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Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ hands-on

Samsung Galaxy S9 hands on review

We were able to get some hands-on time Samsung’s newest flagship devices, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, on the day of its official launch. Find out what we think about one of the latest Android flagship smartphones.

Samsung took everything they learned from the past and applied it to the new Samsung Galaxy S9. And judging by our first few moments with it, the maturity clearly shows.

 Samsung Galaxy S9Samsung Galaxy S9+
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 Oreo
Samsung Experience 9
Android 8.0 Oreo
Samsung Experience 9
SIMDual SIM, hybrid
Nano
Dual SIM, hybrid
Nano
Display5.8-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED screen
2960 x 1440 resolution, ~568ppi
18:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
6.2-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED screen
2960 x 1440 resolution, ~531ppi
18:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Processor2.9GHz Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core2.9GHz Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core
RAM4GB LPDDR4 RAM6GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage64GB UFS 2.164GB/128GB/256GB UFS 2.1
SecurityIris scanner, Fingerprint scannerIris scanner, Fingerprint scanner
Front camera8-megapixel
f/1.7
8-megapixel
f/1.7
Rear Camera12-megapixel
Dual pixel sensor
f/1.5-f/2.4
OIS
Dual-tone flash
4K video recording
960fps slow-mo @720p
2x optical zoom
12-megapixel (f/1.5-f/2.4, 2x optical zoom)
12-megapixel (wide-angle)
Dual pixel sensor
OIS
Dual-tone flash
4K video recording
960fps slow-mo @720p
Connectivity4G LTE, Cat. 18, up to 1.28Gbps
WiFi 802.11 ac, Hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX
NFC
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
USB Type-C
4G LTE, Cat. 18, up to 1.28Gbps
WiFi 802.11 ac, Hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX
NFC
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
USB Type-C
AudioDual AKG speakers
Dolby Atmos
Dual AKG speakers
Dolby Atmos
OthersBixby 2.0
IP68 dust and water-resistant
Bixby 2.0
IP68 dust and water-resistant
Dimensions
Weight
147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
168g
158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm
189g
ColorsMidnight Black
Lilac Purple
Midnight Black
Lilac Purple
Coral Blue
Battery3000mah Li-Po non-removable battery
Fast charge, Wireless charging
3500mah Li-Po non-removable battery
Fast charge, Wireless charging

First off, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus appear to be a refined version of its predecessor. The Korean technology giant focused on other tiny details and improvements in its latest iteration of the S series. The Galaxy S9 looks a lot like the Galaxy S8 on the outside, but with major improvements on the hardware inside. You can check out our head to head specs comparison of the two here.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Specs

See also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8: Specs Comparison

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are sandwiched in glass from the front and back and it has a metal chassis to hold everything together. It feels really good in the hands as if you’re holding an extravagant piece of jewel. It also feels solid and well-crafted. But then again, it is made of glass, so it is really fragile.

Samsung Galaxy S9 smart postpaid plans

However, there’s a small but really significant change in the design. The fingerprint sensor has been relocated to a more convenient location beneath the camera sensor. It’s noticeably easier to reach than the one found on the Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Philippines

The fingerprint scanner is also surrounded by a protrusion so you’d recognize it even without looking. However, due to lack of familiarity, you might still accidentally end up touching the camera and putting smudges on the lens unexpectedly, since they are in close proximity to each other.

Samsung also added a new AKG-tuned dual front speakers. I was able to test it in a loud environment and I got blown away by its performance. It has good stereo separation (perfect for games and entertainment), good clarity, and the sound doesn’t get distorted even when the volume is maxed out.

Galaxy S9 Price Philippines

Probably the headlining feature of the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are its new camera features. This handset has a dual pixel 12-megapixel sensor, which has a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. It can also shoot spectacular 960fps slow-motion videos.

Thanks to its fast processor and smooth interface, the camera app was also working swiftly. It can launch the app and take a photo in an instant.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera

The camera quality was also great, just like the performance of every other Samsung flagship smartphone before it. The colors pop, the contrast looks top-notch, and the dynamic range is just impressive.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Smart Postpaid Plans

It even has a dedicated “Food” mode, which can make your next Instagram post look more delicious.

I wasn’t able to test the slow-mo feature extensively, but Samsung has prepared a demo subject for us to test it on. It displays three cars moving so fast that you can’t even see it. But under the Galaxy S9’s camera, you can almost see them standing still. Pretty impressive stuff.

samsung galaxy s9 slow motion video sample

The 8-megapixel also delivers great photos. Its Portrait Mode feature can really isolate the subject from the background, although the colors and contrast might need a little tuning.

I was also able to test the Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji, Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Animoji. It lets you make your own avatar that looks like you and have it perform different facial expressions and head movements by tracking your face.

It looks cool and nifty due to the personalization quirks. However, setting it up can be a bit time consuming unless you’re really into it.

Samsung Galaxy S9 smart plans

Well, that’s it for now. If you’re already convinced that you’re getting a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+, you can check out the full pricing information here.

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