Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ UK price, release date and specs: Battery leaks, an unboxing video and the Galaxy S9 Active

 

NEWS: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ might not be the only phones Samsung is planning to unveil in February 2018. There are rumours that Samsung will be launching the Galaxy S9 Active, too. However, this might not come to the UK market. As with the Galaxy S8 Active that only launched in certain markets, such as the US, we might never see the phone land this side of the pond.

There are leaks of the S9 and S9+ batteries. The phones will respectively have a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh capacity. An unboxing of a Galaxy S9+ clone on YouTube has also appeared. In the video, the fingerprint sensor has moved below the camera, while the rest of the phone has remained largely unchanged. Is this how Samsung’s upcoming phone will look like? We’ll find out soon enough.

Hankering for more Galaxy S9 details? Here’s everything we know about Samsung’s latest pair of flagships.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ UK price: How much will they cost?

  • Around £700 for the S9 and £800 for S9+

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ launched at both £679 and £779 when they first released and it’s highly unlikely that the S9 and it’s plus-sized alternative will be much cheaper, if at all.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were a huge success at its asking price, so Samsung has no reason to reduce the price of the S9. What’s more, it’s very unusual to see a manufacturer reduce the price of a new handset – usually, the RRP just spirals upwards with each new release (here’s looking at you OnePlus).

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ UK release date: When do they launch?

  • MWC 2018 announcement: 25 February 2018

Samsung typically releases its phones at MWC or at its own dedicated events a little later in the year. In 2018, the former is the case, with the Galaxy S9 launching at MWC.

The annual trade show takes place from 26 February and finishes on 1 March this year, and we will be there in full force bringing you the latest coverage. It has now been confirmed that the S9 will be unveiled at the Unpacked event on 25 February 2018.

Its release date has yet to be confirmed, but according to Evan Blass on Twitter, a well-respected tipster, the S9 pre-orders will start on 1 March and its release date will be on 16 March 2018.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs: What’s inside?

  • Processor: Snapdragon 845 (US & China-only), Exynos 9810 (UK, worldwide)
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Display: 5.8in and 6.2in
  • Camera: Two ‘Super Speed’ 12-megapixel cameras with OIS (F1.5/F2.4) or Single adjustable aperture lens
  • Storage: 64GB internal space (up to 256GB with microSD card)
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
  • Water-resistant IP68
  • Integration with Bixby
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack included, with AKG stereo speakers
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

Following the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset (US and China-only) and Samsung’s very own Exynos 9810, it’s safe to assume the S9 and S9+ will be equipped with the latest flagship processor. The new chipset features a 2.9GHz octa-core processor that promises to be 40% faster in single-core performance than its predecessor, the Exynos 8895.

Its GPU performance looks to be also 20% more powerful, too, with the ARM Mali-G72. This also means that video playback will support HEVC and VP9 codecs – a welcome addition for those looking to record in 4K (as file sizes will be more detailed and have a smaller file size), something we’ve seen with the GoPro Hero6.

There’s an image that’s emerged from Reddit user ‘minhvn’ (see below) that showcases the full specs of the Galaxy S9 – seemingly confirming that the fingerprint sensor will make its way to the back of the phone, too.

^Image source: Reddit user ‘minhvn’

As for the S9 variant with the Snapdragon 845 chipset, the phone will support Quick Charge 4+, which means you’ll be able to charge your phone from empty to 50% in just 15mins.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Camera

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has correctly predicted many launches (notably from Apple), anticipates that both Galaxy S9 and S9+ will feature a dual-lens camera or a single-lens adjustable aperture camera. This follows on from the dual-cam Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or the Samsung W2018 flip phone seen in China.

According to Korean IT site ET News, Samsung will also feature a sensor capable of shooting at 1,000fps. This would allow super-slow-mo videos, close to Sony’s recent effort with the Xperia XZ Premium, which has a sensor capable of 960fps. This seems increasingly likely as the S9 box leak suggests a ‘Super Speed’ camera.

