Tag Archives: Samsung Exynos 9810

Use Samsung Super Slow-mo To Add Drama To Any Video!

Use Samsung Super Slow-mo To Add Drama To Any Video!

One of the key features that the Samsung Galaxy Note9 brings to the table is Super Slow-mo. It automatically adds drama to even the most mundane activity, and brings out the action when it matters the most!

In this article, we will explain how the Samsung Super Slow-mo mode works, and show you some examples of how Super Slow-mo makes our videos better!

 

Samsung Super Slow-mo

Super Slow-mo is a new video recording capability first introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. It allows you to record 720p video at an astounding 960 frames per second!

Here is a short video we created to showcase how easy it is to use Super Slow-mo to create really interesting and fun videos to share with your family and friends!

If that is not enough, you can check out the Super Slow-mo video we created using the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check).

These Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

There are some caveats though – Super Slow-mo is limited to 0.4 seconds of recording and 12 seconds of playback for single Super Slow-mo shots. If you opt for the multi-shot mode, each Super Slow-mo segment in that video is limited to 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback.

If you are interested to know how they accomplished this, read on further…

 

How Is Samsung Super Slow-mo Possible?

Super Slow-mo is only made possible by a new Samsung ISOCELL image sensor, and the very fast Samsung Exynos 9810 (or Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the US) SoC. Hence, it is currently only available in the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App), the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Samsung ISOCELL Fast Image Sensor

Samsung used the new ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 image sensor in the Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App). First introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, it is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed capture of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses the entire image sensor for autofocus, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

Flagship-Class Processor

When paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, the new ISOCELL Fast image sensor is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps.

However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited the Super Slow-mo capability to ensure a consistent experience worldwide.

So now you know why you are limited to 720p videos at 960 fps, and only for up to 0.4 seconds. Even so, the Super Slow-mo capability adds a new creative tool that was not available in many other flagship smartphones.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

For more details, read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Note9 review!

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Review – Quietly Revolutionary!

We know just how eager everyone is to read about the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Is it the best Note Samsung ever made? Is it much better than the already impressive Galaxy Note8? Is it worth buying?

Here is our comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Let’s see if it’s an evolutionary upgrade, or a revolutionary device… and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2018-09-10 : A major update of the review with many new photos and videos added. We also updated many aspects of the review, adding new details about the Galaxy Note9.

Originally posted @ 2018-08-24

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) will come in FOUR colour options, but the Lavender Purple colour will be limited to certain countries, at least initially. The other colours are, from left to right : Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Metallic Copper.

The Ocean Blue colour is the most interesting because it features an S Pen in a contrasting yellow colour.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

 

Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy Note9

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes in a premium black box, which is virtually the same used for the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

Once you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

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  • One Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone
  • One clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Samsung Galaxy Note9 documents
  • One 15 W Samsung adaptive quick charger
  • One USB Type A to USB Type C data and power cable
  • One micro-USB to USB-C adaptor
  • One USB Type A to USB T Type C adaptor
  • One pair of AKG earphones with spare earbuds
  • One S Pen nib extractor with spare nibs
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close + Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) has the largest Infinity Display ever – a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. It is slightly wider, thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), and comes with the dual camera system from the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), albeit in a horizontal arrangement.

Just like in the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), they shifted the fingerprint sensor into a central position. Otherwise, the new Galaxy Note9 looks deceptively similar to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

That has led quite a few pundits to call it a minor or evolutionary upgrade, rather than a distinctive device in its own right. Are they right? Let’s find out!

 

New Bluetooth S Pen

The new Bluetooth S Pen looks deceptively like the S Pen from before. In fact, it features the same basic design with a 0.7 mm tip and 4,096 pressure levels as the S Pen from the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) and the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check). But that’s where all similarity ends.

The new S Pen is a Bluetooth Low Energy device that lets you use the shutter button to remotely perform a variety of tasks. For example :

  • Hold the shutter button to open any app you wish. By default, it launches the Camera app.
  • When the camera is activated, press the shutter button once to take a picture, or twice to switch between the front and main cameras.
  • Press the shutter button once to go forward in an app or browser, or twice to go backwards.

Its Bluetooth capability also allows the Galaxy Note9 to sense when you forget your S Pen and warn you. This will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the chance of losing your S Pen.

Samsung also introduced a new S Pen Signature Colour for the Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App). Every S Pen will now write in its signature colour when you are using the Screen Off Memo mode.

The only problem with the Signature Colour feature? Samsung has not updated its Samsung Notes app to include the ability to change its background to black – the colour of the Screen Off Memo mode. So currently, whatever you write in the Signature Colour will be quite hard to read in Samsung Notes. Samsung needs to address this quickly!

You don’t need to worry about powering it. Hidden inside is a tiny Seiko K8373 supercapacitor. The expensive supercapacitor is not only highly durable and withstands extreme temperatures, it recharges in a flash – just 40 seconds of charging will give you 30 minutes of use!

Photo Credit : iFixit

It is also simple to recharge – the new S Pen recharges automatically when it is docked. You can even check the power level, but you really don’t need to worry about running out because :

a) the supercapacitor only powers the remote control feature, and

b) the stylus itself is still powered electromagnetically by the Galaxy Note9, and will never run out of power!

For more secret features of the new Galaxy Note9 S Pen, read The 7 Secret Galaxy Note9 S Pen Features You Never Knew!

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4,000 mAh Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes with a 4,000 mAh battery – 21% larger than the 3,300 mAh battery of the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check. Yet the Galaxy Note9 is just 0.2 mm thicker and 6 grams heavier.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) naturally supports fast charging in both wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) modes. It continues to use the standard 15 watt Samsung fast adaptive charger, so expect a longer charging time for its beefier battery.

Later in this review, we will examine its battery life, and battery recharging speed…

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) retains the same 8 MP front camera with the Samsung S5K3H1 sensor, and f/1.7 lens from the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability. It doesn’t come with an LED flash but uses screen flash for more even lighting.

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) inherits the awesome dual camera system from the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) smartphone. It consists of a dual aperture camera, and a telephoto camera.

Unlike other dual camera systems, it works like two separate cameras that captures images simultaneously! This allows it to create pictures with amazing adjustable bokeh through its Live Focus feature, while giving you the Dual Capture option to capture photos from both cameras simultaneously!

