Samsung Galaxy S9+: What we know so far


Samsung's Galaxy S9+ will be the larger member of its premium 2018 smartphone family. Here's what we know so far.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ at a glance

When does the Samsung Galaxy S9+ come out? To be announced 25 February 2018, with expected on-sale date in either March or early April 2018.
What’s new about the Samsung Galaxy S9+? Dual camera, upgraded Qualcomm or Exynos CPU, possible modular accessories.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy S9+ cost? No precise pricing yet, but expect to pay above $1,200 for the S9+.

What is the Samsung Galaxy S9+?

Samsung refreshes its Galaxy S line once each calendar year, and in 2018, that means that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ are due to be replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, set to be launched at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

In 2017, the launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ didn't happen at MWC, with Samsung instead opting to use Mobile World Congress to launch the Samsung Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 ranges following the critical battery issues with the Galaxy Note 7.

While that crisis is now long behind Samsung, it's still hoping to score a serious hit with the Galaxy S9 and its bigger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

The expectation for the S9+ is that it will follow in the sizing footsteps of its predecessors, with an expected 6.2 inch display. Leaks just prior to MWC 2018 certainly seem to confirm this, as well as the colours and specifications for the new Galaxy S9+.

The Galaxy S9+ will use one of Samsung's own Super AMOLED displays. Early leaks and rumours suggest we won't see a significant design reworking this year, which means it should look broadly similar to the Galaxy Note 8.

It's possible, but by no means confirmed that the Galaxy S9+ may use a new AMOLED technology, dubbed "Sunflower" that is said to offer higher display fidelity.

Samsung copped a lot of criticism for the placement of the fingerprint sensor on its 2017 flagship handsets. The company is apparently experimenting with technology that will place a fingerprint sensor underneath the front display glass, but rumours at the moment suggest that we won't see this on the Galaxy S9+. It's also feasible that Samsung will incorporate a facial ID technology in the Galaxy S9+, similar to that found in Apple's iPhone X, with one teaser video rather suggesting that Samsung's take on Animoji will debut with its new handset range.

Samsung also has a patent on screen displays that displays a smartphone with a notched display, similar to that found on the Apple iPhone X. That could point to additional cameras for sensing on the Galaxy S9, but equally could just be research intended for future smartphone designs, or even just for legal protections against patent claims levied against Samsung itself.

The Galaxy S9+ is all but confirmed to run Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 or Samsung's expected Exynos 9810 processor, both of which are expected to offer both performance and battery life boosts over today's current CPU choices. There was some early suggestion that Samsung might go it alone on the CPU front if it could get CDMA support baked into its own Exynos solutions, but it now appears that it will instead offer two CPU variants. In Australia, we expect to see the Exynos based Galaxy S9+.

The Galaxy S9+ should be capable of very fast network speeds. Samsung has already announced its own Cat 18 LTE modem, capable of download speeds of up to an impressive 1.2Gbps, and while that will rely on carrier network support, it's expected to make its debut on the Galaxy S9+.

On the slightly wilder rumour front, it's been suggested that Samsung is investigating its own modular phone add-on designs, in a similar style to the "Moto Mods" that Motorola offers with its phones, or for that matter that LG offered with its LG G5 handset.


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Will the Samsung Galaxy S9+ have a good camera?

Previous Galaxy S phones with plus-sized variants haven't tended to differentiate the camera, but the rumours and leaks to date point significantly towards the camera on the S9+ being a big step up from the regular Galaxy S9. Specifically, it appears that while the Galaxy S9 will continue with a single lens solution, the Galaxy S9+ will pick up a dual lens camera, similar to that found on the Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung's betting heavily on camera optimisations for the Galaxy S9+, with its promotional material strongly bearing the tagline "The Camera Re-imagined", and teaser videos that do seem to hint that leaks around new slow-motion and low light modes may have been on the money.

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Will the Galaxy S9+ be water resistant?

Absolutely. While there have been few rumours around the relative robustness of the Galaxy S9+, there's simply no way that Samsung is going to skip water resistance on its flagship 2018 handset when all of its competitors now offer it.

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When will the Galaxy S9+ be available in Australia?

While Samsung will announce the Galaxy S9+ at MWC 2018, it's not yet clear when it will actually make it available for sale. Current rumours suggest that Samsung will bring the Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy S9 to market pretty quickly after MWC 2018.

Based on past history, Samsung tends to launch its new handsets in its South Korean homeland first, but Australia is rarely far behind the pace in this respect. We'd expect the Samsung Galaxy S9+ to go on sale in either mid-t0-late March or early April 2018 if the rumours pan out.


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How much will the Galaxy S9+ cost?

Premium phones attract premium prices, but quite where Samsung elects to place the Galaxy S9+ is tricky. That's because while it will clearly cost more than the Galaxy S9, Samsung also still has the premium Galaxy Note 8 to sell to consumers who prefer an S-Pen led life.

The S8+ retails through Samsung at $1349 officially, although it's not too hard to score one of those a little cheaper through direct resellers. Still, that's the kind of price point we'd expect to see the Galaxy S9+ retail at when it launches in Australia.

Samsung has generally been quite generous when it comes to pre-order bonuses for its handsets, so it's likely that some kind of enticement will come with the Galaxy S9+ when it launches here. That could be in an updated Gear VR headset, possibly the new DeX dock, or any of Samsung's Gear fitness wearables, such as the Gear IconX headphones.

As one of the most popular smartphone brands around, the Galaxy S9+ is likely to be offered by the majority of the big Australian telcos on contract terms if the outright price of the handset is too much for you to bear. We'll update as soon as we have local contract pricing.

Can't wait for the Galaxy S9+? Check out the latest plans for the Galaxy Note 8 now!

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Samsung Galaxy S9+ Specifications

Product Name
Samsung Galaxy S9+
Display Size
6.2 inches
1440 x 2960 expected
531ppi expected
Snapdragon 845 or Exynos equivalent
Operating System
Android 8.0
Front camera
8MP expected
Rear camera
Dual 12MP expected
Expect 3,000mAh or better

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Image: Shutterstock

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