With just a few weeks until Mobile World Congress 2018, rumors about the next generation of smartphones are at a fever-pitch. While some manufacturers are choosing to skip major smartphone launches at the annual trade show this year, Samsung is returning to make a splashy debut for the Galaxy S9. As one of the most highly-anticipated phones of 2018, the Galaxy S9 needs to wow us. Here are a few features we’d like to see on the upcoming flagship.
A game-changing camera
Although the camera on the Galaxy S8 is great, it was quickly eclipsed by the iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2, the HTC U11, and even the Galaxy Note 8. We have a hunch Samsung will incorporate the best elements of the Note 8’s camera into the S9, and while there’s no way to confirm this yet, it’s clear the camera is the highlight of the phone. The invitation to its upcoming Unpacked event at MWC has a tagline that reads, “The Camera. Reimagined.”
This year we’re expecting to see at least one of the new Galaxy S9 models feature a dual camera array. We’re also expecting a huge improvement in low-light photographs with Samsung’s new Isocell image sensor on board, and we’re excited to potentially see a “Super Slo-mo” mode that will shoot Full HD video at 460 frames per second. We hope any of these improvements will hold up throughout the year when the S8 will inevitably face stiff competition.
Face ID is a big deal for smartphones. Yes, Apple’s unlocking system on the iPhone X is hardly a new technology — Android devices have utilized facial unlocking systems for quite some time, but they were never as secure. Well, Samsung may be ready to go head-to-head with Apple with an awesome face unlock feature.
Galaxy S9 rumors point to a new feature called Intelligent Scan, which combines iris and facial recognition to create a more secure authentication system. While it’s sure to be a definite improvement, we’re still not sure if it’s going to offer the same level of protection as Face ID. What we really want is this system to be reliable, and better utilized in third-party apps. If secure facial recognition exists on the Galaxy S9, you should be able to use it to authenticate and open your Chase Bank app, just like you can with Face ID. Even better, Samsung may be keeping the fingerprint sensor on the S9, and it’s always great to give users a choice in case they do not want to use the facial recognition method.
Samsung needs to up its audio game with the Galaxy S9, especially since Samsung’s acquisition of Harman was completed early in 2017. The Galaxy S8 only has a single bottom-firing speaker, and it’s easy to cover it up with your hand when holding the phone in landscape mode. Leaked images of the S9’s packaging indicate we may see stereo speakers tuned by Harman’s AKG — finally some good audio to pair with a beautiful screen. Still, it doesn’t look like these speakers will be front-facing, which is disappointing. We’ll have to wait and see.
We’d also be very happy if Samsung kept the headphone jack, because wireless earbuds are still far from perfect.
A better battery
After Samsung’s disastrous battery incidents with the Note 7, the company really seemed to get its act together with the Galaxy S8 models and even the Note 8. Last year’s flagships featured meaty batteries that last a full day without charging. But after using smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Razer Phone, we want to see a 4,000mAh battery in the Galaxy S9 so we don’t have to deal with battery anxiety.
While most of the major flagships in 2017 offered a 64GB and 128GB storage model in 2017, the Galaxy S8 only came with 64GB (in the U.S.). We’re hoping to see Samsung join the ranks of Apple and offer the Galaxy S9 with a 128GB or 256GB option. We’re grateful about the inclusion of the MicroSD card slot, but more internal storage would be great.
The Galaxy S9 will be unveiled at Samsung’s Unpacked event on February 25 at Mobile World Congress. If you want to know what else you can expect at the trade show, check out our guide, and tune into our site for complete coverage.
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