Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Image: AP
Samsung has started sending out invites for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in India on March 6. The launch event will be held in New Delhi, where the company is expected to officially unveil the flagship smartphone for the Indian market and also announce the official pricing in the country. Flipkart has already teased that pre-orders for the latest Galaxy S series flagships will begin at 2 pm on the same day.
Samsung officially launched the S9 and the S9 Plus at the Samsung Unpacked event on February 25, just ahead of MWC 2018. The smartphone will go on sale in certain markets starting March 16 and the availability in the Indian market is expected to coincide with the date. Pre-bookings for the smartphones have already started on the Samsung India online store and the Airtel online store for Rs 2,000.
While we need to wait until Tuesday for the official pricings, the Galaxy S9 is expected to be priced around Rs 61,500 for the 64GB storage variant, while the 256GB variant may be priced around Rs 72,000.
The Galaxy S9 Plus 64GB edition is expected to go on sale for Rs 73,000, while the 256 GB variant will be priced at Rs 82,000. The 128 GB storage variant might not release in the Indian market, and neither will the Steel Gray colour variant. The Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple colour options will be available for Indian buyers.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with a 5.8-inch QHD+ Curved Super AMOLED display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio and has 4GB of RAM. The handset features a Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP camera with variable apertures of f/1.5 and f/2.4. The device also packs a 3,000 mAh battery.
The S9 Plus features a bigger 6.2-inch QHD+ screen with the same resolution and aspect ratio as its more compact sibling. However, the Plus variant packs 6GB of RAM and has a dual-camera setup on the back with a 12MP wide-angle sensors with variable apertures (f/1.5 and f/2.4) and a 12MP telephoto lens with fixed f/2.4 aperture. The device also has a bigger 3,5000 mAh battery to facilitate the higher power consumption due to the bigger display.
Apart from the above-mentioned differences, the S9 duo feature identical hardware. Both devices are powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Soc in the US, while the global variants, including the ones which will be made available in India, will come with the Exynos 9810 Soc. Both chipsets offer similar performance levels.
The S9 duo also improves on the speaker department and packs dual speakers tuned by AKG — one downwards firing and the earpiece doubling up as the second channel. The speakers are capable of Dolby Atmos Surround Sound and the feature can be toggled on and off through the Quick Settings menu. The S9 retains the 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with earphones tuned by AKG. The smartphones will come in three storage options — 64/128/256GB- expandable via a MicroSD card (up to 400GB). Samsung claims it has reduced the bezels compared to the S8/8 Plus. One of the biggest design changes in the S9 compared to the S8 is the placement of the fingerprint sensor, which has been moved below the camera module instead of the side. The S9 and the S9 Plus also have an iris scanner hidden in the top bezel. Both devices will ship with Android 8.0 Oreo and are IP68 level water and dust resistant.
The smartphones feature identical 8MP front selfie cameras with f/1.7 on the front. Samsung is heavily counting on the redesigned rear camera on the S9 to be the USP of the device and improve on the already impressive camera on the Galaxy S8 duo. The variable apertures allow the camera to shift between f numbers depending on different lighting conditions, giving it more flexibility. The telephoto lens on the S9 Plus gives a better control over bokeh and the ability to take zoomed in photos. All the rear-camera sensors come with OIS and there's also a dual-LED flash.
The camera shoots at f/2.4 when there's adequate light but can switches to a wider f/1.5 when the sensor detects low-light conditions. Samsung claims this enables the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ to capture 28 percent more light compared to the Galaxy S8. There's also improved noise-reduction to enable cleaner images in low light. The devices come with AR Emoji and Bixby Vision features too.