The dual aperture camera uses the superb Samsung ISOCELL SAK2L3 image sensor, and has a large mechanical aperture that automatically switches between :

  • a large f/1.5 aperture, for incredible low-light performance and bokeh, or
  • the f/2.4 aperture for a greater depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s camera and twice that of most flagship smartphone cameras. This translates into better low-light photography with less noise.

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The secondary camera has a smaller 12 MP sensor (without Dual Pixel capability) paired with a telephoto f/2.4 lens. This telephoto camera does not just give you a 2X optical zoom capability, it delivers the Samsung’s signature Live Focus and Dual Capture capabilities.

Best of all, you can switch between the two cameras in the midst of recording a video! This is an incredibly useful feature that is only available in two other smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and  the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

And because both the wide and telephone cameras have OIS lenses, the video will be stabilised irrespective of which camera you choose to use at any time. This is why the

 

Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

Samsung used the same ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor that was used in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check). This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

 

Super Slow-mo

Like the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), the Samsung Galaxy Note9 supports the Super Slow-mo feature, which allows you to record 720p video at 960 fps.

The Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

The new ISOCELL Fast sensor, when paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited the Super Slow-mo capability to ensure a consistent experience worldwide.

There are other caveats too – Super Slow-mo is limited to 0.4 seconds of recording and 12 seconds of playback for single Super Slow-mo shots. If you opt for the multi-shot mode, each Super Slow-mo segment in that video is limited to 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback.

 

Built-In DeX Capability

Samsung DeX is a promising effort to deliver a desktop working experience using a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 takes that one step further with its built-in DeX capability!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) does not require a separate DeX Station or DeX Pad accessory. All it requires is a simple USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable! It does not even require a Samsung-branded adaptor (looking at you and your MFi bullshit, Apple!) – ANY USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable will do.

After you use the USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable to connect the Galaxy Note9 to a TV or monitor, you just need to link a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to use it like a PC. Best of all – you can continue to use your Galaxy Note9 while Samsung DeX is running!

Next Page > More Samsung Galaxy Note9 Features

 

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More Powerful Processor

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) will come with a faster processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the US, and their own Exynos 9810 SoC worldwide. They are both the fastest SoCs in the world, so you should feel a noticeable bump in performance.

 

More Memory + Storage!

Samsung first introduced 6 GB of RAM in the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). The Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes with that as the minimum, and offers 8 GB of LPDDR4 memory for higher capacity models. They also doubled the internal storage! Samsung offers the Galaxy Note9 in three variants :

  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage
  • 8 GB RAM + 256 GB storage
  • 8 GB RAM + 512 GB storage

 

Hybrid SIM + 512 GB microSD Card Tray

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability, and comes with a hybrid SIM tray. This gives you some flexibility – you can choose to use either a second SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time.

The microSD slot supports microSD cards of up to 512 GB in size, allowing you to obtain up to 1 TB of storage! Samsung will be announcing a new 512 GB microSD card to pair with the Galaxy Note9, but you can immediately purchase and use the following high-capacity microSD cards :

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New Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to a central location right beneath the main camera at the back. This is a much better location, especially if you are left-handed. But that’s not all.

Samsung also used a new touch fingerprint sensor. It is much easier and faster to register your fingerprint with this new sensor. This addresses a major criticism of the Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones.

The location of the fingerprint sensor under the horizontal layout of the dual-camera system means the bumper case has a T-shaped cut-out that helps to guide your finger to the fingerprint sensor. However, its close proximity to the rear camera means you will still have to regularly clean the camera lens to avoid blurry pictures.

 

Intelligent Scan

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) has a “new login method” called Intelligent Scan. This is not really a new feature, but a combination of the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities.

In bright conditions, Intelligent Scan uses facial recognition to login. But when it gets too dark, the iris scanner kicks in. This allows for easier and faster logins in low light or super bright conditions.

Intelligent Scan addresses the key problem with the iris scanner – it doesn’t work in bright conditions. However, it is easier to fool than a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones,

Intelligent Scan is a great convenience, especially if you need to log into the Galaxy Note9 while it’s attached to a car mount. But security-conscious users should stick to a password if possible, or rely on the iris scanner and fingerprint sensor.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Durability, Ergonomics, Setup, Available Memory + Storage

 

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy Note8, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. Best of all, you don’t have to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water! For more information how how Samsung achieved this feat, take a look at The Samsung IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes. That means you can take it for jogs in the rain, or reading in the bathtub. Heck, you can even take it for a swim!

There are some caveats though. The IP68 rating applies to a specific set of test conditions : 15-35 °C, 86-106 kPa, 1.5 metre, 30 minutes. Water may enter and damage the Galaxy Note9 if it is exposed to “water moving with force“, like running water from a tap or waterfall, or ocean waves.

In other words, this is not a waterproof phone like the Oukitel K10000 Pro or the Kenxinda ruggerdised smartphones. It is IP68 water-resistant, so you need to be gentle with it. You can read more about this in our article – The Samsung IP68 Engineering Explained.

 

The Ergonomics

You would expect the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) to be a large phablet. After all, it has a large 6.4-inch display. Yet, it is about the same size as a 5.7-inch smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check).

That said, this is still a two-handed device, because of its height. If you prefer to use only one hand, you can turn on the One-handed mode option.

The Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 results in a non-standard 18.5:9 display ratio. Watching movies will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of the movie.

The Gorilla Glass 5 back looks fabulous… at first. It is easily smudged by oily fingerprints, because it lacks the oleophobic coating of the front Gorilla Glass 5 cover protecting the display. The smudges are particularly obvious on the Ocean Blue and Midnight Black models. Perhaps that’s why Samsung threw in a clear TPU bumper case – it protects the Galaxy Note9 while keeping the shiny back smear-free.

 

Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy Note9

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and is very easy to set-up. If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5-7 minutes to finish the setup process.

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Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) base model comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory. Those who hated the bloat in the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) will be glad to know that the Note9 has far less bloat.

Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 has 3.3 GB (55%) of memory available for use – significantly more than the 2.8 GB (37.5%) free memory of the Galaxy Note8.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) base model comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage, with 108.8 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 24,500 photos, or 13.25 hours of 1080p videos, or 5.25 hours of 4K videos.

If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 512 GB), for a total storage capacity of 1 TB!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) uses the superb 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the dual aperture camera. It is capable of automatically or manually switching between the f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 x 3024 pixels, and a file size of between 3 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 14 high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The resolution and detail in the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s photos are incredible. You can see the intricate detail of the pepper seeds, the flower pollen, even the individual buds of the broccoli florets.

