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(LEAD) Samsung, LG likely to release their new smartphones in early March

All Headlines 23:31 February 21, 2018

(ATTN: CORRECTS to March from Feb. in 11th para)

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. and its rival LG Electronics Inc. are likely to release their new smartphones in early March, setting the stage for heated competition between the two, industry sources said Wednesday.

Mobile carriers are expected to receive preorders for Samsung's Galaxy S9 smartphone starting Feb. 28, with an official release in South Korea on March 9.

Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy S9 smartphone at 6 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Barcelona on the eve of the opening of the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest gathering for the mobile communications industry.

People in the industry have estimated that the factory price of the 64-gigabyte version of the Galaxy S9 smartphone could be 957,000 won (US$890).

A Samsung official said nothing has been finalized.

Samsung has suggested that it has improved camera capabilities for the new phone and challenged people to "imagine a camera that can see more than your eyes."

"By taking a fresh perspective and exploring new frontiers, we've crafted a smartphone packed full of life-enriching features, transforming the common device into something that allows you to do what you can't," Samsung said on its website.

Phone Arena, a website for new phone information, said last month that the Samsung Galaxy S9's main camera will allow users to change the aperture of the lens, citing a leaked image of what may be the Galaxy S9's retail box.

"With Samsung's variable aperture, the Galaxy S9 will be able to switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4, depending on the scene, which should deliver better shots in low light but also sharper photos in well-lit environments, in theory at least," the website speculated.

A lower f-stop allows a camera to gather more light, leading to better performance in the dark. This function can also produce images with the kind of background blur that is much favored by photographers, and even permit the camera to capture fast moving objects and people.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics is considering releasing its upgraded V30 smartphone in South Korea around March 8 or March 9.

No price has been released, although industry insiders estimate that the price could be around 900,000 won.

LG Electronics has said it will showcase an upgraded V30 with added artificial intelligence camera features at the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

The LG V30, first released in September 2017, is the company's latest premium smartphone and boasts a top-notch camera and audio capabilities.

The new V30 will be able to identify products when a camera is pointed at them and offer online purchasing links or similar suggestions, the consumer electronics giant said.


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