Samsung has announced its latest flagships, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ after months of speculations and incessant leaks. Now that the Galaxy S series has been made official, Samsung’s S-line strive to embody everything that made last year’s models great. Here are the details you need to know about.
As promised, Samsung’s Unpacked 2018 event at Barcelona has unwrapped both the Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones, which stuns Apple as well, with its surprising features. At a first glance, not much has changed since last year in terms of size and design. With the S9 and S9+ boasting familiar bezel-less decades, accentuated by the same, ultra-tall, Super AMOLED Infinity Display that made the S8/S8+ stand out in 2017. The biggest highlight with the latest coming in the form of a slightly slimmed down bezels, and relocated fingerprint scanner on the back, both of which are welcome decisions on Samsung’s part.
Features and Specifications
We also have a quick look at all the stand-out features of the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Slim bezels and curved Infinity Displays are again the defining features of 2018 Samsung’s S-series line. The S9 duo both feel good in the hand and exude the premium feel that you’d expect to come with the higher price tag. In fact, this time around, the fingerprint scanner has been moved beneath the camera, so as to prevent accidental smudging of the lens. While the relocation results in better overall usability and we think we found the new positioning to be more convenient and equally easy to reach with both hands.
Display & Hardware
Both the S9 and S9+ smartphones come with 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays, respectively same sizes as last year. The technology hasn’t changed either, are vibrant, HDR ready, Super AMOLED panels with a resolution of 1440×2960 pixels. But Samsung says it’s using a new type of coating on the glass on the front, so the new screens may look a bit different and more dynamic even deeper blacks, but the difference shouldn’t be that big.
The phones have Infinity Display, an end-to-end, bezel-less screen that extends to the sides. The S9 and the S9+ come with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and back, same as the predecessors. On the inside, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are powered by the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 CPU, paired with 4GB of RAM in the S9 and 6GB in the S9+. Both feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, are IP68-rated to boot, making them dust- and water-resistant. Nothing changed is the area is the batteries, The new flagships have the same 3000 and 3500mAh batteries that powered the Galaxy S8 and S8+ last year.
There’s also stereo speakers, one being bottom-firing, and the earpiece doubling as the other. Samsung says the new speaker configuration produces a sound that is on average 1.4x louder than what the S8s were capable of. The earbuds that came boxed with last year’s models, the speakers of the S9s are “tuned by AKG” and also support Dolby Atmos.
The camera. Reimagined
One of the biggest stand-out features of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ should be the camera setup, now capable of super slow-mo video recording and equipped with variable apertures. The S9 features a single-lens camera system, while the S9+ comes with a Note 8-style dual-camera module that combines a regular lens with a telephoto shooter for lossless optical zoom and better portraits. The fine-tuned feature is the variable aperture, which can be found in the S9’s camera and the main, wide-angle shooter on the S9+.
The two-step variable aperture goes from f/1.5, down to f/2.4, which comes in handy when shooting slow motion video or stills at night. In short, the phone uses f/1.5 for night shots for a brighter picture and f/2.4 for normal shots at daytime. The S9+ has a secondary 12MP Telephoto lens for live focus for bokeh effect with background blur. The feature also important for recording high frame rate videos, since the camera shutter needs to operate at an extremely high speed, which results in less light captured by the sensor.
Same to the Sony’s flagships, the S9+ has 960fps Super Slow-mo video option. It has an automatic Motion Detection and an intelligent feature that detects movement in the frame and begins to record automatically. Just after capturing the slow motion video, you can select background music from 35 different options or add a tune from their favorite playlist.
Samsung also stuns Apple with partnering Disney for the AR Emoji feature, similar to iPhone X Animoji. It uses machine learning to analyze and ma more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and omits expressions. The front-facing camera on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ can do with Samsung are referring to as “AR Emoji”, which actually is 3D avatars made to look like the user. The S9 automatically generates animated emoji stickers based on it and makes them accessible through the keyboard so you can send them as stickers in different messaging apps. It can also be exported to video or stickers and uses a standard AGIF file format that lets you share with third-party messaging platforms.
Galaxy S9 & S9+ Highlights
- S9 – 5.8-inch Quad HD+ (2960 × 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity display with 570ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- S9+ – 6.2-inch Quad HD+ (2960 × 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity display with 529ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 GPU / Octa-Core Samsung Exynos 9 Series 9810 processor with Mali G72MP18 GPU
- S9 – 4GB LPDDR4x RAM with 64GB/128GB/256GB storage (UFS 2.1), expandable memory with microSD
- S9+ – 6GB LPDDR4x RAM with 64GB/128GB/256GB storage (UFS 2.1), expandable memory up to 400GB with microSD
- Android 8.0 (Oreo)
- Single / Hybrid Dual SIM (nano + nano / microSD)
- S9 – 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.4-f/1.5 variable aperture, 480fps super slo-mo
- S9+ – 12MP primary rear camera with f/2.4-f/1.5 variable aperture, LED Flash, 960fps super slo-mo, 12MP secondary rear camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 8MP auto focus front-facing camera with wide-angle lens, f/1.7 aperture
- Water and dust resistant (IP68)
- Stereo speakers tuned by AKG, Dolby Atmos
- Sensors – Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor
- 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5 (LE up to 2Mbps), GPS with GLONASS, USB 3.1, NFC, MST
- S9 – 3000mAh battery with fast Charging both on wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) charging
- S9+ – 3500mAh battery with fast Charging both on wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) charging
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ come in Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple colors. For pricing, the S9 and S9+ cost $719.99 and $839.99, respectively from March 16 availability dates. Pre-order now!