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It also did a great job of bringing out the colour of the subject matter. Every colour is accurately rendered and automatically “amped up” by AI algorithms. If you do not like the increased vividness though, you can turn off the Scene Optimiser feature.

The f/1.5 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But if that’s not enough, you can use its Live Focus feature which allows you to create really awesome bokeh for the background.

No doubt, the Live Focus bokeh is artificially created, but the dual camera design allow for precise separation of the subject from the background. Live Focus also allows you to adjust the amount of bokeh for the background.

 

Awesome Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples From Taipei

One of the first things we did with the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) was to take it on a photo trip.

This time, we took it to Taipei, where we got a bunch of awesome Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples. Check it out!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Video Recording

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Video Recording

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is capable of recording 4K videos from both front and back cameras. However, Samsung still limits the 4K recording time to just 10 minutes. This was likely done to ensure that the sensor does not overheat the battery.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. You can also see how well its OIS capability worked, even when we switched between the main camera and the telephoto camera.

The audio quality is still a bit bright and lacks bass, but it’s still one of the better non-Hi-Res Audio recordings we have heard.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The resolution at 4K is incredible. You can clearly read the small text on the sign under the piano! Samsung also solved the seeking issue we noted when we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), which uses the same camera.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The combination of OIS and EIS allowed the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) to deliver really good image stabilisation.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

Its image stabilisation capabilities were not diminished with the higher resolution. Overall – very good OIS and EIS performance.

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Video Recording Test #5 : Night Dancing (1080p)

The singers on the platform are well-lit, but the dancers are not. Watch how well the Samsung Galaxy Note9 adapts to the changing lighting conditions. You wouldn’t think that this was a low-light condition.

Video Recording Test #6 : Night Dancing (4K)

The resolution is just amazing… and so was its control of the highlights. You can see right into the restaurant in the background even though it’s much brighter than the dancers in the foreground!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Low Light

We created a separate article looking at the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s camera performance in low-light conditions. Check it out!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Performance, Battery Life  + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy Note8 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy Note9
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 5617 5590 5557
Web Browsing 7295 5433 6037 5763
Video Editing 5159 4872 5332 5410
Writing 6732 5696 4713 5421
Photo Editing 12910 8563 6847 5898
Data Manipulation 5524 4329 5253 5316
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This Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is powered by the same Exynos 9810 SoC used in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), so Its performance in work application was no different.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Galaxy Note9’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy Note9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy Note8 Honor 10
Gaming Score 42598 42489 32584 30560
Graphics 51199 49852 36927 34801
Physics 26825 28009 23083 21423
Graphics Test 1 330.2 fps 308.6 fps 185.5 fps 206.2 fps
Graphics Test 2 167.9 fps 167.0 fps 141.5 fps 119.5 fps
Physics Test 85.2 fps 88.9 fps 73.3 fps 68.0 fps
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What the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) lacked in work performance, it more than made up in gaming performance. Its ARM Mali-G72 MP18 graphics processor was 44% faster than the ARM Mali-G71 MP20 used in the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

The Samsung Galaxy Note9’s CPU cores also delivered 39% faster physics processing than those of the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy Note9’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy Note9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy Note8
Battery Life 10 hours 15 mins 9 hours 5 mins 8 hours 56 mins 8 hours 50 mins
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Will you look at that! The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) delivered a battery life of over 10 hours. This is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for over 10 hours!

The Galaxy Note9 lasted 70 minutes longer than the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), and 85 minutes longer than the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check)!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 15 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged the 4,000 mAh battery.

It took the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) just under 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 5.8 : 1 – a good ratio. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 10.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 72 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 35 minutes to top up the remaining 15%.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Verdict & Award, Price, Availability + Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

In our review of the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), we pointed out that it was in a class of its own. This remains true with the new Samsung Galaxy Note9. Nothing else in the world comes close to it.

So the question really isn’t whether the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is the best Note ever, but whether it is an evolutionary upgrade, or a revolutionary device in its own right. The answer – it is both. Let us summarise why.

Evolutionary Improvements

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  • Faster CPU and GPU
  • Doubling of storage capacity
  • Improved fingerprint sensor
  • Larger battery capacity

Revolutionary Features

  • Dual Aperture Camera
  • Bluetooth S Pen with remote control
  • Supercapacitor in the S Pen
  • Built-in Samsung DeX capability

Many pundits predicted an evolutionary device. Yet Samsung continued to push the envelope, delivering several revolutionary features. Perhaps there is much to be said for their strategy of focusing on making their core features better, Instead of resorting to gimmicks like display notches and pop-up cameras,

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is, without doubt, a magnificent piece of smartphone technology. It’s unbelievable how much technology Samsung packed into such a compact device. We would like to congratulate Samsung for a work well done, and award the Galaxy Note9 our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Price + Availability

Here are the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) prices in the UK and Malaysia. Note that the UK price includes the VAT of 20%.

  • 6 GB + 128 GB : £899 / $999.99 / RM 3,699
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : £999
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : £1,099 / $1,249.99 / RM 4,599

The Galaxy Note9 is available worldwide starting 24 August 2018. In Malaysia, it will only be offered in Midnight Black and Metallic Copper with a matching S Pen, and Ocean Blue with a Yellow S Pen.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Specifications Compared

In this table, we compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note9 to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note FE.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Note9Samsung Galaxy Note8Samsung Galaxy Note FE
Display6.4" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (516 ppi)
6.3" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (521 ppi)
5.7" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2560 pixels (577 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Water & Dust ResistanceIP68IP68IP68
Operating System (At Launch)Android 8.1 OreoAndroid 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
System PlatformSamsung Exynos 9810
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa
Memory6 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM6 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage Options128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 512 GB
64 GB / 128 GB / 256 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 256 GB
64 GB / 128 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 200 GB
Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens8 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens5 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera with Dual OIS and dual-tone LED flash

Dual-Aperture Camera
12 MP (1.4 µm) Dual Pixel sensor with f/1.5 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and f/1.5 or f/2.4 apertures

Telephoto Camera (2X optical zoom)
12 MP (1.0 µm) sensor with f/2.4 lens, and optical image stabilisation (OIS)
Dual Lens Camera with Dual OIS

