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Samsung Galaxy S9+ Preview: A new jaunty and valiant contender in tech city

27 March 2018 5

This year Samsung took the MWC stage to announce their latest flagships Galaxy S9 and S9+. As expected both the devices are well appreciated since the announcement. The Galaxy S9 emerge as a solid standard flagship whereas the Galaxy S9+ is a powerhouse with a number of extra perks which won't available for the Galaxy S9 users. Undoubtedly the Galaxy S9+ emerge as the new leader in Android flagships market with top of the line hardware, striking design, best in class display and dual rear cameras.

Like always whenever a new smartphone is announced everyone is keen to know how well the device competes against its competitors. We already compared Galaxy S9+ in a number of head-to-head comparisons and as expected in most of the cases the Galaxy S9+ emerge as the winner. If you already own a premium Samsung flagship, Should you go for the S9+ or not. As the Galaxy S9+ is widely available now, its the perfect time to preview the Galaxy S9+.

We are pretty hopeful this preview will certainly provide our readers a very good view of all the pros and cons of the latest Galaxy S9+. The preview will also help you better decide whether you should grab the Galaxy S9+ or not. There is a number of aspects in which Galaxy S9+ outclass its competitors, today we will take a detailed look at the latest Samsung's flagship to answer all queries related to Galaxy S9+. Without any further delay, let's start with the design as it is the first thing which most of the buyers consider while purchasing a new smartphone.

73.8 x 158.1 x 8.5 mm
6.2 inches - 2960x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Design

On first look, you may not find any difference in the Galaxy S9+ and the predecessor S8+. The front-facing design of both the devices is almost similar with few refinements. The Galaxy S9+ is slightly smaller than its predecessor with measurements 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm and weighs 189g. Overall look and feel of S9+ isn't much changed from last year's flagship.

The Galaxy S9+ features a glass and metal clad design, the core is made up of aluminum with glass covering the front and rear side. The front-facing display glass is dual curved from edges. The glass on both rear and front is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The display aspect ratio is exactly same as the last year but the company further reduces the already trimmed top and bottom bezel. Once again the Samsung's flagship is IP68 certified and also it retains the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

On the rear side, you will find significant changes in design from the predecessor. The prominent changes are dual vertical camera sensors with fingerprint scanner below it. The new placement of fingerprint scanner is more convenient than the last's year devices. Its good to see Samsung listened to the feedback and resolved it with a better positioning of the scanner. Apart from the fingerprint scanner, you can opt iris and facial recognition as well to unlock your device. The volume controllers and dedicated Bixby button are on the left edge whereas the power button is on the right edge.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ didn't bring any significant upgrade in the display department, the reason is quite obvious as it is still one of the best display in the market. The Super AMOLED display panel is of 6.2-inches with dual curved from edges. The display aspect ratio is once again 18.5:9. One of the upgrades is the new panel is more bright than the last year's panel.

The screen resolution remains Quad HD+ 1440 x 2960 pixels. The display pixels density is 530 pixels-per-inch. By default, the display resolution is Full HD+ 1080 x 2220 pixels to save the battery juice. You may not find any key differences in the Full HD+ and Quad HD+ resolution unless you notice everything in detail. However, the differences between the HD and Full HD is quite evident.

Like the earlier versions, the Samsung's AMOLED panel colors vibrancy is pretty great. To provide awesome visual experience, the Galaxy S9+ is featuring a number of display modes including 'basic', 'Adaptive' and couple of others. The display comes with HDR 10 support to provide amazing experience while watching HDR content from Netflix and other video streaming services.

The Galaxy S9+ features video enhancer mode to provide an amazing video watching experience even better than most of the LEDs in the markets. Undoubtedly the display panel on the Galaxy S9+ can be rated as one of the best display on any flagship in the market. It still looks quite bright even in direct sunlight.

Hardware

The flagships are always packed with the latest hardware in the market and the latest Galaxy S9+ is no exception. Like most of the Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S9+ is released in two variants. The US-bound variant is powered up by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC whereas the rest of the world will get Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chipset. Both the variants are accompanied with 6GB RAM.

In terms of performance both the variants perform pretty great and the difference between the two variants is quite minimal. No matter which variant you choose you will get top-notch performance. According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 845 SoC performs 25% better than its predecessor that's why you will find the Galaxy S9+ ultra fast in opening apps and handling HIFI games. The device is quite slick in performing tasks.

One thing in everyone's mind who owns the last year device, should they upgrade to the latest hardware or not. If you want a powerful daily driver you may not need to upgrade to the latest device because the last year device doesn't lag in most of the cases. The Galaxy S9+ native storage is 64GB which is further expandable up to 400GB using MicroSD card.

Specs Galaxy S9+
Display 6.2-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear cameras Dual 12MP
Front camera 8MP
OS Android Oreo with Grace UI
3.5mm headphone jack Yes
IP-ratings IP68
Battery 3,500mAh

Battery

The company didn't pay much attention to the battery segment of Galaxy S9+ that's why they retained the 3,500mAH battery cell which they introduced with the Galaxy S7 Edge. The new Galaxy S9+ comes with a number of features which surely will eat the battery juice like slow-motion videography, Quad HD+ screen resolution and new AKG tuned speakers.

On normal to heavy usage, the device ends the day on a single charge but on heavy usage, you may not be able to end the day. The battery life of Galaxy S9+ is certainly an aspect which is not worth commendable. One of the reasons behind the Galaxy S9+ battery life isn't much better from the predecessor is the inclusion of new battery juice eating features and less optimization from Samsung. Despite having the more power efficient SoC, the Galaxy S9+ battery life is similar to the Galaxy S8+.

