Within weeks of the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Samsung has got it to India. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy S9 offer an almost similar spec sheet but Samsung has ensured that the bigger and expensive S9+ makes more sense to buyers.
After experiencing both the smartphones for a brief time, here are our initial thoughts.
What’s with the look?
Samsung has carried the curved glass and metal finish that was introduced in the Galaxy S8 last year. Both smartphones look similar to the 2017 flagship Galaxy S8 and the S8+ smartphones. Having said that, Samsung has improved things greatly in new devices. Coming to the display, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ offers a 6.2-inch Quad HD+ curved display with an aspect ratio of 18:5:9 (Infinity Display). On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 comes with a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ curved display with the same aspect ratio. Samsung says that they have made the bezels even thinner and have darkened it as well to enrich the “bezel-less feel”.
The most notable changes are the introduction of the new speaker grill at the bottom (just beside the USB Type-C port) and the location of the fingerprint scanner, which is now below the camera module making it more easily accessible unlike in the S8 or S8+. The S9+ sports a dual-lens setup at the back while the S9 comes with a single lens camera module.
Watch: Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ First Look at MWC 2018
What to look out for?
Both the Galaxy S9+ and S9 are powered by a 64bit octa-core Exynos 9810 processor with support for up to 400GB microSD cards. However, the Galaxy S9+ comes with 6GB of RAM while the smaller S9 offers 4GB of RAM.
Talking about the cameras, Samsung has added one of the best cameras in both the S9 and S9+.
There’s a dual-lens camera setup in the bigger Galaxy S9+ with 12MP telephoto and 12MP wide-angle lenses with an aperture of f/2.4 and f/1.5 respectively. There is of, course, autofocus and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on both the lenses.
Samsung says that the camera is built for low lighting photography with dual aperture and multi-frame noise reduction. It’s claimed that the new phones offer 30% less noise than the older Galaxy S8.
Other camera features include super slow mode at 960 FPS. Interestingly Samsung has added an “auto slo-mo” feature which automatically detects motion in a still frame and records a slow-motion video of the moving object in the frame. You can also use these slo-mo videos as a GIF or even as a desktop wallpaper.
On the front, there is an 8MP f/1.7 A/F camera for selfies. There is a wide-angle mode along with other features too.
Bixby now offers Live translation, names unknown locations and even shows calories in food. All you have to do is call the “Bixby Vision” option, the camera UI, and point your camera to get the information.
Now coming to Emojis, Samsung has included Augmented Reality (AR) emojis in both the S9 and S9+. This feature is similar to the one you get with the iPhone X, popularly called “Animoji”.
There are dual stereo speakers tuned by AKG (by Harman) on both flagship Galaxy phones now offering Dolby Digital 360 surround sound experience. Of course, the 3.5mm headphone jack is also there. As far as security is concerned, the new Galaxy phones offer facial recognition along with the iris scanner.
Of course, the bigger Galaxy S9+ appears to be a better deal with its dual-lens camera and an amazing 6.2-inch display which easily fits in the hands. But the smaller Galaxy S9 will easily impress as well. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is well poised to be one of the best Android smartphones of 2018 and it would be interesting see how consumers react to the more affordable Galaxy S9 in India.