Samsung’s Galaxy S9: packs better hardware and camera in a familiar body

Samsung has launched its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the new pair of smartphones has disappointed all those who were expecting the South Korean brand to revolutionary features. In the last few months on 2017, the internet was rife with rumors that the next set of Galaxy devices may arrive with bendable displays and under-the-screen fingerprint reader. Quashing all the wild guesswork, Samsung’s new super phones have arrived with improved hardware and evolutionary updates while keeping the look and feel almost identical to last year’s model. Most of the improvements appear to be incremental, with most of the effort made to enhance the camera experience, and that’s not a bad thing in our opinion.

The new Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are so similar to their predecessors that most people will find it very difficult to differentiate. After the Note 7 debacle, Samsung really hit it out of the park with the launch of the S8 and its bigger sized sibling, which most industry experts believe were the best smartphones from last year. What Samsung has done for 2018 is use the same hit design formula and iron out all the flaws – the biggest being the placement of the fingerprint sensor. Samsung has moved the scanner from the right of the camera to below it, placing it exactly where it should have originally been. The layout of the rest of the buttons and the 3.5mm headphone jack remain the same as before. The speakers might not appear to be different from the outside, but now produce stereo sound and are 40 percent louder.

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The hardware specs of the smartphone duo are as follows: The S9 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset which promises at least 25 percent faster processing speeds and better battery optimization than 2017 Android phones (some markets can expect to see Samsung’s latest Exynos processor instead). The S9 gets 4GB or RAM while the S9 Plus will arrive with 6GB. Both will have 64GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards, 3,000mAh battery on the S9 and 3,500mAh for the S9 Plus and IP68 dust and water resistant. The smartphones also support both fast wired and fast wireless charging.

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While the camera megapixels hold steady at 12 for the rear and 8 megapixels for the front, Samsung has introduced a raft of changes to improve the shooting quality and capability. The coolest update comes in the form of a mechanical aperture that automatically switches between two aperture settings, F2.4 for daylight and F1.5 for low light. But it’s important to note that the user won’t get to choose an aperture value in between that range. It’s the first Samsung smartphone to come with the feature. The S9 will be available on all major carriers in the US as well as unlocked direct from Samsung and the pricing for the unlocked models is $719.99 and $839.99. Preorders begin March 2 and the phones go on sale March 16.


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Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.