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Galaxy S9 release date, price and specs: Galaxy S9 will be ‘£50 cheaper’ than expected, claim insiders

THE GALAXY S9 is just a month away from becoming official, with Samsung confirming that its 2018 flagship will see a launch at MWC in February.

It’s unlikely the impending unveiling will have many surprises in store, though, as we already know a hell of a lot about the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, courtesy of the online rumour mill. 

We’ve rounded up everything we know about the handset so far below. 

– 5.8in / 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display (570ppi / 529ppi)
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US) / Samsung Exynos 9810 (UK)
– 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM / 6GB RAM
– 64GB/128GB / 64GB/128GB/256GB storage
– Cat 18 LTE support (1.2Gbps download speeds)
– Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
– 12MP Dual Pixel camera with OIS (f/1.5, f/2.4) / Vertical dual rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera
– Bixby AI assistant with dedicated button
– USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
– Stereo speakers
– Wireless charging support
– IP68 water and dust resistance
– Built-in FM radio
– Updated DeX docking station
– Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue, Lilac Purple variants

Release date
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will launch on 25 February at MWC. 

According to a leak via Evleaks, pre-orders of the Galaxy S9 will begin just days later on 1 March, and the handset is tipped to start shipping two weeks later on 16 March.

According to early reports, the Galaxy S9 will be £100 more expensive than last year’s S8, with pricing set to start at £789. By the same logic, expect the Galaxy S9+ to start from £879 SIM-free.  

However, TechRadar has since learnt that the S9 will only be £50 pricier than its S8 sibling, at £739 SIM-free.

Here in Blighty, EE has prematurely confirmed that it’ll be offering the Galaxy S9 once it’s available. Interested customers can register their interest on the operator’s website

Latest news
The Galaxy S9 won’t be as expensive as first thought, according to TechRadar, which claims it’ll sell for £739 SIM-free in the UK. Earlier rumours had claimed that the flagship would be £100 pricier than its S8 sibling, but the website has heard from ‘inside sources’ that it’ll only be £50 more expensive than last year’s model

“Expect the S9 to be priced roughly £50 cheaper than what everybody is saying,” the source said to TechRadar “A £100 price hike from the S8 is no longer on the cards and it’s looking much more like a £50 increase instead.”

15/2/18: Samsung has released a trio of videos, teasing the camera features of the Galaxy S9. The first 15-second clip (below) teases Samsung’s 3D Emoji, which will reportedly be “more advanced” than Apple’s Animoji. The second, who shows off several dark scenes before brightening up, hints at the Galaxy S9’s low-light capture ability, with rumours claiming that Samsung will add an f/1.5 aperture mode to the handset’s 12MP camera. Finally, the third clip teases the S9’s much-hyped slow-capture mode, which will reportedly offer a mode that only records slow-mo footage when something moves in the frame, similar to Samsung’s rear-cam selfie mode.

14/2/18: The Samsung Galaxy S9 will reportedly feature its own take on Apple’s Animoji. ETNews reports that Samsung’s 3D emoji will be more advanced than those found on the iPhone X, but will offer largely the same functionality. The same report claims that the S9 and S9 Plus will also feature stereo speakers, which previous rumours say will feature Dolby Surround tuned by acoustics company AKG, which is owned by Samsung.

13/2/18: Yet more of the Galaxy S9’s specs have leaked, this time courtesy of Orange Romania, which accidentally published the product page for the Galaxy S9 over the weekend. The since-yanked page confirms that the Galaxy S9 will stick with the 5.8in QHD OLED ‘Infinity Display’, but will introduce a DualPixel camera with ‘f/.5 – f/2.5’ aperture. Predictably the product page also mentions support for 4G+, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

However, Orange’s listing says the S9 will pack Samsung’s Exynos 8995 chipset, which is unlikely, given this is the processor found inside last year’s Galaxy S8. It also mentioned 3D Touch support, which again is unlikely given that no pressure sensitive screen technology is expected and 3D Touch is an Apple brand name.

12/2/18: The Galaxy S9 is going to be 25 per cent faster than its predecessor, according to early benchmark tests of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 SoC. Qualcomm claims this chip will offer a significant performance boost over the Snapdragon 345, and CNET – which carried out 12 benchmarking tests – found these claims to be true. The chip performed “at least 25 percent faster than the best score on all but four tests out of the dozen,” the website noted, trumping the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2.  

9/2/18: Samsung’s next-generation DeX docking station, set to debut alongside the S9, has surfaced online. 

The new accessory packs a USB-C connection for hooking up your smartphone, alongside two standard USB and one HDMI port. Unlike Samsung’s original DeX dock, the Galaxy S9 will lie flat when connected to the second-gen version, and you’ll apparently be able to use the handset as a touchpad or virtual keyboard.

