Lots of new phones are rocking the Mobile World Congress 2018. One brand that already created enough hype is Samsung. With its new killer flagship mobile Samsung brings lots of new features by keeping the design almost similar to the last years S8 model. The exterior of the S9 and S9+ remains the same with infinity display, volume rockers, and Bixby buttons. What are all the new features does the Samsung’s next killer flagship mobile has? That’s what we are going to see in our post today.
From its Note lineup, Samsung has developed lots of useful user interface to improve the multitasking. As a former galaxy note user, the only feature which I felt useful was floating window multitasking. Samsung brings the same feature in a more refined UI to the Samsung S9. Whenever you receive a notification, you can drag it to the screen and can respond to it without switching the applications. Pretty useful feature if you are a multitasker. Another slight improvement to the UI is now the home screen supports a horizontal view.
Wide to Narrow Lenses
All these year smartphones had a fixed camera aperture. Brands like HTC brought dual camera setup; one lens with normal aperture and the other with a large aperture (Ultra Pixel). As the owner of HTC’s one such phone, obviously I don’t find any difference in the picture quality with the dual camera setup. Samsung here revolutionized the industry by introducing a camera with variable aperture.
Now the S9 camera supports two apertures f1.5 and f2.4. As of now the camera can switch between these aperture values only, either f1.5 or f2.4. You can’t gradually increase the apertures like 1.7, 2.0…, like that. We can expect this to happen in the next iteration of the phone.
In the S9, Samsung engineers have used the DRAM memory chip directly into the dual pixel autofocus 12 mpx camera sensor for faster image processing. While the S9+ has dual camera set up as the one we have seen in the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung has also improved the camera interface. Now the user can easily switch between different mode easily in a swipe. The interface is almost similar to the one you have seen in the iPhone and the HTC camera applications.
To make use of the camera with varying aperture you have the PRO mode, where you can control the aperture manually and also can change the entire settings of the camera. In the auto mode based on the amount of lighting the aperture changes automatically.
Multimedia on the go is becoming an unavoidable feature for any smart devices. Premium devices with bad sound quality ruin the multimedia experience. Even with the Apple HomePod, one flaw we discussed was you can’t combine speakers to create stereo effects even though individualy they sound great.
Speakers of Samsung smartphones has been the downside for many years now. Finally in the S9 Samsung have introduced Dolby atmos stereo sound speakers and Samsung S9 supports headphone Jack (yes you are reading it right). From the initial impressions, the sound quality of S9 is not so great like the iPhone X. I will be covering more in-depth comparision about Samsung s9 vs iPhone X in my next article, so please subscribe to get notified.
Ultra Slow Motion
With the DRAM chipset directly integrated to the camera, Samsung was able to process the image faster. Another advantage of this architecture is they are now able to create ultra slow motion video up to 960 frames per second at 720p. Definitely, when comparing to the image quality of iPhone X’s 240 fps slow motion at 1080p the S9 is not up to the mark.
I don’t know if you have ever heard it or not, Sony XZ2 camera can make 960fps slow motion at full HD. It is also launched in the MWC 2018. Not very much sure how the quality of Sony is but will dig deeper and let you guys know about it.
The drawback of Samsung S9 slow motion feature is you can only capture 0.2 seconds video in slow motion. Another downside is, you can’t control when to take that slow motion. You have to set the box where you expect the slow motion will happen when drastic changes occur the camera automatically captures the moment in slow motion. To my guess, the probability of making a perfect shot with S9 is five in ten. Oh almost forget it, you can set this ultra slow motion videos as your lock screen image.
Pretty much similar to Apple’s animoji concept. But the quality level not even came close to the Animoji. Where Samsung differ here is it make an avatar based on your face. In Apple, you have to use only the pre-made characters. Since it is Android you are not locked with the iMessage alone, you can share this AR emojis on any social media platforms.
Bixby Smarter AR
Samsung is pushing its user to use its new AI assistance. We all know no AI is better than the Google assistant, but there are few features Bixby can make. Erica gave a clear review on Bixby check her video to know more. Bixby can handle Samsung’s default appication better than Google assistant. As Samsung is pushing it smart assistant features to its home appliance line up, Bixby is expected to work seamlessly across different smart appliances. The major update for the Bixby is the AR, it is almost similar to the Google lens feature.
Some highlights are, now Bixby can do live translation and also can identify the calories of the food you are eating and will add it automatically to the Samsung health application. Another feature with AR is people can try new makeup items and can buy it directly from your phone. As of now, this makeup feature is available only for selected brands.
It is actually an accessory update, not a new feature. As the name implies, now the dock you use to connect your Samsung smartphone will be like a pad. You can connect it easily and turn your smartphone into a desktop.
Advanced Optic Sensors
Samsung health also gets an update. Samsung combining with the University of California, San Francisco medical school (UCSF) developed an improved optic sensor which can provide you the more accurate result of your heart and blood pressure. These data will be synced to your S9 devices and from the Samsung health app, you can get more health tips.
Minor Spec Bump
The only physical change you get with the Samsung S9 is new colors, and now the fingerprint sensor is moved to the right spot, just below the camera. The S9 now uses Snapdragon 845 processor. The RAM remains the same 4GB for S9 and 8GB for S9+. With the battery, you get 3000 mAh for S9 and 3500 mAh for S9+.
Full Review on The Way
That’s it for now with the initial impressions. Will update with a full review that can help you decide whether or not to buy the new phone. To get the updates directly to your inbox, please subscribe to the blog.