MWC 2018: Samsung Unpacks Galaxy S9 and S9+ Phones

Subject: Mobile | February 25, 2018 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: snapdragon 845, smartphone, Samsung, MWC 2018, MWC, mobile, Galaxy S9+, galaxy s9, exynos

Samsung unveiled their not-so-secret Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones at their 'unpacked' event at MWC today, coming after months of leaks and an accidental post of the launch video yesterday. So, while the existence of these new Galaxy phones was a foregone conclusion, does the final product meet expectations?

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As previously leaked, the design of the Galaxy S9/S9+ is carried over from last year, as Samsung is updating their lineup in the manner of Apple's second-year iPhone "S" refresh. What we have are devices with faster internals courtesy of the Snapdragon 845 in the U.S. and China (read our performance preview of the 845 here), Samsung's Exynos 9810 Octa in the rest of the world, and improved cameras - the latter of which was the focus of the event (sorry).

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The newest term in the smartphone space is "dual iris" thanks to Samsung's adoption of an adjustable iris on one of the dual 12MP rear cameras, which moves from f1.5 to f2.4 based on light level (the second camera is fixed at f2.4). This should result in much better exposures in low light without sacrificing daylight performance. But as vital as still camera quality is on mobile phones, as for so many is has replaced the need for a dedicated point-and-shoot, there is also video to consider. And not just any video.

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Water bottle antics from Samsung's slo-mo demonstration video

Much was made during the event of the Galaxy S9/S9+ exclusive "Super Slow-mo", which takes just 0.2 seconds of video and produces 6 seconds of the sort of slow motion you never knew you couldn't live without before seeing slow motion. (Some impressively slow cat videos were also shown during the event, as well as popcorn being thrown... AND MORE.) Regardless of the usefulness of capturing 0.2 seconds of action at 960 FPS (in HD, no less) - which you can do up to 20 times per video - these slo-mo treasures can be exported right from the phone in GIF format! (Expect uploads of such videos to fill your social feeds later this spring.)

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From a design standpoint we are not seeing a new device, but that is not a bad thing in this case. Fans would always like to see the next big thing, of course, but the S8 was already an advanced design when it launched a year ago, marking the start of the all-display trend that Apple joined later on with the iPhone X. Speaking of displays, we know that Samsung has a killer screen already with the Galaxy S8/S8+, and on paper the S9/S9+ have identical 5.8-inch, 1440x2960 18.5:9 aspect AMOLED with the S9 and slightly larger 6.2 inches of the same on the S9+, both still covered in Gorilla Glass 5.

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Samsung's cluster of camera and iris scanning tech is hidden from view

Two obvious nods to Apple's confusingly-named "X" handset were also introduced by Samsung, with both face/iris unlocking and animated emojis. First, it will be possible to unlock your Galaxy S9/S9+ by looking at it, but have no fear as the fingerprint reader remains - and is no longer next to the camera sensor on the back!

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The fingerprint scanner is now below the camera sensors

Far more important, as everyone knows: animated emoji. Animoji is not the only facial-recognition-powered animated emoji game in town anymore, though Samsung's implementation of this is a little different since it is creating an avatar based on your own face, which you can then customize. The result is something possibly a little more realistic than an early 2000s sports game create-a-player, but with considerably less work. Progress!

March 16 is the release date for both the Galaxy S9 and S9+, with retail prices starting at $719.99 for the S9 and $839.99 for the S9+. Pre-orders are up now on Samsung's official web store.

Source: Samsung

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February 25, 2018 | 06:25 PM - Posted by GorkLikeShinyThingy (not verified)

Phones that cost way more than a PC/laptop used to cost and PC parts(DRAM, GPUs) costing through the stratosphere and on out into interstellar space.

Talk about Inflation and the Need for a recession to cool things off. My low end smartphone is now about a little more than a year old and will not be replaced anytime soon! And it comes with a replacable battery so more years of service with a simple battery replacment.

Smartphone sales are now way past peak smartphone and Flagship anything pricing is completely insane. Looks like "APUs" are going to be popular for a good bit while folks wait for the inflation to switch over to deflation and the consumer getting the better part of the deal.

And is takes some dedicated DRAM to buffer those real slow motion takes, and there goes DRAM pricing higher for folks that want to build their own PCs.

Apple is not the only one with a cargo cult of braindead who will pay insane prices for the latest technocandy. Those fools and their money thing is still in full force in spite of any advancements in "civilization".

February 26, 2018 | 02:58 AM - Posted by Foobar (not verified)

I bought my phone in 2014 and I still use the thing. Flashed with lineage OS to get security updates and it has an replaceable battery. "Unibody" and other "courageous" crap that take features out of the phone needs to die before I buy a new phone.

February 26, 2018 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

So don't buy the latest adn greatest. Many places sell unlocked OLDER flagship phones, just don't get the carrier branded crap.

February 25, 2018 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous9 (not verified)

You didn't think the fingerprint reader location change was important? Thst was the most absurd placement on the S8

February 26, 2018 | 01:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous. (not verified)

$800+ and they couldn't afford to put on a keyboard or any other decent interface?

February 26, 2018 | 10:13 AM - Posted by Anonymous2 (not verified)

Keyboard? Gramps is that you?

February 26, 2018 | 11:55 AM - Posted by ThisIsWhatGrampsWantsYaDaftCandyArse (not verified)

No Gramps still wants a Dumb-Phone/Dumb OS flip-phone(G3/G4 radio because GSM has gone BY BY) with a non Android OS! And it's all because Gramps has his laptop(Not Running any OS later than Windows 7) with him at most times. So Gramps only wamts a F-ing small flip-phone to make and recieve phone calls and his laptop to not be the Thin-And-Light overpriced crap that's being marketed on those young fools and their easy to get money.

Gramps really wants an AMD Desktop "APU" in a laptop form factor with a bit more price/performance value than any of that Apple inspired, and Intel Ultrabook Apple envy, thin and useless crap bing foisted on the market by the marketing monkeys at over-inflated prices.

Gramps really Wants AMD to partner with a Linux OS based laptop OEM and get that desktop Ryzen 5 2400G inside a fater laptop form-factor and no need for a discrete mobile GPU as much at a more affordabe price point so Gramps can give the Folks in Redmond the Linus Torvalds full TuxBIRD Salute come 2020 and Windows 7's EOL!

February 26, 2018 | 08:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous. (not verified)

Apple and Samsung love people like you - they can save money by removing hardware and you still gladly pay full price for it. There was a time when smartphones were intended to be pocket computers, and not just telephones that can browse facebook, but then Apple came in with their usual marketing telling people what they need ("you don't need a good interface - it's not meant to do anything more than browse facebook" + "thinness is more important than having a functional device") and everyone bought it.

February 27, 2018 | 07:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous2 (not verified)

The s8 has a keyboard accessory gramps, attach it to your phone to bring back that nostalgia.

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