Wide-Angle Camera
12 MP (1.4 µm) sensor with f/1.7 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash

Telephoto Camera (2X optical zoom)
12 MP (1.0 µm) sensor with f/2.4 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash
12 MP Sony / Samsung (1.4 µm) sensor with f/1.7 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash
Dual SIM capabilityHybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual standby capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
ConnectivityNetwork : LTE Cat. 18 (1.2 Gbps / 200 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Network : LTE Cat. 16 (1 Gbps / 150 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Network : LTE Cat. 16 (1 Gbps / 150 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear MountedYes, Rear MountedYes, Home Button
Iris ScannerYesYesYes
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRMAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRMAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRM
BixbyYesYesNo
S PenYes, Bluetooth LEYesYes
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,200 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
Dimensions76.4 mm wide
161.9 mm tall
8.8 mm thick
74.8 mm wide
162.5 mm tall
8.6 mm thick
73.9 mm wide
153.5 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight201 g195 g169 g
Colour OptionsOcean Blue, Midnight Black, Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple (limited countries)Midnight Black, Deepsea Blue, Orchid Gray, Maple GoldBlue Coral, Silver Titanium, Gold Platinum, Black Onyx

 

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus “Dual Aperture” Smartphone Review

When pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus first leaked, pundits criticised how similar it looked to its predecessor – the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. But the familiar facade hides a number of important upgrades. Find out why we think the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the perfected Galaxy S8 Plus!

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+

Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, there will be two sizes – the Galaxy S9 (SM-960) with a 5.8″ display, and the larger Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-965) with a 6.2″ display. Here is a table comparing their specifications :

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy S9+Samsung Galaxy S9
ModelSM-965SM-960
Display6.2" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (529 ppi)
5.8" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (570 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0Android 8.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 / 128 / 256 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor8 MP sensor
Main CameraDual Camera System
- Main Dual Aperture Camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- Telephoto camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens and f/2.4 aperture
- dual-tone LED flash
Dual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor with 1.4 μm pixels
- OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- dual-tone LED flash
Super Slow-moYes, 720p (0.2 seconds)Yes, 720p (0.2 seconds)
Samsung Live FocusYesNo
ConnectivityQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Iris ScannerYes, with IntelligentScan capabilityYes, with IntelligentScan capability
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-Mounted
Bixby ButtonYesYes
Dust & Water ResistanceIP68IP68
AudioAKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
FM RadioYesYes
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
Dimensions73.8 mm wide
158.1 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
68.7 mm wide
147.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight189 g163 g
Available ColoursMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium SilverMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium Silver

This time around, Samsung made more of an effort to differentiate the two models. The larger Galaxy S9 Plus not only comes with a larger battery, it also has more memory and storage options, as well as a dual camera system.

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

Samsung is making the Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) available in four colour options – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, and Titanium Silver. However, not all of them will be available worldwide.

In Malaysia, only these three colours are available (at least initially) – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Up Close + Camera Features

 

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Up Close

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 in design. They both boast the same glass and metal design, with an Infinity Display and IP68 dust- and water-resistance.

In most countries, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) is powered by the Samsung Exynos 9810, while in the US, it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and 64 GB of storage (with a 128 GB option in some countries).

Despite rumours that Samsung would be ditching the dedicated Bixby button and 3.5 mm earphone port, they will both still here.

 

The Front Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) retains the Galaxy S8‘s front camera with the 8 MP Samsung S5K3H1 sensor and an f/1.7 lens. It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability.

Its low-light capability will come in handy, as the front camera does not have flash support, not even screen flash. Still, we hope that Samsung will at least throw in screen flash, which costs nothing to add.

 

Dual Aperture Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) boasts a new dual aperture camera, that was first used in the rare and expensive Samsung W2018 smartphone (available only in China). This dual aperture camera has a mechanical aperture that lets you switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture for a deeper depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s camera. This translates into better low-light photography with less noise.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) has an additional telephoto camera that is not available in the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check). This camera has a 12 MP sensor, but lacks the Dual Pixel capability of the main camera, and is coupled to a f/2.4 lens.

This telephoto camera does not just give you a 2X zoom capability, it actually adds Live Focus and Dual Capture capabilities. You can also switch between the two cameras in the midst of recording a video, and because they both have OIS lenses, the video will be stabilised all the way.

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New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

Samsung used their latest ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the new cameras. This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with its Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

 

Super Slow-Mo

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) supports a new Super Slow-mo feature, which allows you to record 720p video at 960 fps.

The Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

The new ISOCELL Fast sensor, when paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited Super Slow-mo capability to ensure consistent experience worldwide.

There are other caveats too – Super Slow-mo is limited to 20 shots per video, with approximately 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback for each Super Slow-mo shot.

Next Page > Other New Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Features

 

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Bixby Live Translation

The original Samsung Bixby is capable of live translation, so a more accurate description of this new feature is AR (augmented reality) Translation.

In the original Bixby, the translation appears as a separate card. But in the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Bixby implementation, the translation appears as part of the image. Hence, our opinion that it should be called AR Translation.

In fact, it is smart enough to take note of the font and background of the text being translated, and render the translation as if it was the original text!

This is, without doubt, a truly useful combination of Bixby and augmented reality!

 

AR Emoji

This is arguably one of the coolest software features in the new Samsung Galaxy S9 camera system. You can use either the front or rear camera to take a picture of anyone, to create augmented reality emojis that look like your subject!

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) will automatically create an avatar that looks like you, which you can customise to your satisfaction. They will also automatically create 18 stickers showing a range of different emotions for you to use in your instant messages.

But that’s not all – the avatar will imitate your facial expressions. You can even record videos that can be shared with your friends!

 

Intelligent Scan

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) has a “new login method” called Intelligent Scan. This is not really a new feature, but a combination of the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities.

In bright conditions, Intelligent Scan uses facial recognition to login. But when it gets too dark, the iris scanner kicks in. This allows for easier and faster logins in low light or super bright conditions.

Intelligent Scan addresses the key problem with the iris scanner – it doesn’t work in bright conditions. However, it is easier to fool than a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones,

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New Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to a central location right beneath the main camera at the back. This is a much better location, especially if you are left-handed. But that’s not all.

Samsung also used a new swipe fingerprint sensor. It is much easier and faster to register your fingerprint with this new sensor. This addresses a major criticism of the Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones.

