Saturday, July 21Always On-point

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: At the top of the smartphone game

With scores of small improvements, Samsung’s new Galaxy S9+ is an evolution rather than a whole new device. But as Hitesh Raj Bhagat explains, that’s hardly a bad thing.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: At the top of the smartphone game

It’s a game of leapfrog — a few months in the smartphone space translate into way better tech and ultimately, better phones for the people that can afford them. Right now, it’s
Samsung turn with the brilliant new Galaxy S9. Samsung usually pulls out all the stops for the Galaxy and Note line. These devices get the innovations first, which then trickle down to
lower prices over the course of a year.

At first glance, there’s nothing wildly different when you compare the S9 to last year’s S8 — but that’s a good thing. Only when you put them both side by side is when you’ll notice that
the chin and forehead on the S9 are slightly smaller. The gorgeous amoled screen is even better than before (we hardly thought it possible) and it feels every bit the premium, well-built
flagship that it is.

Some improvements that’ll go unnoticed are the tougher, 7000 series aluminium and a thicker Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and rear. This means that there’s a higher chance of survival in
case of a drop. But it can break and most users will opt for a case. It’s almost a shame to put this beautiful design in a case, but Samsung does include a nice soft (clear) case in the
box. It’s a good mix of aesthetics and protection that you can start using right away. Also in the box, you’ll find a USB C to full size USB adapter, fast charger with cable and exceptional
set of AKG earphones with braided cable.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: At the top of the smartphone game
Bixby is improving — it can recognize objects by looking at them and translate text in real time. (Image: AP)

All About The Camera
The single biggest improvement is the camera. Samsung has always pushed the bar higher with flagship cameras and the S9 doesn’t disappoint. You can always measure how good a
camera is by how effortless it is to capture good results. Dual aperture makes an appearance for the first time in a smartphone. The primary lens has a physical aperture to control the
amount of light entering the lens. You can see it in action as it switches between f1.5 (which is incidentally the widest aperture in any smartphone) and f2.4. In auto mode, the phone
decides when to switch but you can always go into Pro mode and control this setting manually.

Thanks to that ultra-wide aperture, the Galaxy S9 is the undisputed low light champion. In many other scenarios, the results are comparable with iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL. The super slow
motion 960fps (at 720p HD) is an engineering feat because most other phones can only do slow motion at 240fps. Seeing normal motion slowed down to this level uncovers detail you
never saw originally. However, keep in mind the limitations: you need lots of light (daylight, outdoors is best) and it only records 0.2 seconds of action (which stretches out to 6 seconds
of footage @960fps).

Better Sound, AR Features
Both S9 & S9+ get stereo speakers tuned by AKG, with Dolby audio enhancements. The standard speaker remains in its usual place while the earpiece doubles up as a loudspeaker to
create a stereo effect. The speakers are way louder and clearer than before, which makes for an awesome multimedia and gaming experience.

AR Emoji is Samsung’s take on Apple’s Animoji. The camera can create an animated version of you that sort of mimics your movement and lips (while talking). We say sort of because
Apple’s iPhone X does a better job thanks to its various sensors. The S9 just uses the front camera which means accuracy suffers. Samsung’s version can also create a bunch of animated
GIFs that you can share in any messaging or social app, which is nice.

The DeX Dock
The DeX or Desktop Experience is a Samsung accessory (sold separately, Rs 6,399) that converts the Galaxy S9 into a mini PC.

We tried out a previous version of the DeX dock (for the Galaxy Note 8) and the functionality remains roughly the same.

The dock includes full size USB and HDMI out — you connect a keyboard, mouse and monitor for a desktop-like experience. In this new version, the phone screen becomes the mousepad.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: At the top of the smartphone game

What We Don’t Like
Samsung still sells two versions of the S9 – one with the Exynos 9810 (India, Europe) and one with the Snapdragon 845 (US version). It’s unclear exactly why this is but there are some
differences in performance.

Samsung’s Android layer, called Samsung Experience, is fast & fluid but still includes two voice assistants, two web browsers & two app stores (a duplication caused by Samsung’s own
versions of these apps).

The S9 and S9+ are quite different. The plus gets a bigger battery, more RAM (6GB vs 4GB on S9), a slightly larger screen, a dual camera with 2x telephoto and portrait mode. The single
camera S9 gets software driven portrait.

And to Conclude:
There are a host of other software improvements. Bixby is improving — it can recognize objects by looking at them and translate text in real time. Battery life is great thanks to the more
efficient Exynos chip. There really is very little to complain about. Overall, these new phones are not a very big jump up from the S8 or Note 8, but Samsung has ensured that they are at
the top of the smartphone game. Until the next player does a leapfrog!–https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.