The Samsung Galaxy S9 release day might be months away, but we’re already hearing whispers about the phone’s hardware and design.
You wait ages for a bus, and then two come along at once – and Galaxy S9 leaks are no different, apparently. This week we’ve heard two different rumours about Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, which is expected to launch in early 2018.
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The first comes courtesy of Eldar Murtazin, a well-known tipster in mobile leaking circles, who claims that the Galaxy S9 may feature a modular design. This means it would utilise a system whereby users can attach and detach “modules” that upgrade the phone with new features. It’s a similar system to the MotoMods functionality we’ve already seen on flagship Motorola phones – and the upcoming Essential Phone.
According to the tip-off, Samsung is planning to introduce magnetic pins on the back of the phone that will allow external modules to be attached. These modules could include improved camera lenses, a battery pack, or additional sensors.
Modular phones have had mixed success, with Google’s Project Ara having struggled to get off the ground, and the LG G5‘s modular system largely deemed as a failure. But modular technology can significantly improve the functionality of the phone, and generate more cash for the company selling the modules.
It’s also important to remember that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to conceive innovative new features for smartphones. If Samsung wants to top this year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, it will need to think outside the box. Still, there’s no way of verifying this Twitter leak, so take the information with due caution – it could be entirely false.
The second Galaxy S9 leak of the week comes from another renowned tipster, Ice Universe. Posting to Chinese social media site Weibo, the leaker suggested that Samsung would be hoarding 2018’s initial supply of Snapdragon 845 chips. That’s an unannounced Qualcomm chip that we’re expecting will be the flagship mobile processor for next year.
This year, Samsung was roundly accused of buying up the early Snapdragon 835 stock – a processor that Samsung’s own chip-making arm manufactured for Qualcomm – for the Galaxy S8 in North America. This seemingly forced LG to utilise last year’s Snapdragon 821 for the LG G6, with other phone makers – like Sony and HTC – allegedly having to delay their flagship handsets in order to acquire Snapdragon 835 units.
According to Ice Universe, it seems we’ll be seeing a similar story in 2018, but there’s no proof as yet. For a start, Qualcomm hasn’t even announced a Snapdragon 845, never mind confirming Samsung as a manufacturing partner. We’ll have to take this leak with a hefty pinch of salt until we hear more, unfortunately.