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Galaxy S9 could touch down late February, which makes sense

Samsung is rumored to unveil its next big phone in Barcelona.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung could unveil the Galaxy S9 in a little over two months.

The phone giant is rumored to announce the company's follow-up to the Galaxy S8 in late February at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, according to Korean news outlet The Bell.

The report posits two possible Galaxy S9 launch dates: Feb. 25, the day before the show officially kicks off (MWC runs from Feb. 26 to March 1 next year), or Feb. 27. Based on past patterns, the 25th makes the most sense. The Sunday before the show opens is press day, a common time for phonemakers to announce new devices. But Samsung has had its own big event on the Tuesday of shows past -- the 27th next year. 

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Samsung has an on-and-off history with launching phones at MWC -- mostly on. That's where it introduced most of its Galaxy phones. The Galaxy S4 and last year's Galaxy S8 bucked the trend with launch events that took place in New York a few weeks after the world's largest mobile show wrapped up. Samsung did tease the heavily rumored S8 at MWC. If the Galaxy S9 (as we're calling it) does make its debut at a separate event, we'd expect Samsung to tease it at MWC.

Earlier rumors pinned the Galaxy S9 introduction to CES in early January, which is highly unlikely -- Samsung rarely strays from its patterns of an MWC/March launch for the year's Galaxy S phone and an August or September unveiling for the year's Note phone. It's more plausible that Samsung would tease the Galaxy S9 to whip up hype against Apple's buzzy iPhone X.

Other rumors about the phone include that it may get a new iris scanner, but no drastically redesigned fingerprint scanner. It's expected to get Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 chip, but rumors say it could look pretty similar to the Galaxy S8.

Stay tuned to CNET as we hear more about the Galaxy S9.

Samsung declined to comment.