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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review : Our Editor's Choice!

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review : Our Editor’s Choice!

Samsung recently sent us the new Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone, and here is our comprehensive review!

Find out why the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra won our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Price + Availability

Samsung is offering the Galaxy S22 Ultra in four colour options – Burgundy, Green, Phantom Black and Phantom White.

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive Samsung preview event, to check out all four colours for ourselves.

Note : Samsung only allowed us to use digital cameras, so the video is not stabilised as it would be with smartphones that I generally use.

Here in Malaysia, it is available starting 10 February 2022 in three variants, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 5,099 (about US$1,219 / £899 / A$1,699 / S$1,629)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 5,499 (about US$1,314 / £969 / A$1,829 / S$1,759)
  • 12 GB + 512 GB : RM 5,899 (about US$1,409 / £1,039 / A$1,959 / S$1,889)

Here are some online pre-order options :

 

Unboxing Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : What’s Inside Its Box?

Samsung just combined their Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series into the Galaxy S22 Ultra – their latest flagship smartphone.

Not only does it adopt the blockier industrial design language of the Galaxy Note series, it also comes with the S Pen built-in!

Despite being the biggest model in the Galaxy S22 family, the S22 Ultra comes in a slim cardboard box. Here’s an interesting fact – the colour of the S on the box shows you the colour of the Galaxy S22 Ultra inside!

In this video, we take a quick look at the box, before showing you exactly what you will find inside!

Here is everything you will find inside the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s box :

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone
  • Set of Galaxy S22 series documents
  • USB data and power cable (Type C to Type C)
  • SIM card tray extraction pin

Sadly, the Galaxy S22 Ultra does not come with a 45 watt charger in-the-box. You can reuse your old 15 watt charger, but you would be losing out on a key S22 Ultra feature.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Key Features

Now, let us go through its key features, and show you why the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award!

6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a massive 6.8-inch display, with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel.

Its wide colour gamut of 100% DCI-P3, a peak brightness of 1750 nits, and a contrast ratio of 3 million:1 will guarantee the best possible image quality, whether indoors or outdoors.

Gamers will love its high dynamic refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, with a touch sampling rate of up to 240 Hz.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers two refresh rate options (Settings > Display > Motion smoothness) :

  • Adaptive : Get smoother animation and scrolling by automatically adjusting your screen refresh rate up to 120 Hz
  • Standard : Get longer battery life with a 60 Hz screen refresh rate

Last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra also has an Adaptive mode, which dynamically refreshes between 10 Hz and 120 Hz

The new Galaxy S22 Ultra improves on that, with an Adaptive mode that dynamically refreshes between 1 Hz and 120 Hz.

By default, the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses the Adaptive mode, for smoother graphics, but you can choose to switch to the Standard mode for longer battery.

4nm Flagship Mobile Platform

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is built around the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile SoC, which is fabricated on the latest 4nm Samsung process technology.

Together with a powerful Adreno 730 GPU, it has eight processor cores in a triple-tier architecture :

  • a Cortex-X2 prime core running at up to 3 GHz,
  • three sustained-performance Cortex-A710 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz, and
  • four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 cores running at 1.8 GHz.

Memory + Storage Options

Samsung will be offering four memory and storage options, but not all of them are available globally :

  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage
  • 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage
  • 12 GB RAM + 512 GB storage
  • 12 GB RAM + 1 TB storage

Cameras Galore!

As the premiere Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a smorgasbord of cameras!

In the front, it has a 40 MP camera, with a wide f/2.2 aperture, and the ability to combine pixels for better low-light performance.

In the back, it has a quad-camera system that consists of :

  • a 108 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8 aperture
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera, f/2.2 aperture
  • a 10 MP telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom, f/2.4 aperture, and
  • a 10 MP periscope camera with 10X optical zoom, f/4.9

Ultra-Low Latency S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the only model in the Galaxy S22 family to come with the S Pen.

Just like the Galaxy Note series, it has a dedicated S Pen slot, so you will never have to worry about dropping the S Pen.

