Sunday, February 25, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 Review, Specs And Price

In 2017, Samsung scored a strong hit in competition with Apple . The "almost frameless design" of the Galaxy S8 ensured that almost the entire smartphone industry followed the example of the South Korean company. Even Apple moved in the fall with the anniversary model iPhone X after whose display Samsung contributed. So Samsung was twice as happy: Apple and the rest could only copy Samsung's design and earned earned in each sold competitive model with good.

2018 is a bit more leisurely. Like Apple , Samsung is now following a so-called "tick-to-stick scheme" in which a model with radical changes always follows a slightly improved version. Accordingly, you have to look exactly at the Samsung Galaxy S9, which is hardly distinguishable from the Galaxy S8 at first glance . But as so often the devil is in the detail. The futurezone has given the S9 a hands-on and tried out the most important innovations.

Hidden sensors and camera
Although the design has not changed, the S9 relies on a few minor detail improvements to the case. So the frame around the curved "Immersive Display" was minimized. However, this is only noticeable in direct comparison with its predecessor. The impression of an actual "frameless" smartphone can not be fully awakened by the S9, but with a few tricks, this impression is a little closer than the S8.

Thus, the glass in front of the screen is clearly darker when switched off, so that the transition between the display and the frame can only be recognized upon closer inspection. The sensors were also hidden behind darker glass, only the front camera is still clearly visible . The handling has not improved compared to its predecessor, but there was hardly any room for improvement here . Both the Galaxy S9 and the S9 + are easy to hold and operate with one hand. Only in the S9 + you have to embrace in exceptional cases or take the second hand to help. At least in the tested Samsung apps , such as the cameraHowever, this was not necessary because the controls were cleverly placed in the reachable area for the thumb.

"Intelligent Scan " instead of Face ID
Fortunately, a big mistake of the predecessor was corrected: The position of the fingerprint sensor. Samsung has also failed to integrate the S9 in the display glass ( Vizio has already presented a corresponding model, so it is already possible). But even the new position is a significant improvement: Instead of the camera , the fingerprint sensor is now below. So you should much less accidentally reach into the lens.

In any case, Samsung hopes that it will be more common to use "Intelligent Scan ", a combination of facial and iris scan . In the short test this function could not be tried. The processing of the smartphone is excellent, as with its predecessors. The sturdy case feels very high quality, even if the material is initially not clearly assignable. However, the smooth surface is surprisingly handy and ensures that the smartphone does not slip out of the hand even with one-handed operation.

A fingerprint magnet is the surface but still. On the other hand, the three color variants presented mixed feelings: While the subtle " Coral Blue" pleased me and most of my colleagues best, the gaudy " Lilac Purple " caused astonishment, especially since Samsung wants to promote this color variant more intensively. The mixture of piggy pink and gold takes some getting used to, but undoubtedly draws everyone's attention. Those who prefer to give restrained, will continue to be offered " Midnight Black".

Impressive camera
The real highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S9, however, is the new camera . The predecessor already scored with a superb camera , which yielded good results even in low light and at times even Apple's iPhone 8 Plus gouge can. But with the S9 and S9 + Samsung goes a step further: Both smartphones have a 12-megapixel camera with variable aperture. Thus, as with a real digital camera, the aperture can be individually adapted to the situation.

The advantage: Daylight shots can be made with a smaller aperture (f / 2.4) and have more depth of field. At night, you benefit from the brighter, larger aperture (f / 1.5). Compared to its predecessor, the lens can now capture 28 percent more light. A new image processor should also reduce the noise visible. The revised image processor can now also access its own DRAM. This is used to noticeably improve the picture quality. In one shot, twelve instead of four photos are now made and put together. This is intended to significantly reduce image noise, above all. Samsung wanted to demonstrate the lens's light intensity through a test chamber, the true performance of the camera but can only be checked in everyday life test.

However, the super-slow-motion mode already showed its potential. The user only has to mark one point, object or person and start the recording. Once motion is detected, a 0.2 second sequence is captured at 960 frames per second instead of 30 frames per second. The slowed by a factor of 32 shots are impressive and are automatically provided with music. In the test scenario offered by Samsung - a confetti cannon - the result was very good.

Disappointing AR Emojis
When playing the short video convinced also the new stereo speakers, which rely on AKG technology. Thanks to Dolby Atmos convincing and loud surround sound could be offered. Those who like to use the smartphone for film viewing, should benefit greatly.

The "AR Emojis ", however, could not really convince. The automatically generated 3D model did not look like the original to anyone. Beards, which were only partly transferred to the figure, caused particularly strong problems. Adjustments can not be made, except for clothing and accessories. Compared to Apple's Animojis , the recognition of facial expressions is only partially successful. Especially the raising of the eyebrows caused problems and was barely recognized. Samsung uses a software-only solution to detect facial expressions, while Apple can capture much more detail thanks to the infrared camera required for Face ID.

Samsung announced in January that next year, the first smartphone with a flexible screen should come onto the market. Therefore, it is not surprising that the S9 is only a marginal improvement. The resources will probably be used instead for the development of the (hopefully) more innovative 2019 model . The S9 and S9 + are available for pre-order and will be available from 16 March. Prices are not yet known, the devices should be more expensive than the previous models.

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