SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT
SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT
SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT

(MWC 2018) Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Hands-on, Quick Review: Testing Boundaries

by John Nieves  February 26, 2018

We go hands-on with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus!

We’re in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, taking our first look at Samsung’s new flagships: the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. It seems that the more tech Samsung stuffs into their flagships the more expensive they get, and if you balked at the 50K price tag at that the Galaxy Note 8 had when it was released last year, you might want to look away from the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The Galaxy S9 is easily the price of the S8 Plus when it launched last year, and the base variant of the Galaxy S9 Plus is costlier than the already expensive Note 8. But just like the Galaxy Note 8, there’s plenty of new tech that necessitates that price tag, though many people will probably be wary of dropping that much cash on a phone no matter what’s inside of it. Before we begin this hands-on, let’s take a look at the specs:

Samsung Galaxy S9 specs

  • Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core processor/Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • ARM Mali-G71 MP20 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5.8-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display, 2960 x 1440 resolution, dual curved edge
  • 64GB expandable storage, via microSD
  • 12-megapixel rear camera, f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable aperture, with Dual Pixel, OIS, 960FPS Super Slo-Mo video
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/1.7 aperture, AF
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, facial recognition, heartbeat sensor, IP68 certification, USB Type-C port, Bixby AI, 3D Emojis
  • 3000mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (TouchWiz UI)

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus specs

  • Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core processor/Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • ARM Mali-G71 MP20 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6.2-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display, 2960 x 1440 resolution, dual curved edge
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB expandable storage, via microSD
  • 12-megapixel rear camera, f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable aperture, with Dual Pixel, OIS, 960FPS Super Slo-Mo video, 12-megapixel secondary camera with 2x optical zoom lens, f/2.4 aperture
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/1.7 aperture, AF
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, facial recognition, heartbeat sensor, IP68 certification, USB Type-C port, Bixby AI, 3D Emojis
  • 3500mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (TouchWiz UI)

Looks almost identical to last year’s model, but it’s the inside that counts

With all the leaks that came out for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, most of you already have a good idea of what it looks like. Samsung’s new flagships looks suspiciously like the models last year, which isn’t surprising – why fix something that isn’t broken?

There are a few key differences from this year’s model though. Samsung’s tweaked the top bezel so the sensors on top aren’t noticeable until you’re really looking for it, and the phones have slimmer bezels overall.

And while the screen sizes for both variants have remained unchanged, with the S9 possessing a 5.8-inch display and S9 Plus sporting and 6.2-inch panel, both in the 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and both with Super AMOLED panels with QHD+ resolutions, the display is a lot brighter thanks to Samsung’s adaptive contrast enhancement tech.

Unfortunately Despite the rumors there’s no under display fingerprint scanner to be seen anywhere in the S9 and S9 Plus, and you’ll have to rely on the good ol’ fingerprint scanner located on the rear. Speaking of which, Samsung’s finally listened to feedback from their customers, and have re-positioned the scanner from the side of the camera module to the bottom – you know, how the majority of other phones with rear-mounted fingerprint scanners do it. Finally, no more smudging of the camera lens when you’re trying to unlock the phone.

If you don’t want to use the fingerprint scanner, the S9 and S9 Plus has other biometric security options to choose from, including iris and facial recognition. Just like Samsung’s other flagships, the Galaxy S9 and S9 plus are both IP68 rated.

Samsung’s Galaxy S series of phones have alway been the platform to show off the company’s imaging prowess, and the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are no exception. The Galaxy S9 has a 12-megapixel OIS Super Speed Dual Pixel camera sensor that has dual apertures – f/1.5 and f/2.4, while the Galaxy S9 Plus has an additional 12-megapixel 2x optical sensor with an f/2.4 aperture lens.

Samsung’s variable aperture technology first appeared on their W2018 flip phone of all things, released in China last year. In a nutshell, the variable aperture allows the phone to use two aperture settings when taking photos, with the f/2.4 aperture meant for taking photos in bright environs, while the F/1.5 apeture is for low-light shooting. Samsung also gets a nice feather in their cap marketing-wise, as their two new flagships are world’s first ever phones to have such a low aperture opening.

In addition to the variable aperture, the new cameras also now sport super slow-mo capabilities as well, up to 960 frames per second, shooting in HD. We’ve seen the feature before on other phones, namely Sony’s flagship Xperia line so Samsung really isn’t breaking new ground there, but their implementation is a little slicker. Users can define an area that triggers the slow-mo feature, which is a heck of a lot better than trying to press the button on the display to nail the timing on a shot.

There’s new tricks in the front camera as well. Both phones have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/1.7 aperture, but what really stands out is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone X’s Animoji’s.

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus don’t just have emojis that read your facial expressions, it also allows to make your own animated emoji based on your facial features. These AR Avatars as they’re called by Samsung, can be sent to 3rd party apps and more importantly through Facebook Messenger even if the user doesn’t have a Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus.

Just like before, Samsung’s newest flagships will run the latest silicon from both Samsung themselves and Qualcomm. Specifically, we’re talking about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 and Samsung’s Exynos 9810. American customers will be getting the Snapdragon 845-equipped variant, while Asian countries and the majority of the world will get the Exynos 9810, which runs at a higher clock (2.9GHz VS. 2.6GHz).

There will be a single storage and RAM variant for the Galaxy S9 (4GB/64GB) while there will be three storage options for the S9 Plus:  6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB and 6GB/256GB. The battery capacity for both phones are the same as last year (at 3,000mAh for the S9 and 3,500mAh for the S9 Plus) but we expect better battery efficiency overall because of the smaller lithography of both the Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 processor.

Both phones run Android Oreo plus Samsung’s TouchWiz UI layer on top of it, with increased Bixby functionality. Samsung will be releasing an improved version of their orignal DeX dock to use with the S9 and S9 Plus (with the screens of both phones now capable of navigation through the desktop UI like a touchpad) as well as other accessories.

With all of the new stuff on the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, it’s not surprising that the new phones will carry steep pricing. The Galaxy S9 will be priced at Php 45,990. The Galaxy S9 Plus is priced at Php 52,990 for the 64GB model, Php 55,990 for the 128GB model and a whopping Php 60,990 for the 256GB variant.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT