Samsung has launched its flagship Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones on the first day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) - but a series of leaks beforhand means that the launch on Sunday carried few surprises.
The Galaxy S9 sticks to the design of the Galaxy S8, boasting the same 5.8in QHD+ Super AMOLED screen with 570ppi and an 18:5:9 ratio.
Compared to Samsung's last flagship device, the new model actually measures half a millimetre thicker at 8.5mm and weighs almost 10g more at 163g. It does have the same IP68 waterproofing, at least.
On the inside, things have been improved, but only just. The Korean firm's new smartphone is powered by the Samsung's homegrown 10nm Exynos 64-bit octa-core CPU but with a slightly faster 2.7GHz and 1.7GHz processing speeds (compared to the S8's 2.3GHz), alongside the same 4GB of RAM.
There's also 64GB of internal memory which can be upgraded to a massive 400GB with a microSD card. All of this is powered by a 3,000mAh battery.
Samsung has given the Galaxy S9+ a slightly better upgrade, though. There's a 10nm 64-bit octa-core processor running at 2.8GHz and 1.7GHz inside, alongside a much beefier 6GB of RAM and double the internal storage of the S9 at 128GB.
As usual, the display is bigger on the Galaxy S9+, with the device touting a 6.2in QHD+ curved super AMOLED screen with the same wide 18:5:9 ratio as the Galaxy S8+, but a lower pixel density of 529ppi. It has a bigger 3,500mAh battery to power that larger screen, though but it does weigh a little heavier at 189g.
Both devices, again unsurprisingly, run the latest edition of Android 8.0 Oreo. The latest version of Samsung Experience sits on top of Google's OS, which offers AR emoji and supports landscape orientation for the first time.
One of the biggest improvements in the devices, Samsung said, comes in the form of a new and improved camera and image sensors.
While the Galaxy S9 retains its single-lens 12MP Dual Pixel camera with OIS, the Galaxy S9+ packs a dual 12MP set-up on its rear, comprising of wide angle and telephoto lenses.
The cameras on both the S9 and S9+, as expected, come with a dual aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. Samsung claims the smartphones are the first to do so, and says the feature will deliver "the brightest lens of any smartphone camera in the market".
That's because the camera now lets in 80 per cent more light than on previous models, which minimises noise to capture higher quality images in dark environments than ever before. It does this by stitching together 12 images taken simultaneously when the shutter button is pressed, merging them together to create a better final image.
Samsung has also integrated DRAM into this image processor for the first time, giving the S9 "the slowest movie recording ever" to create epic slow-mo footage. This is coupled with a new feature called Automatic Motion Detect, which allows users to capture an important event in slo-mo automatically, without having to wait around and manually snap, which usually results in missed opportunities.
"When motion goes through square on capture frame, recording kicks in," Samsung said, "making it easier to share them by turning them into gifs if required."
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available from 16 March in the UK at £739 and £869, respectively, from Samsung.com and select retailers, the firm said. They will launch in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and a new hue, Lilac Purple colour options.
Pre-orders are open from today and Samsung said those who pre-order before 7 March at 23:59 GMT will receive their devices seven days early on 9 March.
Samsung and selected retailers are also offering various trade-in deals for customers when buying the S9 or S9+, it said.
See also: Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on review
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