Samsung has pushed the limits on what a smartphone can do with its new flagship Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ which have a number of breakthrough features designed for the modern user.
The company has taken a long hard look at its smartphone’s capabilities and come up with new and innovative ways the user can interact with the device.
Most of the improvements of the S9 and S9+ have been built into the reimagined camera system which can not only capture brilliant shots in all conditions but also set a new standard for super slow motion and create emojis to share that look like the user.
There were 1.2 trillion photos captured with smartphones in 2017, five billion emojis shared and more than a billion GIFS created.
With that in mind, Samsung saw that communication has moved from the ear to the eyes.
We are doing less talking and more sharing of our photos, GIFs and emoji-filled text messages.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be available to pre-order from 12.01am February 27 and will go on sale in March 16.
The device will be available in Australia in three colours – Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple.
Design-wise the Galaxy S9 (5.8-inch) and Galaxy S9+ (6.2-inch) looks virtually identical to the S8 and S8+.
But if you look carefully enough you’ll see screen has slightly thinner bezels top and bottom making it 18.5:9 instead of 18:9.
On the front above the screen there are more sensors and an additional lens to enable intelligent scanning and to make your emojis look like you.
Size and thickness of the new Galaxy smartphones are the same as the S8.
On the rear panel, the fingerprint reader has been located in a more natural position below the single lens of the S9 and the below the dual lens of the S9+.
If you’re an S8 user, you’re probably not going to want to update to the S9 after less than a year but S7 users coming off a two-year contract are going to rush to take up the S9 or S9+.
And like the S8, the Galaxy S9 has an IP68 rating which makes it water and dust resistant.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 has an improved Super AMOLED display with quad HD resolution with even narrower bezels at the top and bottom of the screen.
One new feature with the screen includes being able to use the phone in landscape mode all the time including while making calls.
In this mode, users can receive notifications on the top edge of the screen and act on them without interrupting the content they are viewing or whatever they are doing on the screen.
The bulk of the internal changes for the Samsung Galaxy S9 have been with the camera.
Samsung pre-empted the device’s launch with promos that stated “The Camera. Reimagined” and the company has made good on its promise.
The image processor onboard the S9 and S9+ is four times faster than the S8 and S8+.
Resolution is still the same at 12-megapixels but you can do a lot more this time around including taking slow motion video at 960 frames per second.
It captures 0.2 seconds of video and when played back at 24 frames per second stretches it to 6 seconds.
And to make it easier to focus on the object you want to film in slow motion, users can draw a box around where it will be in the frame before auto motion detection triggers the capture.
The new S9 and S9+ also addresses the issue of low light photography (we take a surprising amount in these conditions) thanks to a new dual aperture camera which operates at f2.4 and f1.5 – the brightest on any smartphone.
It also uses a new feature called multi-frame noise reduction which captures several images at once and combines to reduce the grainy look of low light images.
This feature can also be used to create GIFs and wallpapers as well.
Another fun camera feature is the AR Emojis which can create an emoji that looks like the user.
It can also mimic your facial expressions so you can send the animations to your friends in messages and share on social media.
Bixby’s camera abilities have also been expanded with three cool new features which can translate foreign languages in real time through the camera, give you points of interest around you and even tell you how many calories there are in the food it can see through the camera.
Another addition to the device is Dolby Atmos through its improved speaker system that has been tuned by AKG.
Now the S9 speakers are 40 per cent louder than the speakers on the Galaxy S8.
When watching movies on the S9, the viewer will hear three-dimensional surround sound with audio appearing to come from around and above.
The S9 will also enhance non Dolby Atmos content to improve the sound quality.
On the security side the fingerprint reader has been located centrally on the rear panel and is easier to access.
Setting your fingerprint is now faster than ever and only requires users to swipe the reader two or three times before the fingerprint is registered.
The S9 now also included intelligence scanning which combines face recognition with iris scanning to make a device more secure than ever before.
The DEX interface, which allows the device to be connected to monitor and be used like a desktop computer has also had a complete makeover.
Now the unit allows the Galaxy S9 to be connected sideways so users can still have access to the device’s screen and headphone jack.
The display on the S9 can now be used as a touchpad or a keyboard.
The new DEX interface supports multiple monitor resolutions and also comes with added security allowing companies to restrict certain apps running in this mode.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is powered by a 10nm 64 bit octa-core processor and has 4GB RAM and will come with either 64GB or 256GB onboard.
The Galaxy S9+ comes with 6GB RAM and the same 64GB and 256GB internal memory options. The devices also have microSD card slots to increase the memory even further.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a 3000mAh battery while the larger Galaxy S9+ has a 3500mAh battery capacity.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Samsung Galaxy S9 will be priced at $1,199 (64GB) and $1,349 (256GB) and available in Coral Blue, Lilac Purple and Midnight Black.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will be priced at $1,349 (64GB) and $1,499 (256GB) and available in Coral Blue, Lilac Purple and Midnight Black.
Pre-orders kick off tomorrow before the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ go on sale on March 16.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Samsung