Samsung’s hot new Galaxy S9 and S9+ have been available in all major global markets, China included, for a good few weeks now, reportedly failing to generate the consumer enthusiasm and record-breaking sales numbers expected by reviewers and company executives. But the world’s top smartphone vendor may still hide a couple of tricks up its sleeve meant to boost demand for its high-end models until the Galaxy Note 9 sees daylight, possibly with in-display fingerprint recognition technology and an extra-large battery in tow.
One such surprising trick is a mysterious SM-G8850 device certified by China’s FCC-equivalent Tenaa agency earlier this week. That model number doesn’t exactly suggest a close connection to the SM-G960 and G965, aka the “standard” S9 and S9 Plus, but the specs are almost identical to those of the existing 5.8-inch variant. Namely, you’re looking at the same screen size, same 2960 x 1440 resolution, dual 12MP rear-facing cameras, and single 8MP selfie shooter.
But wait, the 5.8-inch non-Plus Galaxy S9 only comes with one 12MP cam on its back, also capping off at 4GB RAM rather than providing 4 and 6 gig options, like this SM-G8850 seemingly intends to do. The design is different from both the GS9 and S9+ in a few significant ways too, with the vertical dual camera system positioned in the top left corner, joined by a centered, square-shaped fingerprint sensor. The curves are also subtler, the display flat, yet the SM-G8850 perfectly matches the dimensions of the regular GS9, at 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.4mm.
Our assumption is we’re dealing with some sort of a special Samsung Galaxy S9 edition designed exclusively for China. We don’t have a price tag or release date yet, but the 6GB RAM version may well end up costing an arm and a leg.