The first shoe has dropped in the race to release the best smartphone of 2018. Samsung Electronics has sent out the invitations for its Galaxy S9 announcement. The company’s new smartphone will be unveiled at a Galaxy Unpacked event on Feb. 25, and based on the invitation, expect a new camera to be front and center.
Samsung Officially Sets Galaxy S9 Reveal Date
Samsung sent out the invitations to a Galaxy Unpacked event slated for Feb. 25. That’s the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a trade show that’s dominated by smart phone manufacturers. If you can’t be in Barcelona, the company is also streaming the Galaxy Unpacked event on its website.
Of course the star of the show will be the Galaxy S9, which is pretty obvious given the timing of the announcement (Galaxy smartphones launch every spring, although not usually quite so early) and the giant “9” that dominates the invite.
The Camera Reimagined
At least year’s Galaxy S8 unveiling, Samsung was focused on the Infinity Display that went edge-to-edge and minimized bezels on the top and bottom. But all the best smartphones are moving toward that these days, and some like Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone X have gone even further.
All early reports of Galaxy S9 leaks show a smartphone that has barely changed from last year’s model, at least on the surface. What Samsung clearly wants to emphasize with the Galaxy is its camera.
Leaks point to the Galaxy S9+ gaining a dual camera setup, like the iPhone X and Apple’s “Plus” smartphones. The bigger news is that the Galaxy S9 will reportedly offer a dual-aperture main camera, including F1.5 aperture for extreme low light performance. The ability to switch apertures based on background lighting would bring the Galaxy S9 even closer to a DSLR-like photography experience, especially when combined with the expected S9+ dual camera system.
The Galaxy S9 camera is also rumored to be capable of shooting super slow motion video. And the selfie camera also looks to get big improvements.
Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Pixel smartphones have become popular largely because of their photo taking capabilities. Samsung could leapfrog the Pixel and the iPhone to become the smartphone of choice for those who snap a lot of photos. Given the importance of snapping photos on a smartphone (which has replaced a camera for many people), the Galaxy S9’s new focus on photography may pay off for Samsung.
At this point, The Galaxy S9 will be the first major new smartphone release for 2018. There was the Huawei Mate 10 at CES, but the Chinese smartphone maker’s plans for a U.S. carrier launch this year was thwarted at the last minute.
But the Galaxy S9 will be going up against some very tough competition from last fall, including the iPhone X, Apple’s iPhone 8, and the Google Pixel 2. That competition for best smartphone honors is a big reason why Samsung hurried up the Galaxy S9.
And with a timeline running about a month ahead of the usual schedule (the Galaxy S8 was announced at the end of March last year), Samsung buys about six months on the market before the Galaxy S9 will have to face the next generation iPhone X, iPhone 9 and Pixel 3…
Want to know more about the Galaxy S9? We rounded up the latest Samsung Galaxy S9 rumors last week. Stay tuned for coverage of Samsung Unpacked on Feb. 25.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.