The next addition in Samsung’s flagship smartphone line will place a strong emphasis on the camera, but for now it’s a very fuzzy picture.
Samsung has just issued its first teaser for the device with its announcement that the device – popularly referred to as the Galaxy S9 – will be officially unveiled at a press event during this year’s Mobile World Congress. Headlined, “Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2018: The Camera. Reimagined,” the announcement begins, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, the latest member of the Galaxy family has a lot to say.”
Focusing on the camera looks like a smart move at the moment, given what Samsung’s competitors have been up to. Google has placed a strong emphasis on AI-powered photography with its Pixel 2 smartphone, with its Google Lens system using machine vision to identify objects and places seen through the camera lens, and a computational system designed to blue the backgrounds of an image to create the illusion of depth. Meanwhile, Apple’s newest iPhones – the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 – sport dual camera systems that allow for actual depth of field, with the camera system being an important component of the iPhone X’s 3D facial recognition system.
Is Samsung going to try to rival those capabilities with its Galaxy S9? It’s possible that the company will at least want to match Apple in the facial recognition department, and there were reports last autumn that it was working to improve this and its iris recognition technology for the S9. But it isn’t clear where Samsung can take things from here beyond what its competitors have already done.
Of course, we’ll get a sharper image of what’s in store during MWC, with Samsung’s launch event scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CET on February 25th.