Samsung Galaxy S9 Reviewed: A Flagship ‘With Everything’

Samsung had a hit on its hands with the Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8+) last year, even if it was viewed as a somewhat “fundamentally flawed” handset.

So, Samsung had some tweaking to do with last year’s flagship followup, and the Galaxy S9 appears to make all the necessary changes in an effort to bring to the market one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2018. Over at Android Beat, the Galaxy S9 went through the review process and it sounds like Samsung has yet another successful piece of hardware to show off to the world.

You can check out the full review through this link.

Here’s a quick rundown of the major bullet points:


“But I have to start with the physical – the S9, especially in this new lilac purple colour, is stunning. Perfectly formed, curved, smooth, almost identical to the older S8 in form but slightly shorter and with the fingerprint sensor on the back now (more conventionally) centred, below the camera island – but more on the sensor later.

And there’s no notch. As with the 3.5mm audio jack, of which more in a moment, Samsung deserves credit for not following the herd in copying the latest iPhone X, with its notch for front sensors. Here they’re lined up with no need for breaking into the display at all.

Mind you, the iris recognition system works just as patchily on previous Galaxy flagships, not working at all with my varifocals, even after training, plus it’s now paired with standard camera-based face unlock into something Samsung calls ‘Intelligent Scan’, for faster results overall. However, it’s not in the same league as the iPhone X’s Face ID, and in anything other than favourable lighting it all falls apart and it’s usually far faster to just use the fingerprint sensor, for example while pulling the phone out of your case or pocket.”


“The biggest improvement Samsung has made for 2018 is probably the S9’s main camera. Yes, the S9+ gets a second lens for telephoto and ‘Portrait’ depth effects, and maybe that’s another review for another day. But the principal camera is the most interesting, with a Fast2L3 Sensor, meaning essentially that there’s an extra layer of silicon beneath the pixel electronics, comprising half a Gigabyte of dedicated camera RAM.

The idea is that imaging information can be grabbed far faster than ever before, i.e. you don’t have to wait for the main phone processor and RAM to store the pixel information. The camera RAM grabs and stores, all on its own, making for very fast capture when needed. Some photos captured by the S9 will actually comprise as many as 12 separate exposures, grabbed fast, processed and analysed for best results, reducing noise and increasing clarity.

Further, video can be at up to 960 frames per second, at 720p, at least. That’s starting to be equivalent to industrial slow motion cameras and this is all in your pocket. A motion-trigger system works to start the slow motion capture when movement is detected within an on-screen square in the viewfinder. In practice, you do need very good light and lots of patience, making this rather a gimmick and not that useful in the real world. It’s just for fun.”

The Samsung ‘Experience’

“Now, this is a Samsung phone and with it by default comes Samsung stuff – quite a lot of it. From the Bixby system, which is still next to useless for most people, I argue, to the initial constant nagging to sign in with a Samsung account – you’ll give in eventually, I guarantee, as I did – to the duplicate applications. So you get:

  • Samsung Pay/Google Pay
  • Samsung Calendar/Google Calendar
  • Samsung Email/Google Gmail
  • Samsung Internet/Google Chrome
  • Samsung Gallery/Google Photos
  • Samsung Galaxy Essentials/Google Play Store

Then there are a number of Samsung services that run all the time even if you never use them – Samsung Cloud, Samsung Health, Samsung Reminder, Samsung Notes, Samsung Themes – I could go on. These are all running all the time, having been started when the phone boots, and it’s a bit of a job to try and disable them.”

Head through the source link below to read the full review if you are at all curious about Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone. It certainly seems like Samsung refined the Galaxy S8’s design in all the right ways, especially moving the fingerprint reader on the back of the phone.

What do you think of the Galaxy S9?

[via Android Beat]