Leaks have been prolific and with the new Samsung flagship due to be announced at the end of February at Mobile World Congress, we're raking through the likely differences between old and new.
Here's how the Galaxy S9 is rumoured to compare to the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Design
- Both glass front and back with metal core
- New location for the rear fingerprint scanner on S9
The big takeaway from the Galaxy S9 is that the design isn't changing all that much. The new flagship is rumoured to be composed of a central metal core with glass front and back, with those familiar curved edges and IP68 protection.
At a glance, there seems to be little difference from the Galaxy S8, with Infinity Display still dominating the device design.
The real difference is around the rear. The location of the fingerprint scanner next to the camera was an oddity on the Galaxy S8. It now appears to be moving below the camera, but it's not separated, so its reception is likely to be the same as the previous model - not so hot.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Display
- S8 and S9 have a 5.8-inch Infinity Display
- S8+ and S9+ have a 6.2-inch Infinity Display
When Samsung unveiled the Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8 is was something novel. Sporting a 18.5:9 aspect, it was one of the first devices to make this change. It looks like the Galaxy S9 will stick to this.
Also staying in place is the size, with the smaller S9 model reported to have a 5.8-inch display while the bigger S9+ has a 6.2-inch display, as they did on the Galaxy S8 models.
We're expecting Samsung to stick to AMOLED, retain HDR to boost your videos and keep that 2960 x 1440 pixel resolution.
If anything changes, it's going to be quality: that's been the focus for devices in 2017, so it's here we expect Samsung to step-up and make its display even better.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Hardware and specs
- Galaxy S9: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810, 4GB RAM, 64GB + microSD rumoured
- Galaxy S8: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895, 4GB RAM, 64GB + microSD
- Both have 3000/3500mAh batteries
On the hardware front all the rumours point to the latest from Qualcomm or Samsung's own Exynos. The Snapdragon 845 is said to power the Galaxy S9 models in some regions - while the new Samsung Exynos 9810 will power some others (like those you'll get in the UK).
This positioning very much reflects the arrangement of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. While these new hardware platforms will be better in some areas than the previous generation, we're not expecting huge power savings. But we are expecting better iris scanning and facial recognition from the S9 models.
Both are, however, better optimised for AI tasks, reflecting the rise in services like Google Assistant. In this case, Bixby will be in both devices.
When it comes to the battery, we're not expecting an increase in the battery capacity, sticking at 3000 and 3500mAh in the S9 and S9+, so we'd expect the performance to be pretty close.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Cameras
- S9: 12-megapixel Dual Pixel, dual aperture single rear camera
- S9+: 12-megapixel Dual Pixel, dual aperture, dual cameras
- S8 and S8+: 12-megapixel Dual Pixel single rear camera
When it comes to the camera we start to see a bigger difference. While Samsung isn't going to be ramping up the megapixels, it is offering innovation on both the S9 and S9+ in the form of a dual aperture function, according to numerous leaks.
This will give you a low light f/1.5 aperture and a f/2.4 aperture in the same lens, meaning you can change the settings to suit the conditions.
But the Galaxy S9+ looks to have another advantage, having a dual lens camera like the Note 8, giving another advantage, presumably zoom.
While the S8 had a great camera, neither the S8 nor the S8+ had this dual aperture feature and there was no dual camera option either. It looks like photography is where the Samsung Galaxy S9 is really going to step-up.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Software
- Android Oreo
- Samsung TouchWiz/Samsung Experience UX
We'd fully expect the Samsung Galaxy S9 to launch with Android Oreo, bringing with it some new features in the form of the latest version of Samsung Experience UX.
This is something of a mystery: as Samsung hasn't been the most speedy to update the S8 or Note 8, we're yet to see the latest offering on existing models - we expect that's partly deliberate to make sure that the S9 looks fresher when it's announced.
What we do know is that Bixby, AI and SmartThings is on the agenda. The S9 is likely to be hooked deeper into Samsung's AI offerings, aiming to be the centre of the universe, with all Samsung (and other) devices talking to each other so they can be controlled with Bixby.
Ultimately, we're not expecting there to be a long-term software difference between the S8 and the S9, we expect a great deal of parity between the features offered.
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Conclusions
- Mostly the same design
- Mostly the same features
- It's all about the camera
Samsung's first teaser for the Samsung Galaxy S9 launch said it all: The Camera. Reimagined.
It looks like the camera is where you can expect all the changes, while the design and the display will reportedly remain very much the same on the S9 models as it is on the S8 - if the rumours we've seen can be trusted.
Upgrades to ensure there's plenty of power will take place under the hood, but it looks as though this slim phone won't be able to slip in any more battery.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is due to be announced on 25 February at Mobile World Congress. We're also hearing reports that it's getting a little price hike, costing £789 or $900.
We will, of course, bring you all the official details as soon as Samsung reveals them. And don't forget to check out our guide to the very best smartphones on the planet.