We're very close to the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S9, and there have been so many leaks across the web that we know almost for certain what it's going to look like, and how it's going to work.
The bad news for some: it's not going to look hugely different from the Samsung Galaxy S8, with the main difference coming from the upgraded camera and the big jump in performance, thanks to a more powerful CPU.
In order to make the whole process as helpful as possible for you, we've disseminated the top rumors for you into one, easy-to-read guide on what we think you're going to see unveiled with the Galaxy S9.
Design: The Samsung Galaxy S9 design is going to be very similar to the Galaxy S8 according to the leaked images, although one of the key problems is solved, thanks to the fingerprint sensor being in a more accessible place. This means same rolling metal-and-glass chassis featuring minimal bezel as the S8, so we're not expecting to see much different between the two phones.
Screen: The Galaxy S9 screen will very likely be a 5.8-inch QHD+ Infinity Display, rolling to the edges of the phone, curved at the edges. Don't expect an inbuilt fingerprint scanner under the screen though as, essentially, it'll be a very similar display to last year.
Camera: The main change here is expected to be a 12MP dual-aperture sensor. One that's as good in low light as bright light, with the phone able to change the camera's power depending on the conditions. While it's still set to be a single sensor, Samsung is pushing the phone's ability to take superb low-light photos and capture super slo-mo footage.
Specs: The US looks set to get a phone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, and the rest of the world Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chipset. This means 30% improved power, albeit still with 4GB of RAM inside. This will be more than enough grunt, but those that lust after specs for the sake of them will be disappointed not to see 6GB,
Battery: While it looks like we're going to get a 3,000mAh power pack – the same as on the Galaxy S8 – the improved CPU inside will likely lead to a real boost in battery life. This means the Galaxy S9 should last easily over a day for more users than ever before.
Other key features: A recent promo conformed animated emoji, where faces are turned into cartoons, will be present on the Galaxy S9 as a response to Apple's Animoji.
Stereo speakers will also be a welcome addition for anyone tired of the mono-firing single outlet on previous phones – we don't expect this to be industry-leading in the same way as Sony and Apple, but at least using your phone to play music or movies will be more pleasant.
An improved iris scanner is rumored to be Samsung's play against Apple's Face ID too, but given the poor performance of the sensor last year we don't expect this to be a big feature.
Want to get the latest info on the Samsung Galaxy S9 on video? We've got our rumor round up right here for you!
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Samsung Galaxy S9 release date
- Galaxy S9 launch date: confirmed for February 25
- Galaxy S9 pre-order date: rumored for March 1
- Galaxy S9 release date: rumored for mid-March
The Samsung Galaxy S9 launch date is locked down for Sunday, February 25 in Barcelona.
We know that, because Samsung has sent us an invite to its Unpacked event on that date, teasing the number nine in the process.
This makes the Galaxy S9 launch earlier than 2017's S8 announcement, which happened after MWC, in March.
The pre-order date is rumored to be March 1, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 release date is tipped to be mid-March according to our sources close to the S9.
Samsung Galaxy S9 screen
- An in-screen scanner
- A water-repellent coating
- A 5.8-inch QHD+ screen
Based on the leaks, we're certain the display will be the same size as the Galaxy S8, coming in at 5.8 inches. It's also sure to be curved at the sides and continue Samsung's trend of using Super AMOLED, which delivers vibrant visuals and good contrast.
Similarly it's very likely to retain the Galaxy S8's 18.5:9 aspect ratio, according to the leaked pictures.
Rumors of an in-screen fingerprint scanner abound, like the new Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensor can sit below quite thick displays, but we don't anticipate this coming to the S9.
Synaptics has announced an in-screen scanner and mentioned not just OLED but also "infinity display" (which is what Samsung calls the S8's screen) and that it's being used on a phone made by a top five manufacturer – but it doesn't seem that's going to be Samsung.
Aside from that, in late 2016 Samsung licensed a new glass coating technology that makes water bounce off your smartphone screen. Samsung plans to include this tech in an upcoming phone, so it may mean the Galaxy S9 is much easier to use in the rain.
