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Samsung Galaxy S9: what we know so far

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was one of the biggest smartphones of 2017, and now attention has turned to its successor – the S9. We’ve rounded up the latest rumours.

2018 is nearly upon us, and so begins another calendar year of smartphone predictions and launches. One of the first flagship smartphones on the list is the Samsung Galaxy S9, as well as its larger brother – the S9+.

Nothing has been confirmed but that hasn’t stopped tech enthusiasts from making predictions, and sharing rumours. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the key ones we’ve stumbled across, as well as what we expect to see. Plus we point you to our expert reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ if you’re looking for a new smartphone now.

Mobile phone reviews[1] – find out which smartphones are at the top of our league table.

The latest Samsung Galaxy S9 rumours

Price and release date

It’s almost certain we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S9 in the first three months of 2018. There has been some speculation that it could make an appearance in January at CES, the biggest consumer tech show, in Las Vegas – but this has largely been squashed. More likely is an unveiling at Mobile World Congress in late February/early March.

2016’s Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were announced here – though the more recent S8 didn’t make an appearance until the end of March 2017. While the launch date of the S9 and S9+ are rather up in the air at the moment, we’d be pretty surprised if we didn’t see them before April. Even though we don’t know the price of the upcoming models yet, we’re certain that they’ll be expensive.

These are Samsung’s highest-profile phones and will be packed with the latest technology, which comes at a price. This year’s S8 launched at GBP689, while the S8+ was GBP779. Expect similar prices for the new phones in 2018.

Design changes

The infinity display on the S8 went down such a treat that we’ll be eating our hats if we don’t see it on the upcoming Samsung flagships.

Many rumours also suggest that we’ll be seeing a 5.8-inch screen on the S9 – the same as the S8. It’s also likely to have the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which means it will be just more than twice as long as it is wide. This is to make large-screen phones easier to hold and use with one hand.

Most phones have a 16:9 aspect ratio.

A supposed leaked image of the S9 from @OnLeaks.

In September 2016, Samsung licensed optically clear superhydrophobic film technology. In terms of what this could actually mean for the S9, there are a few suggestions that water will jump off the screen’s display, making the phone much easier to use if you’re strolling in the rain. We’re looking forward to seeing whether there’s any credence to this.

In case you were worrying about Samsung following in the footsteps of a few other manufacturers and removing the headphone socket, we don’t think this will happen with the S9.

Fingerprint sensor – moved or hidden?

The placement of the fingerprint sensor on 2017’s S8 was criticised by some. It sits next to the rear camera as part of Samsung’s effort to create symmetry in the design. However, it’s not the most practical location for it, as it’s all too easy to put your fingerprints on the camera lens, which could make your photos look a little smudged.

We think Samsung will rectify this with the S9, but we’re not exactly sure how. It could retain its spot on the back of the phone, but move under the camera lens. Other rumours suggest Samsung could move the fingerprint scanner to underneath the front glass display.

This means you’d simply place your finger on the screen, and it would unlock. Certainly futuristic and innovative, but we don’t want to get your hopes up too much so take this with a pinch of salt.

Camera

In August 2017, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 – the first in its series to feature dual rear cameras. Both of its cameras are 12Mp, but one is a telephoto lens while the other is wide angle.

The theory is that this lets you zoom in on objects without losing clarity, and it also lets you play around with some depth-of-field effects (to blur the background, for example). We imagine we’ll see a dual rear camera set-up at least on the S9+. There’s a chance it could also feature on the smaller S9, but we’re not yet sure.

Rendered image from @Samsung_news_ suggests that the S9+ will have dual rear cameras, while the S9 will have one.

It also suggests the fingerprint sensor will be below the camera set-up on each phone.

Some sources suggest that the rear camera on the S9 will be able to shoot 1,000 frames per second. This means that motion in videos should be really smooth, and could lead to some exceptional slow-motion footage.

Samsung smartphones in the Which? test lab

Samsung Galaxy S8

As one of the most talked-about smartphones of 2017, the Samsung Galaxy S8’s specs sheet makes for an impressive read. The Android-powered mobile features a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge display and comes with 4GB of Ram, a 3,000mAh battery and 64GB of internal storage.

If that doesn’t sound like much, you’ll be pleased to hear it also has a Micro-SD card slot offering expandable storage. It also has a 12Mp rear camera, and an iris scanner on the front of the mobile for quick unlocking. At around GBP670 Sim-free, the Galaxy S8 doesn’t come cheap, so is it worthy of its hefty price tag?

See how this smartphone fared in our test lab with our full Samsung Galaxy S8 review[2].

Samsung Galaxy S8+

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is larger than its sibling, featuring an attention-grabbing 6.2-inch edge-to-edge display.

