Galaxy S9 orders open Feb. 28

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Galaxy S9 orders open Feb. 28

Preorders for the Galaxy S9, the next Samsung Electronics smartphone scheduled to be unveiled on Feb. 25 in Barcelona, will begin on Feb. 28 in Korea, according to mobile operators on Wednesday.

Prospective buyers of the Galaxy S9 - and its bigger sibling the S9 Plus - can place orders with SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ between Feb. 28 and March 8 and they may receive the phone delivered to their doorstep between March 9 and March 15. From March 16 the phones will be available in stores.

“Preorders for the S9 lineup are beginning two days earlier than planned, mainly because March 1 [independence movement day] is a public holiday,” said a spokesman with one of the mobile operators.

The price and subsidies available for the new phones are still unknown, but the most expensive model - the S9 Plus with 256 gigabytes of storage - won’t cost more than 1.2 million won ($1,115), according to mobile sellers.

Samsung’s S9 lineup seems to focus on camera features, with the invitation sent out last month stating, “The Camera. Reimagined.” Industry watchers expect the S9 Plus to come equipped with dual rear-facing cameras - a first for the S series. The Note8 phablet, launched last fall, came with two rear cameras. Samsung’s new Isocell camera sensors are expected to have faster autofocus abilities for fast-moving subjects in dark settings and detailed slow motion video recording.

Influential Twitter tipster Ice Universe, who has leaked information prior to Samsung launches before, said the S9 will have a front camera equipped with a 3-D sensor at a high resolution to make it more secure. Other rumors say the S9 will offer 3-D emojis - similar to the Animojis available on the iPhone X.

LG Electronics is scheduled to debut an upgraded model of its V30 on Feb. 26, a day after Samsung unveils the S9. Both phone makers are holding their unpacking events on the sidelines of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The second-largest smartphone-maker in Korea ditched its tradition this year of launching a new model in the G series at the tech fair, choosing instead to extend the life span of the V30 by improving its features - adding artificial intelligence image and voice recognition.

Samsung and LG’s new smartphones are set to revitalize Korea’s telecoms market that has stalled since the launch of the iPhone X last year. Last month saw 499,893 smartphone users migrating to a different mobile operator - from SK Telecom to KT and KT to LG U+, for instance - the lowest record in 33 months, according to telecoms companies.

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