Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Hands On, Quick Review: Do You Really Need 4 Cameras?

by John Nieves  October 11, 2018

We check out Samsung’s crazy mid-ranger!

How many rear cameras do you need in a smartphone? Most brands are content with one or two, while some are pushing boundaries with three. For Samsung and their latest phone, the Galaxy A9 (2018), four is the magic number.

Each camera has a specific purpose, and Samsung wants the ability to take beautiful zoomed shots, wide-angle photos and still have the ability to produce great conventional stills. This crazy quad-camera setup has made its way to the A series line first thanks to Samsung’s focus on putting new features on mid-range devices before it’s flagship line.

What is it?

The Galaxy A9 (2018) is Samsung’s latest premium flagship model. It has similar design cues as the Galaxy A9 Star and the recently-announced Galaxy A7 (2018), save for the first-of-its-kind quad rear camera setup.

You said four cameras!?

Yup, and we’re not kidding! If Samsung wanted to make a statement with the Galaxy A9 (2018), well that quad-camera certainly has everyone’s attention. The Galaxy A9 is the world’s first smartphone to have that many rear cameras, and each has its own distinct function. From the top to the bottom, you have an 8-megapixel f/2.4 120-degree wide angle camera, a 10-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with 2X zoom, a 24-megapixel f/1.7 primary camera, and a 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth-sensing camera.

While you cannot use all four at the same time, the point of that many cameras is to give users added flexibility for their photography needs. Why settle for a phone that specializes in wide angle shots or zoomed images? With the Galaxy A9 (2018), you get them all.

That many cameras make the rear of the phone look real busy though, down to the point of absurdity. There certainly should have been a way to remove the depth sensor and pass its function to either the wide or zoom sensor since that’s what the company essentially did for the Galaxy Note 9 and S9 Plus.

That is a pretty-looking phone. 

It sure is. Like the Galaxy A7 (2018), the Galaxy A9 (2018) has a glass back. The difference is that the A9 had a metal frame and a 3d curve at the edge, giving the phone an extra premium feel. It also comes with a dedicated Bixby button and a USB-C port but omits the Galaxy A8 (2018)’s water resistance.

The Galaxy A9 brings back the fingerprint scanner to the rear from the A7 (2018), while the quad camera sensor stack is on the upper left side with an LED flash right below it.

Samsung has stubbornly refused to put notches in many of their phones and the A9 is no exception. You get slim top and bottom bezels that sandwich the 6.3-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. Above the display is a 24-megapixel f/2.0 camera for selfies.

What’s powering it?

Instead of Samsung’shhome-grown Exynos chipset, the company has decided to go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, with the Philippine version sporting 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.

How much will it cost?

While the Galaxy A7 (2018) is a mid-range contender, Samsung’s pricing for the A9 (2018) places it at flagship territory. At Php 32,990, the phone will be difficult to swallow for people who don’t believe in Samsung’s quad-camera ambitions. It’s definitely a statement from the company but people will still take a lot of convincing to drop that much money for a device that’s still a mid-range phone come December 1 when it arrives in the Philippines.


Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) specs

  • 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display
  • 128GB of expandable storage (up to 512GB)
  • Quadruple rear cameras: 8-megapixel f/2.4 120-degree wide angle camera, a 10-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with 2X zoom, a 24-megapixel f/1.7 primary camera, and a 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth-sensing camera
  • 24-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint sensor
  • 3,800mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android Oreo

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    The price is a huge joke for the specs. I really can’t absorb the pricing of Samsung, it’s a damn mid-range phone and yet the asking price is for a flagship already.