Samsung S9 Plus Review

Stereo speakers of high quality

This is one of the advantages compared to the previous generation. Today, a smartphone with one speaker looks like a losing one, with two the sound is much cooler and more spacious, especially in games. In addition, it is difficult to accidentally close both speakers, but the main thing, nevertheless, is the stereo effect, which is present even with such dimensions. In terms of location, everything is the same as in the iPhone and in Huawei: the main speaker is on the bottom, the second is combined with the spoken one.

Samsung S9 Plus Review

Bottom connector location

In continuation of the previous point, the absence of any logic in the arrangement of the elements from the bottom. Here the inconsistency is wild and it looks wild, whatever one may say. And yes, I know about two theories: the Type-C connector is shifted to the bottom due to VR, or so that when the smartphone is charging, lying on the table, pressing on the wire, it does not rise. Damn, well, the second is generally far-fetched and sounds funny, why do others have no problems with it? Vr maybe, but what percentage of people who bought an S7, S8, Note 8 and S9 use it? I think 10 percent. That is, out of 100% of smartphone users, Samsung prefers 10%, while others should look at the crooked connector. Well, okay, the other holes did not hit the same, so I think the reason is different.

3.5mm jack

Most likely, this is the last of the Galaxy S series with him, for this he can be forgiven a lot. And although I don’t use wired headphones, sometimes the lack of this jack is confusing. For example, when you want to connect your favorite headphones and charge your smartphone at the same time. There are other cases as well. And in general, yes, I am burning for the future with wireless in everything, but the fact remains that this connector does not bother anyone here, but many will come in handy.

Memory card slot

Samsung has made the most versatile device, and have not forgotten about the memory card slot. You can insert a card up to 400GB. This adds freedom of action, for example, it would be convenient for me to dump footage on an action camera to the 256GB version using a Micro SD card.

Dedicated Bixby button

Well, this is a separate topic altogether, I still do not redeem, why does a smartphone have a separate key for an assistant, especially if in some markets, such as ours, it does not work fully? Bixby is not very friendly with Russian, and you cannot reassign a key to something useful using standard means.

Great screen

Samsung has always had good displays for its day, the S9 is the best according to Display Mate. The screen is gorgeous, neither add nor take away. In my version, the diagonal is 6.2″, resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels, pixel density 529 ppi. The only thing I would like is a flat screen, rounded edges are beautiful, but personally, it’s not convenient for me.

Design and materials

The well-received design of last year’s flagships has kept Samsung from making significant changes to the Galaxy S9’s appearance this year. However, it cannot be said that the new model has not changed at all. Firstly, its body has become more compact in height (158.1 mm versus 159.5 mm in the Galaxy S8), with the same display diagonal (6.2 inches) this resulted in a decrease in the upper and lower bezels.

In addition, from other visual innovations, it is worth highlighting the placement of the fingerprint scanner, which is now located under the block with cameras, and not to the right of it. This small change has a positive effect on ergonomics, the finger on the back of the case lies flat on the scanner, now you don’t need to get used to its location.
The design changes, although minimal, are aimed at making the work with the smartphone a little more convenient.

As for the case materials, they have not changed compared to previous Samsung flagships. The Galaxy S9’s case consists of two glass panels that are connected by an aluminum frame, while it is symmetrical and equally rounded at the edges. The case has no sharp edges, it fits well in the hand. And the weight of the smartphone increased to 189 grams creates a feeling of increased strength, although in this regard there are no changes compared to last year’s version.

Galaxy S9 is IP68 water and dust resistant, so it can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

Interface

The smartphone runs Android 8.0 with Samsung Experience 9.0 interface. Compared to the previous version, the shell received a number of minor changes, and the main innovations lie in the internal optimization of the OS itself. In particular, in Android 8.0, the work of background processes has been improved, the system has learned to limit them, which allows you to increase autonomy. It also has support for auto-filling passwords for applications, while the data is taken from the password manager in Chrome.

In addition, multitasking has been improved in Android 8.0, some applications, for example Google Maps in navigation mode, are minimized to a small window when you exit to the desktop.

Samsung introduced the ability to work with multiple applications in one window long before it became available on Android. In Samsung Experience 9.0, this functionality has been expanded, now some applications allow you to select a certain area of ​​your window and pin it to the top of the screen, placing a window of another program under it. For example, in YouTube, you can select an area with, pin it, and below work with documents or in a browser.

Another innovation in Android 8.0 is the improved work with notifications, which now go not in one list, but are divided into groups, which makes it easier to navigate in them. You can also reply to incoming messages from the notification curtain.

In addition, notifications now appear on application icons as dots with a notification counter.

If you press and hold the icon, a pop-up menu appears, in which you can select quick actions, for example, write a letter in Gmail, and get directions home in maps.

Samsung Experience 9.0 refreshed the design of settings and system applications, but they did not receive any significant innovations. In general, the Samsung interface does not differ much from the standard Android interface, it is easy to navigate and customize it for yourself.