However, its close proximity to the rear camera, and its swipe functionality means you still have to regularly clean the camera lens to avoid blurry pictures.

 

Hybrid SIM

As it was with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) will be offered with a nano SIM + microSD tray, or a hybrid SIM tray, depending on region. If you want dual SIM, dual standby capability, you will need to get the model with the hybrid SIM tray.

The hybrid SIM tray allows you to either use a second SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time. The microSD slot officially supports microSD cards of up to 256 GB in size, although it should have no problem supporting larger capacity microSD cards, like the 400GB SanDisk Ultra (Price Check).

Next Page > Durability, Ergonomics, Setup, Memory & Storage

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) is IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. Best of all, you don’t even have to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water! For more information how how Samsung achieved this feat, take a look at our article, Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Galaxy S9 Plus can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes. That means you can take it for jogs in the rain, reading in the shower or soaking in bath. Heck, you can even take it for a swim!

There are some caveats though. The IP68 rating applies to a specific set of test conditions : 15-35 °C, 86-106 kPa, 1.5 metre, 30 minutes. Even so, water may enter and damage the Galaxy S7 edge if it is exposed to “water moving with force“, like running water from a tap or waterfall, or ocean waves.

In other words, this is not a waterproof phone like the Oukitel K10000 Pro or the Kenxinda ruggerdised smartphones. It is IP68 water-resistant, so you need to be gentle with it. You can read more about this in our article – Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

 

Ergonomics

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) has a 5.8″ bezel-less Infinity Display, so it does not feel like a large smartphone. In fact, it feels smaller than the 5.5″ Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and even 5.2″ smartphones like HTC 10. This means it will feel more comfortable in smaller hands, and fit better in smaller pockets.

The large Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 results in a non-standard 18.5:9 display ratio. Watching movies will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of the movie.

The Gorilla Glass 5 back looks fabulous… at first. It is easily smudged by oily fingerprints, because it lacks the oleophobic coating of the front Gorilla Glass 5 cover protecting the display.

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Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) comes with Android 8.0 Oreo installed. The setup process is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check), whose setup video can be seen below.

 

Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, of which 3 GB (50%) is available for use. That is a lot of bloat, equal to that of the Galaxy S8. But seriously, 3 GB of memory is more than enough memory to run many applications simultaneously. In fact, it is more memory than what many mid-range smartphones ship with!

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, with 50 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 11,000 photos, or 6 hours of 1080p videos, or just over 2 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) uses the 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the dual aperture camera. It is capable of switching between the f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 x 3024 pixels, and a file size of between 3 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

Telephoto 2X Zoom Capability

Here are two pictures to show you the additional reach the secondary telephoto camera gives you.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Camera Performance – Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) is capable of recording 4K videos from both front and back cameras. However, Samsung still limits the 4K recording time to just 10 minutes. This was likely done to ensure that the sensor does not overheat the battery.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. There is a good control of the highlights – you can see into the Padini Concept Store in the background.

You can also see how well its OIS capability worked, even when we switched between the main camera and the telephoto camera.

 

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The resolution at 4K is incredible. You can even see some of the price tags deep inside the Padini Concept Store. There was some seeking issues with the telephoto camera at 0:17, but they were only present at this particular angle – where there are other subjects behind the pianist, Mr. Yang.

 

Video Recording Test #3 : Japanese Band (1080p)

This was taken with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) mounted on a DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal. You can see a lot of wobbling. This sadly appears to be the camera’s OIS trying to compensate for the stabilisation already provided by the gimbal.

The highlights were slightly overblown, but it was still an admirable effort for such bright spotlights in a dim environment.

 

Video Recording Test #4 : Japanese Band (4K)

Again, there was significant wobbling from the OIS, when used with a gimbal. But we can’t help but admire the sharpness and detail captured in this video.

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Video Recording Test #5 : Street Market (1080p)

The combination of OIS and EIS allowed the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) to deliver really good image stabilisation.

 

Video Recording Test #6 : Street Market (4K)

Its image stabilisation capabilities were not diminished with the higher resolution. Overall – very good OIS and EIS performance.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy S9’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
5618 5590 5303 5197
Web Browsing 5357 6037 5155 5035
Video Editing 5265 5332 4998 4433
Writing 4673 4713 5158 5607
Photo Editing 7560 6847 7082 7238
Data Manipulation 5616 5253 4458 4183
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The Samsung Exynos 9810 powering the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) is about 5.5% faster than the Exynos 8895 used in the Samsung Galaxy S8. This is not a high score by any means, being slightly slower than the Snapdragon 625 powering the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy S9 Plus’ battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9+
Battery Life 12 hours 19 mins 10 hours 32 mins 9 hours 6 mins 9 hours 5 mins
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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) lasted as long as the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check). Despite having a 16.7% larger battery, it was only sufficient in making up for its larger display and memory capacity.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 18 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,500 mAh battery.

It took the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) about 95.5 minutes (1 hour 35.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is just 8.5 minutes longer than it takes the Galaxy S8 to recharge its 3000 mAh battery.

This gives it a rather disappointing battery life : recharging ratio of 5.7 : 1. Its recharging performance is good, but Samsung needs to improve its battery life.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Galaxy S9 Plus’ gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Gaming Score 42489 39588 29509 14684
Graphics 49852 45577 33279 15201
Physics 28009 27116 21130 13121
Graphics Test 1 308.6 fps 267.9 fps 173.1 fps 134.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 167.0 fps 157.2 fps 124.3 fps 43.8 fps
Physics Test 88.9 fps 86.1 fps 67.1 fps 41.7 fps
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What the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) lacked in work performance, it more than made up in gaming performance. Its ARM Mali-G72 MP18 graphics processor was 44% faster than the ARM Mali-G71 MP20 used in the Galaxy S8.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus’ CPU cores also delivered 32% faster physics processing than those of the Galaxy S8.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) looks almost identical to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S8. While some see it as a “lack of innovation“, others point out that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Whatever we may think of its familiar design, there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the best Galaxy smartphone ever made.

Samsung basically fixed every major criticism of the Galaxy S8 smartphone. They moved the fingerprint sensor to a better position, and used a much better swipe-type sensor. They buttressed the iris scanner with the facial recognition system, allowing easy login in bright and low-light conditions.

The biggest hardware change was the addition of a dual aperture camera, coupled with a telephoto camera. The dual aperture camera allows you to switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture and a f/2.4 aperture for greater depth of field. The telephoto camera not only offers 2X optical zoom, it also enables the Live Focus and Dual Capture capabilities.

