Even though we’re still a month out from the Samsung Galaxy S9’s official debut, as usual, in the run up to Mobile World Congress, leaks about Samsung’s upcoming flagship phone are starting to swirl. But today, we might have just hit the motherlode thanks to info found by noted smartphone sleuth evleaks (AKA Evan Blass), showing what appears to be the best look at the S9 anyone has found yet.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2018
Now if you’re checking out the picture above and thinking, “Wait, isn’t that just a Galaxy S8?”, your confusion would be forgiven. Based on the leaked renders and other rumours, the Galaxy S9’s design will be almost identical to the current Galaxy S8, especially in the front, right down to the row of cameras and sensors along the top, the virtual home button down below, and Samsung’s signature OLED in the middle. The S9 looks like it will even retain the S8’s much maligned Bixby button on the left side.
However, according to evleaks, things get more interesting around back. First, Samsung moved the S9’s fingerprint sensor from the right of the camera module to a more easily reached location in the middle of the phone’s back. But the camera itself should be the real star, which jives with some of the official promotion material Samsung has teased ahead of the S9’s launch.
— Dzire Droid (@DzireDroid) January 24, 2018
Evleaks says the S9 will feature a variable aperture 12-MP main cam that can switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5, which would be the widest aperture lens available on any mainstream phone camera. On top of that, it seems Samsung has upgraded the S9’s slow-mo video capture up to an impressive 480 frames per second, twice the speed found in Apple’s iPhone X. And for the first time, the S9+ will also get a second rear camera with zoom capabilities similar to the one found on the Galaxy Note8. Unfortunately, when it comes to the rear of the phone, we don’t have as clear of a render, so the pic above will have to do for now.
Inside, the S9 has reportedly gotten some important upgrades as well, including a new Snapdragon 845 processor, while the larger S9+ is expected to get a bump in memory too, up from 4GB to 6GB. Another less obvious improvement is that both versions of the S9 will reportedly also sport stereo speakers, which would be a welcome change from the single mono speaker found on the Galaxy S8.
Samsung’s invite for its Unpacked event at MWC is already teasing the S9’s camera as a big feature.
While we’re going to have to wait until February 26 to find out if all this is for real, the list of changes and specs above seem like pretty safe bets for what Samsung will deliver on its next big phone. I don’t think the S9’s unchanged designs is a cause for concern, as the S8 is already one of the best looking phones available. The real question is if some specs bumps and an improved camera will be enough to get people to upgrade, especially considering there’s no mention of an Apple-like FaceID alternative.