The device supports fast charging, you can recharge device from 0 to 100 in less than 100 minutes. Like the predecessor, you will get support for Qi wireless charging as well. The Galaxy S9's fast charging tech isn't as fast as the OnePlus Dash charging tech. Despite having one of the largest display, it doesn't have the largest battery cell.

Audio Experience

There was a time when HTC smartphones were highly regarded as one of the best audio-centric smartphones due to BoomSound speakers but now many other OEMs paying special attention to tune the audio experience and Samsung surely amongst them. With the Galaxy S9+, Samsung introduced AKG tuned speakers. The new audio setup is way better than the predecessor and surely you can regard it as the best audio setup on any Samsung flagship so far.

The new speakers are not louder but also clearer as well. AKG tuned Galaxy S9+ speakers are treated to have due to amazing audio experience. Not just that Samsung also brought Dolby Atmos but before getting too much excited it isn't the hardware upgrade instead it's a software-based feature introduced by Samsung to provide top-notch audio experience.

You can turn on Atmos surrounding system anytime, this feature is certainly beneficial while watching movies. You can choose between different audio profiles amongst voice, music, and movies. The Galaxy S9+ not only utilizes the bottom firing mono speaker but the earpiece as well.

Camera

In the last couple of years or so, the camera sensors play a vital role in the success of the smartphones. That is why we are witnessing pretty superb camera sensors with each new iteration. Samsung finally opted dual rear cameras for their Galaxy S-series but the dual cameras are exclusive for the S9+ only. For this year Samsung cameras main feature is a dual aperture of primary camera whereas the secondary camera is a telephoto lens.

The dual aperture allows the camera to intake different light in different scenarios. During the low-light conditions the aperture is turned to f/1.5 which allows the camera to capture more light, this results in better photography even in low-light conditions. During stable light conditions, the aperture is turned to f/2.4. If your Galaxy S9+ is in auto mode it will automatically shift aperture considering the light condition.

If the camera is opened in low-light conditions the aperture will be f/1.5 and it will utilize ISO to bring brightness. Thanks to variable aperture and the largest aperture on any smartphone the Galaxy S9+ low-light results are even better than Google Pixel 2. However, in stable light conditions, the Galaxy S9+ pictures contrast ratio isn't as good as Pixel 2.

The secondary sensor on the Galaxy S9+ is the telephoto lens to provide detailed zoom shots with clarity. You can enjoy the Live Focus mode on the Galaxy S9+. which enhances the bokeh effect experience. To provide portrait mode on the front-camera Samsung introduced Selfie focus feature which works great in daylight but the results are shaky in low-light conditions.

The Galaxy S9+ supports 4K video recording at 60 fps, however, you can record it for maximum 10 minutes only. However, that's not the highlight of this year camera. The Galaxy S9+ can record super slow-motion videos at 960 fps, Sony introduced this feature last year with the XZ Premium. Despite being the best camera in low-light conditions, the Galaxy S9+ can't be claimed as the leading daytime sensor. Up front, the selfie camera is 8MP with f/1.7 aperture.

Software

Samsung's first Galaxy S-series flagship was introduced with TouchWiz UI layer over the stock Android. Though it was a mess with a huge amount of bloatware but with each new iteration Samsung reduces the bloatware to provide a better UI experience. Last year Samsung introduced Grace UI with few more refined features. Undoubtedly the Samsung's UX is currently one of the best custom UI in the market with a number of additional features.

Samsung custom UI brings tons of customization features to allow users better design according to their preference. Despite having the custom UI layer over the Android Oreo 8.0, the software is as slick as the stock Android OS. Samsung introduced duplicate apps for gallery and browser. Samsung provides Samsung Pass as an alternative to Google Pass. Samsung Bixby AI assistant is once again here to provide you assistance but it isn't improved yet, however, the good thing is Samsung official stated Bixby 2.0 will be rolled out later.

The connectivity with smart products becomes an essential part of our life as the number of connected devices is increasing at a rapid pace. Samsung introduced dedicated SmartThings app to better handle all smart devices via a single app.

AR Emoji

Apart from the dual rear cameras, the AR Emoji is the certainly one of the key highlight of new Galaxy S9+. The AR Emoji is the Samsung's response to Apple's Animoji they introduced last year with the iPhone X. The AR Emoji actually turns your face into a 3D Emoji, you can customize it up to some extent. You can use your 3D mapped emoji face as a gif. Not just that, you can use a number of AR elements as well to further beautify your emoji. Its kind of filters on the Snapchat. The AR emoji feature is built into the camera as a mode. You can choose AR elements not only for the front camera but also for the rear camera as well. However, the filters are not as rich as Snapchat. You can turn off AR emoji if you don't like it.

Conclusion:

The Galaxy S9+ is undoubtedly one of the best flagship smartphone available on the market. The device features one of the most striking design, dual curved Super AMOLED display with Quad HD+ screen resolution. The hardware under the hood is pretty great and powerful enough to make it amongst the best performing devices of the year. The Grace UI is further refined with a minimal level of bloatware. The battery cell is certainly one key aspect which isn't improved at all.

Thanks to the dual aperture, the Galaxy S9+ comes with one of its kind camera which performs pretty great in low-light conditions. At the moment the Galaxy S9+ is certainly one of the best low-light cameras in the market.

However overall the Galaxy S9+ is an evolutionary device rather revolutionary like the last year's Galaxy S8. Samsung brought all the goodies of 2017 with refinements in different segments to make it strong enough to compete against the 2018 flagships. In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts in the comments section below regarding the Galaxy S9+ preview. Stay tuned for more comparisons and previews.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is available at Amazon Marketplace for $ 620. The price/quality is avarage but this is the best device in this price range. To see others 20 offers click here.
(last update 19 December 2018 @ 08:39)

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