The new leader of the Samsung smartphone line – Galaxy S9+ – is a powerful processor, a dual camera with a switchable diaphragm, the latest version of Android, 50% more RAM … in a case that only a trained eye will distinguish from the Galaxy S8 +. In this review, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ will find out how it differs from last year’s “senior” Samsung flagship, and whether technological innovations (with an almost unchanged appearance) are worth the price that Korean sales set (on March 16) on the Galaxy S9+ Korean manufacturer. This review can be considered a review of the Galaxy S9 – except that the camera of the compact flagship is not doubled, the RAM is not 6 GB, but 4, and the battery is smaller – 3000 mAh.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Design, Convenience
Samsung decided that there is no need to develop a new design for the flagships this year. The logic is clear: while no one has introduced anything more futuristic, people like a design. No, if one looks closely (and armed with a caliper), it is clear that he has changed after all. Time: the new material of the metal frame (aluminum AL7003, more resistant to deformation and scratches) is now semi-matt, it’s more beautiful than gloss. Two: the fingerprint sensor on the rear panel is now in the same place where the last year’s flagships, under the camera, should have been on the mind, and not on the side of it. Three: thickness and width increased by 0.4 mm, height – decreased by 14 mm (so that the cases from the Galaxy S8 + do not fit). In the hand of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ feels almost exactly the same as last year’s Galaxy Note8. “Nout” I have been using every day for the last few months and when I moved to samung galaxy S9+ I almost did not notice the difference – the novelty is a little shorter and narrower, by 6 grams (interestingly, the weight of the stylus?) Is easier, but for me both smartphones are uncomfortable for some situations use with one hand. The smartphone is very “slippery”, with vibration it easily slides from slightly inclined surfaces (maybe from the table), so it’s worth thinking hard about the case. At the same time, he eliminates the need to constantly erase from the back panel glass the inevitable and well-marked fingerprints. For those who still want to “keep pace with the times” and expects to use a fast and convenient unlock on the face in a modern flagship smartphone, Samsung has several options in the samsung Galaxy S9+. The smartphone supports simple face recognition by the front camera (but such a simple “biometrics” because of its unreliability cannot confirm the purchase of Samsung Pay). There is a scanner of the iris of the eyes – but it is uncertainty working in the bright sun and in case the user wears glasses. Therefore, the preferred system (if you do not like the new, conveniently located fingerprint scanner) is a combined biometric authentication system combining the latter two methods and, in a particular case, using the more suitable one. In this case, to unlock, just click on the bottom of the screen, where the virtual button “home” is located – tactile feedback will work and, if you are not in the dark, the smartphone is almost always instantly unlocked. In the dark, when the system relies on the iris scanner, everything works much less reliably – it works such an unlocking time, and more slowly than unblocking the face. Speaking about the convenience of the Samsung Galaxy S9+, you can not bypass the Bixby key located on the left edge of the case. Until you turn it off in the “smart assistant” settings of Samsung, you are guaranteed constant random clicks, especially if you are accustomed to photographing by clicking on the “volume” of volume. What else is worth considering if you want to visually demonstrate to others the possession of the “newest Samsung” – so it’s about buying the samsung Galaxy S9 + in a new purple color. Moreover, he is really beautiful. Another novelty is available in the traditional “diamond” black and “titanium” gray colors.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: The Screen
The display is traditionally one of the trumps of Samsung’s flagship (do you think that Apple orders the OLEDs for the iPhone X ?) You think correctly). However, the company, annually receiving praise from experts for the screens of its top-end smartphones, does not stop, continuing to improve its panels on organic light-emitting diodes as much as possible. The diagonal and resolution of the samsung Galaxy S9 + compared with last year’s flagship S-series did not change: 6.2 inches and 2960 x 1440 pixels, the aspect ratio of 18.5: 9. But at the same time Galaxy S9 and S9 + screens are better than the eighth generation flagships – at least to such conclusions are experts DisplayMate armed with special measuring equipment who have no reason not to believe. You notice the difference in difficulty, but the color rendition is improved, and the maximum brightness increased by 20% (only in the automatic adjustment mode and in bright sun). From left to right: iPhone X, Galaxy S9 +, Galaxy Note8. The backlighting of all smartphones is at the maximum, auto-tuning is disabled, Samsung devices are set to “Adaptive display” mode, TrueTone function for iPhone X is disabled, the iPhone has a screenshot with S9 + The default calibration was slightly changed – with the same settings, the white hue on the screen is a little warmer than Note8 (and probably Galaxy S8 / S8 +, but I did not have them at hand so I could say for sure). In addition (also, apparently, the calibration feature), when the auto-adjust brightness is turned off at the maximum, the S9 + display is slightly less angular than the Note8 or iPhone X: Finally, like most current flagship smartphones, the samsung Galaxy S9+ supports playback of HDR content, the screen of the device is certified by the UHD Alliance in accordance with the Mobile HDR Premium standard. In practice, this means that the smartphone is able to reproduce in all its glory video with an extended dynamic range in the HDR standard with 10-bit color coding (over a billion tones). You can find HDR-video, for example, on YouTube, in Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, start supporting it – of course, in case the film is released by the studio in HDR – Unfortunately, it ‘s impossible to shoot video in HDR (for example, the flagship of Sony, Xperia XZ2, recently announced on MWC2018 ) cannot. The function “Always on” in the samsung Galaxy S9 + has been modified – now you can select the level of the backlight (by default it is adjusted automatically). The most minimal does not cut eyes even in total darkness, and the brightest one makes information visible even in the sun.