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The past year has been very successful for the Samsung smartphone business. According to Gartner, the company took first place in the market, selling more than 321 million devices and thus increasing its share to 20.9%. This result is not least due to Samsung‘s strong offering in the flagship segment. Over the past few years, the company has focused on design and camera in its smartphones, which has allowed models like the Galaxy S7 Edge and S8 to catch on. Samsung hopes that on the basis of their achievements, success is guaranteed for the new flagship Galaxy S9, which just went on sale. But competitors have not stood still all this time, also investing in camera design and technology. Therefore, let’s see what new Galaxy S9 has to offer to buyers and whether it will succeed in repeating the success of previous Samsung flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone review. Platform and performance

At the heart of the platform on which the Galaxy S9 is built is a 10nm Exynos 9810 processor, the maximum frequency of which reaches 2.8 GHz, and is complemented by a powerful photographic core Mali G-72.

In addition, 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory were installed in the test smartphone. As in the case of last year’s flagships, Samsung has not yet supplied Ukraine with modifications with a more capacious built-in storage (the Galaxy S9 can have 128 or 256 GB). However, the built-in memory in the device can be expanded using microSD cards, but since the slot itself is a hybrid one, you will have to choose between additional memory or a second phone number.

Other features of the Galaxy S9 platform include wireless modules Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (MU-MIMO), Bluetooth 5.0 (you can connect two pairs of wireless headphones at the same time), ANT for connecting sports accessories (for example, a chest strap pulsometer or cycling computer), as well as NFC.

Both in synthetic tests and in real use, the Galaxy S9 demonstrates high performance. The interface and applications work quickly, which is not surprising, because in AnTuTu the smartphone is gaining more than 255 thousand points, in Geekbench 4 Pro more than 9000 points in a multi-core test and more than 3700 in a single-core.

Thanks to the fast processor and photo accelerator, high performance is ensured in games too. Galaxy S9 handles the most demanding games without problems, it is comfortable to play on a smartphone, for example, XCOM, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and Banner Saga, which were originally developed for PC.

Main camera

The Galaxy S9 has two main cameras installed at once. One 12MP wide-angle sensor, OIS, Dual-Pixel phase-detection autofocus and an aperture that can switch from f / 1.5 to f / 2.4. The latter is realized purely mechanically, a special shutter covers part of the lens when switching. The camera automatically selects the aperture that is best suited for shooting: f / 1.5 in low light, and f / 2.4 when there is enough light. But if you switch to Professional mode, then the aperture can be selected manually.

The second main camera in the Galaxy S9 is also 12-megapixel with autofocus and OIS, but it uses a constant f / 2.4 aperture and a telephoto lens. Thus, the second camera provides a 2x zoom. In addition, it is used to create portraits with a blurred background.

The quality of the main cameras of the Galaxy S9 in good lighting is at a high level. You can even say that compared to the S8, the daytime ones have become better. And this is achieved not only due to the updated sensor, but also thanks to the switchable diaphragm.

Snapshots at 2x:

In situations where there is enough ambient light, f / 2.4 aperture allows for sharper pictures. This can be seen in these two photographs, although at first glance it seems that they are the same.

Left picture with f / 2.4 aperture, right f / 1.5

If you enlarge the image to 100%, you can see that the bark of trees at f / 2.4 aperture is drawn in more detail.

But in conditions with poor lighting, this does not work, here the f / 1.5 aperture comes to the fore. Because it allows the sensor to receive more light, the Galaxy S9’s night shots are excellent.

The second camera in the smartphone not only provides 2x zoom, but also provides portrait mode. The latter in the Galaxy S9 has also been improved, its algorithms have become more accurate in determining the foreground and better handle small details, such as hair. But it still sometimes blurs the edges of the subject more than necessary.

Another interesting feature of the Galaxy S9’s camera is that it records at 960 frames per second. The smartphone writes it in HD resolution and only a few seconds, but allows you to create very slow motion. Unfortunately, they are written without sound, but one of the preset melodies may be automatically superimposed on them.

The Galaxy S9 uses two external speakers for stereo sound. One of them is combined with the spoken one and is located above the display, and the second is slightly recessed into the body and is located on the bottom edge. Thanks to this, the smartphone sounds louder than its predecessors, and, most importantly, more voluminous.

What hasn’t changed in the Galaxy S9 is the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Samsung remains one of the last manufacturers to offer flagship smartphones with wired headphone connectivity. It should be noted that the Galaxy S9 has Bluetooth 5.0 with the ability to connect two pairs of wireless headphones at the same time.

The device sounds traditionally good in headphones, even more, Samsung added support for Dolby Atmos technology, which makes the sound more voluminous. At the same time, the proprietary sound settings, such as the equalizer and Adapt Sound.

