Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on Review: A Value Added Flagship with The Ultimate Camera Output

Posted on Mar 6 2018 - 10:13pm by Vikash
  • Design
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Camera

At first look the new Samsung Galaxy S9 seems to be similar to its predecessor flagship launched last year. But deeper you get into it the bigger the differences seem. Unquestionably, Samsung Galaxy S9 is the most cutting edge smartphone offering from the brand so far. Galaxy S9 came in two sizes, the regular one and the Galaxy S9+. As the most awaited and hyped Samsung device of the recent times it deserves a detailed review covering every aspect.

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9
Display Size5.8-inch
Processor1.7GHz octa-core
Rear Camera12MP
Front Camera8MP

Samsung S9 Design

If you remember well, the S8 was well appreciated for its design when it was launched last year. The S9 flaunting a similar design looks very close to it. This time too the front is almost bezel free accept a thin strip below. But if you look closely, the bezel to screen ratio this time is much better than even the S9. So, if you were expecting an all-display front with the Samsung S9, it will meet your expectation.

There are also other design changes when compared with the previous year model. The S9 is at least 1.2mm shorter in length than the S8 while flaunting a 0.5mm thinner body. But in blank eyes, you can hardly see these small differences. At least the design keeping all the plus points of its predecessor even made it slightly better.

There’s only big design change with the new Samsung S9. Unlike the S8 the fingerprint sensor on the backside is no longer placed on the right along with the camera lens. In the S9 model the fingerprint sensor has been moved below the camera lens. The new model made it much easier to touch on the fingerprint sensor at the back while looking at the front of the phone.

Both the S9 and S9 + will be offered in three distinct colours in the UK market, respectively as midnight black, coral blue and lilac purple. While all the colours look gorgeous, in an indoor setting you cannot differentiate the coral blue from midnight black at a glance. The lilac purple is the most beautiful shade, especially when you do not find many smartphones with this same colour. It has been reported that Samsung is likely to offer another colour for S9 and it would be light silver finish. It can be available with special editions, so it seems.

Improved recognition and authentication system

Among the few stealthy enhancements that made this new Samsung phone a better device is the much improved and enhanced recognition and authentication system. The Samsung S9 comes with a far enhanced unlock system allowing you to use both facial recognition and iris recognition randomly for user authentication and unlocking of the device.

Samsung S9 display

The bigger display became the craze these days with most flagships and this is precisely the motivation for coming with a Plus version. The larger S9+ offers a 6.2-inch display while the S9 comes with a 5.8-inch display. Both the phones feels extremely lightweight and handy. Both phones offer an 18.5:9 screen proportion which is much narrower compared to other large screen flagships in the market. This makes the device more comfortable and handy for the users to hold them.

When it comes to resolution, both Samsung phones offer higher-resolution screens with 570 pixel count per inch for S9 and 529 pixels per inch for the S9+. The difference of pixel count between the two phones is negligible.

Powerful camera system

Powerful camera make the two phones stand out. There are differences between the two phones in this respect. The S9+ for the first time among all the Galaxy S phones rolled out so far sports twin camera lenses on the backside. The S9+ offers two 12-megapixel sensors comprising of a wide-angle and a telephoto lens. When you switch from one camera to the other you get 2x optical zoom. Just like the Note 8, it allows you shooting both the cameras simultaneously to deliver a depth-of-field effect with captured images.

The S9 on the other hand has one lens which is a wide-angle one. The value addition with this lens is the adjustable aperture available with this lens. The best thing about the camera of Samsung Galaxy S9 is that it can capture crisp and detailed photos even in situations where you cannot see anything clearly.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera

Apart from the so called camera specs the S9 and S9+ stands out because of the new and improved image processing technology offered by Samsung. While previously Samsung tried to enhance the image quality with a phase detection autofocus system called Dual Pixels, now Samsung is depending on its enhanced processing power that is capable to grab multiple frames in quick succession to ensure really high-quality images.

So, the improved imaging power can shoot 12 frames per second and can deliver crisp sharp images combining those frames. This is particularly useful for noise reduction to ensure clear low light photography. When it comes to the camera, S9 has to offer several value additions. It also comes with super slow-mo which allows shooting at the speed of 960 frames per second.

Galaxy S9 AR Emoji

The new AR Emoji offered by Samsung seems to be unleashed for combatting the Animoji offered by the iPhone X. It works quite amazingly to deliver expressive facial expressions created from your 2D image captured by the phone. From your 2D image the processor maps 100+ facial elements and converts them to a 3D image with added funny expressions. That’s AR Emoji for you.

Some impressive value additions

Another value addition that needs a few words is the new stereo speakers of S9 that were tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos. The effect is obviously a robust 360-degree sound output.

Another impressive value addition with the new S9 is the SmartThings app offered by Bixby, to control and interact with all the smart home accessories and appliances at home.

Not very ambitious pricing

The S9 when compared with the head-to-head featured iPhone X seem fairly affordable with reasonable price tags. The S9 comes at a price of £739 while the S9+ sports a slightly ambitious price tag of £869.

Final verdict

On the face, Samsung Galaxy S9 flaunts a style and look very similar to its predecessor. But by exploring them one is bound to be convinced of the wide ranging value additions. Obviously a few aspects just continued from the previous model and we have got now the same standard of waterproofing, curved-edge display and Samsung’s insistence of coming with a headphone jack. Lots of value additions with the same look and feel of its predecessor, that’s Samsung Galaxy S9 for you.

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