Editor's Note: This post will be updated frequently as more leaked information comes out. Last update - February 20
Each and every year the biggest and baddest smartphone vendors work tirelessly to unleash their latest and greatest mobile devices on the smartphone market. Samsung chief among them will this year be looking to unveil the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, the replacements for last year's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, and what will no doubt be a leader in the market this year in comparison to all other flagship smartphones from different brands.
While there is still much that is officially unknown about either version of the upcoming phone in Samsung's long-running flagship lineup, there are a fair bit of rumors swimming about that seek to the light the path towards what each will offer in terms of design and specs. One of the more recent is that Samsung will be unveiling the phone at Mobile World Congress this year and that it will be launching the phone for sale on March 16th of this year, which would put it about two to three weeks after the announcement that would happen at the conference towards the end of February. This wasn't the only rumor about the phone, of course, as there are many unconfirmed details that could be more accurate than not. Here's everything that's known so far about Samsung's next flagship smartphone.
As mentioned above, Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus on March 16th in most major global markets following an announcement for the phones at Mobile World Congress next month. That is, according to rumors for the launch date at least, as only the announcement date has been confirmed. That said, these rumors come from fairly notable sources which tend to be right about these kinds of details, so there's a pretty good chance that these will be the announcement and release time frames. In addition to the release on the 16th, it's also rumored that Samsung plans to open up the pre-orders for both phones on March 1st, though there is no indication of carriers opening up pre-orders at the exact same time, at least for now.
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S9 has been talked about for months now, and while a lot of it has been somewhat inaccurate the most recent depictions of what Samsung's new phones will look like appear to be close to the real thing. It won't be confirmed of course until the official announcement. When it comes to the design, recent showings of what are believed to be the final look showcase a phone that looks pretty similar to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, save for a few key differences. The biggest difference so far that seems to have been incorporated is the new location of the fingerprint sensor. On the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, it's believed to have been moved to just below the rear-facing camera sensors, as opposed to sitting on the side like on Samsung's current flagships.
Samsung is also believed to have integrated a second rear camera but only for the Galaxy S9 Plus model, as the Galaxy S9 is now believed to be using just a single rear camera only. Sizes of the displays are also likely different again, with the Galaxy S9 being slightly smaller and the Galaxy S9 Plus being the option for those consumers who want a bigger screen. Though if the dual camera is only present on the Galaxy S9 Plus it won't be just the screen size that consumers would be choosing the Galaxy S9 Plus for. Based on the image above and the images in the gallery below, it's thought the designs will be similar for both phones, though it's also worth noting that these images are also thought to be of cloned phones and not the actual models coming from Samsung, which means slight differences could be in place for the official devices. Some of the images are also just renders of the phone based on information and leaks that had piled up over time.
Update - January 30:
Last week, a diagram popped up that gave a decent look at the thickness of the side bezels on the phone. The diagram is of a CAD render that was placed next to the leaked press render to show the comparison of the side bezels close up along with the what the phone would actually look like in real life. The factory CAD render also showed the Galaxy S8 Plus to show the comparison of the side bezels on it with the side bezels on the Galaxy S9 Plus.
Update - February 11:
The design is pretty much known at this point even if things aren't official, but more leaked images is always good in terms of matching up new leaks with past ones. The latest seems to be a banner ad for the Galaxy S9 for the China market, and everything looks just like the other leaked renders that have surfaced up to now.
When it comes to the specifications for the Galaxy S9, there are some details which have already leaked and some which haven't. In the image above of what looks like the packaging for the device, some of the specifications have been listed on the back. If the information is to be believed then the Galaxy S9 will come with a Super AMOLED Quad HD+ display at 5.8-inches (5.6-inches with the rounded corners of the screen), and come with 64GB of internal storage space and 4GB of RAM. There are other storage variants that have been leaked and rumored as well, with it being said that Samsung will offer a 128GB and 256GB version of these phones. It's also listed to have a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera using a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor and an f1.5/f2.4 aperture capable of Super Slow-mo video capture, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video chat. Like some of Samsung's other past devices it should also be coming with Stereo speakers that are tuned by AKG, it'll have an iris scanner, and it'll come with an IP68 rating making it resistant to dust and water. Lastly, the box also states that it will come with earphones that are tuned by AKG and that the phone will support wireless charging.