Watch the video below to see how the new glass coating technology works
Samsung Galaxy S9 design
- Even smaller bezels
- A repositioned fingerprint scanner below the rear camera
- The headphone jack remains
The Samsung Galaxy S9 has become pretty clear in leaks, with more and more high quality images hitting the web to give us a convincing look at what the ninth generation 'S' flagship will offer us.
The latest design leaks comes courtesy of Twitter leaker Roland Quandt, who has a solid track record when it comes to revealing information like this.
They appear to show believable press renders of the handset, showing off the S9's dual rear cameras and fingerprint scanner, trio of color options and more slender bezels.
The same story also shows the Galaxy S9 on camera, with a retail outlet in Vietnam grabbing an early unit of the phone and snapping it for the world to see.
It means we're fairly confident we know what the Samsung Galaxy S9 design will be, purely thanks to the sheer volume of leaked images, from various sources that compliment each other.
Samsung Galaxy S9 design leak timeline
Feb 22, 2018
Twitter leaker Roland Quandt posts a series of high-resolution, official-looking renders of the Samsung Galaxy S9, revealing three color options, a rear facing fingerprint scanner beneath the camera and even more slender bezels.
Feb 7, 2018
More news on the Samsung Galaxy S9 colors, as @evleaks gives us a look at a Coral Blue Galaxy S9 Plus – we assume it'll come to the smaller device too.
Feb 5, 2018
Twitter leaker @evleaks is at it again, this time giving us a shot of the Galaxy S9 in a new shade… 'Lilac Purple.'
Jan 26, 2018
A short video seems to show us the Samsung Galaxy S9 from the front and back, albeit with the screen off.
Jan 26, 2018
Trusted leaker @evleaks shares renders of the Galaxy S9, with the design consistent with with the other leaks we've already witnessed. It does look a little bezel heavy compared to some other leaks though.
Dec 26, 2017
A photo posted on Slashleaks suggests the Galaxy S9 will keep its 3.5mm headphone jack, unlike the iPhone range, and USB-C port.
Dec 15, 2017
French leaker @OnLeaks posts a video showing a render of the Samsung Galaxy S9, complete with single rear camera, headphone jack and shifted fingerprint scanner.
Dec 13, 2017
A leaked image complete with dimensions backs up the 90% screen-to-body ratio, as it suggests that the Galaxy S9 will be marginally shorter than the S8, but will otherwise look similar, albeit with the scanner moved beneath the camera lens.
Samsung Galaxy S9 camera
- Samsung: "The Camera. Reimagined"
- A single-lens camera with variable aperture
- Super slow motion video
- Mobile HDR video recording
The Galaxy S9 camera is going to be a key feature of Samsung's phone this year, and not because of a dual-lens camera or higher megapixels.
Instead, we're expecting to see a variable aperture, super slow motion video and the possibility of the world's first phone with HDR video capture.
The MWC 2018 launch event invite heavily teases the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera by including the words "The Camera. Reimagined."
This could mean that the Galaxy S9 camera may beat the top-of-the-line Google Pixel 2 camera if it includes a variable aperture or becomes the world's first camera that can capture Mobile HDR video.
Samsung Galaxy S9 camera rumors point to a 12MP Dual Pixel lens with optical image stabilization and a variable f/1.5-2.4 aperture. That means it would be able to switch between f/1.5 (great for low light shots) and f/2.4 (ideal when the lighting is better and you want more of the photo to be in focus).
This rumor comes from a leaked image of the Galaxy S9's box, which also lists it as being 'super speed', having an 8MP front-facing camera and supporting 'super slow-mo'.
More recently we've heard additional details of what exactly 'super slow-mo' might mean, with sources claiming that the S9's camera will be able to tell when motion starts and automatically begin recording slow motion footage when that happens.
Samsung has also unleashed four teaser videos highlighting the S9's camera. While they don't confirm anything, the first three hint that it might have clever slow motion skills as detailed above, work well in low light and support an Animoji-like feature.
The fourth video shows far more, hinting at many of the same things, as well as an improved flash, live photo abilities, improved selfies – perhaps thanks to a bokeh effect or a wide-angle lens, and even social components.
Either way, Samsung might offer a new way for you to unlock your phone, with leaker @UniverseIce claiming that the Galaxy S9 will have a '3D sensor front camera'.