Samsung also introduced a new Samsung ISOCELL Fast sensor in the main camera. It has large 1.4 µm pixels with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also has a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that enables the new Super Slow-mo mode – the ability to record 720p video at 960 fps.

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The other new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check) features like AR Emoji, Bixby Live Translation and Intelligent Scan are software in nature.

The downside? The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus comes with the same 3,500 mAh battery, but has a shorter battery life and longer recharging time.

With the exception of the shorter battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is better than the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in every possible way. This is why we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Samsung!

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Review : Galaxy S8 Perfected!

When pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 first leaked, pundits criticised how similar it looked to its predecessor – the Samsung Galaxy S8. But the familiar facade hides a number of important upgrades. Find out why we think the new Samsung Galaxy S9 is the perfected Galaxy S8!

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+

Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, there will be two sizes – the Galaxy S9 (SM-960) with a 5.8″ display, and the larger Galaxy S9+ (SM-965) with a 6.2″ display. Here is a table comparing their specifications :

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy S9+Samsung Galaxy S9
ModelSM-965SM-960
Display6.2" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (529 ppi)
5.8" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (570 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0Android 8.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 / 128 / 256 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor8 MP sensor
Main CameraDual Camera System
- Main Dual Aperture Camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- Telephoto camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens and f/2.4 aperture
- dual-tone LED flash
Dual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor with 1.4 μm pixels
- OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- dual-tone LED flash
Super Slow-moYes, 720p (0.2 seconds)Yes, 720p (0.2 seconds)
Samsung Live FocusYesNo
ConnectivityQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Iris ScannerYes, with IntelligentScan capabilityYes, with IntelligentScan capability
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-Mounted
Bixby ButtonYesYes
Dust & Water ResistanceIP68IP68
AudioAKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
FM RadioYesYes
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
Dimensions73.8 mm wide
158.1 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
68.7 mm wide
147.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight189 g163 g
Available ColoursMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium SilverMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium Silver

This time around, Samsung made more of an effort to differentiate the two models. The larger Galaxy S9+ not only comes with a larger battery, it also has more memory and storage options, as well as a dual camera system.

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

Samsung is making the Galaxy S9 (Price Check) available in four colour options – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, and Titanium Silver. However, not all of them will be available worldwide.

In Malaysia, only these three colours are available (at least initially) – Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Up Close + Camera Features

 

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Up Close

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 in design. They both boast the same glass and metal design, with an Infinity Display and IP68 dust- and water-resistance.

In most countries, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) is powered by the Samsung Exynos 9810, while in the US, it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and 64 GB of storage (with a 128 GB option in some countries).

Despite rumours that Samsung would be ditching the dedicated Bixby button and 3.5 mm earphone port, they will both still here.

 

The Front Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) retains the Galaxy S8‘s front camera with the 8 MP Samsung S5K3H1 sensor and an f/1.7 lens. It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability.

Its low-light capability will come in handy, as the front camera does not have flash support, not even screen flash.

 

Dual Aperture Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) boasts a new dual aperture camera, that was first used in the rare and expensive Samsung W2018 smartphone (available only in China).

This dual aperture camera has a mechanical aperture that lets you switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture for a deeper depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s camera. This translates into better low-light photography with less noise.

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New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

Samsung also used their latest ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the new cameras. This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with its Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

 

Super Slow-Mo

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) supports a new Super Slow-mo feature, which allows you to record 720p video at 960 fps.

The Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

The new ISOCELL Fast sensor, when paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited Super Slow-mo capability to ensure consistent experience worldwide.

There are other caveats too – Super Slow-mo is limited to 20 shots per video, with approximately 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback for each Super Slow-mo shot.

Next Page > Other New Samsung Galaxy S9 Features

 

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Bixby Live Translation

The original Samsung Bixby is capable of live translation, so a more accurate description of this new feature is AR (augmented reality) Translation.

In the original Bixby, the translation appears as a separate card. But in the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Bixby implementation, the translation appears as part of the image. Hence, our opinion that it should be called AR Translation.

In fact, it is smart enough to take note of the font and background of the text being translated, and render the translation as if it was the original text!

This is, without doubt, a truly useful combination of Bixby and augmented reality!

 

AR Emoji

This is arguably one of the coolest software features in the new Samsung Galaxy S9 camera system. You can use either the front or rear camera to take a picture of anyone, to create augmented reality emojis that look like your subject!

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) will automatically create an avatar that looks like you, which you can customise to your satisfaction. They will also automatically create 18 stickers showing a range of different emotions for you to use in your instant messages.

But that’s not all – the avatar will imitate your facial expressions. You can even record videos that can be shared with your friends!

 

Intelligent Scan

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) has a “new login method” called Intelligent Scan. This is not really a new feature, but a combination of the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities.

In bright conditions, Intelligent Scan uses facial recognition to login. But when it gets too dark, the iris scanner kicks in. This allows for easier and faster logins in low light or super bright conditions.

Intelligent Scan addresses the key problem with the iris scanner – it doesn’t work in bright conditions. However, it is easier to fool than a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones,

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New Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to a central location right beneath the main camera at the back. This is a much better location, especially if you are left-handed. But that’s not all.

Samsung also used a new swipe fingerprint sensor. It is much easier and faster to register your fingerprint with this new sensor. This addresses a major criticism of the Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones.

However, its close proximity to the rear camera, and its swipe functionality means you will have to regularly clean the camera lens to avoid blurry pictures.

 

Hybrid SIM

As it was with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) will be offered with a nano SIM + microSD tray, or a hybrid SIM tray, depending on region. If you want dual SIM, dual standby capability, you will need to get the model with the hybrid SIM tray.

 

The hybrid SIM tray allows you to either use a second SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time. The microSD slot officially supports microSD cards of up to 256 GB in size.

Next Page > Durability, Ergonomics, Setup, Memory & Storage

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) is IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. Best of all, you don’t even have to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water! For more information how how Samsung achieved this feat, take a look at our article, Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Galaxy S9 can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes. That means you can take it for jogs in the rain, reading in the shower or soaking in bath. Heck, you can even take it for a swim!