Not only does the leak give us a good look at the Samsung’s new DeX dock, but it also confirms that the Galaxy S9 will retain the headphone jack, despite earlier rumours having claimed that Samsung would ditch the port in favour of USB-C. 

8/2/18: SamMobile has got its mitts on further details about the ‘super slow mo’ feature set to debut on the Galaxy S9 and S9+. 

The feature, which SamMobile claims will be so impressive that it “could make up for the lack of dual camera setup on the regular S9”, will offer users two methods of capture: regular, and a mode that will only record slow-mo footage when something moves in the frame, similar to Samsung’s rear-cam selfie mode.

The feature will also take inspiration from the Sony Xperia XZ in that it will offer a mode where users can start recording a normal video, then tap on an additional button that shows up to take slow-motion at specific moments. 

7/2/18: Dutch site TechTastic has backed up rumours that the Galaxy S9 will be £100 more expensive than its predecessor. It has learned from ‘sources familiar with the matter’ that the S9 and S9+ will fetch €899 (around £790) and €999 (£885) in the Netherlands, whereas the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were priced at €799 and €899, respectively, in the region when they were launched last year.

The same report claims that Galaxy S9 pre-orders will kick off on 2 March, and will start shipping two weeks later on 16 March.

6/2/18: Evan Blass has revealed that Samsung will release a ‘Lilac Purple’ version of the Galaxy S9 (above), which will join the already-leaked Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue models.

Seperately, Twitter tipster @Hakersimar has shown off some of the accessories that will ship alongside the incoming flagship, including new cases and a high-speed wireless charger, which could potentially match the high-speed offering of cable charging. 

5/2/18: Pricing for the Galaxy S9 will start from £789 in the UK, according to TechRadar. The website, citing a source in the ‘mobile phone deals industry’, reports that Samsung’s incoming flagship will be £100 more expensive than last year’s Galaxy S8. By the same logic, the Galaxy S9+ will likely be available from £879 SIM-free. 

“You can expect the S9 to cost £100 more than the Galaxy S8 when it was released last year,” said TechRadar‘s anonymous source. “The truth is that last year’s massively inflated smartphone prices on handsets like the S8, Note 8 and iPhone X have shown that there are plenty of people out there willing to pay these higher prices.”

2/2/17: It looks like the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have to depend on their processors and software efficiency to extend the life of their batteries. Parts flogger Union Repair claims, via SamMobile, that the handsets will pack 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh batteries, respectively, the same found inside last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+. 

1/2/18: Yet more official-looking images of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have surfaced online (below), courtesy of case-maker ‘dbrand.’ The slick snaps appear to confirm that the smaller device will feature a single camera, while the larger S9+ will feature a dual sensor setup. The images also seem to suggest that both phones will be made available in a simple black variant.

Galaxy S9 leak

“It genuinely isn’t possible to find a more precise, higher quality Galaxy S9 wrap than the one you’ll find here at dbrand,” the case maker boasts, suggesting that its imagery is likely on the money given that Samsung’s launch event is just a few weeks away. 

30/1/18: A report out of Korea has outed Galaxy S9 pricing details for the first time. If legit, the S9 will fetch the Galaxy S9 will cost KRW950,000 ($875, £620), while the Plus-sized variant will arrive slapped with a KRW990,000 ($920, £655) price-tag. 

However, given last year’s Galaxy S8 was priced at KRW935000, cheaper than both the S9 and S9+, it’s unlikely Brits will see such a good deal, with Samsung’s flagship duo likely to fetch above the £700 mark. 

The same report from ET News claims that pre-orders will begin on 2 March, in South Korea at least, with shipping to begin on 8 March.

29/1/18: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ have leaked in full just weeks ahead of their official unveiling. The mega-leak, courtesy of VentureBeat‘s Evan Blass, gives us our first proper look at the flagship duo (below) and reveals almost all there is to know about the handsets. 

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus leak

The report reveals that while “neither will be significant departures from their predecessors”, the both will ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU in the US and China, and Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 SoC in the UK. This will be paired with a choice of 4GB or 6GB RAM on the S9, while the S9+ will ship with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage as standard.

Confirming Samsung’s ‘reimagined’ camera, VentureBeat writes that both handsets will feature ‘variable aperture’ on their primary 12MP camera, which switches between f/2.4 and f/1.5 and allows for super slow-mo video capture. The S9+ will pack a dual camera setup comprising of a second 12MP fixed-aperture lens, and both will sport an 8MP camera around the front. 

A separate leak, via SamCentral, also reveals that the S9 and S9+ will feature something called ‘IntelligentScan’, which combines face and iris scanning to improve accuracy and security even in low or very bright light.

