The Galaxy Note 8 brought the first dual-camera system to a flagship Samsung phone. The lenses were oriented horizontally. Then came the Galaxy S9+, which took the turn to vertically-mounted dual cameras. Normally, this sort of design minutia wouldn’t matter much to us, but there has also been the fact that the fingerprint sensor for both phones has been attached to one of the narrow sides to the camera module. On the Galaxy Note 8, that move generated complaints from users who were smudging their cameras with skin oils.
So, as we move toward the Galaxy Note 9, why are we seeing plans for another horizontal dual-camera system? It could be due to how much space the battery takes up. Renowned Weibo analyst Ice Universe posted a diagram showing how much physical space the battery of the device looks to take up in a phone — the first picture is of what the Note 9’s expected blueprint will be while the other is the Galaxy S9+.
Now, keeping in mind that a phone is in three-dimensional space, there are many components in a phone that need to be packed in like clothes to a suitcase, but the battery tends to be a pretty thick conglomerate of cells that would displace objects such as the camera and the fingerprint sensor. That said, while both devices appear to be of similar total size, the 3,500mAh battery on the S9+ appears to be eclipsed by a battery that is rumored to have a maximum capacity of up to 4,000mAh.
The good news is that the ergonomics required to get to the fingerprint sensor on the Note 9 is less excruciating than the Note 8 as the pad would be below the camera. But what might matter most at this point is if the battery will be as big as we expect it to be.