Samsung Galaxy S9 First Impressions: Improved Camera & Much More

February 26, 2018
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Samsung Announced the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ at Samsung Unpacked event at MWC 2018 in Barcelona. After the presentation, we got have our hands on the device for a limited time. Here are our first impressions on the Samsung Galaxy S9+ from our time with the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Undoubtedly the first thing I noticed after grabbing the S9+ is the fact that it has comparatively sharp edges than the Galaxy S8. You will say that this is not a very important detail, but you will clearly feel that it is not rounded up like in the S8+. In size, both generations are very similar to each other, the comfort of using them is at a similar level.

The important thing is that despite the fact that the S9+ will be available in four different color versions (Black, Blue, Gray, and Lilac Purple), each of them has a Black front. Is it good or bad? judge for yourself. Of course, all are equally robust, they meet the IP68 standard.

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The design itself has not changed in relation to the Galaxy S8+, although the phone dimensions have been gently reduced in terms of height and width, however, the differences are so small that it is negligible: 158.1 × 73.8 × 8.5 mm vs 159.5 × 73.4 × 8.1 mm.

The Camera Delivers On Its Promise

I admit that the most interesting highlight of the S9 is the camera because compared to previous generations of the phone, a lot has changed. First of all, for the first time on any smartphone, a variable aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4) has been included. However, you need to be aware of two issues. The first is that their change occurs in steps, i.e. there is no smooth change in this respect. You can select either f/1.5 or f/2.4 which is still a great step for a smartphone camera.

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The second thing is that in automatic mode the smartphone itself detects which aperture to use in given conditions, while in the professional mode we can change it manually. The use of a variable aperture is to allow for even better photo effects both on sunny days and after dark. If f/1.5 is not enough to get great photos in low lighting conditions, the sensor grabs and combine 12 frames for a single image.  It is worth mentioning that while there is a single lens in Galaxy S9, there are two in the Galaxy S9 + – the other has a double optical zoom.

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One of the big novelties in S9 is Emoji AR, yes, to compete with Apple’s Animoji. The front camera allows us to scan the face to create an animated avatar, which we can later use in various multimedia messages. It uses a machine learning algorithm that analyzes a 2D image and records over 100 facial features to create a three-dimensional model that mimics the user in real time.

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Super slow motion video recording

The camera also supports super slow-motion video recording @ 960 frames per second in HD quality. Among the available modes, there is Motion Detect with the ability to automatically recognize motion in the selected area (believe me, it’s hard to get it at first) and start recording. The 960 frames per seconds recording allow the smartphone to make the video 20 times slower than the normal playback. Unfortunately, the Slow-mo video does not record sound which is not a bad thing but I prefer what Apple and Huawei do to their slow-mo videos. To make up for this, Galaxy S9+ allows you to add your own sound effect or music to slow-motion videos which is fun. You can also save slow-motion videos in form of a gif and set it as wallpaper.

In addition, when it comes to video, it will be saved in the H.265 codec, not H.264, which in turn will reduce the size of recordings in 4K by about 40%. People interested in recording video must also know that there is a 15 minutes time limit for recordings in 4K.

Biometrics? There are changes

The fingerprint reader on the Samsung Galaxy S8 was criticised a lot for its placement. Samsung has addressed that issue with the S9 by placing the fingerprint reader below the camera module which is a welcome move. Though the fingerprint reader is quite small, as it is in the recently tested Galaxy A8 2018, it works efficiently and effectively.

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A fingerprint scanner is not the only way to protect your Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. There is also a novelty in the form of an intelligent hybrid scanner, which works by combining the iris scanner and face-recognition features. And I must admit that it works really well.

One thing you can not see at first glance are stereo speakers. It is true that we do not have two speakers on the front, but the earpiece works as a secondary speaker to create a stereo effect. Yes, we have seen such a configuration in Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. The result according to Samsung is 40% louder sound compared to the Galaxy S8.

Prices? have changed little compared to last year’s premiere. $719.99 for Galaxy S9 and $839.99 for Galaxy S9 +. Pre-orders have already started, while sales will start on March 17.

In addition, a new DeX, called Dex Pad, will be available for sale, thanks to which it will be possible to transform the phone into a trackpad, which eliminates the need to connect an external mouse to it.

I am waiting for the test art of Galaxy S9 +

As you may have noticed Samsung has put an extremely strong emphasis on the fact that Galaxy S9 + (and Galaxy S9 naturally) are true multimedia beasts. A large and beautiful display, stereo speakers, high performance, a promising camera with many slow-motion video modes and much more.  A combination of these features can make the latest Samsung flagship a phone to desired for many multimedia lovers. I just hope that one more thing goes with all these advantages: battery life. Because it really is the only component that can cross out Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ from someone’s shopping list.

What do you think about Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+? Would you switch to the Galaxy S9 or S9+ from another OEM? Will you upgrade your existing Sammy device the Galaxy S9 or S9+? Or will you pass on this one? Let us know in the comments below.

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