26/1/18: A video posted on Chinese site Weibo claims to show off a working prototype of the Galaxy S9, less than a month ahead of its MWC launch. The 10-second-clip doesn’t reveal anything groundbreaking but does ‘confirm’ that the S9 will feature the same curved OLED display as its predecessor. 

A separate leak via case maker Poetic Cases claiming that the Galaxy S9 will be available in silver and grey, also like last year’s Galaxy S8.

25/1/18: Samsung has confirmed that the long-rumoured Galaxy S9 will make its official debut on 25 February at Mobile World Congress. Samsung’s teaser (below) doesn’t reveal much else, but does claim that the camera is “reimagined”, likely a nod to the S9’s mooted variable aperture snapper and the S9+’s dual camera setup. 

23/1/18: It looks like Samsung may have spilled details about the Galaxy S9’s camera specs on its own website. The info, spotted by NDTV, talks up the firm’s new ISOCELL sensors, which likely will debut on the S9 and S9+. The 3-stack fast readout sensor will allow cameras to record video in Full HD resolution at a whopping 480 frames per second, which means that super-slow-mo will also be supported at a high-resolution. The sensor also boasts a feature called Super PD, which Samsung hints will give smartphones faster autofocus speeds for its cameras.

Elsewhere on Samsung’s website, it details three other sensors: ISOCELL Bright, Dual and Slim, but it’s unclear which will debut on Samsung’s incoming flagship duo. 

22/1/18: South Korea’s ET News has learnt some more details about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S9 and has revealed that it’ll be the first smartphone to use ‘Y-OCTA’ display technology. This next-gen screen tech allows Samsung to place the touch sensor directly on the OLED layer, enabling the firm to trim back on both thickness and weight.

The Galaxy S9 will also utilise SLP (Substrate Like PCB) mainboards, a circuit miniaturisation technique first seen on the iPhone X, enabling Samsung to free up more space inside the handset. 

Finally, the report claims that the Galaxy S9 will pack a 12MP camera with an f/1.5 ‘variable aperture’ lens, while the S9+ will feature dual 12MP cameras comprising of f/1.5 and f/2.4 lenses. 

18/1/18: Samsung’s much-hyped Neural Processing Units (NPU), which will bring more advanced AI features to its smartphone lineup by enabling a device to analyse, process and store data without using the cloud, could make its debut next month inside the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. That’s according to a report at the Korea Herald, which claims that Samsung will likely show off some of its NPU’s capabilities at MWC next month. It adds that a fully-fledged version of the AI chipset likely will debut in the second half of 2018, hinting that it could make its first proper appearance alongside the Galaxy Note 9. 

According to the Korea Herald‘s sources, Samsung’s AI chip – although still in its early stages – has “reached the technological levels” of those currently offered by Apple and Huawei, and likely will surpass those of its rivals as the year goes on.

17/1/18: Brazilian telecommunications regulator Anatel has let slip that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will feature an identical battery to the Galaxy S8, at 3,500mAh. However, with the S9 and S9+ set to utilize new processors that are more efficient, it’s expected that users will see an improvement in the battery life department.

16/1/18: Serial tipster Evleaks has revealed the release schedule for the Galaxy S9, having been tipped off by an exec at a major casemaker. The smartphone will launch at MWC on 26 February, according to the leak, with pre-orders to begin just days later on 1 March. Shipping will allegedly kick off two weeks later on 16 March. 

15/1/18: The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have appeared on the FCC website, revealing the model numbers of the two handsets – SM-G960U SM-965U, and confirming that they will support most cellular bands in the US. No specifications have been revealed, but the listing confirms that the FCC ID will be engraved on the rear bottom of the two devices.

12/1/18: A purported Galaxy S9 retail box (below) has leaked online courtesy of Weibo, revealing the full specs of Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone. None of the specs will likely come as much of a surprise, with the leak pointing to a 5.8in Infinity display, a ‘super speed’ 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera with OIS, an iris scanner, wireless charging support and IP68 dust and water resistance.

The leak, which comes just weeks ahead of Samsung’s planned MWC launch, also ‘confirms’ that the Galaxy S9 will ship with earphones tuned by AKG and will pack 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

10/1/18: Samsung’s mobile boss DJ Koh has confirmed that the Galaxy S9 will launch at Mobile World Congress in February. Speaking during a press event at CES, attended by ZDNet, Koh said that the handset at the trade show in February with the sales date also to announced at the event.

8/1/18: A new leak courtesy of China’s Weibo claims to have details on the RAM and storage configurations of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. If legit, expect the Galaxy S9 to be offered in two versions – one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and the other with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Galaxy S9 Plus will be offered with 6GB RAM as standard and will be made available with a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage. The post also notes that Samsung could launch a 512GB model of the phone, but this likely will be “temporary” and offered in “select markets” only. 

