docking station that situates the phones flat and utilizes the screens as either a touchpad or a virtual keyboard“. Samsung introduced the DeX docking station this year alongside the launch of the S8 and S8+.
Overall, it seems that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be incremental upgrades over their predecessors. They will predictably have better specifications, and will fix one of the (subjective) design issues existing in the S8 and S8+: the placement of the fingerprint sensor. The report did not mention any pricing information for the phones. It’s still quite early for the saga of the 2018 Samsung flagship phones, so we will have to wait for more details about the phones to be shared in the coming months.Source: VentureBeat