Samsung Galaxy S9 review
A camera that adapts like the human eye
Our Samsung Galaxy S9 review takes a look at Samsung’s new flagship smartphone. The most interesting innovations that appear on the Galaxy S9 includes a re-imagined camera that adapts to the surrounding light in a similar way that the human eye does.
But, lets get started with the design and build quality.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 continues to have the same good looks as its predecessor. There is a Super AMOLED Infinity Display that is near bezel-less. The 5.8” Quad HD+ display has a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels.
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The display is longer than usual, with a 18.5:9 screen aspect ratio, which lets you see more of a webpage without the need to scroll down. You will also enjoy a more cinematic experience when watching movies in a landscape orientation.
Colours and durability
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is available in four colours, which include Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue and Titanium Grey. The thickness of the phone remains the same at 8.5mm and the weight (163g) is on a par with other flagship mobile phones.
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Durability is attested to with IP 68 certification for dust and water resistance.
The processor takes a step forward in terms of performance. The 2.7GHz octa-core processor is paired up with 4GB RAM, so gaming, multitasking and web browsing will all be free of lag.
Comparison: The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 2.3GHz processor.
Phone Set Up
The Samsung Galaxy S9 becomes even more secure. This has been achieved by combining an iris scanner with facial recognition, for a security feature called Intelligent Scan. In addition to being more secure, Intelligent Scan enables unlocking in low light.
If you prefer to use a fingerprint for security, then there is a fingerprint sensor positioned on the back. No matter which type of security you choose, it can be used to access the Secure Folder where you can keep photos, videos, documents and apps private.
There is plenty of storage built in, with the Galaxy S9 having a 64GB internal memory. Photos and videos can be stored online with Google Photos cloud storage. Should you which to boost the internal memory in the future then the microSD card slot accepts cards with a value of up to 400GB.
The sound on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is 1.4x more powerful than the sound on any previous Galaxy phone. Three dimensional sound is created by the stereo surround sound speakers. These have Dolby Atmos and are tuned by AKG.
As a bonus, you also get AKG tuned earphones included in the box.
Android OS and Samsung software
The Galaxy S9 gets Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo operating system. This gives you pre-loaded Google apps, while Samsung pre-loads a few of their own:
- Bixby - With a dedicated Bixby Key, the virtual assistant is easy to access and ready to undertake all manner of tasks, from setting reminders to providing location based information.
- Always On Display - The AOD is highly customisable and there are different Face Widgets and Themes. You can choose what information is displayed, such as notifications and calendar events or even pin memos or images onto the AOD.
- Security software - Virus and malware protection is built in.
- Edge Screen - This lets you drag in strips that can include your contacts, tasks, reminders, weather, favourite apps or your calendar events.
- Video Wallpaper - You can now choose to have a 15-seconds video wallpaper.
Camera & Video
Dual aperture camera lens
The 12MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S9 handles very bright daylight and very low light in an innovative new way. The camera has a dual aperture lens and this adapts to light like the pupil of the human eye.
The Dark F1.5 Mode lets the available light flood in with a wide aperture, while reducing image noise. The Daylight F2.4 Mode handles strong light by using a narrow aperture.
The camera on the Galaxy S9 comes with some new features and these are mixed in with those we have seen before. This means that you get one of the best camera experiences out there. Camera features include:
- Super slow-mo - At a rate of 960 frames per second, you can now capture 20 HD images over 0.2 seconds. These play back in a video that lasts six seconds. You can use the results to make a looping GIF in three styles; forward, reverse or swing.
- Motion Detection - Capture super slow-mo videos with motion detection starting the filming.
- AR Emoji - This is certainly one of the coolest new camera features. The 8MP selfie camera turns you into an emoji with the same hair and facial characteristics. You can share these as stickers or videos in chat.
- Live Translation - The camera can now translate what it sees in real time.
Other shooting modes and features include:
- 8x digital zoom
- Selective Focus (bokeh blurred background)
- 4K video with playback zoom
- Wide selfie
The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a 3,000mAh battery and this provides excellent usage times. You should be able to enjoy up to 80 hours of music playback (AOD off) or up to 16 hour of audio playback or up to 14 hours of internet browsing, from one charge.
The battery can be fast charged and there is support for wireless charging, should you wish to purchase a wireless charger.
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Written by: Michael Brown