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Meet the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Two of the most hotly-anticipated smartphones have finally been unveiled today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but you may be forgiven for mistaking them for those we’ve seen before. In fact, the S9 pair look pretty similar to their predecessors.

DESIGN

Both devices look and feel the same as the S8 and S8 Plus in shape and design. This year’s Galaxy smartphones kept the beautiful Infinity Display design that was first seen in last year’s Samsung flagships, but with a taller 18.5:9 screen, curved edges and all-glass front and back.

Credit: Samsung

The S9 duo come with Super AMOLED panels with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolutions. The S9 sports a 5.8-inch display, while the Plus comes with a larger display at 6.2-inches. Despite the striking similarities between this year’s Galaxy duo and their predecessors, the S9/S9 Plus weigh slightly more than the S8/S8 Plus. They also differ slightly in terms of dimension, so you wouldn’t be able to use an S8 case for an S9.

Oh and your S8 case will definitely not fit an S9 due to the placement of the fingerprint sensor. Samsung has moved the fingerprint reader to a more comfortable spot, just below the rear-facing camera on the S9.

Other buttons remain as they were on the S8 – including the Bixby button. Another thing Samsung has left unchanged is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, in addition to much-improved speaker. The S9 speaker, according to Samsung is 40 percent louder, and is able to produce good quality stereo sounds.

SPECS

 Galaxy S9Galaxy S9 Plus
Operating SystemAndroid 8 (Oreo)Same as S9
Display5.8-inch Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED, 18.5:9 (570 ppi)6.2-inch Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED, 18.5:9 (529ppi)
Body147.7mm x 68.7mm x 8.5mm, 163g,

IP68 (water and dust resistant)
163g, IP687 158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm, 189g,

IP68 (water and dust resistant)
CameraRear: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor with OIS (F1.5/F2.4)

Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)
Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS
– Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor (F1.5/F2.4)

– Telephoto: 12MP AF sensor (F2.4)

Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)
Processor10nm, 64-bit, Octa-core processor (2.8 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad)Same as S9
Memory4GB RAM

ROM options: 64GB/128GB/256GB.

Micro SD Slot (upto 400 GB)
6GB RAM

ROM options: 64GB/128GB/256GB.

Micro SD Slot (upto 400 GB)
Battery3,000mAh
Fast wired charging available
Wireless charging available
3,500mAh
Fast wired charging available
Wireless charging available
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)Same as S9
PaymentNFC, MSTSame as S9
SensorsIris sensor, Pressure sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint sensor, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, HR sensor, Proximity sensor, RGB Light sensorSame as S9
AuthenticationLock type: pattern, PIN, password
Biometric lock type: iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, face recognition, Intelligent Scan: multimodal biometric authentication with iris scanning and face recognition
Same as S9
AudioStereo speakers tuned by AKG, surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology,
Audio playback format: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF
Same as S9
VideoMP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBMSame as S9

CAMERA

The camera though is where Samsung really pushed itself this year. Both the single lens camera on the S9 and the dual lens camera setup on the S9 Plus can be mechanically adjusted. They allow you to switch from f/1.5 aperture to a smaller f/2.4 aperture, depending on exposure. This is done automatically, but can be switched manually when using the pro mode.

camera
Credit: Samsung

In addition, the 12MP camera is supported with dual-pixel autofocus for a faster and better focusing. The new flagship phones can also record slow motion videos up to 960 frames per seconds (at 720p resolution). The camera app itself also got a makeover, making it easier to switch between shooting modes.

The S9 Plus has a f/2.4 secondary lens at the back. Similar to the one on Note 8, it gets you twice as close to your subject, and allows you stunning portrait-mode pictures with blurry effect.

Both devices come with 8MP f/1.7 front-facing camera, just like last year’s S8 and S8 Plus.

AR Emoji

AR Emoji
Credit: Samsung

Samsung has responded to iPhone X’s Animoji with an interesting one called AR Emoji. It lets you capture your face, and build it on a custom 3D character with your features on it. You can customise your look, add glasses, change hairstyles and so on. It’s like Bitmoji, but a 3D version.

AR Emoji
Credit: Samsung

Samsung confirmed that AR Emoji will be available for use across third-party applications like WhatsApp, and that your recipients will be able to view them even if they don’t have the feature on their phones. See how it works in the video below:

SOFTWARE

The S9 is expected to launch with Android 8.0 Oreo. Bixby has been upgraded, it can now estimate calories count in your food and provide faster real-time language translations.

HARDWARE CONNECTIVITY

The newly launched Galaxy phones work with Samsung’s Gear VR that was launched along with the Note 8. Both devices are compatible with Google’s Daydream View headset. In addition, the new flagships will also work with DeX Station – a device that lets you use your phone as full computer, complete with a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

DeX Station
Credit: Samsung

AVAILABILITY

The S9 will be available for pre-order from March 2, and will go on full sale on March 16. They will also be available in four colours: black, blue, grey and Lilac Purple. Price? In the UK, the S9 is expected to sell for £739, while the S9 Plus goes for £869.

colour options
Credit: Samsung

 

[Featured photo: Reuters]

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Akin A
A MUFC fan with serious love for gadgets and all things tech. Not the movie-loving type, more like the kinda guy you'll see with a PS4 controller. I like good music - any type, as long as it sounds good. Oh and I'm a very picky eater too. Apart from science and tech, I follow all kinda stuff in politics, sports, business and entrepreneurship.

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