During CES, Samsung confirmed their next generation Galaxy S9 and S9+ phones would be announced in February. I was pretty excited when I heard that. But then, Samsung confirmed the exact date of the phone’s when it sent out invitations to their upcoming Samsung Unpacked event. This takes place in Barcelona, late next month. But, there has already been a steady stream of leaks which have revealed almost everything that you could want to know about the phone. Which means there isn’t much for Samsung to do to surprise us during next months’ press conference.
I feel for Samsung if I’m being honest. I mean, they are a massive company so I don’t have that much sympathy, but at the same time, I like the element of surprise. I like when I hear something straight from the company when they want to announce it. I mean, yes we know about things that are coming out of CES, Google I/O or WWDC in advance, but there are always still some surprises. Let’s look at Apple for example – in relation to their September announcements. We were all anticipating an iPhone 8, and there had been some rumblings of the next iPhone, but that one sounded like it was a year off. And then, suddenly – we have an iPhone X. I felt like that was kept under wraps in a pretty good way. I was caught off guard – but in a good way. I wish we had more surprises like that, from a product releasing standpoint.
But, that’s not always the case. So when I say that I feel bad for these companies, it’s more about the element of surprise. Now, maybe Samsung didn’t handle this well. Perhaps they should have debuted the phone during CES, at least in a way that they are controlling the message and getting people interested in the phone. But now we know that this is coming, shall we talk about the specs? I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to give you some information on the next version of the phone.
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the U.S. and China, and Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 systems-on-chip in the rest of the world, the first differentiator between the S9 siblings (codenamed Star and Star 2) lies in their memory configurations: 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for the S9+, but the same 4GB/64GB pairing as the last generation for the standard S9. With this distribution of basic components, Samsung is making it more difficult for users, some of whom may even want a smaller screen, to choose the basic S9 without additional trade-offs.
The Galaxy S9+ adds a second 12-megapixel rear module, but this one has a standard fixed aperture. This will be extremely important as all of the phones’ rear elements are aligned vertically, instead of horizontally, like the S8. The fingerprint scanner is also located more naturally at the bottom of the stack.
The big question I had at this time last year, is whether these enhancements will entice people to buy a new phone? Or better yet – to switch from an iPhone to a Galaxy? Samsung and Apple produce completely different products, but they seem to be really trying to give you the best phone possible. This kind of competition will continue to perpetuate and we will see huge advancements in technology over the next couple of years. Which, in my opinion, is good news!