Last year, Samsung came out of the ashes of the Note 7 debacle and launched the Galaxy S8, which was one of the best phones of 2017 and one of the best products Samsung has made. So it's no surprise that this year's Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, which will be available to pre-order on March 2 and hit stores on March 16, are not very different from S8 phones.
In fact, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are so similar to their predecessors that, when looking at them, they look and feel exactly the same. The pair S9 maintains the attractive and efficient design of the S8, with extra high screens 18.5: 9, curved sides and front and back glass. The 5.8-inch (S9) and 6.2-inch (S9 Plus) screens are the same Super AMOLED panels with resolutions of 2960 x 1440 pixels, although Samsung says they are a bit brighter this year. It's also interesting, although the phones look and feel the same as last year's models, have slightly different dimensions and weigh a little more, so do not expect to be able to use an S8 on an S9.
The other reason why you can not reuse the cases is the main external change: Samsung moved the fingerprint scanner from the right of the camera to below it, which will facilitate its use, especially in the big S9 Plus. Although it is not a fingerprint scanner on the screen, as some might have expected, it is likely that you will notice an improvement over the previous design. Otherwise, the design of the buttons (including the dreaded Bixby button) and other hardware functions, such as the 3.5mm headphone jack, remain the same as before. You will not see the difference with the new S9 speakers, which now produce stereo sound and are 40 percent noisier, according to Samsung, but you can surely hear them.
If you have been following the numerous leaks of the S9 before today's official announcement, none of the following will be a surprise, but I will confirm the specifications here: the S9 runs the Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm (in North America, other markets can expect see Samsung's latest Exynos processor); has 4 GB (S9) or 6 GB (S9 Plus) of RAM; comes with 64 GB of storage and support for microSD cards; has a 3,000mAh (S9) or 3,500mAh (S9 Plus) battery; it is resistant to IP68 dust and water; and it is compatible with fast and wired wireless charging. Like the S8, the S9 is a gigabit phone, but this year it can support speeds up to 1.2Gbps and supports 600MHz frequencies for T-Mobile.
The camera of the S9 has a mechanically adjustable opening
The new highlight feature is the new camera system on the S9, which comes with a single lens on the S9 and a dual camera on the S9 Plus. The new camera is Samsung's first with a mechanically adjustable aperture (not counting the China-only folding phone released at the end of last year), which can change from a very bright f / 1.5 to a smaller f / 2.4 depending on the exposure conditions. The bright aperture allows 28 percent more light than the f / 1.7 lens of the S8, and the f / 2.4 aperture is said to help prevent overexposure in bright scenes, such as a sunny day outdoors. The camera application can switch between the apertures as needed, or you can control them manually using the pro mode in the application. Note: the aperture can change between f / 1.5 and f / 2.4, but can not be set to intermediate values. Still, two opening options are basically double that with any other phone.
In addition to the new adjustable aperture, the S9's 12-megapixel camera sensor includes second-generation two-digit autofocus technology for faster and more reliable focus, improved multi-frame noise reduction for 30% better performance with little light, and ability to record video in slow motion up to 960 frames per second (at 720p resolution). The camera application has also been redesigned with faster access to its various modes by sliding between them, just like the iPhone camera application. Copycat or not, is an improvement over the previous application.
The Galaxy S9 camera has an adjustable aperture.
The second rear camera of the S9 Plus does not have the function of variable aperture but works similarly to the dual camera system of the Note 8. It has a f / 2.4 lens that brings you two times closer to the subject than the wide-angle camera and allows effects of blur in portrait mode (which Samsung calls "Live Focus"). Both phones have the same f / 1.7 8-megapixel autofocus front camera than last year's models.
Integrated into the new camera application is the Samsung version of the Animoji of the iPhone X, which it calls AR Emoji. It allows you to capture an image of your face, and by using more than 100 points, you create a custom 3D character with its characteristics. The application then creates 18 animated "GIF" stickers that are accessible on the keyboard for use in messaging applications. You can also customize the look of your character with different hairstyles, glasses and suits. The Emoji ARs are not the same as Animoji, the tracking is not as accurate and they are not animals, but it is more similar to a 3D Bitmoji character.
For the software, the S9 will be launched with Android 8.0 Oreo, but like the hardware, the design is not very different from the software in the S8. Samsung has redesigned parts of the Bixby application, especially camera features, which can now be used to estimate calories in food and provide faster translation in real time. The company has entered into new alliances with retailers such as Sam & # 39; s Club and Nordstrom to allow you to purchase items directly through Bixby, as well as makeup by Sephora and Cover Girl.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus work with the same Gear VR that was released along with the Note 8, as well as the Google Daydream View headset. They also work with last year's DeX Station, which allows you to use your phone as a complete computer with monitor, keyboard and mouse. Samsung is also launching a new DeX device called DeX Pad. The Pad does not prop up the phone as the station, but it leaves it flat, where it can be used as a trackpad or keyboard. The S9 can support external screens of up to 2K resolution, and Samsung says that 30 to 40 partners have registered to make applications optimized for DeX. One of them is the Final Fantasy XV, which will come preloaded on the device.
Although Samsung did not make many changes to its formula for the S9, it should be appreciated what it did, and it is likely that this is a popular phone this year. It is interesting to see how there are more different things between the smaller S9 and the smaller S9 Plus this year, which can make it difficult for those looking for a compact phone with all the amenities.
The S9 will be available at all major operators in the US. UU., With a price similar to S8. US customers UU You can choose between the black, violet or blue color options at launch, while a gray model will also be available internationally. Other color options are likely to be available later in the year.
We will have much more to say about the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.