Samsung today announced the launch of its latest flagship mobile processor that's expected to power the firm's upcoming Galaxy S9 series devices. Called the Exynos 9810, the 9 series CPU is built on a second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process and, apart from being faster and more energy efficient, includes advanced AI and deep learning capabilities that will power a new breed of facial recognition features in the smartphones.
The Exynos 9810 has a neural engine that can recognize people and objects in photos at very high speed, and will enable apps to use realistic face-tracking filters, according to Samsung – perhaps in a manner akin to Animojis which use the TrueDepth camera found in Apple's iPhone X.
Armed with the Exynos 9810, which has a separate secure processing unit for handling sensitive personal and biometric data, the new Samsung phones will also be capable of scanning and creating a 3D image of a user's face. The obvious suggestion here is that the Galaxy S9 range will have a facial authentication system similar to Face ID in the iPhone X.
Last year's S8 also had facial recognition capabilities, but it was limited to 2D tracking, making it less secure than Face ID and easy to fool. Despite the jump to 3D scanning though, it doesn't look like Samsung will be relying on facial recognition as the sole authentication method in its 2018 smartphones.
CAD leaks and rumors suggest the S9 will retain the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, now located underneath a new-dual camera setup instead of being positioned alongside a single lens, as it was on the S8. The change of location is presumably to make accidentally smudging the lens with fingerprints less likely, but as expected, Samsung will not be building fingerprint recognition into the OLED display. Otherwise, the general design of the Galaxy S9 looks largely similar to the S8.
For over a year leading up to the iPhone X, rumors ran rampant about Touch ID being placed under the display, or on the back or side of the device, but Apple has said those reports are untrue. In perhaps the biggest signal of its confidence in the security of its authentication method, rumors suggest Apple will remove Touch ID on all iPhones launched in 2018 in favor of Face ID.
When it comes to facial recognition, Apple's TrueDepth camera is said to have given Cupertino a solid technological lead throughout 2018, and perhaps beyond. Indeed, Samsung and other Android competitors could require up to two and a half years to replicate the functionality and user experience of the TrueDepth Camera in Apple's iPhone X, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
As with previous years, Samsung's new Galaxy Sx series of phones are expected to debut at the annual Mobile World Congress in February.