4/1/18: Case maker Olixar has revealed its first official accessories for the as-yet-unofficial Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Its screen protectors (below), available to pre-order at MobileFun, confirm that both phones will have the exact same display dimensions as their respective predecessors, with an identical camera setup up top. Olixar also let slip to MobileFun that, for some reason, the Bixby button will return on both the S9 and S9 Plus. 

3/1/18: The first hands-on images of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have appeared online (below), courtesy of Weibo (via Androidandme). The in-the-flesh snaps don’t reveal much we don’t already know, but appear to confirm rumours that the handsets will feature the same shiny, glass design as their predecessors, along with a repositioned fingerprint scanner. While the also Galaxy S9 on left has just one camera, the Galaxy S9+ on the right has a dual camera setup.

2/1/18: New renders of the Galaxy S9 (below) appear to confirm that the smartphone will, er, look near identical to its Galaxy S8 predecessor. The images, shared on Weibo, do suggest that some changes are coming, though, including an iPhone-esque vertical dual rear camera, a repositioned fingerprint scanner and – despite earlier rumours – a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

15/12/17: The Galaxy S9 will be unveiled at MWC in February but won’t be available to buy until August, according to according to Korean news outlet The Bell. The report claims that, as the S8 and S8+ continue to sell well, the only reason to bring the launch forward would be to gain an upper hand on Apple. However, Apple won’t unveil the iPhone 11 until September, so Samsung reportedly isn’t in a rush to start flogging the S9.

Separately, OnLeaks and MySmartPrice have given us a clearer idea of what the Galaxy S9 Plus will look like. Renders (below) show that while the phone will look near identical to its predecessor from the front, it’ll sport an upgrade dual-lens camera round the back, alongside a repositioned fingerprint scanner.

14/12/17: Schematic drawings of the Galaxy S9 (below) have appeared on Chinese social network Weibo and ‘confirm’ that the upcoming flagship will sport a new-look back panel. The drawings show that the phone will feature a vertically-aligned camera, with what looks like a fingerprint scanner underneath and a heart rate monitor on the right-hand side. Around the front, the Galaxy S9 looks set to sport a slimmed-down bezel that should allow for more screen real estate.  

However, the report notes that the bigger Galaxy S9 Plus will sport a dual lens set-up, similar to that seen on the Galaxy Note 8. The image doesn’t give much else away but does appear to confirm that the fingerprint scanner will sit underneath the camera sensor, while a sticker on the rear of the phone points to a variant with 64GB internal storage. 

7/12/17: Qualcomm this week revealed the Snapdragon 845 SoC, which is expected to debut inside the Galaxy S9.

The chipmaker is promising more power than before, with the 845’s high-power cores offering a 25-30 per cent boost in performance, while the low power cores offer a 15 per cent improvement. Better battery life is also touted, with the Snapdragon 845 promising 30 per cent better battery efficiency, along with faster LTE speeds with Qualcomm’s new X20 LTE modem offer Cat 18 speeds of over 1Gbps. The chip will also support the capture of Ultra HD Premium footage at 60fps, and comes with a new  Secure Processing Unit (SPU) that claims to offer “vault-like security.”

6/12/17: Samsung has denied rumours that the Galaxy S9 will launch in January, telling the Korea Herald that it’s “unlikely” that its next flagship smartphone will make an appearance at next year’s CES. However, the firm’s long-rumoured Galaxy X could make its debut at the Las Vegas tech show, the SamMobile reporting that Samsung will be showing off the foldable smartphone behind closed doors. 

5/12/17: Samsung has announced that it’s started production of the ‘world’s first’ 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS). The chip, Samsung claims, boasts sequential read speeds of 860 MB/s and sequential writes of 255 MB/s, and the firm says it’s intended for “next generation” mobile devices, likely a sign that it’ll debut inside next year’s Galaxy S9. 

4/12/17: Ever-reliable Samsung blog SamMobile is claiming that the Galaxy S9 will be made available in four different colour options: black, gold, blue and purple. Last year, speculation had claimed that the Galaxy S8 would also launch in a purple variant, but this rumour never came to fruition. 

1/12/17: The Leaker is reporting that while some models of the Galaxy S9 will pack Qualcomm’s 10nm Snapdragon 845 processor, others will feature an Exynos 9th series CPU, which will be “15 per cent more efficient” than the Exynos chip found in the Galaxy S8. This, according to the report, comes as Samsung looks to challenge Apple’s A11 Bionic CPU, and could make for “staggering” battery life on next year’s flagship. 

Next page: Earlier rumours 

Source : Inquirer

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