There are some caveats though. The IP68 rating applies to a specific set of test conditions : 15-35 °C, 86-106 kPa, 1.5 metre, 30 minutes. Even so, water may enter and damage the Galaxy S7 edge if it is exposed to “water moving with force“, like running water from a tap or waterfall, or ocean waves.

In other words, this is not a waterproof phone like the Oukitel K10000 Pro or the Kenxinda ruggerdised smartphones. It is IP68 water-resistant, so you need to be gentle with it. You can read more about this in our article – Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

 

Ergonomics

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) has a 5.8″ bezel-less Infinity Display, so it does not feel like a large smartphone. In fact, it feels smaller than the 5.5″ Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and even 5.2″ smartphones like HTC 10. This means it will feel more comfortable in smaller hands, and fit better in smaller pockets.

The large Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 results in a non-standard 18.5:9 display ratio. Watching movies will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of the movie.

The Gorilla Glass 5 back looks fabulous… at first. It is easily smudged by oily fingerprints, because it lacks the oleophobic coating of the front Gorilla Glass 5 cover protecting the display.

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Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) comes with Android 8.0 Oreo installed. Let’s boot it up, and see how easy it is to set-up!

 

Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4x memory, of which 1.5 GB (37.5%) is available for use. That is a lot of bloat, equal to that of the Galaxy S8. With that in mind, 1.5 GB of memory is plenty of memory to run several applications simultaneously. In fact, it is more memory than what some low-end smartphones ship with!

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, with 48.8 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 11,000 photos, or 6 hours of 1080p videos, or just over 2 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) uses the 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the dual aperture camera. It is capable of switching between the f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 x 3024 pixels, and a file size of between 3 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 6 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The new camera is just amazing. The detail and colour are top-notch, and the noise level is really low.

A word of caution – the f/1.5 aperture may offer great low-light performance, but it has a very narrow depth of field. If you don’t focus properly on your subject, it will end up blurred.

Too bad there’s no way to switch to the f/2.4 aperture for greater depth of field in the Auto mode. You can only switch apertures in the Pro mode.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) is capable of recording 4K videos from both front and back cameras. However, Samsung still limits the 4K recording time to just 10 minutes. This was likely done to ensure that the sensor does not overheat the battery.

Below are four video samples, all taken without the use of gimbals.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (4K)

The camera’s resolution is really good. You can pick out the tiny signs in the background very clearly. It also demonstrated good control of the highlights – you can see into the Padini Concept Store in the background.

The optical and electronic image stabilisation capabilities also appear to have improved. It was almost as good as mounting the Galaxy S9 on a gimbal!

The recorded audio was clear, but still lacked the wider dynamic range of the HTC 10 (when HiRes Audio is enabled).

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (1080p)

Even at this lower resolution, the amount of details captured by the Samsung Galaxy S9 is amazing. We also love how well it was able to control the highlights in the bright background. You can see the details that are usually washed out in other smartphones.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (4K)

Look at how stable the recorded video was, even as we walked down this street market and looked around. It may not be as good as mounting the Galaxy S9 on a gimbal, but it comes real close!

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (1080p)

The 1080p walk-through appears to be even smoother than the 4K walk-through. So if you want the best-possible image stabilisation for your video, try recording in 1080p.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy S9’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
5656 5618 5303 5197
Web Browsing 5708 5357 5155 5035
Video Editing 5888 5265 4998 4433
Writing 4509 4673 5158 5607
Photo Editing 10698 7560 7082 7238
Data Manipulation 3570 5616 4458 4183
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Price Check Review
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When it comes to work applications, the Samsung Exynos 9810 powering the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) is about 6% faster than the Exynos 8895 used in the Samsung Galaxy S8. This puts it at par with the Snapdragon 625 powering the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy S9’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S9 ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Battery Life 12 hours 19 mins 10 hours 32 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 41 mins
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Price Check
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The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) lasted just over 9 hours in our battery test. That is almost 1.5 hours shorter than the Samsung Galaxy S8, and over 3 hours shorter than the Samsung Galaxy A8 2018. It only managed to beat the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro by 25 minutes

Note : All four smartphones compared here have a 3,000 mAh battery.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 18 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,000 mAh battery.

It took the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) about 108 minutes (1 hour 48 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is 21 minutes longer than it takes the Galaxy S8 to recharge the same battery capacity.

This gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of 5 : 1 – a rather disappointing performance.

Note : Our Samsung Galaxy S9 sample did not come with its charger. We used the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s charger instead. We will retest when we receive the official Galaxy S9 charger.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Galaxy S9’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Gaming Score 39588 29509 14684 14015
Graphics 45577 33279 15201 13470
Physics 27116 21130 13121 16328
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 173.1 fps 134.4 fps 80.7 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 124.3 fps 43.8 fps 46.0 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 67.1 fps 41.7 fps 51.8 fps
Price Check Review
Price Check
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What the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) lacks in work performance, it more than makes up in gaming performance. Its ARM Mali-G72 MP18 graphics processor was 37% faster than the ARM Mali-G71 MP20 used in the Galaxy S8.

The Samsung Galaxy S9’s CPU cores also delivered 28% faster physics processing than those of the Galaxy S8.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) looks almost identical to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S8. While some see it as a “lack of innovation“, others point out that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Whatever we may think of its familiar design, there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the best Galaxy smartphone ever made.

Samsung basically fixed every major criticism of the Galaxy S8 smartphone. They moved the fingerprint sensor to a better position, and used a much better swipe-type sensor. They buttressed the iris scanner with the facial recognition system, allowing easy login in bright and low-light conditions.

The biggest hardware change was the addition of a dual aperture camera. It allows you to switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture and a f/2.4 aperture for greater depth of field. The dual aperture camera also appears to have improved image stabilisation.

Samsung also introduced a new Samsung ISOCELL Fast sensor in the Galaxy S9. It has large 1.4 µm pixels with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It has a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that enables the new Super Slow-mo mode – the ability to record 720p video at 960 fps.

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The other new Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) features like AR Emoji, Bixby Live Translation and Intelligent Scan are software in nature.

The downside? The Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with the same 3,000 mAh battery, but has a shorter battery life and longer recharging time.

With the exception of the shorter battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is better than the Samsung Galaxy S8 in every possible way. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the Samsung Galaxy S8 perfected, and unreservedly deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Samsung!

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 – Everything You Need To Know!

Samsung just revealed the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ at the 2018 Mobile World Congress! Here are their key features, prices, specifications, pictures, price and availability!

