Samsung announced its flagships for the year, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. They are not very different from the previous generation in terms of design, it’s the internals that are new. It’s like Apple’s strategy, use the same design while packing new features.
The most striking change is the camera, both the phones have upgraded cameras. It’s much more visible on the Plus version, as it packs two cameras on the back. The megapixel count however, is still stuck at 12 megapixel. But the phone makes up for it by adding a mechanically adjustable aperture, its the first smartphone to do so.
The adjustable aperture allows the user to shift to f/1.5 for photos with more light, suitable in low-light conditions and to f/2.4 when there’s sufficient light, so that photos don’t get too soft. That has been a problem with phones lately, nonetheless, the practicality of the adjustable aperture is yet to be seen in real-world scenarios.
The camera sensor is also much faster and reliable at focusing, according to Samsung, thanks to the second generation dual-pixel autofocus rig. Another notable change is in the camera app, it has been redesigned for quicker access to different modes by swiping in-app, just like the iPhone.
On the front, the phone packs an 8 megapixel sensor with f/1.7 fixed aperture. Also, the company has introduced its own Animoji counterpart, called AR Emoji. It creates 18 animated GIF stickers that can later be used in messaging apps.
The speaker on the bottom doesn’t look different but it’s much louder, according to Samsung, and also the earpiece at the top will double as a speaker to create a stereo effect. When both the speakers team up, they sound 40% louder compared to the Galaxy S8.
Also, this year, the Samsung S9 and S9 Plus have a ton of differences: the camera setup is different, the S9 gets 4GB of RAM whereas the S9 Plus gets 6GB of RAM, the battery on the S9 measures 3000 mAh whereas on the S9 Plus, it measures 3500 mAh. It’s going to be tough to choose between the two.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will hit the stores on 19th of March, while pre-orders start on the 2nd of March. It starts at $719 unlocked in the US and goes all the way up to $930, closer to the Galaxy Note territory.