The Galaxy S9 lineup will be Samsung's most expensive smartphone series ever, known industry insider Ricciolo claimed earlier this month. The source didn't elaborate on the matter but mentioned the flagship duo will be made official on February 25th which Samsung ended up confirming several days later. Despite the tipster's track record, the chances of Samsung introducing new price hikes with the Galaxy S9 lineup remain somewhat dubious, with an overwhelming amount of reports suggesting the upcoming product family will only provide an incremental upgrade over the two devices that preceded it, at least as far as the smaller smartphone is concerned.
The 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 is said to be extremely similar to the Galaxy S8, with the major exception being its system-on-chip of choice and an improved rear camera. The U.S. and Chinese variants of the device are expected to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, whereas the international models should feature Samsung's own Exynos 9810, both of which are notably more powerful and efficient than the Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895 found inside the Galaxy S8 lineup. The main camera of the handset will come with a new Samsung-made sensor that's still said to be of the 12-megapixel variety but is supposedly mounted behind a lens with a variable aperture ranging from f/2.4 to f/1.5, an industry record that the Galaxy S9 should share with another device from the South Korean tech giant - the W2018 flip phone launched in China last month. The bottom bezel of the handset is also expected to be slightly slimmer than the one found on the previous device, with its other features remaining the same. Given a relative lack of major upgrades, it's currently unclear how Samsung would justify a theoretical price increase it could introduce with the Galaxy S9. Last year's Galaxy S8 started at approximately $700, depending on the market.
The 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus is a much more likely candidate for a price hike, with recent reports indicating the base model of the handset will feature 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal flash memory, whereas all variants should sport a dual-camera setup entailing the same main sensor found on its smaller counterpart and another 12-megapixel module with a fixed aperture. The Galaxy S8 Plus started at around $800 last year, whereas the model with 256GB of memory broke the $1,000 mark. Samsung may offer a variant of the Galaxy S9 Plus with 512GB of storage space as it recently started manufacturing 512GB flash memory chips and vowed to commercialize them in at least one of its own devices in 2018. The two smartphones will be officially announced in the run-up to MWC 2018 late next month and should become available for purchase in the second half of March following a short pre-order period.