After several months of rumors and leaks, finally, Samsung has raised the veil on its new flagship devices – Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Both handsets follow the path traced by their predecessors Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, the smartphones with which the South Korean house has revolutionized the design, and improve its performance in many key aspects, first of all, the camera segment.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones feature improved cameras with variable aperture sensor on the primary rear camera, and the Galaxy S9+ sports dual rear camera setup. Other new features on the handsets include face recognition and AR Emojis, Bixby Vision, AKG-tuned dual speakers, reduced bezels on the top and bottom, and faster processors.
Samsung Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ Features
The highlight of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is the dual aperture setup on the primary rear camera sensor, which is capable of shooting at f/2.4 when there’s ample light but can switch to f/1.5 when the phone detects low-light conditions. Samsung says this enables the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ to capture 28 percent more light compared to the Galaxy S8, adding that a new multi-frame noise reduction feature results in up to 30 percent less noise compared to the previous flagship.
The other headline feature of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ camera is the super slow-mo camera that works similar to what we’ve seen on Sony’s recent flagships. The devices are capable of recording 960 frames per second, which means 0.2 seconds of footage is stretched out to 6 seconds when you are playing it back. You can export this footage as a GIF or use it as an animated wallpaper on the phone.
Samsung is also introducing AR Emoji. Unlike Animoji, which maps your facial expressions onto regular emojis, Samsung’s AR Emoji is meant to be a virtual avatar of sorts that lets you click a 3D picture of yourself and turn it into customized emoji. You get 18 different expressions/ emojis that can then be used via the keyboard app on the Galaxy S9/ Galaxy S9+ in any app and be shared with other users irrespective of the phone they are using.
Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is the introduction of Bixby Vision in the camera app that will now offer live translation features, the ability to recognise the buildings and other places in a frame, and even look at the food in your frame and provide information like the amount of calories in the item, a feature that will be available only in select regions.
There is also dual speakers available on both models tuned by AKG Acoustics, with one downwards firing speaker, and the earpiece doubling up as the other channel. This setup, Samsung says, results in sound that’s 1.4 times louder than the Galaxy S8. All this is backed by Dolby Atmos for surround sound, with a toggle in Quick Settings enabling this enhancement for any kind of audio content, according to Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ Specifications
- 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
Samsung Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ Price and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S9 price in USA starts at $719.99 for the unlocked model, or $30 per month on a 24-month financing option, while the Samsung Galaxy S9+ will be available at $839.99 for the unlocked model, or $35 per month on the 24-month financing option.
Pre-orders begin March 2, 2018. Available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Xfinity mobile from March 16. Will also be available in Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 price in UK starts at £739 for the unlocked model, while the Samsung Galaxy S9+ will be available at £869 for the unlocked model. Pre-orders begin 25th February 2018 at 18.00 GMT. Customers who pre-order before 7 March 23:59 GMT will receive their devices 7 days early on the 9th of March. Available from Samsung.com and select retailers from March 16 with various trade-in deals.