Image: CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 First Impressions – The only Smartphone with Variable Aperture Camera

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All the leaks and the hypes are finally over as Samsung took wraps of their flagship smartphones for 2018. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were recently showcased at the brands MCW 2018 press conference, alongside the DeX Pad; a dock for turning your Galaxy phone into a desktop experience. The speciality of S9 is the introduction of the very first variable aperture camera in a smartphone by Samsung; but before we talk more about it, let’s see how S9 is showing off in the market.

• Design:

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S9 looks exactly like the last year’s flagship, but when you get the Galaxy S9 in hands you will realize that it takes the all-screen design to a new level. The top and bottom bezels are even smaller which allow fitting a similar size screen in a smaller body than the Galaxy S8.

The major improvement in the design department is at the back of the phone, the fingerprint scanner is repositioned and is placed below the rear camera where it should be, so you won’t mistakenly put your fingers all over the camera.

Image: CNET
Image: CNET

The back is still made up of glass and has that same glossy finish. There is a new iris scanner upfront which Samsung claims is hidden for the design improvement, the screen is also a touch darker to obscure the lines a bit more between the body and the display to make the device look even more attractive. Button layout and other design elements are all same as before.

• Display:

The Display on both the devices is slightly taller with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The 5.8-inch (S9) and 6.2-inch (S9 Plus) screens are the same Super AMOLED panels with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolutions. Samsung claims that the displays are a bit brighter than the last year.

• Hardware:

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are both powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 processor which makes the device 25 percent faster than its predecessor. However, in some market, you can expect to see Samsung’s latest Exynos processor. The Galaxy S9 comes with 4 Gigs of RAM and the S9 Plus comes with 6 Gigs of RAM; you get 64 Gigabytes of internal storage and even a micro SD card for expandable storage.

The phone has the same IP68 water resistance so you should not worry even if you drop it in a pool. The speakers support Dolby Atmos surround sound technology which now produces stereo sound and are 40 percent louder. You get a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can connect your favorite high-end wired headphones. The battery on S9 is 3000 mAh and on S9 Plus is 3500 mAh.

Samsung S9
Samsung S9

• Camera:

The Camera is the biggest change, the biggest new feature that you will be looking for in order to upgrade to the latest flagship. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are first phones to feature a mechanically adjustable aperture which can switch between very bright f/1.5 to a smaller f/2.4 depending on the lighting conditions. These phones are also the first ones to have this wide aperture which will allow you to shoot in extreme low light conditions.

The Camera app will automatically switch to the wider aperture if the exposure will be less than 100 Lux. You can also control the aperture and other camera settings manually using the pro mode in the app. You will know the importance of this feature especially if you are a photographer, and now you are going to have it on your smartphone.

The 12 megapixel sensor now comes with a second generation dual-pixel autofocus technology for faster and better focusing. The low light performance is now 30% better thanks to the improved multi-frame noise reduction technology.

Another great feature is that the camera can record videos in insanely hi FPS; especially in 720p you can record videos at 960 FPS which will allow you to make some slick slow-mo footage.

The S9 comes with a single camera while the S9 Plus features a dual camera setup for different effects like ‘Live Focus’. The S9 Plus’ secondary camera is same as the last year and does not feature a variable aperture, it is a telephoto lens with a fixed aperture of f/2.4.

Both the phones rock an 8 megapixel f/1.7 autofocus camera integrated with facial recognition technology. In the front camera mode, you will find Samsung’s take on the iPhone X’s Animoji, which it calls AR Emoji. This AR Emoji will capture the image of your face using over 100 points and will then convert it into a 3D character with your facial features, you can also change the style and hairs of your character. There are over 18 different expressions available that are accessible in the keyboard as GIF for use in messaging apps.

Both the smartphones will be available for pre-order by March 2 with prices starting from $720 in the US for the standard S9 and $870 for the S9 Plus, depending on your carrier, it will start shipping by March 16. So this was our first impression of the all-new Samsung Galaxy devices. I hope you enjoyed our article, stay tuned for a full review and more info about the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in the coming weeks.

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