Live photos

Review of flagships Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 (SM-G960 / G965)

Contents of delivery

  • Specifications
  • Positioning
  • Design, dimensions, controls
  • Display
  • Battery
  • Memory, chipset, performance
  • Communication capabilities
  • Camera
  • Ar emoji answer to Apple’s animoji
  • Face and iris scanner smart mode
  • Multimedia features AKG stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos and more
  • Dex new docking station option, additional operating modes
  • Impressions

    Specifications

  • Android 8, Samsung Experience 9
  • S9 5.8 display”, Quad HD (2960×1440), 570 ppi, auto brightness, SuperAMOLED, adaptive color and brightness, color correction, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • S9 6.2 display” Quad HD (2960×1440), 529 ppi, auto brightness, SuperAMOLED, adaptive color and brightness, color correction, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Exynos 9810 chipset, 8 cores (4 cores up to 2.35 GHz, 4 cores up to 1.9 GHz), 64 bit, 10 nm, models available in some markets with Snapdragon 845
  • 4 GB of RAM (LPDDR4), 64 GB of internal memory (UFS 2.1), memory cards up to 400 GB, a combo slot (S9 6 GB of RAM), there are also versions for 128 and 256 GB of internal memory;
  • Nanosim, up to two cards, one radio module
  • Battery Li-Ion 3000mAh (S9), 3500mAh (S9), built-in WPC / PMA wireless charging, fast charge in 70 minutes to 100 percent
  • Front camera, 8 megapixels, autofocus, f / 1.7
  • Main camera, 12 megapixels, DualPixel, f / 1.5 / 2.4, OIS, LED flash, 4K recording, multiframe (S9 dual camera, live photo mode, background blur)
  • Samsung Pay (NFC, MST)
  • Wi-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
  • Gps, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Fingerprint sensor (on the back)
  • Iris scanner, face scanner, unlike S8 / S8, combined, works in complete darkness
  • Accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, heart rate sensor, proximity sensor, RGB light sensor, pressure sensor
  • Two simultaneous connections of Bluetooth devices, the ability to simultaneously listen to sound from different programs on different accessories
  • Lte cat.18 (depends on operator support)
  • Ip68 water resistant
  • Dimensions: S9 147.7×68.7×8.5 mm, weight 163 grams; S9 158.1×73.8×8.5 mm, weight 189 grams
  • Contents of delivery

    • Smartphone
    • Fast charger with USB Type C cable
    • A clip to remove the SIM card tray
    • Akg Wired Stereo Headset
    • Otg adapter for connecting external devices
    • Usb Type C to microUSB adapter
    • Instructions

    Positioning

    In 2017, Samsung revised its approach to its own product line, it was completely redesigned and rethought, although so far the mainstream consumer does not see this. The accelerated time to market for the S9 / S9 is due not so much to competition with Apple as to the need to free up a window for a new product that may appear later (while its fate is in question for 2018, most likely we will see small batches in some markets and at very high price). But in 2019, the Samsung lineup will most likely include four top-end smartphones Sx / Sx / Note X and a certain Z. The names are not so important here, rather it is important to understand the price positioning of the S line as it was and remains in place, nowhere disappears, although such and often groundless discussions are thrown into various media. Next comes the Note line, which continues to exist at the same and positioning, and, finally, the Z model closes the line at the top, which can be called both a technological and fashion flagship. In terms of technology, other companies will not have anything similar in the foreseeable future, hence the positioning as the most expensive and advanced device. It is impossible to expect that such a model will become mass or take a huge market share, it is at the top of the pyramid.

    In 2018, the S line gets a division that was not previously there, the younger model becomes a little simpler in terms of the camera, while the older model has a dual camera, as in the Note 8 and subsequent devices. Here you can see the borrowing of Apple’s positioning, when there is a regular iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, they have about the same difference.

    For Samsung, new flagships are models in which they left all the developments that the company already existed, plus they focused on the camera, which was greatly reworked. In terms of software, the nine is the first attempt by the company to try to make smartphones with such an emphasis on the social component, when all the capabilities of the camera are aimed at giving the user the easiest, if not automatic, way to share content with others. And this approach can be beneficial.

    For the whole world, Samsung sets about the same price for the Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus. If for eights the difference between European and Russian was noticeable, which created a large gray market, then with nines the company will try to avoid this. It is not clear how successful such an attempt will be, there is a feeling that at some point in some specific countries there will be price dumping by partners. But globally, the company aims to maintain so that the models are perceived as devices of the same price throughout the year.

    Perhaps this is what no one will talk about publicly during the announcement, but this Samsung approach is capable of drastically changing the market, since other companies with Android smartphones will try to follow this trend, not all, but some. Someone will cut on a quarterly basis, someone, on the contrary, will consider that it is more profitable to keep food at the same level.

    For buyers, the S9 / S9 look like full analogs of the S8 / S8 with seemingly insignificant differences, the situation is repeated with the transition from the sixth to the seventh generation. But in practice, the perception of devices is as different as in the S6 / S7, but for this you need to try the devices. In terms of saturation with different functions, the S9 / S9 are the flagships of 2018, they do not yet have direct competitors in terms of the same set of characteristics. Let’s talk about this in more detail.