Samsung will start retailing the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus on March 16th, known industry insider Evan Blass said Tuesday, citing a senior executive of a "major" protective case manufacturer. According to the same source, the company's next pair of Android flagships will become available for pre-orders on March 1st, three days after making its premiere official appearance at this year's iteration of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. A February 26th announcement is in line with Samsung's own confirmation that the Galaxy S9 series is planned for an MWC 2018 launch, with that particular date marking the start of the world's largest annual mobile industry trade show.
The successors to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are widely believed to stay true to the bezel-free aesthetic Samsung introduced last year, sporting Infinity Display panels with QHD+ resolutions taking advantage of an elongated 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The models meant to be sold in the United States and China should be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, whereas the international variants of the devices are expected to feature Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chip, both of which should bring the energy efficiency and raw processing power boasted by the Galaxy S8 lineup to the next level and make the most of the batteries found inside the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus which are rumored to have capacities identical to the ones fueling their predecessors. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 is expected to retain a single-lens camera setup and 4GB of RAM, whereas the Galaxy S9 Plus will feature a dual-sensor system and 6GB of RAM, according to numerous industry insiders.
Both handsets are rumored to stick with a 64GB internal memory base, although the most premium version of the larger phablet may come with 512GB of storage space as Samsung recently started producing such flash memory chips and vowed to commercialize them in the smartphone segment at some point this year. As the upcoming series isn't expected to debut any major innovations compared to the previous Android flagships from the South Korean company, price hikes seem unlikely, with many industry watchers expecting the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus to start at approximately $700 and $800, respectively. Consumers in most markets are likely to be incentivized to place advanced orders on Samsung's next premium handsets, though pre-order bonuses should differ by markets, as was the case with previous high-end mobile offerings from the tech giant.