2018 was an amazing year for smartphone enthusiasts. Some of the best phones ever made were released in 2018, like the iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, and the OnePlus 6T. When Samsung Galaxy S9 was released, it had some serious competition to contend with.
Does Samsung S9 outdo the competition or fall behind its competitors? Is it worth your hard-earned money? We’ll find out for you with this in-depth review!
Samsung Galaxy S9: Notable Features at a Glance
With Galaxy S9, Samsung has certainly pushed boundaries. Galaxy S9 has outstanding features and specifications:
- Galaxy S9 has a gorgeous WQHD Infinity Display with curved edges.
- Galaxy S9 has extensive biometric security support, including facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, and iris scanning.
- The smartphone has a magnificent 12MP primary camera with many advanced features.
- Galaxy S9 ships with a top-of-the-range Snapdragon 845 processor.
Design: Sleek and stylish
Galaxy S9 is one of the prettiest, most handy phones that Samsung has ever released. At first glance, Galaxy S9 is very similar to its predecessor Galaxy S8. It has the same sleek aluminum and glass body with rounded edges. The size, shape, and the design aesthetic of the S9 are also very similar to the previous iteration. However, if you look closer, you can see that Samsung has made several minor and major improvements to the S9.
The bezels on Galaxy S9 are thinner at the top and bottom of the screen, which makes the phone look trim and futuristic. The fingerprint scanner that was next to the camera has been moved to below it, making it much easier to access than before. The Gorilla Glass 5 screen makes the S9 much more resistant to impacts than before. There’s a Bixby button below the volume rocker. The phone is easy to hold and carry around in your pocket and can be used with a single hand.
Display: Vibrant 5.8-inch Super AMOLED screen
Samsung can do no wrong when it comes to the displays on its phones. Galaxy S9’s Super AMOLED screen is nothing short of spectacular. The screen is 5.8 inches with a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The pixel per inch (PPI) count is impressive at 570. The screen offers vibrant colors and excellent contrast. The brightness levels have received a slight upgrade, making the screen easier to use under direct sunlight.
Pictures and videos displayed by the phone are very lifelike. Because the phone supports HDR10 for mobile, you can stream content in 4k HD from Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon. Samsung offers several display customization options. Some top display features are the default Adaptive mode, the DCI-P3 color support, and a blue light filter that protects your eyes from screen glare. Galaxy S9 has one of the best, if not the best, screens ever found on a smartphone.
Camera: A Huge Upgrade over Galaxy S8
Galaxy S9 is the first phone ever to have a dual-aperture camera. It’s the biggest standout feature of Galaxy S9 and is a major step up over the camera on Galaxy S8. Instead of a dual-camera setup at the back, as is common, Samsung has used a single 12 MP camera that can switch between an f/2.4 and an f/1.5 aperture. The selfie camera at the front is 8MP, with an aperture of f/1.7.
What does the dual-aperture setup do? When there’s less light around like at night, the camera uses the wider f/1.5 aperture to capture more light into the shot. When there’s a lot of light like during the day, the camera uses the narrower f/2.4 aperture setting to limit the amount of light in the photo. The camera app handles the aperture shift automatically and the switch is very fast and smooth. You can also manually control the aperture of the lens. Samsung S9 is capable of capture stunning, lifelike photos with excellent color accuracy and low noise. It works equally well during the day and night.
Performance: Extremely Fast
There are many fast smartphones on the market. You can expect Galaxy S9 to be leading the pack. Galaxy S9 has a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, with 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 630 GPU. The octa-core processor has 4 x 2.7 GHz Kryo 385 Gold cores and 4 x 1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver cores. The OS will switch between the high-intensity and low-intensity cores, depending on the demands being placed on it.
Samsung S9 is a lightning-fast, well-optimized phone. The Snapdragon 845 processor makes short work of everything you throw at it. Booting up apps, multitasking, and video streaming are all lag-free. There’s plenty of storage space available to store your apps, photos, and videos. You can choose between 64/128/256 GB of storage and there’s a microSD card slot as well. Finally, Samsung S9 is an excellent gaming phone, capable of running the latest games like Hitman Sniper and Asphalt 9 at max settings.
Software: A Premium Experience
Samsung shipped Galaxy S9 with Android 8.0, though it’s since released an upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie. Of course, Samsung offers its own Experience One UI firmware layer with Galaxy S9. It’s a big change over stock Android and carries Samsung’s signature style and feel. Navigating the phone is simple and intuitive. There are plenty of customization options as well. For security, there’s facial recognition and iris scanning feature.
The Bixby voice assistant is amongst the most notable features of Galaxy S9. The voice assistant can be accessed with a dedicated button near the volume key on the side. Samsung’s experience UI has many useful apps, like a gallery app, an email client, and a custom browser. The browser is very useful because it supports extensions and has a handy night reading mode. The Health app has a heart-rate sensor that helps you stay healthy. You can keep your private files safe in the Secure Folder.
Battery Life: Lasts An Entire Day
The battery life offered by Samsung Galaxy S8 was very good. Samsung Galaxy S9 does marginally better when it comes to battery performance. It has a 3000 mAh battery, which is good for a phone of its size and specification. Samsung always does a good job with battery optimization too. Galaxy S9 can go all day on a single charge.
If you’re a moderate to heavy user, though, you may need to charge the S9 during the evening or night. Thankfully, the phone supports fast-charge technology through its USB-C port. It only takes a little under 2 hours to get from 0 percent to 100. Galaxy S9 supports quick charge through both a USB-C cable and a wireless charging pad.
The Bottom Line
Samsung Galaxy S9 is an amazing phone. It has a powerful camera, a wonderful processor, and looks stunning. The phone is very intuitive to use and makes for the perfect daily driver. It’s definitely worth your time and money and remains one of the best smartphones to get in 2019.
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