Samsung's next big handset might hit store shelves sooner than expected, if a new report is any indication.
The tech giant is planning to put Galaxy S9 into mass production starting next month, serial leaker Ice Universe is reporting. Ice Universe, who has been extremely accurate on Samsung reports in the past, suggests that the Galaxy S9 could launch sooner with this bump in production schedule, and could hit store shelves in February or March.
Samsung bumping up its production schedule could have something to do with the virtual fingerprint sensor. According to a recent report from The Korea Herald, which was discovered by SamMobile, Samsung has ditched all plans to build a virtual fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S9. Instead, the company is apparently content with a face scanner to verify a person's identity.
Ice Universe believes that Samsung will still offer a physical fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S9. However, unlike the placement in the Galaxy S8 that put the sensor next to the rear camera, the Galaxy S9's fingerprint sensor will likely sit below the camera towards the middle of the rear panel.
The Galaxy S9's facial scanner is also expected to get a big boost to 3D scanning that should help it get closer to matching Apple's Face ID in the iPhone X. The face scanner in the Galaxy S8 is of the 2D variety, making it more easily duped by pictures and other tricks. Apple's Face ID is a 3D face scanner.
Aside from that, look for a variety of improvements to the Galaxy S9, including the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and a dual rear cameras. However, Samsung isn't expected to change much of the smartphone's design, other than to reduce the size of bezels at the top and bottom.
Pricing on the Galaxy S9 will likely be consistent with this year's models, putting the device around $750 to start.