Those Techy Features:
- £739 As of 16th March 2018
- 5.8 Inch QHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display 570ppi
- 4GB RAM
- Rear Mounted Fingerprint Scanner
- 12MP Rear Dual Pixel Camera & 8MP Front Camera
- 64GB Storage – expandable to 400GB
I managed to grab a hold of the Samsung Galaxy S9 because of my brother, out of all places, I know, unprofessional. However I did manage to have some time on it today and do a fair few things to get a good understanding on what the iPhone competitor is all about.
If you have just woke up from a long nap, you not have know that the king of the Android phone market was, and mostly has been, Samsung. We recently seen a bit of a rupture in the market recently with the likes of the Google Pixel and HTC making a quick hit also but Samsung has maintained the lead in the Android market. However! Is this the moment that the S9 makes it all come tumbling down? Let’s take a look.
The design is very similar to the last model, the Samsung Galaxy S8 but they have definitely beefed up the hardware inside. Very similar to what Apple do just without adding a (s) on the end and labelling it a new phone. I have been running the iPhone X for about half a year now kind of miss the bigger screens. I began to realise this when watching some videos on the Samsung Galaxy S9.
Let’s take a step back here firstly and look at the Samsung Galaxy S8. This phone had a revolutionary design. Almost the entirety of the front of the phone was a screen with just a thin bezel at the top and bottom. Removing the home button and also the 3.5mm jack also (which seems to be working better than I thought). It had a sleek design front and back and stood above a lot of other phones. Bear this that this was before Apple released their iPhone X and you have other competitors. Samsung were pretty much the first to do this and it blew everyone’s minds. Now fast forward a bit to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and it feels a bit…lackluster. There hasn’t been any radical changes in terms of looks or design. I know the phrase goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” however with tech you need to change, you need to appeal to a new audience and even the old audience that want a change. I’m unbiased when it comes to mobiles. I go with the flow, if I like it, I will get it. Simple. I do like change however, I don’t want to be using the same phone I did 12 months ago and pick up a new one and feel the same. I want something fresh and new and this just isn’t it. If we take another step back with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge they changed up the design again there also, they always had come up with something fresh, intuitive and different that just worked. So what was it this time?
Lets looks at the minor changes here. Some for the better. The bezels are even thinner again. We are getting to the point where a entire front of the phone will be bezel-less and I cannot wait to see that! The fingerprint scanner has been move to a better location and you weren’t running your finger getting grubby fingerprints on your lens. The location is spot on, I believe they got it right this time, button size was a but small but I found it a lot easier then before. The metal frame, which you probably hadn’t noticed, had been hardened so there is no bendgate here! The glass has also been thickened. One additional feature, which I quite liked and Apple can take this one away also, especially with the iPhone X is the Bixby button. Bixby is their virtual assistance just the same as Siri is to Apple. Samsung have faith in Bixby which is surprising with the likes of Alexa and others dominating the market but lets see how well they get on. Getting back to the button, I like how it’s dedicated to this use however they’re missing a trick here. Maybe add additional features that you can map other things to the button. Double press for camera maybe?
The selling point for me. The screen. The screen is gorgeous. I cannot compliment it enough. It has the right colours, it has the quality, the curves on the edges makes it just right for watching videos or playing a small game of candy crush. It has superb contract and can see this adjusting to my eyes depending on the area. Definitely, hands down, the best screen i’ve seen on a mobile. There is a whole lot of editing just like there is on TV’s that you can actually do with this screen it’s unbelievable. It has support for, wait for it, HDR10. Oh yes, you can watch Netflix in HDR. On a mobile. On your way to work. Waiting for a friend. It had it, once I found this out I installed Netflix, logged in, and it was there, in all its glory.
Moving on over to the to the CPU here. Depending on your region you will either get the Snapdragon 845 or the Exynos 9810. I’m based in the UK and my brother got the phone from a UK store so this will be the Exynos 9810 however they are extremely similar to one another so don’t expect any difference. Of course you’re going to get a speed increase over the S8’s Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895 chips. I put it through it’s tests by opening up as many apps as possible also playing a few free games to see if there was any app shuttages or the heat on the back of the phone and although it got warm it never shut down a app once and no lag when opening all the apps I could either. The RAM comfortable sits at 4GB. There isn’t any games that would drive this up as much as it would or apps in general. The S9+ does come with 2 more gigs of RAM however I have no way of testing this right now to see if it makes much of a difference. Although I had no problems with the 4GB RAM whatsoever.
The speakers has had a huge revamp. The speakers are now on the top and bottom instead of just the bottom and will be set up and tuned by AKG which is, you guessed it, Dolby Atmos. Netflix was the only means of testing this. It does play really well for a phone but definitely not something I’d be doing when on my sofa over the actual TV. I can’t say much over the software itself only because it is very similar to the S8’s software so don’t expecting any huge differences anytime soon.
Last, but not least, the camera. The camera on the Samsung flagships have always been the best for me. With the new dual camera on the back of the S9 it genuinely makes the phone feel different. It’s the only thing to me that makes me understand why they didn’t change the layout. It has extremely good sensors to the point it can easily pick up on what is in the foreground without having to tap anywhere on the screen for the phone to shift focus. It gives you the perfect depth of field. The colours just pop both night in day with low light or any high light sources and captures it extremely well.
It ticks all boxes. No, really, it does. It has the screen, the camera and the added tidbits but nothing really has changed in design and this is the downside for me. It feels the same just a bit quicker. Samsung definitely could of done more to redesign it, or come with a new feature that will shock us again just like it’s predecessors. However, if you’re not fussed about looks or you’re already in love with the S8 design this may just be the phone for you. It has upgraded most of its internals ready for modern day tech to push it to it’s limits.