Familiar but different a few weeks ago in Barcelona Sampson unveiled the Galaxy S 9 in a nutshell it’s mostly an iterative update to an already spectacular smartphone apart from a new color it’s more or less the same on the outside and apart from some pretty fantastic camera tech it’s more or less the same on the inside also so should you go out and buy it is the galaxy s 9 a phone that we recommend and is it one that we’d go out and buy ourselves.
If you’re new here and you want to learn more about the s 9 you can click over here we’ve already done an exhaustive hands-on video outlining all of the phones and features this is our galaxy s 9 review and like most of our review videos we hope to be able to answer specific questions that you might have about the s 9 so that you can go out make an informed decision on whether or not to buy.
It Samsung claims its reimagined the smart phone camera on the s9 while that might be a big marketing claim its dual aperture camera is an unprecedented engineering feat this is why it’s significant no other smartphone thus far has had the ability to change the aperture one lens on the s9 you can switch from F 1 point 5 2 F to point 4 why would you want that well for one high aperture lets you achieve that creamy blurred background when shooting up close and more importantly helps you take brighter better photos in low-light F 1 point 5 is the highest aperture we’ve seen on a smartphone so we’ve been able to take photos like this brighter than what they’d seen actually looked like in real life in our book Samsung has always made the best low-light smartphone cameras and that holds true on the s9 also as expected Samson has pushed the boundaries of low-light photography on a smartphone even further this year so why would you then need two point for the higher the aperture the bigger the depth of field sometimes though details get too soft especially around subjects and sometimes you just want more details in focus that’s where f 2.4 comes in for the average user.
I don’t think you should have to worry about any of this and Samsung doesn’t think you have to either so it’s making these adjustments in the background just so you know you can dive into pro mode and manually switch between the two just one caveat Pro mode is more complicated because you’ll manually need to adjust all settings and not just the aperture Dixon mark an independent body that rates cameras recently gave the s9 plus its highest overall score and highest photo score while we need more time to conduct our own in-depth head-to-head test based on some initial comparisons versus the pixel 2 and the iPhone 10 we think at least during the day when there’s plenty of light picking which camera takes the best photos boils down to a matter of tastes or how technically meticulous you are but in low-light the galaxy s 9 definitely shines.
If you get the bigger s9 plus you not only get more memory a bigger battery and a bigger screen you also get two rear cameras the second camera is a 2x zoom lens great if you like getting in closer on subjects without sacrificing the quality of your photos the second camera also enables the feature called live focus we’ve seen this on the note 8 and the 820 18 series live focus lets you adjust the amount of blur while taking the photo and even after if you ask me these two features justify the $120 premium of the s 9 Plus this is the model.
I recommend Samsung didn’t lend me the plus model so all of these images are courtesy of my friend Joshua Overgraze of Android Authority it’s worth pointing out that on the s9 you can still blur out backgrounds using a feature called selective focus first scene on the s5 but it’s not as good as cutting out subjects from their background as seen in this sample and if background blur wasn’t enough Samson is introducing a new feature called art Booker if the conditions are right when you go in and adjust background blur on a life focus image you can give your Booker star shapes or heart shapes.
If you want to better appreciate the next two features you have to understand Samsung’s target demographic for this phone a generation of creators with an affinity for sharing and expression on our hands-on video we showcased plenty of super slow-mo video samples but some of you in the comments section notice that some of them were grainy and the reason behind that is to take really good super slow-mo videos you need plenty of available natural light.
I gave the gadget match team a challenge to shoot as many super awesome slow-mo as they could inside a controlled environment under a flood of studio lights here’s what they shot now you can’t talk about super slow-mo video without mentioning Sony’s Xperia eggs premium which first offers a feature a year ago which does super slow-mo 960 frames per second better will let you be the judge at MWC in Barcelona Sony said its new phone the egg z2 can shoot in 1080p instead of just 720p so that might be an advantage once the egg z2 ships but feature wise we like how Samsung has auto mode just switch to super slo-mo hit record and once the s9 detects motion in the Box slow-mo capture starts automatically you get the shot every time of course this works best when you have complete control over the situation out in the real world you’re better off using manual mode it takes a while to perfect your timing but like we said during our hands-on video the results can be quite magical finally when you shoot super slow-mo video the s9 ads the background music automatically.
