Samsung may be hinting at possible upgraded specs for the Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S8 may be the Samsung phone to buy right now, but it will likely be replaced by another phone in 2018, and we expect it to be named the Galaxy S9. Although the S8 only began reaching store shelves in the last several months, talk of its successor has already begun.

There’s a lot we don’t know about the phone, but pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. Here are all the rumors so far about the next Galaxy phone.

Design

According to a few recent leaks, the Galaxy S9 will get a pretty major redesign. The first leak comes from Chinese leaker Ice Universe, whose post on Twitter claims that the back of the phone will “change a lot.” What does that mean? Well, it’s obviously a little vague, but it’s likely that the phone will get a dual-sensor camera like the Galaxy Note 8.

Rumors suggest that Samsung has been looking for a way to integrate the fingerprint sensor into the phone’s display, but a new report notes that the company may have ditched those plans. The report comes from South Korean publication The Investor, and it says that Samsung has been working on an in-display sensor for years — but it reportedly keeps running into technical difficulties that prevent the tech from working properly. Still, that doesn’t mean Samsung isn’t working on an in-display fingerprint sensor at all — on the contrary, the report suggests that its still planning the tech for the Galaxy Note 9.

Another leak from TechDroider basically shows two concept images of the phones, and it looks like the phones are almost identical to the Galaxy S8, save for the near elimination of the phones’ chins. It also shows that Samsung may get rid of the headphone jack — although Ice Universe said in a separate tweet that Samsung will keep the headphone jack.

Software

The Galaxy S9’s software remains a mystery, but a new report gives an idea of what to expect.

According to SamMobile, Samsung’s engineering team has kicked off development of two separate sets of firmware for the Galaxy S9, one for the regular-size phone (G960FXXU0AQI5) and the other for the S9 Plus (G965FXXU0AQI5). The code names would appear to confirm the rumored model numbers, SM-G960 and SM-G965.Camera

As far as the Galaxy S9’s cameras go, the phone could feature dual cameras, with placement similar to the Note 8. But they’re likely to be much more capable.

Samsung is working on a sensor capable of shooting at 1,000 fps, according to a new report published by ETNews. It’s expected to enter mass production in November, months ahead of the Galaxy S9’s rumored release date — leaving plenty of time for Samsung to incorporate it into the design.

The rumor, if true, would be something of a triumph for Samsung’s imaging division. Sony’s Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Premium have sensors that can shoot 960 frames per second, the highest of any smartphone. But the Galaxy S9’s sensor would best them.

Specs

The Galaxy S phones are among Samsung’s most powerful devices, and some of the best smartphones you can buy, so we should expect the S9 to follow the tradition. It’s rumored the phone will use the next top-of-the-range Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, rumored to be the Snapdragon 845. Like the Galaxy S8 did with the Snapdragon 835, the Galaxy S9 may get the new chip before other manufacturers.

A report from XDA Developers corroborates previous rumors that the Galaxy S9 will not only include the Snapdragon 845, but will be shipped with Android Oreo 8.0. The source also claims the device will have 4GB of RAM with 64 GB of internal storage.

A deal could already be in place — a known industry analyst publishing on the Weibo social network says Qualcomm has agreed to ready an initial batch of Snapdragon 845 chips for the Galaxy S9’s rumored launch in 2018. Samsung had the monopoly on the Snapdragon 835 processor, as chip supply was low for other manufacturers during the first months of 2017.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard the rumor. A report published by The Investor said Samsung and Qualcomm would team up again for the Galaxy S9, and the new phone may use a next-generation, as-yet-unconfirmed processor.

Little has been said elsewhere about a Snapdragon 845 processor. A rumor originating from a Weibo social network source at the beginning of 2017 said a future Qualcomm chip referred to as the Snapdragon 84x would be revealed during the final three months of 2017. Whether this will end up being an 840 or 845 remains to be seen. Apparently, the chip will have eight cores.

Recently spotted by BGR — a press release for Samsung’s 36 CES 2018 Innovation Awards listed its latest flagship processor as Exynos 9 Series 9810. The release goes on to list “third-generation custom CPU cores, upgraded GPU, and gigabit LTE modem with industry-first 6CA support. It is built on second-generation 10nm process technology.” This could be the next-generation Galaxy S chip, meaning the Galaxy S9 is likely to receive a 10nm processor instead of 8nm chips.

The press release also listed the Isocell SLIM 2X7 which allows for a thinner camera module. This could also mean that Samsung is planning on making the Samsung Galaxy S and Note flagships even thinner than its predecessors. But Samsung made no references to the Galaxy S9 in its announcement, so it’s still unclear if the innovations listed on its press release will apply to the device.

Display

The Galaxy S8 set a precedent for Samsung’s flagships with its edge-to-edge curved display. It was recently reported that the company has decided on screen sizes for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

The news comes from South Korean publication The Bell, by way of The Investor, and claims the regular-size S9 will feature a 5.77-inch panel, while the bigger S9 Plus will sport a 6.22-inch screen. Those sizes may sound familiar, because they’re exactly the same as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

After the Galaxy S8’s significant leap forward, it’s not terribly surprising Samsung would play it safe in the Galaxy S9, refining its display tech rather than revolutionizing it. It’s very early in the Galaxy S9 rumor cycle, however, and as Apple has shown with the multitude of display technologies surrounding its upcoming iPhone 8, there’s time for those plans to change — if they’re even true at all.

The industry has made major strides since Samsung last attempted the feat. Vivo presented a public demo of the first-ever device with on-screen scanning in June, and Qualcomm hashed out serious plans about letting manufacturers sample their implementation of the tech before the end of the year.

While the device will retain the same shape and form as past Galaxy devices, it’s still unclear whether it will include the rounder Galaxy S8 display or if it’ll mimic the squared-off shape of the Note 8’s screen.

Code names and release date

Samsung has apparently started developing the Galaxy S9 in earnest, and the code name it has given the device has been leaked by The Bell. According to the report, the Galaxy S9 is code-named Star, and a larger version of the phone, which we can assume is the S9 Plus, is known as the Star 2. It’s rumored that development started several months earlier than it did for the Galaxy S8, which may imply either an earlier release date, or the inclusion of new features and technology that require time to integrate. No official sources have confirmed this story.

A release date during the first half of 2018 is anticipated.

Update: Samsung unveiled its next-generation mobile processor in a press release. 


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