Is this the most beautiful review for the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus? That’s totally not the point here but I would love to think it is. 🙂
So let’s move on and focus on the star of this article; The Galaxy S9 Plus.
Before we continue, let’s check out the specs of this thing:
> Display : 6.2″ Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960×1440)
> Camera :
– FRONT: 8MP AF sensor.
– BACK: Wide angle: 12MP F2.4/F1.5 | Telephoto: 12MP F2.4
> Procesor : 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz + 1.7GHz
> Memory : 6GB RAM
> Storage : 64GB/128GB/256GB
> Battery : 3500 mAH
OUTLOOK & DESIGN
The Galaxy S9 Plus looks almost exactly the same as the Galaxy S8 Plus. When put side by side, you won’t even be able to differentiate unless you check out the back of the phone.
So what’s new on the back? First off, there are 2 cameras aligned vertically and the fingerprint sensor is now located below them, which is the most convenient spot for users as the index finger is always there when we are holding the phone.
Long story short: If you are planning to upgrade from a Galaxy S8… you might want to wait another year to get a refreshed look.
Here’s something worth mentioning. THE HEADPHONE JACK IS STILL AROUND!
But then again, by now most people might already jump on the wireless earphones bandwagon so this jack is mostly a conversation starter and not a necessity anymore.
The Galaxy S9 comes in 3 colors (in Malaysia): Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple. According to Samsung, many are interested in the new Lilac Purple color but I personally prefer the Coral Blue variant.
Whether you are planning to get the S9 or the S9 Plus, they both share the same screen resolution which is 2960×1440. The S9 Plus, of course, has a bigger screen at 6.2 inches.
Just like the Galaxy S8, the display looks crisp and vibrant. It’s undoubtedly a Samsung display with high saturation and contrast. Some might not like how photos look on this screen as it tends to ‘impress’ the user by making them think the photo is all saturated and contrasty.
My advice is to always transfer photos you take using the S9 to the computer to view its true colors and exposure. When you do this often enough, you will eventually be able to gauge whether you need to edit a photo or not by just looking at it on your S9 screen.
Here’s one new feature that you might want to get the S9 for. The dual loudspeakers are very promising and they sound impressive. They are tuned by AKG by the way, brand dropping here in case you need to be convinced.
But they are not perfect dual loudspeakers. As I have illustrated in the photo above, the stereo sound is achieved by using the earpiece above the screen along with the one at the bottom of the phone. Hence you don’t get 2 speakers firing at your face. Only one. But then again, we can’t complain as many other phones are implementing this configuration as well, for example, the iPhone X.
Before I start talking about the dual cameras at the back… let me say this. The selfie camera on the front is exactly the same as the one on the S8. No megapixel increase… no new enhancement.. nothing. But hey, the selfie camera on the Galaxy S9 (and the S8) might just be the only ones that come with Auto Focus. So that’s worth mentioning.
OK. The dual camera. I have recently published a comprehensive article about the new dual aperture (switching between f2.4 and f1.5) feature on the S9 Plus. So if you are looking for this info, CLICK HERE NOW TO READ THE ARTICLEEEEEEEEEE IM SHOUTING HERE BECAUSE THE LINK IS LONGER AND BIGGER SO ITS EASIER FOR YOU TO CLICK. SO COME ONNNN CLICK ITTTTTT.
Here are some photos that were taken using the Galaxy S9 Plus and the iPhone X (both on Auto mode). You can click on them to enlarge and study the details to find out which one you like more.
– The Galaxy S9 Plus takes brighter photos. The shots tend to have a slight magenta tint. Better in noise reduction and visuals are more sharpened than iPhone X photos.
– Live Focus (aka Portrait Mode) seems to be more accurate on the Galaxy S9 Plus. What more, we can customize the blur level even after taking the shot. Totally awesome.
– The iPhone X photos are closer to the real thing. Shots are warmer. Dark areas are noisier than the ones taken using Galaxy S9 Plus. Photos are also not highly sharpened.
– Portrait mode on the iPhone X is more limited as we cannot adjust the blurness of the background.
It pretty much depends on what type of photos you prefer. Just know that if you get the S9, you are already getting the top of the line smartphone camera so there can never be anything better than this unless you get a proper camera or a DSLR.
Oh by the way, the S9 can also capture super slow motion in 960fps. It captures a 0.2 seconds action and turn it into a 6-second clip. So you can imagine how slow the action will be. Note that the output is only 720p so it’s not gonna be super high res and stuff. You can click on my vlog below for a demo of the Super Slow Motion video.
This is definitely my favourite feature of the Galaxy S9. The AR Emoji is basically Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Animoji.
The AR Emoji feature lies in the camera module and is accessible by just swiping to the respective mode just like how one would switch from Auto to Pro to Panorama to .. you know what I mean.
To create your own AR Emoji, just switch to selfie mode and tap on “Create My Emoji”. It will then take a photo of your face and then generate an animated version of it within 5 seconds.
The AR Emoji works by using the front camera to track your face. It works 98% of the time and there really is not much to complain here EXCEPT THE LACK OF ATTIRE CUSTOMIZATION (pardon my digital scream but I am really unsatisfied with this)!
As much as I would like to pick the colour of the Tshirt or the pants my character is wearing… I CANT. That’s cos we can only pick from a preset few and that’s basically all the customization we can do with the attire.
Every AR Emoji we create comes with a set of animated Gifs with multiple expressions that we can share on chat messengers. Since it’s in GIF format, we can basically share it on any chat platform we like, for example, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Thumbs up to Samsung on this.
Before you ask. YES, the physical Bixby button is still there and YES, we still cannot re-map it to activate anything else other than Bixby BUT Samsung now included the option for us to switch off the Bixby button feature. That means we will be left with a physical button on the side of the phone that does nothing.
So anyway, Bixby Vision is now smarter. We can point it at something and it will then display a list of image results of the object we are pointing at. This seems like a redundant feature but that’s because in the US, this feature will link the user to Amazon to purchase the item on the screen.
Bixby Vision can also live-translate texts now. Just point it to some text that you don’t understand and the translation appears on the screen instantly. This is powered by Google Translate, by the way, so you can also try this using the Google Translate app if you don’t have Bixby on your phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is probably the best and most feature-packed Android smartphone you can buy now. With features like IP68 water+dust resistant, fast and wireless charging, fantastic display, great dual camera with dual aperture, beautiful outlook with fun colour options, big battery, dual loudspeakers, takes 960fps slow-mo videos and easy access to service centers, you really have no other options than to pick up the Galaxy S9 Plus.
Downside? It might be too big for your hands. My hands are considered big and I still feel that the S9 Plus is not easy to grasp. Actually, that’s the only downside.
If you are planning to not spend so much but still want the S9 Plus, I suggest you get the 64GB variant which costs RM3,799. Since it has a microSD card slot, you can expand the memory later by putting in a microSD card which is cheaper than forking out RM4,399 for a 256GB variant.
That is all. Do follow me on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/smashpop if you are feeling generous.