If you don’t like the music they chose you can go in and edit the track or just remove it entirely when the iPhone 10 launched last year one of its more quirky features was an emojis basically the ability to animate nine popular emojis using the phone’s face tracking features the iPhone 10 has true depth sensors that can match muscle movements on your face so you’re an emoji basically does as you do Samsung hope to do one better on the s9 was a similar feature called a our emojis unfortunately we didn’t enjoy it as much while we like the ability to personalize and create characters after your own likeness we feel that most often than not they are emoji characters don’t look like the selfies they’re based on even our favorite you tubers seem to agree but more bothersome was the fact that they are emojis don’t track as well they especially struggle when you’re trying to match speech see in this example even if.
I try to overdo the movements all it does is shows a stuttering of the math we do like the personalized animated stickers though they’re cool and we like highly can use them across any or all of your favorite chat apps they’re accessible by pressing this icon on your keyboard as long as you’re using Samsung’s default keyboard and not a third-party one otherwise you can find them saved as a gift in your gallery like Apple and Google Sampson has its own personal assistant Bixby and it’s pretty committed to that considering it’s to God it’s dedicated button Sampson promises Bixby 2.0 will come sometime later in August or September whenever they launch.
The Galaxy Note 2 9 you can also point your s 9 at food and Vic’s V will be able to tell you how many calories supposedly are in your meal however that feature wasn’t available across all of a review units which means they’re probably just rolling that feature out right now normally when we review a phone we talk about design first but on the S 9 there’s not much to talk about it’s more or less the same design just with a few tweaks here and there like we said in our s 9 hands-on this recycled design doesn’t offend us it’s just like Apple using the same design for.
The iPhone 6 success 7 & 8 after all once you find your groove why change it this design has plenty of pluses it’s all glass build and curved edges are unmatched it’s still one of the most beautiful phones available today its water resistance is now something we’ve come to expect and let’s stop to appreciate that Samsung did not kill the headphone jack on top of that Samson listened to user feedback repositioning the fingerprint sensor to a more logical place unfortunately it’s still too close to the camera and part of one single unit instead of being separate speaking of bio-metrics Samson has improved it integrating both facial recognition and the iris scanner.
I’ve found that in the interest of expediency i just use the fingerprint sensor it’s still quicker snappier and more reliable I’ll say this over and over again a smartphone’s price tag is as important as any new feature here’s the thing in the US the s9s price tag did not go up but across the globe the s9 is anywhere around 5% to 15% more expensive than the s8 do all these features justify the price increase no but take a look at this chart comparing the mess nine plus to the iPhone 10 and you’ll find that the iPhone 10 is still a more expensive phone so depending on where you are in the world the s9 and the s9 plus might not be the best value for money phone but they are at least pretty competitive in the upper end of the price spectrum so are the galaxy s 9 and s 9 plus your gadget match.
If you’re in the market for the best Android smartphone that money can buy today ensure the s 9 + s 9 + are a match if we were on the s 9 design team we would have pushed to give the smaller s 9 a dual-camera also that would have given it an edge over the iPhone 8 we would have also wanted a separate fingerprint sensor module and had they chosen to keep prices the same worldwide that would have made it easier for us to give the s 9 a glowing recommendation despite its being only an incremental upgrade having said that these are solid phones just like their predecessors both deserve the gadget match seal of approval our hands on recommendation still holds true the s 9 + s 9 + are not intended for s 8 and s 8 + users you can skip this upgrade and wait for next year.
If you however use an s7 or s7 + then definitely consider upgrading to the S 9 or the s 9 plus especially if your contract is up for renewal for the more price conscious though our suggestion is to ignore the current premium segment and look at brands that may not sound as sexy as Samsung or Apple but offer all these high-end features at a lower more affordable price point and that was our Samsung Galaxy S 9 and s9 plus review.