Focusing on HW Completeness: What Are Innovative Features of Samsung Galaxy S9? | BusinessKorea

Monday, January 22, 2018

Samsung Electronics said it is focusing on enhancing the completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware and an innovative user experience (UX).
Samsung Electronics said it is focusing on enhancing the completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware and an innovative user experience (UX).
Seoul, Korea
20 November 2017 - 11:00am
Cho Jin-young

The Galaxy S9 series will come in two edge types –- the Galaxy S9 (14.7cm (5.8 inch)) and Galaxy S9 Plus (15.7cm (6.2 inch)), according to those inside and outside Samsung Electronics on November 19, 

The Galaxy S8 will be loaded with the elongated form factor design of the Galaxy S8. Samsung Electronics changed the aspect ratio of the Galaxy S8 display from 16 to 9 to 18.5 to 9, giving it a narrow and long appearance.

The 2D face recognition function applied to the Galaxy S8 will also be applied to the new models. The facial recognition function was evaluated as being less secure because the function is based on 2D, not 3D. Samsung Electronics is also expected to apply the 3D facial recognition technology to the new products that will come out next year. But it is said that Samsung Electronics will maintain the 2D mode because of technological limitations as Apple loaded '3D sensing camera' technology into its new “iPhone X.”

"3D sensing cameras will be applied to various areas such as unlocking, mobile banking, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)," an industry expert said. "However, the fact that Samsung Electronics will maintain the existing 2D system means that the Korean smartphone giant will miss the diversification of smartphones.” 

Unlike industry forecasts that the Galaxy S9 will have dual cameras on both its front and back, one dual camera will be installed only on its rear side. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which was released in September, is the first Samsung phone with a rear dual camera.

However, although the Galaxy S9 will have a dual camera as the Galaxy Note has, but its performance is expected to be somewhat strengthen. The Galaxy S9 rear camera will be equipped with a "3-stack layer" image sensor capable of taking over 1000 images per second. The "3-stack layer" image sensor virtually gives smartphones high-speed camera functions of cameras for professional photographers.   

However, this feature was already introduced by other smartphone makers such as Sony and Chinese smartphone makers launched models with dual cameras on their fronts and backs one after another. So experts say that Galaxy S9’s dual cameras on both its front and back will hardly be able to use its camera performance as a differentiating point. 

Despite no such innovation, the average selling price (ASP) of the Galaxy S9 is expected to eclipse that of the previous Galaxy S8. This is because dual cameras account for 10%, a high level, of the average bill of materials (BOM) of smartphones.

"When Samsung Electronics applies 3-stack layer laminated image sensors to smartphone cameras next year, the ASP of camera modules will double or triple to US$ 60 to US$ 90 due to the installation of super high-priced image sensors, camera module parts and design changes among others,” said Kim Dong-won, an analyst at KB Securities.

Samsung Electronics acknowledges a criticism that the Galaxy S9 has no innovation but insists that there are differentiating factors. "Although the Galaxy S9 may not have the innovative features expected by the market, we are focusing on enhancing the completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware and an innovative user experience (UX)," said an official of Samsung Electronics. 

It is said that the next model Galaxy S9 will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, next February. The Galaxy S9 will be equipped with Samsung's Exinos 9810 Chip and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 Chip and Samsung’s artificial intelligence (AI) chip for voice recognition and neural language processing.

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