Samsung may announce Galaxy S9 in February

Competition is as strong as ever in the flagship smartphone market. The biggest release of this year has arguably been the iPhone X, which has been a huge departure from the norm for Apple. While we can sit here all day and tell people how Android devices have had the new iPhone X features years ago, people are understandably excited about a new and unique Apple product.

In the face of this competition, Samsung may be announcing the Galaxy S9 line a month early. The company is said to be announcing the device in February and even launch it as early as March. This would bring the new devices to the market sooner to take some sales away from Apple.

The lineup is said to be pretty similar to this year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ but with the expected upgrades and a new camera system. It would make sense to keep a similar look as last year rather than a full revamp, but a completely new device may compete better against the iPhone X.

If the device lineup is launched early, we only hope that no aspect will be rushed. We don’t want a repeat of the Note 7.

Samsung Galaxy S9 said to get upgraded Iris Scanner and Facial Recognition tech

Given how much noise Apple generated with the facial recognition capabilities of its iPhone X, you can expect a whole bunch of other smartphone manufacturers to implement such technology in their upcoming smartphones. Though Samsung beat Apple to the punch on facial recognition in 2017, delivering it on the Galaxy S8 last April, its implementation was quickly forgotten about following reports that it was easily duped by a hi-res photo. According to a recent report, Samsung may be trying to up its game in this regard on its next flagship.

Korean news website ETnews (via The Android Soul), reported on Friday that Samsung is investing in improvements to both its facial recognition and iris scanning technologies for the Galaxy S9. Based on the translation from ETnews, Samsung’s goal is to “increase iris recognition and face recognition speed while maintaining the same basic parts specification and structure as the previous one.”

Further, ETNews quoted an industry observer as saying: “It’s an attempt to show something different from the previous one […] in addition to increasing the speed of simple recognition, there may be new add-ons through software applications.”

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Unlike Apple’s version, which uses 3D imagery, the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8’s facial recognition maps images in 2D (which is why they can be fooled by a photograph). So, it looks like Samsung is only trying to improve things as far as usability is concerned, rather than security, with the same core components (including the previously used 8 MP camera), quicker operation, and perhaps a new feature or two.

This makes the most sense for the iris scanning tech, which is said to be more secure than Samsung’s facial recognition, but slower. Increasing the speed of something that has already been proven to be not very secure seems like a poor investment of Samsung’s resources though — does anybody even use Samsung’s facial recognition software currently? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Samsung loses top smartphone vendor spot to Apple in US

There has been a tug-of-war between Samsung and Apple for the top US smartphone vendor spot for some time. Not only are the companies closely matched in terms of sales figures, they tend to release their major products in different quarters: Apple launching its new iPhones in the latter half of the year, and Samsung releasing its Galaxy S flagships during the first. This leads to peaks and troughs for both companies, which regularly sees them cross over in terms of US smartphone shipments.

Despite Samsung remaining the top dog in the global smartphone market in Q3 2017, research company Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple has once again regained the top spot position for the US.

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Samsung shipped an estimated 9.9 million phones in the US for Q3 2017 compared to Apple’s 12 million iPhones. This resulted in a 30.4 percent market share for Apple versus 25.1 percent market share for Samsung, thus ending Samsung’s reported two-quarter run as the top smartphone vendor in the US.

Though Apple will almost certainly lead Q4 2017 also, competition between the two companies is fiercer, and more complicated, than ever. Apple just launched its tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X, which is probably going to become one of the biggest selling smartphones ever, while Samsung stands to earn potentially billions of dollars from the phone thanks to its partnership with Apple as a components supplier.

Samsung may now struggle to climb back to the top US smartphone vendor spot until after the release of its Galaxy S9 next year.

iPhone X tops Galaxy Note 8 to claim the best smartphone display, says DisplayMate

It’s barely been two months since DisplayMate anointed the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen as the best display ever made for a smartphone.

Now, DisplayMate has once again awarded that title and an A+ grade to a display built by the experts at Samsung Display, only this time it’s not for its work on a Samsung flagship, but for the Samsung-made OLED display found on Apple’s iPhone X.

Following 2017’s hot trend, the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch OLED display has a taller height-to-width aspect ratio of 19.5:9 offering a ‘bezel-less’ look (as long as you ignore the notch). DisplayMate found that the 2.5K Higher Resolution Full HD+ display comes in at 1125 x 2436 pixels with a pixel density of 458 ppi.

DisplayMate’s extensive research suggests that the iPhone X sets OLED display records for the highest full-screen brightness (634 nits), lowest screen reflectance (4.5 percent), the smallest brightness variations from different viewing angles, and several others. The biggest factor that puts the iPhone X’s display above the Note 8 though, is apparently Apple’s own color calibration.

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As with the Note 8, the iPhone X supports both sRGB/Rec.709 and DCI-P3 color gamuts, with the former used for standard visual content, and the wider, latter gamut found mostly in 4K TV sets and digital cinema screens.

While the Note 8 was also roundly praised for its color accuracy, the folks at DisplayMate believe the iPhone X goes above and beyond in this regard, stating:

“It is the most color accurate display that we have ever measured. It is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have.”

Samsung will no doubt be looking to regain its title next year with the Galaxy S9, but it’ll be interesting to see if the South Korean giant can match Apple’s impressively precise color calibration. Does Samsung have what it takes? Let us know in the comments.

Samsung restates its case as the king of cell phone displays

Samsung is twisting the knife.

As you may have seen, Google and LG are having some issues with the displays on the Google Pixel 2 XL. Not only do they have a blue tint when viewed off-axis and display pixel burn-in, but they can also exhibit smearing as well. These issues are all occurring on the Pixel 2 XL, but not the Pixel 2. The difference? The Pixel 2 XL has an LG-made P-OLED panel and the smaller Pixel 2 has a Samsung-made OLED display.

See also: Google Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel XL

So, with increased competition for its Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and Galaxy Note 8 devices, what’s Samsung to do? If its new commercial is any indication, it’s going to try to kill any momentum Google may have.

Without mentioning the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, Samsung makes a pretty strong statement to pick up one of its devices over the competition. The commercial is a compilation of clips from well-known YouTubers doting over the displays on Samsung’s devices. It makes a pretty strong case that if you want the best display on the market, you need a Samsung phone.

It’s no secret in tech circles that Samsung produces the best cell phone displays out there. In fact, it’s part of the reason that rival Apple went with Samsung’s OLED displays for the iPhone X. Samsung’s curved Infinity Displays are the most recognizable feature of its flagships and now its wasting no time in reminding the public just how good they are in the wake of the Pixel’s problems.

Cold, Sammy.