Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ First Impressions, Features & Price
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (left), Galaxy S9 (right)
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (left), Galaxy S9 (right)(Photo: The Quint)

Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ First Impressions, Features & Price

Yes, it’s been less than a fortnight since Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S9 series globally, and it has already hit the Indian market. The South Korean giant has unleashed its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones in the country, which will be selling with a starting price tag of Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,990 respectively. The phones will be available both online and offline from 16 March onwards.

This is also the first Galaxy S series to come with dual camera, but what else does the latest Samsung flagship offer? Here’s our first impression of the phones.

Design

No, there’s isn’t a lot of difference in what we’ve earlier seen with the Galaxy S8 and this year’s Galaxy S9 series. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not, but nevertheless, Samsung feels that it didn’t need fixing on the S8, when it wasn’t broken.

Having said that, for a flagship product, the Galaxy S9 fall into the same trap as of the iPhone 8 i.e. looking too similar to its predecessor. 
Samsung Galaxy S9 (left), Galaxy S9+ (right)
Samsung Galaxy S9 (left), Galaxy S9+ (right)
(Photo: The Quint)

There have been few last minute refinements to the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+, as the fingerprint scanner now gets a reasonable placement, underneath the vertical layout of the camera.

Similar looking design for both the Galaxy S9 phones. 
Similar looking design for both the Galaxy S9 phones. 
(Photo: The Quint)
Compared to the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S9+ does feel better to hold, especially with its slim-profile design. 

While the Galaxy S9 sports a 5.8-inch form size, it does feel petite in front of its elder brother, the Galaxy S9+. The edge-to-edge display continues to hog the limelight, but all in all, there isn’t much to write home about the way these two phones look and feel.

Display

Again, Samsung has stayed true to its Super AMOLED prowess, which is still one of the most impressive-looking display. While Samsung made strong claims about improving the display quality by 15 percent compared to the Galaxy S8, for the naked eye, it didn’t feel a whole lot different.

Both phones come with Super AMOLED screen with 2960x1440 pixels  resolution.
Both phones come with Super AMOLED screen with 2960x1440 pixels resolution.
(Photo: The Quint)

The 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display packs 2960x1440 pixels in resolution, which is definitely close to the flagship levels we expect phones to offer these days.

The colour contrasts, as typical of a Samsung phone, is on the higher side, something that we’ve become accustomed to long time back.

Hardware and Software

Being a logical upgrade to the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 iteration gets the latest hardware available to manufacturers. It packs Snapdragon 845 processor with 4GB and 6GB RAM on Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ respectively. The entry-level variants of both the phones offer 64GB storage onboard, which, according to Samsung, is expandable up to 400GB.

The Galaxy S9+ packs a bigger battery than the Galaxy Note 8.
The Galaxy S9+ packs a bigger battery than the Galaxy Note 8.
(Photo: The Quint)
With a hybrid dual-SIM slot, you can either choose between using two SIM connections at the same time, or expand storage space on your phone.

On the software side, it’s good to see the new Samsung flagships running on the latest Android version 8.0 Oreo, which gets layered under its signature TouchWiz interface. Some new features have made their way to the Galaxy S9 series, most notably the AR Emoji. How do you get it? Go to the Camera app, switch to the AR Emoji mode, click a picture of yours and dress it up something like what you see below.

The Galaxy S9+ feels compact and easier to hold, compared to last year. 
The Galaxy S9+ feels compact and easier to hold, compared to last year. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Galaxy S9 comes loaded with the same 3000mAh battery, as on the Galaxy S8 last year. However, Galaxy S9+ packs a 3500mAh unit, which is 200mAh bigger than what we saw on the Galaxy Note 8. Will the extra battery increase its longevity? We’ll find out soon.

Camera

The other big change, for both the Galaxy S phones, is in the camera department. Samsung is sticking to its winning formula of a single 12-megapixel snapper on the Galaxy S9 and dual 12-megapixel lens on the Galaxy S9 – which is a first for the Galaxy S series.

The main improvement features in the form of a f/1.5 aperture, that, as claimed by Samsung promises better low-light photography with a wider frame. The Galaxy S9+ comes with dual 12-megapixel lenses, with different sizes; 26mm for the primary lens, and 52mm for the secondary telephoto lens.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ with dual rear cameras (left), Galaxy S9 with a single rear camera (right).
Samsung Galaxy S9+ with dual rear cameras (left), Galaxy S9 with a single rear camera (right).
(Photo: The Quint)
These are also the first Samsung Galaxy phones to support video recording at 960fps, but the resolution gets limited to 720 pixels. Sony is the other phone brand to support this feature. 
Galaxy S9 series can shoot 960 fps videos. 
Galaxy S9 series can shoot 960 fps videos. 
(Photo: The Quint)

We haven’t rigorously tried out the cameras yet, but during the product demo at the event, we did notice that the noise level of images has marginally reduced, which is definitely a good thing. (More on that later).

What We Think

So, what do we make of the new Samsung Galaxy S flagships? Design-wise, they look the same, barring a few adjustments, like the placement of fingerprint scanner and vertical rear cameras on the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+.

Being an upgrade, they get latest hardware available, similar RAM in tow and ample storage for all. The cameras are the big focus of the Galaxy S9 nomenclature, and the introduction of f/1.9 aperture, along with video recording at 960fps would have to be the headlining points.

Will Samsung succeed with the Galaxy S9 in India? 
Will Samsung succeed with the Galaxy S9 in India? 
(Photo: The Quint)

With a price tag of Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,990, Samsung is all set to repeat its Galaxy S8 feat in 2018, but they surely could have been a bit more adventurous with this one.

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