Ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, Samsung unveiled its new flagship smartphones Galaxy S9 and S9 plus in Barcelona on Sunday. With these new devices, the company claims to bring a new and improved camera setup with Super Slow-mo video, much-needed fingerprint sensor tweak, and AR emoji or a more personalized way to express yourself.
The new Galaxy S9 and S9+ look a lot like their predecessors – Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets. Most of the improvements appear to be incremental, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as Galaxy S8 was one of the best smartphones released last year and one of the best products Samsung ever made.
Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are so similar to their predecessors that on passing glance, they look and feel exactly the same. They maintain the S8’s attractive and efficient design, with an edge-to-edge display. The 5.8-inch (S9) and 6.2-inch (S9 Plus) screens are the same Super AMOLED panels with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolutions, though Samsung says they are slightly brighter this year.
Perhaps the biggest physical change in S9 and S9+ is around the back of the phone, where the fingerprint scanner has been moved to sit just below the camera lens. This addresses one of the biggest complaints users had with the S8, where it sat far too close to the camera lens, which made it difficult to actually use. Its new position is now far more sensible.
Samsung has said the smartphone will “reinvent the camera,” putting high-spec camera technology front and center of the new handset. Galaxy S9 series smartphones feature improved cameras with variable aperture sensor on the primary rear camera, and the Galaxy S9+ sports dual rear camera setup.
The 12MP camera sensor comes with a mechanically adjustable variable aperture setup — f/1.4 lens for 28 percent more light in dark conditions and f/2.4 lens for outdoor shooting. The sensor comes with an improved autofocus technology for easier and reliable shooting.
Another highlight feature of S9’s camera is the Super Slow-Mo video. Compared to standard 240 FPS, S9 records at 960 FPS for 4-times slower videos.
New in the S9 and S9+ is iPhone X-inspired AR Emojis and an enhanced biometric security setting that combines the slower, more secure iris scanner with facial recognition. Other new features on the handsets include Bixby Vision, AKG-tuned dual speakers, reduced bezels on the top and bottom, and faster processors (Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810).
S9 and S9+ models come with 4GB (S9) or 6GB (S9 Plus) of RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable), 3,000mAh (S9) or 3,500mAh (S9 Plus) battery, and Bluetooth 5.0 stereo speakers. It is IP68 water and dust resistant and supports fast wireless charging. There’s even a headphone jack, which seems like such a luxury in 2018. The two handsets will be available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, and Titanium Grey colors.
Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will be available for preorder in the US from March 2nd and arrive in stores on March 16th. The S9 will start at $720, while S9+ will go for $839.