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The Galaxy S9 might not copy the iPhone X’s best feature after all

Published Nov 20th, 2017 11:23AM EST
Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X
Image: YouTube

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A year of rumors saying the best 2017 iPhone would come with a fingerprint sensor under the display may end up being good news for Samsung fans. The Galaxy S8 should have had a fingerprint sensor under the screen, some rumors said, but the technology wasn’t ready for primetime. More recent rumors claimed that the Galaxy Note 9 might be the first phone to make use of the technology.

The iPhone X’s arrival confirmed the death of Touch ID, however, and Apple was soon telling people left and right that fingerprint sensors were never an option for an iPhone equipped with a 3D-sensing Face ID system. Now a new rumor that Samsung is looking to add 3D facial recognition to some upcoming devices to better compete against the iPhone X, but the Galaxy S9 might not be one of them.

According to Business Korea, Samsung is working on two Galaxy S9 models for next year, including regular (5.8-inch) and Plus (6.2-inch) devices. The Galaxy S9 will do face recognition just like its predecessors, but it’ll use 2D sensors rather than 3D because of unspecified “technological limitations.”

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

The Galaxy S9 will not feature a dual camera system on the front, the report says, but the back of the phone will get a dual camera just like the Galaxy Note 8. Moreover, the camera will get a 3-stack layer image sensor that will let the phone take over 1,000 images per second. That’s a feature already available on Sony devices, and one the Galaxy S8 was also rumored to adopt.

The Galaxy S9 should be more expensive than its predecessor, the report adds, all thanks to that camera upgrade.

The Galaxy S9 phones will be similar to the Galaxy S8, according to the report, suggesting that Samsung is basically working on the iPhone equivalent of an S version of the S8. Samsung execs are apparently already defending the Galaxy S9’s apparent lack of innovation and 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),” a Samsung official said.

The phone is expected to debut at the Mobile World Congress next February, in Barcelona, Spain.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

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 brings his entertainment expertise to 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.