At the time of writing a Sim-free model will set you back around GBP750.

That’s a big chunk of money to spend on a mobile, so read our full Samsung Galaxy S8+ review[3] to see if this gadget’s worth it.

References

  1. ^ Mobile phone reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 review (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8+ review (www.which.co.uk)

EE drops pre-Black Friday deals: Apple iPhone 6S, SE and Samsung Galaxy A5 among bargains

EE’s not waiting around ’til Black Friday before it sets out its stall; bargains include getting a 32GB iPhone 6S for free on a GBP30.49/month contract, where it was previously GBP200 up front. Other bargains include getting a 64GB Huawei P10 for nothing up front – again, down from GBP200 – on a GBP25.49/month deal and a Samsung Galaxy A5, which would normally set you back GBP100, for nothing up front on plans starting at GBP18.99/month. All EE deals come with 24 month contracts and come with inclusive EU roaming as standard.

Best EE Black Friday 2017 phone deals

Apple iPhone 6S

Both the 32GB and 128GB iPhone 6Ss can be had away for free on contracts from GBP30.49/month and GBP35.49/month, respectively, though these contracts give you just 500MB a month to play with.

You’re far better off going for one of the 8GB plans, which cost GBP37.99/month and GBP42.99/month each – again, with no up front costs for the phones.

Apple iPhone SE

Again, the upfront charge of GBP149.99 for the 32GB and 128GB iPhone SEs have been dropped on the basic 500MB data plans, which see you paying GBP20.49/month and GBP25.49/month respectively. Better options include the 8GB plans, which cost GBP32.99/month and GBP37.99/month, without you needing to pay up front for the phones.

Samsung Galaxy A3

Going for the 3GB option here sees you getting access to the fastest speeds possible on EE’s network, 24 months’ free BT Sport mobile – with no up front cost for the phone. If 3GB isn’t enough, there’s an 8GB equivalent which costs GBP32.99/month.

Samsung Galaxy A5

Ignore the recommended deal and go for the 8GB plan – it’s less than GBP10/month more and you get sixteen times the data, plus free access to BT Sport for the duration of the 24 month contract and access to the fastest network speeds possible.

Huawei P10

Your best bet once again is to ignore the starting deal, which gives you a paltry 500MB and pick any of the others; we’d recommend the 8GB option which costs GBP32.99/month, gives you access to 24 months’ of free BT Sport mobile and the fastest speeds you’re going to get on EE’s network.

Nokia 8

It doesn’t have the same nostalgic resonance as this year’s Nokia 3310 reboot, but it does boast a nice, stripped down interface and the same dark blue body that hearkens back to Nokia’s legacy.

Better still, you can pick one up on a 3GB or 8GB plan for GBP37.99/month and GBP42.99/month and both contracts let you stream BT Sport mobile for their duration (24 months) and tap into the fastest 4G speeds going on EE’s network.

Samsung entices Apple users with trade-in deals ahead of iPhone X launch

‘Samsung’s announced a limited-time ‘Switch to Galaxy[1]‘ offer, which sees iPhone owners trading in an old phone able to get money off a Galaxy S8[2], Galaxy S8+[3] or a Galaxy Note 8[4]. Possibly timed to coincide with iPhone X pre-orders going live[5], the new deal is live from today and runs until Thursday, the 23rd of November. The new deals apply if you’re able to trade in a fully working iPhone 4 or newer that’s able to be fully powered up and the device can’t be registered as lost, stolen, or barred.

Trade-ins see the prices of new Samsung Galaxy phones falling from from ?689.00 to a ?527.76 (Galaxy S8) ?779.00 to a ?647.76 (Galaxy S8+) and ?869.00 to a ?719.76 (Galaxy Note 8 64GB), with the option for you to spread those costs over six months, a year, 18 months or 24 months. That’s great news if you’ve got an old iPhone 5 knocking about; less so if you were thinking of trading in an old iPhone 7 elsewhere; you very well might be able to get more money by selling it elsewhere. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

If you’ve been eyeing up a Galaxy S8 and you’re still on the fence about the iPhone X, this deal might sway your purchase decision[6].

If you’re still undecided, our iPhone X vs Galaxy S8 superphone showdown feature[7] might help tip the balance.

References

  1. ^ Switch to Galaxy (www.samsung.com)
  2. ^ Galaxy S8 (uk.pcmag.com)
  3. ^ Galaxy S8+ (uk.pcmag.com)
  4. ^ Galaxy Note 8 (uk.pcmag.com)
  5. ^ iPhone X pre-orders going live (uk.pcmag.com)
  6. ^ this deal might sway your purchase decision (www.samsung.com)
  7. ^ iPhone X vs Galaxy S8 superphone showdown feature (uk.pcmag.com)

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