Communication & Sound
Stereo speakers are the most pleasant innovation, this solution constructively repeats what is used in the iPhone 7 and newer, that is, the sound comes out of the speaker at the bottom and the conversation grid. The ideal solution with user-friendly speakers from Pixel 2 XL here decided not to implement, but the current design allowed to achieve acceptable sound quality.
These are not the best speakers in general (the same Alcatel IDOL 4 sounded steeper) and the external speaker will not be replaced, but the quality is still good and the volume is enough for almost any scenario. The device uses only the bottom speaker when playing system sounds, so there is hope that the speaker will not “sit down” as quickly as it did in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The test sample went without the delivery kit, but in retail options, there are headphones AKG, as in S8 or Note8, Tehnot.com told about them in the review. In general, Samsung is coping well with music playback by the standards of phones and will satisfy most consumers.
The wireless modules of the novelty support all the current standards, there are no restrictions on the technologies to be met, only the infrared port, useful for controlling the equipment in the house, is not. Claims to the device did not arise, except for the moments of switching between the LTE / 3G / EDGE standards – occasionally the smartphone stopped receiving and sending data for 5-10 minutes, a bit more often the problem manifested itself when descending in the metro.
If you omit the latter, there are no claims to the device, the work is identical to the other flagships. Especially pleased with an exceptionally accurate GPS, which manifested itself in foot navigation.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Cameras
Now about the main thing. Perhaps the key innovation of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ was the updated design of the camera. Firstly, for the first time in the S-line Samsung implemented a dual 12-megapixel module, with the same principle of operation as Note8: the standard camera is complemented by a “telecom” camera, which provides a double optical zoom without loss of quality, both optical lenses stabilization. Secondly, for the first time in recent years, a flip-flop smartphone uses a lens with a switchable diaphragm.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ can mechanically change the diameter of the hole through which light enters the photosensitive matrix. Two values are available: with F1.5 (which, by the way, is the record for smartphones), the camera captures a maximum of light; at F2.4, it is possible to avoid overexposing individual sections of the frame in bright sunlight and (as in the case of conventional cameras) to achieve a higher, than with a wide-open diaphragm, detailing the frame. In automatic mode, the aperture mode is selected by the smartphone itself, but you can switch to the “professional” mode to manually select between F1.5 and F2.4.
Here’s how the same frame, made “on the machine” by three different smartphones (click to enlarge):
It is seen that the samsung Galaxy S9+ with its wide diaphragm really managed to “pull out” the maximum detail in the dark parts of the picture. At the same time, the iPhone X, from my point of view, perfectly suited the shades of the sky, they are most consistent with what my eyes saw at that moment. Dark areas are more natural in the picture taken by Note 8. However, the concepts of “better” – “worse” are hardly applicable here – it all depends on the artistic task posed during the shooting.
After about half an hour, when there were only a few minutes left before dawn, I again shot the same frame with three smartphones in automatic mode. Although the sun has not yet risen, the Galaxy S9 + has already switched to the diaphragm F2.4. Perhaps that is why his picture lacks dynamics in comparison with iPhone X, the photo from which looks even too contrasty and oversaturated as if processed in the editor. But in bright areas of the sky in the photo with the Samsung Galaxy S9+, you can see more details, there is absolutely no light. And Note8 here, it seems, generally left the race – was mistaken with the automatic determination of the white balance.