This is an improved S Pen, with ultra-low latency of just 2.8 ms – down from 9 ms in the previous generation. This gives it an instantaneous feel, just like writing an actual pen on paper.

Built To Last

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is protected in the back and front by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+.

On top of that, it is IP68-rated against dust and water ingress. That means it can withstand immersion in up to 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes.

Battery + Charging

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a large 5,000 mAh battery, which offers a very long battery life.

On top of that, it can support wired charging at up to 45 watts, with wireless charging supported at up to 15 watts.

It also supports Wireless PowerShare, allowing you to recharge other smartphones and wearables like the Galaxy Buds2.

The only downside – Samsung is not providing the 45 watt charger in-the-box.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Battery + Charging

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Battery Life Comparison!

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a larger 5,000 mAh battery, which is the same size as last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, and set its display brightness to 50%.

Why 50%? That is actually slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day, and is what we usually use in all our mobile battery life tests.

It is important to fix the brightness level, to make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with 60 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates :

Will you look at that!

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a battery life of 10.5 hours with Adaptive refresh rate enabled, and a whopping 14.25 hours with the Standard refresh rate!

But let’s compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the S21 Ultra and Z Flip 3 smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra really shines with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz.

The S22 Ultra used 20% less power per minute, which delivered 25% longer battery life than the S21 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(60 Hz)
S21 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh
Battery Life 14 hrs
15 mins
8 hrs 11 mins 11 hrs 22 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.68 mAh 5.38 mAh 5.87 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

While the Galaxy S22 Ultra certainly used less power than the S21 Ultra, that advantage was greatly diminished with the Adaptive refresh rate enabled.

The S22 Ultra used just 2% less power per minute, which delivered 2% (12 minutes) longer battery life than the S21 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra
(120 Hz)
S21 Ultra
(120 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(120 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Battery Life 10 hrs
38 mins
10 hrs
26 mins
6 hrs
44 mins
Utilisation
per min.
6.27 mAh 6.39 mAh 6.53 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra supports up to 45 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we relied on the standard 15 watt Samsung fast charger than shipped with their previous smartphones – something we believe most users will end up doing.

But we used the 25 watt charger for the S21 Ultra, because it came with that charger.

Work 3.0 S21 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 3
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Charger Output 25 watts 15 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64 minutes 64.5 minutes 88.5 minutes
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.5 mAh 62.0 mAh 29.8 mAh

Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra recharged as quickly with a standard 15 watt charger, as the S21 Ultra with its more powerful 25 watt charger!

In fact, the Galaxy S22 Ultra recharged itself twice as fast as the Galaxy Z Flip 3, even though they both used the same 15 watt charger!

This is really good news. It means that Galaxy S22 Ultra owners need not worry too much about its recharging speed with the older 15 watt chargers.

In fact, you don’t really need to splurge on a new 45 watt fast charger. The Galaxy S22 Ultra fully recharges from 20% to 100% in just over an hour with the standard 15 watt Samsung charger!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy S22 Ultra using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 Galaxy
Z Flip 3
Galaxy
S22 Ultra
Galaxy
S21 Ultra
Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
A52
Mobile Platform SD 888 SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
SD
750G
Performance Score 13317 12860 12535 10523 7874
Web Browsing 11637 10442 10185 8865 7021
Video Editing 7762 7444 6336 6232 5693
Writing 15316 15471 15247 11112 7454
Photo Editing 25357 30177 37847 30789 15812
Data Manipulation 11938 9691 8310 6825 6424

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Get 1 was surprisingly slightly slower than the Snapdragon 888 used by the Galaxy Z Flip 3, but the difference is just 5%, which means you won’t actually notice the difference.

For certainly, it will easily handle anything you throw at it, whether it’s just posting your latest Instagram pictures or editing a 4K video.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy S22 Ultra using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark Galaxy
S22 Ultra
Galaxy
Z Flip 3
Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
Note10+
Device SD 8
Gen 1
SD 888 Exynos
990
Exynos
9825
Sling Shot Unlimited 11094 9248 8026 3327
Wild Life Unlimited 9106 3952 4504 3288
Wild Life
Extreme
Unlimited
2220 1174 1387 528

Look at that! The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was a head above the competition when it comes to gaming!

