Samsung hasn’t managed to integrate the fingerprint sensor of its upcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone into the device’s display, suggest newly leaked images of the device. And it’s going to cost about a hundred bucks more than last year’s Galaxy S8, according to the latest anonymous report from the mobile industry.
The fingerprint issue represents a significant failing, and not just because Samsung has missed its opportunity to become one of the first smartphone makers to introduce such technology to the mass market. (The first such phone, from Vivo, recently became available for preorder.) The placement of the fingerprint sensor just below the camera on the rear of the Galaxy S8 was one of the chief criticisms of that device, with reviewers and users complaining about smudging and obscuring the lens when performing fingerprint scans. Now, with the Galaxy S9, it looks like Samsung has placed the fingerprint sensor… right below the rear camera.
At least the camera system looks good. Samsung has hinted that the camera will be the main focus of the Galaxy S9, and the leaked images depict one model with a single camera, and another with a dual camera system, which should enable the kind of depth sensing found on Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X devices. Speaking of which, the latter seems to have inspired Samsung to up the price of its new flagship device, with a report out of the UK suggesting it will cost £100 more than the S8 did at its launch, and that an equivalent price hike can also be expected in the US. That would put the price tag around $850 – markedly less than the iPhone X’s thousand-dollar price, but a considerable jump that appears to be inspired by Apple’s brinksmanship.
Of course, while demand for the iPhone X far outstripped supply at its launch, signs have recently emerged suggesting that sales were ultimately much weaker than anticipated, with many speculating that it’s the device’s high price that kept consumers away. So Samsung’s price hike for the Galaxy S9, not to mention its refusal to reposition the fingerprint scanner, could turn out to be an important obstacle to market success. It better have a really good camera.