Now let’s see how sharp the images look at the Galaxy S9 +. Here’s how the photos from the same three smartphones look in a 100% increase (click on the image to enlarge):
The new Samsung flagship is clearly useful for narrowing the aperture: in the picture taken by Galaxy S9 +, the image is slightly sharper than it turned out for the other two smartphones. In addition, in bright areas is preserved a little more details. The iPhone X again has a too contrasted photo, and Note 8 has slightly overexposed and not quite “true” colors.
In addition to the variable aperture, the second main “novelty” of the Galaxy S9 + camera is the ability to shoot ultra-slow video with a frequency of 960 frames per second. To do this, Samsung engineers (as their colleagues from Sony made earlier) placed the buffer memory chip directly on the camera module – this allows you to save a large amount of data in real time. The ultra-slow shooting is carried out in the HD 720p: on a modern TV it will not look very, but for placement in social networks – that’s it.
The main problem with such a survey is to catch the moment because a super-slow video with a duration of several seconds is obtained by a “stretching” of a segment with a duration of just 0.2 seconds. To do this, in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera for “superseded” mode, a kind of motion recognition system is implemented. Focusing on a certain area of the image, the smartphone “waits” until movement starts there – and at that moment it takes one or several (selected in the camera settings) video at a frequency of 960 fps. Having opened the result in the gallery, you can, if desired, save the result in GIF format, selecting normal playback, reverse or “swing”.
The original video, as well as a pair of smartphone GIF-files created from it, are here (Google Photo).
Everything is fine with Galaxy S9 + and with more traditional video shooting – modes are supported up to 4K at 60 frames per second. However, in it, the duration of one record is limited to five minutes. Limit for 4K-shooting at 30 frames per second – 10 minutes.
Inside the camera application of the new Samsung flagship still lives “Bixby camera.” With it, you can scan QR codes, see in AR mode the location of interesting objects nearby, translate text by photo (using Google technology, which will soon be available for any Android smartphone), identify the wine or goods (this is very lucky – see screenshots below). Finally, Bixby is able to recognize some food (for example – fruits) and to report (in English – before the Russification of the hand the developers have not yet reached) its caloric value:
But while all this still seems more like pampering or an attempt at all costs to demonstrate the technology of Samsung, than a function that will be claimed by the owner of the smartphone on a regular basis.
I’ll have to tell you about … selfimogy. Koreans could not help but reply to the “apple” company, which last summer announced nothing to the users: “admit you always wanted to be a unicorn,” and offered the owners of the iPhone X “animogji” – animated avatars that copy the user’s facial expressions with which you can record short video. Samsung decided to go further: in addition to the cartoon avatars in the “AR-emoji” mode, you can “revitalize” your own image, created from Selfie. On its basis, the smartphone also automatically generates GIF-emoji with various emotional reactions that can be sent to instant messengers and social networks. Emotion, which you experience, for the first time seeing your own like, but not at all like the original avatar,
Having created “selfmiage”, you can “revive” it – the application is able to recognize the movements of the facial muscles. “Apple” animodzhi a little more detailed – the TrueDepth system with its 3D-scanning system of the face using a laser and an infrared camera tracks the facial expressions more precisely, and the models themselves are not as rude as Samsung’s. But by and large the result is similar:
Finally, we can not fail to mention that Samsung has reworked the camera application itself while making it more convenient. Now you can switch between different modes by simple horizontal. If you find that there are too many modes, you can disable those that are not going to be used in the settings.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ is presented in Ukraine in three colors (black, purple and silver) and the only modification with 64 GB of permanent memory, the cost of the flagship was 31,999 UAH.
Galaxy Note8 – the main alternative to the novelty, of the main advantages, stand out the presence of the stylus and the cost of 29 999 UAH, inferior to the “old man” in terms of camera and performance, but in both cases, the difference is not great. If the pen is not needed, it is better to pay for a newer Galaxy S9 +, at least for the sake of a little longer support.
