9 Details of the Samsung Galaxy S9 | S9+

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ stole the limelight at MWC 2018. The two new devices were not just the center of attention at the congress, but also the entire world. Being one of the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, everyone was expectant of what the tech giant has to offer for their new generation of smartphone. Did Samsung live up to the high expectations that consumers have for the revamped Galaxy S series?

The central message of the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ was all about the Camera. With the theme to be "The Camera. Reimagined.", it should be expected that there will be huge improvements to the camera of the new Galaxy S9. We were a little skeptical with how much more advancements are possible for the smartphone camera.

Even though we were impressed with what was announced yesterday during the launch, our expectations fall somewhat short. We were looking forward to technology that is totally new or maybe even something that would really surprise us. With all things said, we could not forget about the key incremental improvements. In some ways, the S9 should have been what the S8 could be. It's the Galaxy S8, now done right.

Nonetheless, here are 9 key details of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Series worth mentioning for the Singapore market.

1. Variable Aperture on the Camera Lens

The aperture mechanism of a lens controls the amount of light that reaches the imaging sensor. The larger the aperture size, the more light can reach the sensor, allowing better image quality in low light. The smaller the aperture size also produces images with better depth of field. Current day smartphones usually have either a large aperture size to take good images in low light, or a small aperture that produces sharper images. There isn't a smartphone camera that can inherit the qualities of both.

With a variable aperture lens, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the first smartphone in the world (excluding the previous W2018 flip phone) to have a variable aperture size. Kudos to the team at Samsung to make this possible, as it is definitely not easy to engineer such a feature into size as small as the lens on a smartphone.

2. Super Slow-mo

Samsung has mentioned that slow motion videos is another way of expression of self. They have developed their camera to support slow motion videos that can record up to 960FPS, something which was not available on their previous generation smartphones. It's a fun feature to have, but definitely not a "must-have" feature that entices users to get their hands on this smartphone. We've seen it on Sony flagship smartphones, so there isn't really anything too special about this feature. Nonetheless, it's definitely new for Samsung. 

3. AR Emoji

Competing with interactive Animoji from Apple, Samsung has developed AR Emoji. This technology lets users creates a emoji that looks and acts like them. Users can then share their AR Emoji via video, a range of stickers, or standard GIF formats. This allows AR Emojis to be compatible with most messaging platforms available.

4. AKG tuned stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos

One of the key improvements of the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the inclusion of stereo speakers. These speakers are carefully tuned by AKG for the best possible audio experience for a multitude of entertainment media. This is further enhanced with the support for Dolby Atmos, allowing for simulated surround sound using a set of stereo speakers. 

5. Specifications that does not matter

Throughout the whole launch event of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, there is no single mention of specifications of the phone. Samsung must have realised that specifications are starting to lose its value, as performance of smartphones have reached saturation. It also probably does not matter to any day-to-day use case scenarios. Regardless, we understand that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ comes with the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Samsung Exynos 9810 chipset. 

The main improvement in the new Snapdragon 845 chipset is Spectra 280 Image Signal Processor that comes with it. This ISP is said to support single-sensor bokeh, giving images depth of field without the need for two sensors on the back of the phone. We can only test the effectiveness of the new ISP at a later date, if we do get our hands on a review unit. 

6. Everything else that we love

Samsung has stayed loyal to their fans and continued to produce features that consumers love. That is why the Samsung Galaxy S9 phones still consists of
  • A 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • A MicroSD Expansion Slot that supports MicroSD card of up to 400GB
  • IP68 certified (waterproof and dust proof)
They have also fixed the placement of the fingerprint sensor, moving it to the bottom of the rear camera. This allows the index finger to more naturally reach the sensor for easy identification and user authentication.

7. Artificial Intelligence with Samsung Bixby

Credits: Engadget Chris Velazco -

The launch of the Galaxy S9 also signifies the anniversary of Samsung's Bixby artificial intelligence assistance. After another year of research and development, Bixby has grown, and has now been improved to assist users in other use cases. Samsung also hinted the launch of Bixby 2.0, which is said to do a lot more than the current version. But before that, the team has enabled food recognition with Bixby, which will also report the nutritional value of the food item for health-conscious users.

8. Trade Up Programme is available in Singapore

Samsung partnered with Brightstar Logistics Pte Ltd to provide the Samsung Trade Up Programme for consumers. Users can install the Samsung Trade Up (SG) app and have their phones evaluated for trade up, up to 610SGD. 

The process is simple. Consumers have to purchase the S9/S9+ first, then use the Trade Up app for evaluation. Once confirmed, a pick up of the trade up device will be arranged. Upon confirmation, the trade-up amount will be transferred to your bank account.

9. Available almost everywhere on 16th March, preorders from 1st March

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available from 16 March 2018, at local telecommunication operators (M1, Singtel and StarHub), major consumer electronics & IT stores, Samsung Experience Stores and Lazada Singapore. The respective recommended retail prices for the devices are as follows:

Built-in Memory3
RRP (S$)
Galaxy S9
Galaxy S9+
Galaxy S9+

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple.

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