The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are two of the best smartphones on the planet right now, but no one really cares. Why? Because they can pretty much be summed up as slightly better versions of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, with slightly faster performance and slightly more impressive cameras. They’re “S” updates just like Apple used to release every other year, expect Apple had something going for it that Samsung does not: if someone wanted to buy a brand new flagship iOS phone in 2015, their choices were an iPhone 6s or an iPhone 6s Plus. If someone wants to buy a brand new Android flagship phone right now, they have more choices than they can count. Competition in the Android smartphone market means minor, iterative updates are easy to pass on, especially when they’re insanely expensive. Well, to be fair, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are much less expensive than they were at launch thanks to price cuts and endless promotions. In fact, the first price cut came just one month after the new phones were released. Ouch.
Precious few people are buying Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ because they’re boring updates. Yup, Samsung is saving all of its exciting new launches for next year. That means we have at least six or seven months to wait before the good stuff arrives. Sadly, we have a few more boring launches to get through before the hotly anticipated Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ debut next year.
Samsung’s annual Galaxy Note flagship phablet launches are typically among the most hotly anticipated releases of the year. This year, however, a long shadow has been cast over Samsung’s upcoming Unpacked event. It hasn’t been cast by new iPhones, which always present a problem for Samsung’s Note phones since the launches are so close. Instead, it has been cast by Samsung itself. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ were boring, iterative updates and now people are expecting the same thing from the Galaxy Note 9. Unfortunately, early leaks have done nothing but support the notion that the Galaxy Note 9 is going to be a boring upgrade.
Speaking of boring upgrades, there’s another new product Samsung reportedly plans to unveil alongside the Galaxy Note 9 in early August. According to a new rumor from South Korean tech news site ETNews (via SamMobile), Samsung will debut a new smartwatch during the same event as its flagship Note 9 smartphone.
Little is known about the upcoming new Samsung Gear S4 smartwatch for the time being, but we’ve seen a few rumors so far. Reliable gadget leaker Ice universe claims that the new Gear S4 will have a larger battery than its predecessor, and earlier rumors suggested the device might run the Android-based Wear OS instead of Samsung’s Tizen software. It also might be a touch thinner than the insanely bulky Gear S3, but no one knows for sure just yet. Long story short, meh.
Fitbit’s new Versa smartwatch is one of the best options for Android users, as is the Amazfit Bip, a smartwatch with 30-day battery life that’s currently on sale for $65. Odds are that’ll still be the case after August 9th, which is when Samsung is expected to unveil the new Galaxy note 9 and Gear S4.