Some of those specs were likely obvious, while others maybe not so obvious. It's also worth noting that certain details, such as the 12-megapixel camera with Super Slow-mo video capture is a spec that has been rumored again recently. Just this past week a new landing page was discovered on the Samsung Semiconductor website that talked about a new ISOCELL imaging sensor which supports Slow-mo video capture at 480 frames per second, which could be referencing the Super Slow-mo on the Galaxy S9 as listed here in the box. Another recent set of leaked specs from last week about the cameras on both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus point to the camera sensors on the back and front being 12-megapixels and 8-megapixels respectively, so this isn't the first time that the camera details have leaked. Samsung has also now sent out the official Mobile World Congress invites for its press conference that will be held there, which mentions that the Galaxy S9 re-imagines the camera, alluding to it having some pretty special features.
Update - February 1:
Prior to this leak, which showed images of the internal batteries that Samsung reportedly plans to use for the upcoming Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, the Galaxy S9 will come with a battery capacity of 3,000mAh, while the Galaxy S9 Plus will come with a higher capacity of 3,500mAh.
Update - February 13:
A new report alleges that Samsung will be incorporating Gigabit-class 4G LTE speeds into the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, which will more or less future-proof them for when Gigabit speeds are available on certain cellular networks, which bodes well for anyone who values high speed internet from their smartphone.
Update - February 14:
While a leaked image of what is thought to be Galaxy S9 packaging has already surfaced a few weeks ago, showing that the Galaxy S9 will come with 4GB of RAM meaning the Galaxy S9 Plus likely would as well, a more recent leak of a benchmark test for the Galaxy S9 Plus suggests that it will have 6GB of RAM as this is the amount listed in the benchmark test, meaning Samsung could be offering both variants, or that the Galaxy S9 will have 4GB while the Galaxy S9 Plus has 6GB.
Update - February 16:
Audio on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S7 series phones was pretty good but there is always room for improvement, and according to a recent leak the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus speakers will be a "major improvement" over the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which is great for any users considering Samsung's new phones as an upgrade and are looking for the best audio that phones have to offer.
Update - February 20:
In one of the latest updates the Galaxy S9 has appeared in 3D Augmented Reality models through the official Samsung Unpacked 2018 app, as Samsung intends to allow users to scan the backs of their badges at the event to allow them to hold a Galaxy S9 in AR.
Android phones have had a facial recognition software baked into them for a few years now, utilizing the front camera on phones to scan the face and match it up with a taken by the user during the configuration process. Android devices have also recently started getting iris scanning as a feature, and Samsung's Galaxy phones are some of the first to have incorporated it. Now, recently discovered information points to the Galaxy S9 having something called Intelligent Scan, which appears to combine the properties of the iris scanning and facial scanning features of the iris scanner and front-facing camera, which would likely afford the user a more secure and accurate form of unlocking the device.
When it comes to the features of this new device from Samsung there is still a lot that is unknown, but there are some tidbits that seem to have made their way online, such as the Intelligent Scan mentioned just above. Aside from that, it's been rumored that a new UX may be used for the device, and although there really wasn't much detail about how the UX would be new, what's possible is that Samsung is planning to introduce a few small changes to the visual aspects of the already existing Samsung Experience UX. The device is also expected to have a dual SIM variant as a support page for this particular version has already been leaked online a little earlier than Samsung likely anticipated it to go up, seeing as how the device was confirmed for an unveiling more than a month away.
Another recent rumor pegs the Galaxy S9 as having more of a focus on gaming this time around. So far there haven't been any other details about this particular trait of the device other than the phone will allow users to enjoy "extreme gaming on the go," but if the Galaxy S9 does indeed have a more of a gaming focus than its predecessors, then more information will probably pop up about it in the future.
Update - February 1:
Along with the leaked battery capacity some images of what are thought to be samples from the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus have surfaced on the same day, showing what might be expected from the image quality of the sensors that Samsung will be using for the new devices. There are only a few shots, but they shed some light on how good the images may look with each new phone, which should be particularly interesting as Samsung is boasting impressive camera features, albeit without giving out any actual details.
Update - February 13:
Any really cool or exciting features on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus seem to have been kept under wraps, but bits and pieces have been leaking out that give something to look forward to, such as a rumor that both phones will come with 3D animations that are similar to animoji-style.
Update - February 20:
A new set of details has emerged from an unnamed source that has mentioned to AndroidHeadlines that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will be able to capture Super Low-Light photos, likely helped by the inclusion of a n adjustable aperture.