It’s logical that Samsung sticks to a similar camera design with the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Some suggest the South Korea manufacturer might even opt for a telephoto lens for its secondary lens, just like Apple’s iPhone 8.

Fresh rumours also indicate that Samsung will boast the best aperture on a smartphone, ever. With the dual 12-megapixel rear cameras featuring an F1.5 and F2.4 sensor, the S9 and S9+ are set to draw in more light than ever before. This will drastically increase its low-light performance and hopefully provide an alternative to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s stunning camera. We could also see an adjustable aperture lens as seen on the Samsung W2018 phone in China. Here, the aperture dynamically adjusts.

We also expect to see a return of the front-facing Iris Scanner with an 8-megapixel selfie camera with autofocus. Following on from the Samsung Galaxy A8, we might even see dual-front facing cameras, too.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Design

We now have our first glimpse of what to expect with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+. Leaked renders from case manufacturer Olixar suggest that both the fingerprint reader and rear camera arrangement will change slightly from the previous effort.

With the S9, the fingerprint reader is now situated below the rear camera, as opposed to the right. Likewise, the S9+ also benefits from the new fingerprint reader placement but also appears to be going the dual-camera route, just like with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. Source: MobileFun.co.uk

NFC is most likely going to be included, which means we’ll see the S9 and S9+ feature wireless charging capabilities, too. We presume it’ll be a Qi-certified phone, which means you can use it with existing charging pads.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Display

As with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, we’d expect both the S9 and S9+ to launch with an 18.5:9 HDR display. There is a slight chance the phone might be bendable too – but we’re banking on this feature being exclusively used on the Note range-only.

Size wise, the S9 will most likely come with a 5.8in display, while the S9+ a larger 6.2in display.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: A 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers

A few rumours suggest the S9 and S9+ will no longer feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. After the release of the Google Pixel 2, and a few other Android smartphones that have done away with the jack, we wouldn’t be all too surprised to see it being removed altogether.

However, there’s still a chance we might see the 3.5mm jack on the S9 and S9+. On 5 November 2017, Samsung released a controversial ad that took aim at the iPhone X. In it, the Koren firm heavily hinted that the 3.5mm headphone jack was here to stay.

There are also rumours of AKG partnering up with Samsung to include earphones within the package. Better still, it looks like there will be stereo speakers for the first time on a Samsung device – a feature we’ve been longing to see.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Security

With the S9 and S9+, we’d expect to see a fingerprint sensor included, with its placement around the back of the phone, as it was with the S8.

Given the release of the iPhone X, which uses your face to unlock the device (through Face ID), we expect to Samsung to improve its facial recognition on the S9 and S9+. UniverseIce on Twitter, a renowned tipster, thinks the S9 (and S9+) will include a front-facing 3D sensor with face unlocking technology. With the release of the Samsung Exynos 9810 chipset, it all seems highly probable.

There are rumours that suggest Samsung is looking to integrate both iris and face recognition for a more efficient way of unlocking your phone. Apple’s iPhone X works well in low-light conditions and is one of the criticisms of the OnePlus 5T and Honor View 10 that somewhat struggle to unlock at night.

video on YouTube has emerged, which outlines how the technology will work under bright ambient light or low-light conditions. We’ll have to wait and see what the South Korean manufacturer has in store for us in late February.

Also, early rumours of an in-fingerprint sensor seem to have faded away. Despite Synaptics showcasing the Clear ID FS9500 optical sensor on the Vivo X20 UD at CES 2018 (see below), we’re unlikely to see it in this year’s Galaxy S-line. Read more about the in-display fingerprint sensor on our sister publication, Alphr.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Android version

Android 8.0 Oreo was released in 2017, and given the update cycle of Samsung phones, it’s expected the South Korean manufacturer will feature Android 8.0 Oreo on the S9 and S9+. Following the announcement of the Samsung Experience 9.0 Beta, this seems likely, too.