Samsung may be well known for the Galaxy S, Edge, and Note flagship smartphone series, but it was the Galaxy A series that started Samsung’s new tradition of using premium materials such as metal.
The Galaxy A series isn’t as well known as the other phones, but the Korean giant has released a number of models, including the Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, and Galaxy A8. Apparently, Samsung believes there is still a market for the A series, because the company officially unveiled the rumored Galaxy A9.
Updated on 12-23-2015 by Williams Pelegrin: Added official information from Samsung about the Galaxy A9.
With a 6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display, the Galaxy A9 is easily one of Samsung’s biggest smartphones currently available. Under the hood lies an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, which used to be the Snapdragon 620 before Qualcomm weirdly decided to rename it. Regardless, the chipset is paired with 3GB of RAM, the same amount of memory found in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Elsewhere, the Galaxy A9 packs a 13-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel camera on the front, which should make selfie lovers everywhere quite happy. In addition, the large 4,000mAh battery should keep the lights on all day long.
As previously mentioned, the Galaxy A series is Samsung’s line of smartphones that finally introduced premium materials like metal. The Galaxy A9 evolves on that achievement by featuring an all-aluminum build, a welcome departure from the front and rear glass panels found on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones if you’re not fond of your phone being smothered by fingerprints.
Much like the Galaxy A5 and A7 before it, the Galaxy A9 packs support for Samsung Pay. As such, the handset also adds a fingerprint scanner that doubles as the home button, a security feature initially implemented in Samsung’s flagship smartphones.
Finally, and most disappointingly, the Galaxy A9 will ship with Android 5.1 Lollipop installed. It could be a matter of Samsung still tweaking TouchWiz to play nice with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it’s still less than ideal to have an Android smartphone announced this late into 2015 and not come with Google’s latest version of its mobile operating system in tow.
Samsung did not reveal pricing or availability information, though we suspect that, much like the previously-announced Galaxy A smartphones, the Galaxy A9 will initially be available in China sometime in the near future.
Next page: All the previous rumors about the Samsung Galaxy A9
Mix of mid-range and high-end specs
Samsung traditionally includes mid-range specs on the A series phones, even though they feel as premium as any of the company’s flagship phones. However, the most recent Galaxy A8 model did get a decent mix of higher-end and mid-range specs to satisfy a wide range of consumers. The Galaxy A9 will most likely follow this same path.
What may be an official infographic from Samsung has supposedly leaked online, and it compares the recently announced Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 with the Galaxy A9. According to the infographic, The Galaxy A9 will feature a 6-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). It will be powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 processor and sport 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
The rear camera will be 13 megapixels, while the front selfie camera will come in at 8 megapixels.
The battery will be a whopping 4,000mAh, and the rest of the specs include a fingerprint scanner, support for Samsung Pay, and Android 5.1.1
Both benchmarks showed a phone with a model number of SM-A9000, which is an indication that it’s the Galaxy A9. They revealed a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), which is smaller than the Galaxy A8’s 5.7-inch display. According to the benchmarks, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 chip, which is a 64-bit octa-core processor consisting of a quad-core Cortex-A72 and a quad-core Cortex-A53. It will also have an Adreno 510 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage.
The benchmarks didn’t reveal anything about the cameras on the Galaxy A9
Bear in mind that although these benchmarks give us a good indication of specs, the devices tested are usually early models, so things can change. For example, this test unit is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, which is understandable for now, but the final phone could have Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard.
Nothing has been revealed yet in terms of the design, but we’re expecting the Galaxy A9 to continue the Galaxy A series tradition of using premium materials such as an aluminum frame. We also won’t be surprised if the Galaxy A9 is super thin, since the Galaxy A8 was only 5.9mm thick. It’s hard to believe that Samsung could go much thinner than that, but each Galaxy A phone has been thinner than its predecessor.
Availability and pricing
The Galaxy A8 was just announced in July, so we are probably a few months away from an official Galaxy A9 launch. In early October, the components of the Galaxy A9 were shipped to India for testing, according to a Zauba manifest. Since it was just the components, it’s clear Samsung isn’t quite ready to release the Galaxy A9 just yet. It will more than likely arrive early next year. Perhaps we will see it at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Either way, it’s unlikely that the Galaxy A9 will launch with a U.S. carrier.
As to pricing, it may to cost about the same as the Galaxy A8. Currently that phone is selling in India for Rs 32,500, which translates to about $500.
Updated on 11-24-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added a recent Geekbench upload which corroborates earlier leaked benchmarks.
Updated on 12-14-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added what could be official specs based on a leaked marketing materials.
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