During the Unpacked 2018 event, Samsung has officially unveiled this year most-awaited android smartphones – Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. At first, you would feel like, “hey! it looks very much like the old Galaxy S8 or S8+?“. Well, it does look cosmetically same, but there are some major changes to the hardware, camera and software part.
Feature-wise the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ come with a new low-light optimized Dual Aperture lens, Super Slow-mo video capabilities like the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, AR Emoji, AKG-branded stereo speakers and more.
Design and Display
As we said earlier, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ keep the same design language of Galaxy S8 or S8+ with minor tweaks here and there. It embraces the Infinity Display with its bezel-less design, full-frontal and the edge-to-edge screen. The top and bottom bezels are now slightly thinner offering more real estate for an immersive full-screen viewing experience. Both mobiles are IP68 rated, so they are water and dust resistant from every corner.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 flaunts 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED curved display with a pixel density of 570 ppi. Whereas the bigger brother Galaxy S9 Plus flaunts a 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED curved display with a slightly lower pixel density of 529 ppi. Yes, it’s same as the older phones.
Under the hood, Samsung Galaxy S9 is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core (2.8 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad) processor paired with 4GB of RAM. Whereas, the Samsung Galaxy S9 plus got the same Snapdragon 845 SoC, but with a bump up 6GB of RAM. Do note that, international versions and probably Indian version of Galaxy S9 series will most likely power by Samsung’s in-house Exynos chip, which is likely to be the Exynos 9810 octa-core SoC.
For internal storage, you could choose from 64GB, 128GB or 256GB internal memory options. You can further expand the storage up to 400GB using microSD card. The Indian version of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will probably come with Hybrid SIM slot. So you could either have dual SIM or choose to have a one Nano SIM and one MicroSD card.
Samsung has given a major boost to Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ camera module. With Samsung Galaxy S9, you get an adjustable aperture Super Speed Dual Pixel 12-megapixel camera unit. However, the Galaxy S9+ packs an actual dual camera module with a pair of Wide-angle Super Speed Dual Pixel 12-megapixel lens and a telephoto 12-megapixel lens. Both this lens has an aperture of f/2.4 and comes with OIS support.
The main camera has adjustable aperture allowing you to quickly transition from fixed f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures resulting is improved low-light performance. Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor has its own dedicated processing power and memory allowing you to take high photo quality in a snap.
Both phones come with Super Slow-mo allowing you to record slow-motion video at 960 frames per second. It also packs automatic Motion Detection which is an intelligent feature that detects movement in the frame and automatically begins to record Super Slow-mo video. You can also add background music to this videos from 35 different options or a tune from your favourite playlist. What’s more, you can also create looping GIF from the video in a single click.
Another camera feature is the AR Emoji which uses a data-based machine learning algorithm. It analyzes a 2D image of yours and maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model out of it. The 3D model can reflect and imitates expressions, like winks and nods. You can either use AR Emoji with videos or go with a range of stickers that you can share through all major messaging platforms.
Samsung has also integrated it AI-based Bixby platform to the camera. It uses augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide information about your surroundings with real-time object detection and recognition. It can translate languages in real-time and offer online shopping suggestion for the products you scan. Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati and Punjabi are also supported in Live translation feature.
For selfie addicts, both Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ boasts an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with f/1.7 aperture.
Connectivity and Battery
As for connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus support high-speed 4G LTE Cat 18 network that works with every 4G band in India. In addition, they both support VoLTE for HD voice calling. Other connectivity option includes 3G and 2G network support, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, NFC and USB Type-C.
For audiophiles out there, both Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ packs ultra high-quality audio playback (UHQ 32-bit) and DSD support. It also comes with stereo speakers that are tuned by AKG and offers immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology. You also get a premium Pure sound earphone by AKG with both these devices.
Fueling the Galaxy S9 is a 3000mAh battery, whereas the Galaxy S9 gets a bigger 3500mAh battery. They both support fast charging with QC 2.0 in wired and wireless mode. Both these devices run on Android 8 Oreo out-of-the-box with Samsung’s custom UI on top.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ got three biometric authentication methods – iris scanner, fingerprint scanner and face recognition. It also features an Intelligent Scan which intelligently combines iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly unlock a phone in various situations.
Fingerprint scanner has been relocated. It’s still on the back of the device, but now in a more convenient position centred below the camera. In addition to all this, the phones are protected by Samsung’s latest defence-grade security platform Knox 3.1.
Adding a convenient mobile payment solution, both Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will come with full support for Samsung Pay. It uses Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) on these devices to make payments. Samsung Pay supports credit card, debit card, Paytm digital wallet and even UPI payments.
For health enthusiasts, there is an improved optical sensor built directly into the devices providing richer, more accurate information on users’ health status. The new SmartThings app which is pre-loaded with the phone unites Samsung’s existing IoT services into one single, smart experience.