Samsung Galaxy S9 – The Rounder Wheel

The Galaxy S9 fixes the biggest design flaw of the Galaxy S8 while packing some new-age tech. In doing so, has it become more desirable than its predecessor?

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Samsung’s Galaxy S line of smartphones is known for bringing something new to the table. Starting with the Galaxy S5, the company had nailed the formula for making a powerful smartphone. The Galaxy S6/S7 showed that it could also design great phones. The Galaxy S8 showed that an in-form Samsung is a design and technological powerhouse (some niggles notwithstanding, but nothing’s perfect). With that said, what does the Galaxy S9 bring to the table, especially when it costs between Rs 57,900 and Rs 65,900?

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S9/ Samsung Galaxy S9+
Price Rs 57,900 – Rs 65,900/Rs 64,900 – Rs 72,900
Processor 2.9GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 with Mali G72 MP18 GPU
RAM 4GB/6GB
Display Super AMOLED, 5.8-inch/6.2-inch, Quad HD+ resolution, 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB (expandable up to 400GB)
Operating System Android 8 Oreo with TouchWiz UI
Rear Camera Dual-aperture 12-megapixel with OIS and flash/Dual-aperture dual 12-megapixel setup with OIS and flash
Front Camera 8-megapixel with autofocus and f/1.7 aperture
Battery 3000mAh/3500mAh with fast charging and wireless charging
Dimensions (l x b x h) 147.7mm x 68.7mm x 8.5mm/158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm
NFC Yes
Fingerprint scanner Yes
Water/Dust resistance Yes, IP68-certified

What’s New with Samsung Galaxy S9?

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was showcased to the world at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2018. It follows in the footsteps of the massively-successful Galaxy S8. Samsung has tweaked the design of Galaxy S8 when making the Galaxy S9. The biggest change between the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S8 is the placement of the fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S9 is located under the rear camera as opposed to its placement on the side of the rear camera on the Galaxy S8 (say goodbye to accidental camera smudges).

Samsung-Galaxy-S9

The Galaxy S9 is powered by the insanely-powerful 2.9GHz octa-core 64-bit Exynos 9810 processor paired with Mali G72 MP18 GPU. It has 4GB RAM (S9+ has 6GB). There is a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S9 (6.2-inch screen on Galaxy S9+). The Galaxy S9 (same goes for S9+) comes in three storage variants – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB with a microSD expansion slot to increase the storage space up to 400GB. The phone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo skinned with Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz UI skin. The phone is available in three colours – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple. The 256GB version is available only in Midnight Black colour while the 64GB and 128 GB models are available in all three colours.

Samsung-Galaxy-S9-1

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a single 12-megapixel rear camera that has dual aperture modes – a f/1.5 setting for low light situations, and f/2.4 setting for normal lighting – along with Optical Image Stabilization (S9+ has dual 12-megapixel rear camera setup with OIS). The front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel lens with f/1.7 aperture. The phone has a 3000mAh battery (3500mAh for S9+) and supports fast charging and wireless charging as well. The Galaxy S9 (and S9+) has Intelligent Scan feature that uses both the Iris Scanning and Facial Recognition features of the phone. Connectivity options on the phone include Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and more.

Is the Galaxy S9 worth consideration?

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the first smartphone to have a dual aperture rear camera. This dual aperture camera switches to f/1.5 aperture in low light conditions to capture more light. In normal lighting conditions, the camera aperture stays at f/2.4. Samsung has also packed the phone with AR Emojis which creates an AR version of the user with the front-facing camera and turns them into emojis. The Galaxy S9 has Intelligent Scan feature that combines the phone’s Iris Scanning and Facial Recognition features into one.

Samsung-Galaxy-S9-Plus-1

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has dual speakers (a front-facing unit and a bottom-facing one like HTC’s U range) that have been tuned by AKG (Samsung owns Harman Kardon) with Dolby Atmos. The phone is available in three colour options, of which the Lilac Purple option is a new one. There is IP68 waterproof and dust-proof rating for the phone. All these factors make for a phone that is worth buying. By fixing the biggest design flaw of the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 has somehow become even more desirable a phone than the Galaxy S8 promised to be. Moreover, for those looking for differentiation between the Galaxy S9 and S9+, they will be happy. The latter gets a bigger screen, more RAM, bigger battery, and dual rear cameras to make for a compelling purchase proposition.

Samsung Galaxy S9: Synopsis

  • Prices start from Rs 57,900 for Galaxy S9; Rs 64,900 for Galaxy S9+
  • Fingerprint scanner relocated to below the rear camera
  • Indian version equipped with 2.9GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 chip with 4GB RAM (6GB for S9+)
  • Dual-aperture rear camera with two modes – f/1.5 and f/2.4
  • Dual-aperture dual rear camera setup for the Galaxy S9+
  • Three versions available – 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256GB
  • Intelligent Scan feature uses Iris Scanning and Facial Recognition features
  • Fast charging, wireless charging combo return
  • Three colour options – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple(new to Galaxy S9 range)
  • 256GB version available in Midnight Black colour only
  • Dual speakers tuned by AKG and feature Dolby Atmos
  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof rating
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