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Galaxy S9 tipped to hit stores only in March, without Google’s latest Android version on board

Galaxy S9 Release Date

Samsung will release the Galaxy S9 earlier than expected this year. For some people, that means early January at CES 2018, where the LG G7 is also rumored to arrive. Others think an early launch would still qualify as a regular Galaxy S launch, with Samsung supposed to unveil the phone a day before MWC 2018 in late February — it’s still “early” when compared to this year’s delayed Galaxy S8 announcement event.

A new report from a source of constant Samsung rumors says the phone is set to be unveiled in February and launch in stores only in March or April. But what’s interesting about this new rumor is that Samsung may not install the latest Android Oreo version on the Galaxy S9 handsets.

Dutch-language site GalaxyClub has it learned that Samsung is currently testing the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with Android 8.0.0 Oreo, but not Android 8.1, which is currently available in beta on Pixel and Nexus devices.

The report notes that Samsung may change course, and launch the new flagship running the latest Android version available out there. On the other hand, given that Samsung equips its phones with a customized version of Android, it may stick to Android 8.0 and make the jump to the most recent Oreo version in the future.

Samsung has recently revealed that it’s working on a Galaxy AI UX for its handsets, with the Galaxy S9 presumed to be the first device to run it. As the name suggests, Samsung is looking to add various AI features to its flagships, on top of what’s already available in Oreo.

The report notes that Samsung may release some details about the handset at CES in January, but GalaxyClub says the Galaxy S9 should be unveiled in February or March and hit stores in late March or early April.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.