Last Sunday, Samsung finally finally confirmed what we have all been seeing in the leaks for the last couple of months with their introduction of the Galaxy S9/S9+. They also threw in a couple of improvements in the S9 that we weren’t expecting. Here is the what The Tech Head thinks about Samsung’s latest Galaxy S device.
Design and Hardware
When the S8 Came out, it revolutionized design in mobile devices. We have seen the likes of Google, LG, and many others follow suit and release devices with rounded display corners, tiny bezels, and attempt an edge to edge display. The S9 doesn’t change much compared to the S8 in it’s design, but that is ok.
While the S9/S9+ have the same display as the S8, Samsung has reduced the size of the bezels, which does bring the phone’s height down a couple of millimeters. The Note 8 and S8 were harshly criticized because the fingerprint scanner was to the left of the camera, which often left users clumsily smudging their lenses while trying to unlock their phones. Samsung has also thankfully listened to consumer feedback and moved the fingerprint scanner beneath the camera, which should also make it easier to reach.
The devices also now come in 4 colors including the quirky new lilac purple color, if you want to get your purp on.
New Camera Improvements
Most of the S9’s new features come in the form of enhancements in the camera. The breakout feature of the S9 is the implementation of Dual Aperture, the first in any smartphone camera. This means that when the phone detects that it is dark out, the S9/S9+ will adjust it’s aperture from f2.4 to f1.5 to allow for incredible low light shots. When it senses that it is bright out again, the aperture will increase back up to f2.4.
Samsung has also added an additional wide angle camera on the S9+ allowing users to use the Live Focus that was first implemented on the Note 8. The normal S9 includes a Super Speed Dual Pixel 12 MP AF sensor with optical image stabilization and a front facing 8MP camera with an aperture rate of f1.7. The S9+ includes two 12 MP cameras; a wide angle lens with dual aperture, and a telephoto model with an aperture rate of f2.4. The S9+ includes the same 8MP front facing camera of the S9.
On the video end of things, the S9 and S9+ now include Super Slow Mo, which allows you to shoot at 960 frames per second in 720p. The device now also allows you to slow down videos when a subject crosses an area that you can preselect. To give you an idea, Apple’s iPhone X records at a max speed of 240 fps slo mo.
The S9 also includes Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Animoji, which they call AR Emoji. The S9/S9+ uses Augmented Reality technology along with the S9’s camera to turn yourself into an animated “bitmoji” like creature. The AR Emoji will then mimic motions and facial expressions recorded from the S9’s camera. Hate it or love it, I’m sure there a bunch of people out there that will love this. I personally am hoping to turn myself into Prince with the AR Emoji and covers “Little Red Corvette.” The possibilities of creepiness are endless…
Performance and Security
Samsung has vastly improved the audio by implementing AKG stereo speakers. This means that the device is now 1.4 times louder and also includes Dolby Atmos, a surround sound like technology that utilizes dual speakers of the S9/S9+. This was a small change that the Galaxy series really needed. Even on my Note 8, the speakers just didn’t add up to the likes of the Pixel or even the now 1.5 year old iPhone 7.
The device has also has gotten a slight processor bump with a 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor *2.8GHz + 1.7GHz (Maximum Clock Speed, Performance Core + Efficiency Core) and has kept the S9’s 4 GB of RAM. Those AR Emojis are going to look nice and smooth…
Now with intelligent scan, The S9/S9+ combines Samsung’s facial recognition and iris scan to improve speed and accuracy when using unlocking the device. Samsung claims that it works well even in low light conditions, but we’ll see just how well it works. Thankfully, we still have a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device just in case…
The S9/S9+ is another solid release from Samsung that almost everyone is going to love. While the S8 and Note 8 were near perfect in my book, the Galaxy S9 seems to improve on the best features of each device to create a phone that is good for anyone. Samsung has really hyped up anticipation for the device by their presentation last Sunday and we can’t wait to get our hands on the S9 for a full review later next month. It is going to be a long couple of weeks…