Samsung has just taken the wraps off its next-generation Exynos 9810 system-on-chip, which is likely to power overseas models of its upcoming Galaxy S9 smartphones. And based on some of the new features listed in the announcement (opens in new tab), it seems Samsung has built its latest processor with a couple of the iPhone X’s signature features in mind.
According to Samsung, the Exynos 9 Series 9810, as its formally known, will support object recognition with a foundation on “neural network-based deep learning.” That includes recognizing faces as well, and Samsung explicitly mentions the technology in the context of scanning faces in 3D for the purposes of unlocking devices and enabling face tracking filters.
Now, it’s no surprise Samsung would be gunning to deliver something comparable with the iPhone X's Face ID and Animoji in its next flagship handsets, but it’s important to note that just because the Exynos 9810 can support those technologies doesn’t mean it’ll handle them quite like Apple has. Back in October, there were rumblings that the Galaxy S9 would deliver something on the level of Face ID, but those rumors have cooled down in the months since. More recently, we’ve only heard that Samsung will improve its iris scanning system, partially by bumping up the quality of its image sensor.
Still, the news is encouraging given that we already know Qualcomm is packing its upcoming Snapdragon 845 chipset with depth sensing capabilities. Galaxy S devices typically launch with Qualcomm processors in North America and Samsung’s Exynos silicon elsewhere around the world, so if the company does decide the time is right for 3D facial recognition, both chips will be equipped for the task. It would make the "Reimagined Camera" slogan Samsung has apparently chosen for the Galaxy S9 make a whole lot more sense.
In other respects, Samsung says the Exynos 9810 will offer 40 percent faster multicore performance than its predecessor, the Exynos 8895. That’s down to a brand new eight-core CPU – four of which operate with a peak clock speed of 2.9GHz, alongside another four optimized for efficiency.
The new processor carries a faster modem too, utilizing 6x carrier aggregation to deliver download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. Although current LTE networks aren’t yet fitted to support these speeds, the Galaxy S9 should still be prepared when the day comes. Finally, Samsung is also citing faster and more efficient image processing designed to enhance low-light photography.
With the Galaxy S9 rumored to debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, we hopefully won’t have to wait long to find out whether Samsung can one-up Apple’s groundbreaking TrueDepth camera. Until then, you can stay up-to-date on all the latest Galaxy S9 rumors with the help of our roundup.