Samsung has had no luck keeping a lid on leaks surrounding its upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones, so it was only a matter of time before we saw images of the duo surface in full. Now, thanks to new renders and specifications from respected leaker Evan Blass, we have our best picture yet of the long-awaited handsets, with the rumored specs matching a lot of what we've heard so far about the phone.
The lone image shared by Blass on VentureBeat shows the two devices side-by-side. Head-on, they look strikingly similar to the Galaxy S8 pair — something we were told to expect many times over by leaks and reports preceding this one. Samsung chose to go the conservative route with this year’s flagships after dramatically redesigning the Galaxy S line in 2017 with its curved, ultra-wide Infinity Displays. The only significant difference in the exteriors of both handsets is the re-positioned fingerprint sensor, which now sits underneath the camera stack on the back of the phone instead of beside it.
Most of the changes appear to lie underneath the glass and metal. There, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset powering North American models of the 5.8-inch S9 and the 6.2-inch S9+. In other parts of the world, Samsung will employ its own Exynos 9810 processor. Blass says the Galaxy S9 will offer 4GB of RAM, keeping parity with the previous generation, while the S9+ will add an additional 2GB for a total of 6GB, much like the Galaxy Note 8.
There are other differences between the two models. While the standard S9 has just one all-new 12-megapixel camera, the S9+ adds a second 12-MP lens. The report doesn’t precisely state what this secondary shooter will be used for, though if it’s anything like the Note 8, it should lead to optical zoom capabilities and Live Focus mode for shallow depth-of-field portraits.
The primary lens, however, should be a significant upgrade over the S8’s camera system, which itself was mostly unchanged from the Galaxy S7. The new shooter will feature an adjustable aperture, with the ability to transition from f/2.4 to f/1.5 on the fly, the latter of which should be the widest of any smartphone camera upon release. Its video capabilities will reportedly see a boost too, thanks to a new slow-motion mode that, according to Blass, automatically begins recording at 480 frames per second during rapid movement.
Samsung has planned an event for Feb. 25 in Barcelona, one day before the beginning of Mobile World Congress 2018, where it is expected to unveil both phones. You can look forward to our hands-on impressions at the show.