You don’t have to think you’re a modern-day Nostradamus to know that Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship will be a step-up from its predecessor in processing. A new announcement from the company, however, suggests the Galaxy S9 stands to be the world’s fastest smartphone.
Samsung revealed that it has created LTE modems for the upcoming batch of in-house Exynos mobile chipsets that come with support for six-carrier aggregation (6CA). What does that mean? Mainly, faster cellular download speeds of up to 1.2Gbits/sec. How? Carrier aggregation increases LTE speeds by using multiple LTE bands across the spectrum simultaneously. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 currently offers 5CA, while the new Exynos processor will allow 6CA – that means it could boast 20% faster data speeds.
All this relies on carriers supporting 6CA on their side of things, which makes the figures somewhat academic at the moment. EE, for example, which has just launched gigabit LTE in the UK, is only using three-carrier aggregation. Still, the potential is there for super-speedy downloads, and that Exynos chip is almost certainly set to feature in the Galaxy S9.
More recently, rumours have suggested Samsung’s Galaxy S9 won’t feature an in-screen scanner, as had been previously hinted. Instead, it will retain the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner with a view to having an in-screen scanner by the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date.
Samsung Galaxy S9: Everything you need to know
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is an outstanding phone. Our five-star reviewnamed it as 2017’s best, and the handset’s success has pretty much succeeded in quashing bad memories of the Note 7 debacle. But 2018 is another year, and that means it’s time for another shiny rectangle to be pooped from the techno-capitalism machine. So what can we expect from the Samsung Galaxy S9, and when will it get here?
Samsung Galaxy S9: In brief
- Samsung’s 2018 flagship, as inevitable as rain
- Expected release around March or April 2018
- Likely to be very expensive, close to the £700 mark
Samsung Galaxy S9: Release date and price
If Samsung wants to launch the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress, as it has done before, then we could get a reveal around February 2018. If it wants to launch the phone at its own event, as it has done this year, it will likely be around March or April. For now, we’d say this second option is more likely.
Price-wise, the Galaxy S8 costs a whopping £689. If it sells well, Samsung will have no real reason to slash this down. Besides, the Galaxy S9 will be pitched as a premium flagship phone, so something slightly shy of £700 is probable.
Samsung Galaxy S9: News and rumours
It’s early days, but there are already several reports about technology that could find its way into the Galaxy S9. The Investor claims chipmaker Qualcomm is working with Samsung on a new mobile chip, thought to be called the Snapdragon 845, predicted to be used in the Galaxy S9.
Elsewhere, Korean publication The Bellis reporting that Samsung has been working on Galaxy S9 display panels since March 2017. Jesus, take a holiday Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S9: 4 things we’d like to see
We had a quick ask-around the office and came up with four things we’d like to see in the Galaxy S9.
- A fingerprint sensor not near a camera lens
The Galaxy S8 made the odd decision to place its fingerprint scanner directly beside the phone’s rear camera. That’s a clear recipe for smudging up your lens, so we’d like Samsung to move the sensor, ideally beneath the front screen.
- A price that’s a bit more affordable
We’re not expecting a massive reduction, but we’d like to see Samsung cycle back from the price increase in the Galaxy S8. Given the critical success of this year’s handset, however, it’s unlikely that Samsung will pull back its prices on the Galaxy S9.
- A dual-lens camera
The camera improvements on the Galaxy S8 weren’t enormous, so it would be good to see Samsung go the way of the iPhone 7 Plus, Mate 9 and LG G6 and introduce a dual-lens camera into the Galaxy S9.
- Make Bixby more useful
Samsung made much of the addition of its AI assistant, Bixby. In practice, however, Bixby hasn’t proven all that useful. If they’re committed to the onboard AI, we’d like to see more widespread Bixby integration on the Galaxy S9.