Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ ★★★★★

The Galaxy S9 & S9+ launched shortly after being displayed at the MWC earlier this year with similar pricing as last year’s flagship S8. Samsung also made sure this time there were enough differences in the 2 models like Apple (and unlike Google) which is not something I personally like because it says the bigger / larger model is more a full spec’d flagship than the base.

The design stays the same glass and metal combo but just looks like a better version of last year’s S8 with smoother curves and edges and an almost bezel-less screen. The S9 has a 5.8” display while the S9+ is a 6.2” with Super AMOLED panels and 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The fingerprint sensor has finally managed to settle down under the camera rather than the side. There’s always been a heart rate sensor next to the lens for a few years if you didn’t know! The Bixby button is still there and besides increased understanding of your voice commands it’s upgraded itself with new languages (live translations) and the camera helps you identify how many carbs and fats your meal contain (you really don’t wanna know!).

The phone is available in 4 colours: Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Titanium Grey & Coral Blue, while the S9 has 4GB of RAM, the S9+ has 6GB and both have a minimum of 64Gb storage space which can go up to 256Gb plus a micro-SD card slot that can support upto 100 Blu Ray movies (if that’s your thing...). Both phones are also water and dust resistant so you can take them for a swim up to 30 minutes. You get Oreo out of the box and Samsung’s own Experience 9 UI skin on top which is now faster than ever and with less bloatware than ever! With tons of customisation options and Always On display you’ll never get bored of it. Iris Scanner and face recognition have been in Android devices for ages and here the accuracy increases so your face is recognised even if you have a beard. In case it fails you still have the fingerprint sensor (Insert Apple iPhone X joke here).

In terms of performance and multimedia management there’s nothing the S9 & S9+ can’t do. You can throw the heaviest of files, videos or games at it and it’ll score like Ronaldo in each and every one of them. Coming on to the camera or cameras (in case of the S9+ that is) which the company has been raving about for ages, which has the first ever dual aperture lens. The lens actually opens and closes physically when you change the aperture before clicking a picture either to capture brighter images in low light or to have the bokeh/background blur effects (along with the second camera). Overall the S9+ (and the Samsung Note 8) have the best cameras on any phone right now and can give the iPhone X a run for its money. The other most hyped feature is the super slow-mo @ 960fps which Sony has done in the past and Samsung does get pretty close to. Front cameras are 8MP which do a decent job but not close to the Pixel 2 yet.

There’s also an AR Emoji feature which I rather not talk about. They are a low budget copy of the Animojis and that is that. If you own the S8 or S8+, ignore the S9 / S9+. If you need a better camera to replace any older phones go for it if you have the budget. Personally, I’ll wait for the Huawei P20 Pro launching with 3 cameras! 

Pritesh Khilnani

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ at CeX

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