While there are likely to be more than a couple of colors for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, two colors have recently leaked which pop up in the form of renders for what are supposed to be cases for the phones. In the image above you can see what is thought to be a white color, though it also looks like it might be silver. In the image below you can see the orchid gray color. The phone should also end up coming in black as evidenced by the main image at the top of this post.
Update - February 5:
A new color for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus has leaked as of today, showing not only more images of the phone design which match up with past leaked renders, but a clear view of a new color for the upcoming flagships. The new color, which is called Lilac Purple according to the rumor, has a vibrant yet also subtle hue that isn't too flashy. Whether or not this color will release everywhere is unknown at this point as the color itself has not been confirmed as one that will actually launch.
Though the images above do fall into the case category, they're not the only image of cases that have surfaced for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. Cases are hardly a window into the full picture of a phone as they won't do much for shedding light on the internal hardware or the features of the phone, but they do allow you to see the potential design, and most of them point to the Galaxy S9 Plus having a dual rear-facing camera module. The cases for the Galaxy S9 on the other hand show just a single camera on the back, but it does still have the fingerprint sensor sitting below the camera this time around unlike the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus which had the sensor to the right in a sort of odd placement. This year it looks like Samsung has corrected this and moved it to a more natural-feeling location.
Update - February 2:
In addition to the already large collection of leaked cases for this phone, a video surfaced recently which shows the Clear View covers for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in a few different colors. These appear to be the official covers from Samsung, and at one point in the video the Galaxy S8 Plus is placed in one of the cases and it fits relatively well, which means the sizes of the phones are going to be about the same in terms of footprint.
Update - February 11:
While there have already been plenty of case leaks for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, the most recent cases to have leaked thus far have been the official cases coming from Samsung, which come in a variety of colors and styles. There were no mentioned prices for any of these cases but they do show the general shape of the phone design.
Pricing And Availability
So far there hasn't been much of a rumor surrounding the pricing of these two devices, other than the fact that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are supposed to be the most expensive series of phones that Samsung has ever put out. Last year's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus started around $700 and $800 respectively, and this year Samsung is rumored to charge more for the follow up phones. When it comes to the availability, there's still no rumors on regions where Samsung plans to launch it initially but it will be a global device, and as far as time frames go, the phone is already confirmed to be getting an announcement on Feb. 25th, while it's suspected to actually be hitting retail on March 16th.
Update - February 4:
While official pricing has obviously not been confirmed yet, and likely won't be until after Samsung has officially announced the two phones, it's recently been rumored that the Galaxy S9 will be around $140 more in the EU than the Galaxy S8. This isn't exact pricing as the $140 would be the amount equivalent to that in Euros, but it gives the consumer an idea of what to expect with cost, and it adds to the rumor that this will be a more expensive phone than last year.
Update - February 19:
Pricing on either version of Samsung's new flagship is still scarce and largely unknown, but rumors about it are still popping up which sheds a little bit of light on what to possibly expect when Samsung launches the devices. According to a recent price information leak, the Galaxy S9 Plus will cost around 9,790 NOK in Norway while the Galaxy S9 is rumored to cost 8,790 NOK, which is equal to around $1,259 and $1,131 respectively. While the conversions wouldn't be the exact pricing in the U.S., the range makes them pretty expensive if they're anywhere close to that at launch.
Update - February 19:
Another recent price leak rumors that the cost of the Galaxy S9 Plus in the UK will be £999, which is roughly $1,395 in the U.S. In addition to this the Galaxy S9 pricing in the UK is rumored to be £799 which would be roughly $1,115 in the U.S. These are slightly different than the converted prices from the rumored cost of the phones in Norway, mentioned above, but again it gives a range of what to potentially expect for actual U.S.-based pricing at launch.
Update - February 19:
While prices for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus have been rumored for other regions so far there hasn't been any rumors surrounding official pricing for the U.S. version of the phone. Now, though, a rumor has surfaced that suggests that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus from AT&T should be launching around $750 and $850 respectively, that they will launch around March 23 or around a week before.
Update - February 20:
While no prices have been confirmed yet by Samsung for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, a rumor has now suggested that whatever the prices are, consumers may be able to save some money on the amount they pay by trading in old devices for up to $350 when they purchase either the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus.
Much is still unknown about the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, but there are enough leaks to form a picture of what to expect when Samsung launches its latest flagship devices in the near future. From features like Intelligent Scan to Super Slow-mo video capture, both phones are shaping up to be pretty compelling, and will no doubt have a lot to offer the consumer just as Samsung's flagships do every single year, and with the announcements coming up at the end of next month, it wont be long either before Samsung gives out official details.