They don't explain what they mean by that, but it sounds a lot like the iPhone X's Face ID system which allows you to use facial recognition to unlock the phone. And the 3D part suggests that like Apple's solution it won't be fooled by a picture.
More rumors have been found in the Note 8 Oreo source material on this – though it's unclear whether this will be for the S9 or just the S9 Plus.
And Samsung might also borrow Apple's Animoji feature, with one report saying you'll be able to map your face onto 3D emoji.
Another source echos these claims, adding that you can create your own avatar and then control it like an Animoji.
Samsung Galaxy S9 battery
- A 3,000mAh battery
- More power efficiency
The latest battery rumor comes in the form of a picture of a replacement unit on sale already for the phone, and it has a 3,000mAh capacity – the same as the Galaxy S8.
This lines up with a certificate supposedly originating from Brazil's telecom regulator Anatel, which also shows the Galaxy S9's battery as being 3,000mAh.
That's disappointing news, especially since an earlier report suggests Samsung will now use substrate-like PCB tech that will allow the Exynos chipset manufacturer to include a bigger battery without increasing the size of the processor.
However, whatever the size, efficiency improvements in the new chipsets should help the battery last longer.
Wireless charging is all but a given too, since the Galaxy S8 already sports it, and a photo supposedly showing the retail box (above) lists wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy S9 specs and power
- Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset
- Just 4GB of RAM
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 845, which will likely be powering US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S9.
It's an octa-core chip with four cores running at 2.8GHz and four at 1.8GHz, with the fastest cores delivering up to 30% better performance than the fastest cores in the Snapdragon 835. AI processing and graphics performance have also been improved, while power use has been reduced.
The chipset also allows cameras to record 4K Ultra HD video at 60fps.
Outside of the US, buyers are likely to get Samsung's own Exynos 9810, which includes an LTE modem which supports theoretical download speeds of 1.2Gbps – faster than any other phone, meaning you could potentially download an HD movie within just 10 seconds.
However, it seems unlikely that we'll get 6GB of RAM inside, which is what many smartphone brands (especially Asian ones) are doing – with Samsung apparently set to stick with the much-more-sensible 4GB spec instead.
More recently though we've see a benchmark for the standard S9, again packing the Exynos 9810, and this has far more believable scores – along with 4GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S9 other features
- An improved iris scanner
- Stereo speakers
Samsung will likely improve the iris scanner for the Galaxy S9, with rumors suggesting it will be boosted to 3MP (from 2MP on the S8) and better able to recognize your eyes, even if you wear glasses or the lighting is poor. It will also apparently be faster than on the S8.
We've also heard that it could leverage 'Intelligent Scan Biometrics' to combine both iris scanning and facial recognition, along with the ability to work better in poor lighting.
A recent patent has detailed a similar system, with an iris camera that would recognize both of your eyes and part of your face.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 looks like it'll have improved audio too, as there are rumors of it both having AKG stereo speakers and a free set of Bluetooth AKG headphones. Both of those things have now also been listed on an image seemingly showing the phone's box.
And talk of stereo speakers has popped up again more recently, with rumors that the Galaxy S9 will have both a bottom-firing speaker and one built into the earpiece.
This rumor has been echoed by someone who claims to have used the phone and said the sound is a "major improvement".
The Galaxy S9 has also now passed through the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and in the process we've learned that it will support all major LTE bands and that it will be manufactured in Vietnam – that latter point is interesting because the leaked box image pictured above was first shared in Vietnam, so this further suggests it might be accurate.
We've also seen a Samsung patent for a sensor which would analyze atmospheric conditions and alert you to how much pollution there was in the air.
Plus, one source has also claimed the Dex docking station we saw debut alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will get an update that will make it work more like a charging pad and allow you to type on the screen too. It means you won't need to use a keyboard and mouse when connecting your phone up to a monitor.
And there's evidence that the Galaxy S9 could have a dual-SIM slot, as there's mention of one at the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), though that model might be limited to parts of Asia.
TechRadar's take: With the exception of a pollution monitor all of these features are believable, and the iris scanner upgrades seem especially likely.