Article Update History

Check out what was updated recently!

Updated @ 2018-02-26 : Updated details of its dual aperture camera, ISOCELL Fast sensor, price and availability. Also added a new section on the Enterprise Edition.

Updated @ 2018-02-20 : Updated the specifications and features of the Galaxy S9/S9+. Added new sections on the colour options, and the Samsung DeX Pad.

Updated @ 2018-01-31 : Updated details on their Variable Aperture camera. Added new sections on IntelligentScan and their new ISOCELL Fast sensor. Also posted their launch prices.

Updated @ 2018-01-20 : Added a video, as well as details on their launch details, model numbers and battery capacities.

Updated @ 2018-01-15 : Added details of the new variable aperture camera, and the Super Slow-mo feature. Also updated their specifications.

Originally posted @ 2018-01-12

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Revealed!

Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, there will be two sizes – the Galaxy S9 (SM-960) with a 5.8″ display, and the larger Galaxy S9+ (SM-965) with a 6.2″ display.

The US and Chinese models will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, while the rest of the world will receive the Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC instead.

This year though, Samsung will increase the feature differentiation between the two sizes. Let’s take a look…

Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will come with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, with 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB storage options, as well as a possible 512 GB model for “select markets” on a “temporary” basis.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 will only come with 4 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage.

New Dual Aperture Camera Updated!

Both models will feature a new, unique dual aperture camera. It was first used in the rare and expensive Samsung W2018 smartphone (available only in China). The camera has a mechanical aperture that lets you switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture for a deeper depth of field.

For the first time as well, Samsung will also differentiate the two sizes by offering a dual camera setup like the Galaxy Note8 only in the Galaxy S9+. The second 12 MP camera (with a fixed f/2.4 aperture) adds Live Focus and Dual Capture capability to the Plus model, as well as the ability to switch lenses on-the-fly while recording videos.

The smaller Galaxy S9 will not support the Live Focus and Dual Capture capability we love so much in the Galaxy Note8. This would make the Galaxy S9+ a more enticing model for mobile photography enthusiasts.

New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor Updated!

Samsung will also introduce their latest ISOCELL Fast S5K2L7/9 sensor in the new cameras. This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with its Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

Super Slow-Mo Updated!

Both smartphones will come with a new Super Slow-mo feature. It allows you to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, this feature is apparently limited to models using the Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC.

IntelligentScan

Instead of using a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will feature IntelligentScan. It combines the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities to improve accuracy and security, even in low light or super bright conditions.

Fingerprint Sensor

The position of the fingerprint sensor was, finally, brought into central alignment. This makes it easier to use, especially in the Galaxy S9+ because the dual camera setup means the fingerprint sensor is positioned even lower.

The fingerprint sensor’s close proximity to the main camera though means you are still very likely to smudge the lens with your oily fingers.

Bixby & Earphone Port

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Despite rumours that Samsung will be ditching the dedicated Bixby button and 3.5 mm earphone port, they will definitely be part of both devices.

Same Batteries

Both devices will come with the same battery capacities of their predecessors – 3000 mAh for the Samsung Galaxy S9, and 3,500 mAh for the larger Galaxy S9+.

However, they should have a longer battery life, thanks to their more efficient processors. They will also support the new 15 W fast wireless charging capability.

AKG-Tuned Stereo Speakers

The two new Samsung flagship smartphones will feature stereo speakers tuned by AKG.

Don’t forget to click to the next page to check out the specifications and launch details of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+!

 

Enterprise Edition New!

Samsung will also be offering an Enterprise Edition of both devices. These are basically specially-configured Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ smartphones for corporate clients.

You can read more about the Enterprise Edition devices in our article – The Samsung Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition Details Leaked!

Next Page > DeX Pad, Colour Options, Specifications, Price & Availability

 

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Samsung DeX Pad

Samsung will be introducing a new DeX docking station called the Samsung DeX Pad. It will have a flat design, which allows the display to be used as a touch pad. It also lets you make use of the Galaxy S9’s earphone port.

You can read more about the new DeX Pad in our article – Details of the Samsung DeX Pad Leaked!

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ will be available with four colour options – Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue, Titanium Silver. Here are three of them, as provided by Evan Blass.

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones that we managed to obtain.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy S9+Samsung Galaxy S9
ModelSM-965SM-960
Display6.2" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (529 ppi)
5.8" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (570 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0Android 8.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 / 128 / 256 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor8 MP sensor
Main CameraDual Camera System
- Main Dual Aperture Camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- Telephoto camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens and f/2.4 aperture
- dual-tone LED flash
Dual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor with 1.4 μm pixels
- OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- dual-tone LED flash
Super Slow-moYes, 720p (0.2 seconds)Yes, 720p (0.2 seconds)
Samsung Live FocusYesNo
ConnectivityQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Iris ScannerYes, with IntelligentScan capabilityYes, with IntelligentScan capability
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-Mounted
Bixby ButtonYesYes
Dust & Water ResistanceIP68IP68
AudioAKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
FM RadioYesYes
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
Dimensions73.8 mm wide
158.1 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
68.7 mm wide
147.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight189 g163 g
Available ColoursMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium SilverMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium Silver

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Price & Availability Updated!

Here is the timeline for the launch and availability of these new Samsung flagship smartphones :

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Unpacked launch event : Sunday, 25 February 2018
Pre-Order
begins : Friday, 2 March 2018
Delivery
begins : Friday, 16 March 2018

Here are the reported launch prices :

Samsung Galaxy S9 : KRW 950,000 / US$ 719.99 / £ 739
Samsung Galaxy S9+ : KRW 990,000 / US$ 839.99 / £ 869

Don’t forget to click to the next page to check out the many leaked pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+!

Next Page > Leaked Pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+

 

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The Most Credible Leaked Pictures

There are many “leaked pictures” on the Internet, but these are the most credible photos we found. They all tie in with what we know so far about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. Check them out!

The Olixar Cases

These cases were leaked by Olixar. The clear case designs, in particular, offer the clearest look at the two Samsung smartphones.

Pictures Leaked From China

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Box Sleeve Leaked From Vietnam

This picture of the outer sleeve for the Samsung Galaxy S9‘s box, which was purportedly leaked from Vietnam. It seems to be genuine, with the specifications matching what we know so far. Notably, it confirms the variable aperture camera, and the Super Slow-mo feature.

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Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!