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Samsung Galaxy S9: Is it as “Reimagined” as Hyped?

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Just after one of their most hyped phones, the Galaxy Note 7, turned into a complete fiasco, Samsung was able to walk out of the ashes of their burnt smartphones with a near perfect smartphone, the Galaxy S8. I use the adjective “near perfect” because there were things that Samsung could have done better: the placement of fingerprint sensor, the Bixby button and of course the bottom firing speakers. February 25, 2018. The first day of the Mobile World Congress 2018. Samsung had something in store. Something that the entire tech community was anticipating, the launch of Samsung Galaxy S9. The flagship phone from Samsung for the year 2018.

Samsung Galaxy s9
Image Credit: Phone Arena

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus Overview


Camera

Is it, as Samsung says, “reimagined”? Well, it depends. It sure has embarked on a new technology, that was yet to be seen on any other smartphone. But, does it actually translate in terms of picture quality to the real world? Well, that depends. Not to be mistaken, the Samsung Galaxy S8 already had one of the best cameras in smartphones. On the contrary side, people kind of expect the device from the largest smartphone manufacturer to be perfect in every way.

The term reimagined comes from a new camera sensor technology that has been instituted in the Galaxy S9. The primary shooter, a 12 Megapixel sensor, kind of works like a human eye. That is, it has tiny aperture blades that can change the aperture of the sensor with respect to the amount of light incoming. Where does this make a difference? You see, most smartphone manufacturers keep on making the aperture wider. Sure, this helps in capturing better low light photos, but a tradeoff is that images do not look as sharp and the images look overexposed. So, the sensor has a variable aperture size, f/2.4 and f/1.5 which adapts to the lighting conditions to give you the best pictures possible.

The other aspect the camera now shines is the new super slo-mo. The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with a new Snapdragon 845 SoC, which has enabled the camera to shoot in an insane 960 fps in 720p. Might not sound like much, but when you actually put this in perspective, when you play the 960 fps in cinematic 24 fps, you get a 40 times slower footage. Sony has done this before, but people often struggled to get the right timing. This time with the motion detection feature, you don’t even have to worry about hitting the shutter key because as soon as some motion is detected, the camera starts recording. You can also shoot 240 fps slow motion videos in 1080p. Well, a bonus is that you can now shoot 4K videos at 60 fps, which is a given with such a powerful processor.

You also get a feature called “ARemoji”. Well, you probably have guessed that it is somewhat similar to the “animoji” in the iPhone X and in a sense it kind of is. It is, to portray in a clear manner, a lovechild of bitmoji and animoji. It basically lets you create a 3D sticker of yourself by intelligently scanning the 2D image and that can be stored in your camera roll.

The last but not the least is the “Bixby Vision”. As gimmicky as it sounds, trust me it is not. What this lets you do is, you can put your camera in front of any text and this translates the text in real time, while you had to enter the text in previous versions.


Design

The Samsung Galaxy S9 basically has the same design besides some subtle changes.  The specifications are listed down below in “Key Specification”. The smaller Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch display and the bigger one has a 6.2-inch display, both rocking an 18.5:9 aspect ratio 2960×1440 pixel screen.

Samsung has listened to its customers and relocated the idiotically placed fingerprint sensor. The new fingerprint sensor is now located below the camera, which is a rather practical spot. However, it would be better to see it embedded under the display like “that one phone from Vivo”. But, I guess we will have to wait another year for that.

Adding to the biometric methods of authentications, Samsung has added the Iris Scanning technology from the Galaxy Note 8 on top of the fingerprint scanner.

This time, Samsung has opted to include Dolby Atmos surround sound technology in their smartphone. Finally. It has gone Apple’s route as far as implementing the dual speaker setup. The earpiece acts as the second speaker to give you the stereo sound, which in fact, sounds a lot nicer than the bottom firing speakers the Galaxy S8 originally had.

But this time, Samsung has made the gap between the smaller model and the larger model more apparent. Areas like camera setup, memory and battery are where the larger model is favored. The smaller Galaxy S9 has a single sensor with a variable aperture and the larger plus model has dual camera setup with one being the sensor that can change apertures and the other being a telephoto lens. The other difference is in the RAM. The smaller version has 4 Gigabytes of RAM while the Galaxy S9 Plus has 6 Gigabytes. And the last one obviously, the Galaxy S9 Plus has a bigger 3500 mAh battery unlike a 3000 mAh in the smaller model.

Other than that, everything else is the same as its bigger brother, the Samsung Galaxy S8,  because it was already close to a perfect phone. The glass back, Slightly curved edges, IP68 Water and Dust resistant, Qualcomm Fast Charging. This device is amazing. You can get this device in four colors: Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue and Titanium Silver.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Key Specifications

  • Display: 5.8 inches Super AMOLED Infinity Display (6.2-inch on the Galaxy S9+)
  • Resolution: 1440×2960 pixels (18.5:9 aspect Ratio)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Adreno 630 or Mali-G72 MP18
  • OS: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Memory: 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM (6GB on Galaxy S9+)
  • Primary Camera: 12MP, f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture (Secondary telephoto 12MP sensor on Galaxy S9+)
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP, f/1.7 aperture
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery (3500 mAh on Galaxy S9+)

Samsung Galaxy S9 Price in Nepal (Expected): Rs. 82,000

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Price in Nepal (Expected): Rs. 92,000

Impressions

As far as it goes for me, I say this is the closest we have ever been to a perfect smartphone. However, due to some very minor details, I cannot call it one. The dedicated Bixby button feels like Samsung is trying to force you into using the app, while most people don’t like it and think its absolute abomination. Yes, we agree this might get more useful as it gets better with the updates. But for now, most people are going to end up using the Google Assistant anyways. So, please Samsung, make the dedicated Bixby button reprogrammable. Other than this, I don’t really have any complaints about this device.

So, let us know what you think of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 in the comments below!


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