Google Pixel 2 XL is inferior to the display, the processor is weaker (although so far in practice this is not noticed), the software set of users is much smaller, and there is no official support in Ukraine, which means that repair will take a lot of time and cost a lot. But the consumer will receive the most rapid updates to Android until 2019 inclusive and in some places a more interesting camera.
iPhone X is the only alternative running another OS. The device is worse photos, its display has a controversial cutout, and the screen though and excellent, but smaller, and comparable in size options on iOS there. Official retail offers iPhone X at a price of 35 999 UAH, it’s worth it only if the presence of iOS is the most important argument when choosing a smartphone.
samsung galaxy s9+ Specification
Versions: G965F (Europe, Global Single-SIM); G965F/DS (Europe, Global Dual-SIM); G965U (USA); G965W (Canada); G9650 (China)
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 32(1500), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500), 66(1700/2100) – Global|
|LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 14(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500), 46, 66(1700/2100), 71(600) – USA|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (6CA) Cat18 1200/200 Mbps|
|Status||Available. Released 2018, March|
|BODY||Dimensions||158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm (6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 in)|
|Weight||189 g (6.67 oz)|
|Build||Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|– Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)|
– IP68 certified – dust/waterproof (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
|DISPLAY||Type||Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.2 inches, 98.3 cm2 (~84.2% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~529 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|– HDR10 compliant|
– 3D Touch (home button only)
– Always-on display
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Exynos 9810 Octa – EMEA|
Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 – USA & China
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.7 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) – EMEA|
Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) – USA & China
|GPU||Mali-G72 MP18 – EMEA|
Adreno 630 – USA & China
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSD, up to 400 GB (uses SIM 2 slot) – dual SIM model only|
|Internal||64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM|
|CAMERA||Primary||Dual: 12 MP (f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF) + 12MP (f/2.4, 52mm, 1/3.6″, 1µm, AF), OIS, phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR, dual-video rec|
|Secondary||8 MP (f/1.7, 25mm, 1/3.6″, 1.22µm), autofocus, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR|
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|– 32-bit/384kHz audio|
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|Radio||FM radio (USA & Canada only)|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Iris scanner, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|– Samsung DeX (desktop experience support)|
– Fast battery charging (Quick Charge 2.0)
– Qi/PMA wireless charging (market dependent)
– ANT+ support
– Bixby natural language commands and dictation
– MP4/DivX/XviD/H.265 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
– Photo/video editor
– Document editor
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery (13.48 Wh)|
|MISC||Colors||Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, Lilac Purple|
|Price||About 990 EUR|
|TESTS||Performance||Basemark OS II: 3297 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 3354|
Basemark X: 42134
|Display||Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal), 4.537 (sunlight)|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||Voice 68dB / Noise 74dB / Ring 80dB|
|Audio quality||Noise -92.6dB / Crosstalk -93.4dB|
Endurance rating 86h
Samsung Galaxy S9+ turned out similar to last year’s flagship smartphones of the company, the differences are minimal and everything concerns details. This is the most boring update in the history of the Galaxy S line, but at the same time the best, since the manufacturer has already made excellent devices in 2017, it was only necessary to fix the details.
The biggest technological progress of the novelty was the camera, but the loud difference with the face of the variable aperture turned out to be useless, but f / 1.5 takes its – the quality in comparison with the previous flagships of the producer has grown, the faster processor allowed to process pictures sharper and even write video with a frequency of 960 k / from. Progress is evident, but the gap is not great.
Twisted up there, pulled up here, improved, twisted, made more convenient, more powerful. The smartphone got better, but it’s an iterative update, the difference is not big enough to fly and change the Galaxy S8 + and all the more Galaxy Note8 to a new smartphone. Of course, the differences will slip by moments, but it’s hardly worth spreading 32 thousand UAH just for the sake of such rare cases.
Smartphone had time to scold for the lack of fundamentally new pieces, but whether it is necessary to “innovate” in each flagship? Maybe it’s worth at least once to bring to mind all the lessons from previous generations and put them together? That’s exactly what they did in the Galaxy S9 series.
Technology enthusiasts, fans of everything new, as well as fans of Samsung need to buy immediately, it is worth considering buying, and if the current smartphone belongs to the flagships in 2016 and older. More recent smartphones are still good enough to wait for the next generation, but this does not negate the fact that the current Galaxy S9 + is the best Android-powered device on the market.
5 Reasons to Buy Samsung Galaxy S9+:
Modified in comparison with S8 ergonomics
1 reason not to buy Samsung Galaxy S9+:
Galaxy S8 + or Galaxy Note8 is already purchased and completely satisfied
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Video Review
Syed Arslan is a senior review and News writer at 1review2day, focusing on upcoming smart devices. He previously worked for Fortune Magazine, and he has 4 years of experience. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org