It was 20% to 130% faster than the Snapdragon 888, and 38% to 102% faster than the Exynos 990!

For certain, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will crush any game you throw at it.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy S22 Ultra using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu Galaxy
S22 Ultra
Galaxy
Z Flip 3
Galaxy
S21 Ultra
Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
A52
Device SD 8 Gen 1 SD
888
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
SD 750G
AnTuTu Score 889167 696767 624411 522735 341908
CPU 203090 206228 166290 146783 105098
GPU 402617 242573 258995 215205 88068
Memory 146002 133586 120805 89376 60642
UX 137458 114380 78321 71371 88100

The AnTuTu benchmark confirme that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a veritable beast of a performer, beating even the very fast Galaxy Z Flip 3 by 28%, and the last-generation Galaxy S21 Ultra by 42!

Its GPU performance was, in particular, spectacular, delivering 66% better performance than the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and 55% better performance than the Galaxy S21 Ultra!

But note that its temperature jumped by over 10°C! At peak performance, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can get quite toasty!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Performance Summary

The Galaxy S22 Ultra was meant to be the ultimate Samsung smartphone for 2022, and it does not disappoint.

Built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – the fastest mobile SoC that exists for Android devices – it offers a tremendous boost in GPU performance, which should make gamers and mobile content creators happy.

The benchmark results amply demonstrates, you can count on the Galaxy S22 Ultra to easily handle anything and everything you throw at it.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Recording Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s super-high resolution 108 MP main camera can take up to 8K videos, if you want to. But in reality – most people are not going to bother with 8K video recording, at least for now.

Very few televisions and devices support 8K video playback, and even the S22 Ultra will downsample the 8K video when playing back on its 3K display.

1080p and 4K videos are what the Galaxy S22 Ultra does best, thanks to its support for 60 fps recording and combination of optical image stabilisation and advanced electronic image stabilisation.

1080p Video Sample : Concubine Lane @ Ipoh

This video sample was taken at the famous Concubine Lane in Ipoh, which is crowded and really great to test the camera out.

In this video sample, you can see just how smooth and stable the video is at 60 fps, even with so much shaking and jostling.

4K Video Sample : Concubine Lane @ Ipoh

When we switched to 4K, the video was remarkably stable, even while we walk through the crowd, and pan around Concubine Lane.

You should also note the lack of wind noise, which is fantastic. You won’t need to use a third-party microphone with a dead cat with this phone!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Zoom Capability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra also supports multiple zoom levels – up to 20X zoom at 1080p, and up to 10X zoom at 4K.

Its ultra-wide camera lets you record with a wider 0.6X zoom, while its 3X zoom and 10X zoom cameras allow for extended optical zoom capabilities.

1080p Zoom Demonstration

At 1080p, you can record videos from 0.6X zoom up to 20X zoom – which offers much wider range than competing smartphones.

The best image quality was seen at up to 10X zoom, while image stabilisation was best at up to 4X zoom, and still pretty good at 10X zoom.

While 20X zoom has pretty decent image quality, it is not as sharp as at 10X or lower zoom. Colours also appear more washed out at 20X.

4K Zoom Demonstration

You can record 4K videos from 0.6X zoom up to 10X zoom. – which is narrower than recording 1080p video.

For best image quality, limit your zoom up to 3X while recording 4K video. While image stabilisation was pretty good at 10X zoom, the image isn’t sharp and colours appear washed out.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Recording Performance Summary

If you ignore the 8K hype, you will realise that the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers truly excellent 4K and 1080p video recording capabilities.

You should buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra for its advanced optical and electronic image stabilisation for super-stable recording on-the-move.

You should also buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra for its wide zoom range of 0.6X to 10X when recording 1080p videos, or 0.6X to 3X when recording 4K videos.

These are the critical video recording features that will give you greater flexibility and super stable videos, without the need to use a gimbal.

