[Smartphones] | Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ | Everything that's new

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It's here!

Last year's Samsung galaxy S8 was a fantastic device, and is still worth buying in 2018. But it is not the latest flagship from Sammy anymore. The galaxy S9 and S9+ are out, and here is everything you need to know about them.

As you might've realized already, the galaxy S9 is merely a refinement of the S8. Obviously, there weren't a ton of issues with the S8 in the first place. The S9 takes the handful of annoyances with the S8 and improves upon them.

Right off the bat, you'll notice the changes around the back of the phone. The fingerprint sensor has been relocated to the bottom of the camera, so it's a bit easier to reach. You see two cameras with the S9+ but not with the S9. The Bixby button is still there and there's a new color: lilac purple.
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"New crowd favorite"
These are all the most noticeable changes in the S9 as compared to the S8. Then there are the free subtle changes like the front bezels are slightly less pronounced now. They're not as easy to notice as the ones on the galaxy S8. You can see it pretty well of you compare the two side by side.

The internals have seen a noticeable improvement as well, especially in the case of the galaxy S9+. This time, there is greater separation between the regular model and the plus model. Thankfully, both of them have the same camera. The S9+ just has an additional 12 megapixel Telephoto sensor. More on that in a second.
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Upgraded specs, as usual.
Spec wise, the Galaxy S9 comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor in the US or Exynos 9810 in international models, and this is coupled with with 4 gigs of RAM. Galaxy S9+ however, comes with 6 gigs of RAM. Then, there are other common differences such as a bigger display and a 500 mAh additional battery size.

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Advanced Security

Both S9 and S9 plus have a new authentication feature, where they use both facial scanning as well as Iris scanning to secure your device. Iris scanner was never that fast to begin with. We will just have to see how well this new method will work in everyday non ideal situations.
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Animate yourself with ARmoji! [Credit: The Android Soul]
 Speaking of facial scanning, there is this new feature in the camera app known as the ARmoji. Yeah, I do not like the name either. ARmoji is exactly as it sounds, an animated version of your face using AR.

In the emoji app use can your face in 2D, like a regular photo. The phone then plots 100 points across your face and puts it on a number of different emojis. It might sound cool to many people, but I just think it's a gimmick that will get old after a couple of weeks, just like Apple's AniMoji was. Nobody talks about it anymore (accept Apple themselves, in their own ads on Twitter, trying to make animoji still relevant.)
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Indeed!
All right now, enough of the gimmicks. Let's get to the main thing that you want to know about the Galaxy S9, that is the camera(s). Samsung made a big deal out of the camera even during their teasers and also in their launch event, and for very good reason. At least in terms of hardware, the Galaxy S9 possibly has the best camera ever made in a smartphone.

That's S9 happens to be the first phone in the world with a variable aperture in the rear camera. Samsung made a very valid point when they said that companies are focusing more and more about putting bigger apertures in their sensors. While specs like an f/1.7 aperture sound exciting on paper, there is actually a small downside to it which many people may not know about.

You see, while shooting in brightly lit areas with cameras, the bigger you go in terms of the aperture, the softer will be the overall details of the photo. That is why photographers prefer lenses such as f/2.8 or f/2.4 while shooting in bright sunlight outdoors, to preserve quality and get that sharpness. But smaller aperture is definitely suffer indoor lighting conditions, producing a lot of grain. So, Samsung to inspiration from our own eyes to make their cameras as adaptive as possible.
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Isn't this DOPE?!
The rear camera of the S9 can actively switch between an f/1.5 large aperture or an f/2.4 small aperture depending on the lighting condition of the scene. The switching does not happen to any other point in between these two extremes, but this system is still much better than a fixed aperture cameras which we find in almost every other phone out there.

The aperture automatically switches in the auto mode, and you can also manually switch it in the pro mode as well, using a button. You can literally see the camera switching between the two I apertures, which is kind of cool. By the way, in case you did not know, f/1.5 is the largest aperture ever put on a smartphone. Judging by the photo which they demonstrated over at the live event itself, the camera seems to do insanely well in low light. I'll keep you posted as I learn more myself.

Other than the insane aperture switching the S9 camera is also capable of 960 FPS slow-mo video at 720p. I saw the demo footage, and for some reason it seemed to be of lesser quality to me then 720p. I am not sure why that is exactly. What I do know is that it was very easy to get it to work right, especially compared to other 960 FPS options such as the Xperia XZ.

It has a very smart way of capturing the motion in an area at the exact instance. There is this activity tracking box that you can place anywhere on the viewfinder, and it waits for something to move into that selected area. As soon as there is a fast motion detected in that square region, it automatically triggers the slow-mo video without you having to do anything. Cool, right?
                                 
The only requirement to get a great looking video is that there should be plenty of space between you and the camera to properly capture the motion, and of course, there should be plenty of light.

Overall, the Galaxy S9 is a streamlined version of the galaxy S8. The improved optics, the bug fixes, and an overall premium aesthetic make it a very compelling choice for a lot of people. But does that warrant an upgrade over something as amazing as a Galaxy S8? I don't think so!

The S9 is truly an amazing beast, but it doesn't mean that you should ditch your premium Galaxy S8 or S8+. But if you are one of those people who sells their phone every six months and upgrades the next best thing, then sure! Go ahead and buy the Galaxy S9. It will be available from March 14th.
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What difference did a year make?
So what do you think about the Galaxy S9? Let me know in the comments on below. You can also hit me up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well.

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Just joking, mate! They wouldn't know the first thing about it.

Cheers!

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