While not showcased in our videos, the Galaxy S22 Ultra also supports Audio Zoom, focusing the audio recording as you zoom into a scene. That can be really helpful in isolating audio from the subject from background noise.

These features are not new – they have been part of the Samsung Galaxy S and Note series for a few years now. Samsung just keeps improving them, which is why we keep using Galaxy S smartphones as our primary video recording device.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography Capability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra boasts a super-high resolution 108 MP main camera, built around the same ISOCELL HM3 sensor used in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

However, this camera features improved AI optimisations. Thanks to the improved performance of its GPU and NPU, it now runs approximately 60 new AI models through its Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to optimise the final output.

Here are six shots I took around Ipoh Old Town, using the 108 MP main camera, and the 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera.

They are 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, with a JPEG file size of between 4 MB and 15 MB – it all depends on the amount of detail in the picture. To save space, I definitely recommend that you enable HEIF – the High Efficiency Image Format.

By default, the 108 MP camera takes 12 MP photos, combining nine pixels into one super-large 2.4 µm pixel. Coupled with the new AI models, the final photo is not only much brighter, but has significantly lower noise.

When you take shots at night, the Galaxy S22 Ultra combines images taken using both the 108 MP main camera, and the 12 MP ultra-wide camera. The 12 MP camera provides the rough details, while the fine details are provided by the 108 MP camera.

Here are four shots to show you the incredible amount of detail you can capture at just 12 MP. If you need greater detail, you can always increase the resolution to the full 108 MP, but frankly – these pictures should show you that you don’t really need to.

Its digital zoom has also been improved by the new AI models and the faster processor. For images taken above 30X digital zoom, the camera actually takes 10-20 shots at once, and processes them to improve the details in the final photo.

Finally, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a new AI portrait model that uses two cameras to accurately differentiate the depth between the person and the background.

This is critical because the 108 MP camera has a very wide f/1.8 aperture, which makes for very narrow depth-of-field (DOF). If you do not accurately focus on the subject, you could end up with a blurry photo even though it looks sharp on the phone.

In these four shots, you can see just how narrow of depth of field you have to work with. This makes for better photos – you just need to make sure the subject is really in focus.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography Summary

If you want the best cameras on a smartphone money can buy, you should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Ignore the 108 MP marketing hoohah. What you are really getting is an awesome 12 MP camera with super-large pixels for really great noise-free images, and better low-light photos.

You may be wary about Samsung reusing the ISOCELL HM3 sensor from last year, but it has better photographic capabilities, thanks mostly to software and AI improvements.

For one thing, I noticed that it is now much better at accurately focusing on the subject, resulting in far fewer wrongly-focused shots.

It also does a better job of correcting for disparate lighting conditions, although some of you may find the photos oversaturated.

But there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has some of the best smartphone cameras I’ve tried this year.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Summary + Award

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Summary + Award

It is really quite hard for flagship smartphones to really different themselves from last year’s flagships, but Samsung somehow pulled it off with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Most of the improvements may not be readily apparent to the user though.

Thanks to Samsung’s decision to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile SoC, it has significantly better GPU and NPU performance.

Even its Dynamic AMOLED 2X display has been quietly improved. It is now 250 nits brighter and has a minimum refresh rate of just 1 Hz, allowing for better battery life.

If you don’t mind using the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, you will be pleasantly surprised by a 25% longer battery life than last year’s S21 Ultra!

Even its S Pen was upgraded. It may look like last year’s S Pen, but it has a much lower latency of just 2.8 ms – down from 9 ms in the previous generation.

Samsung reused the Galaxy S21 Ultra‘s excellent quad-camera system, but you may not know that it features improved AI optimisations. Powered by the much faster Snapdragon processor’s NPU, it now runs approximately 60 new AI models to optimise the final output.

This may not sound like much, but you will realise just how much has improved if you compare the videos and photos taken with the S22 Ultra against the S21 Ultra. Its AI optimisations have taken out most of the hard work of making sure that each picture comes out looking great, while its video stabilisation is truly best-in-class.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is not cheap, but if you want the best possible Android smartphone that is powerful and takes excellent photos and videos, this is as good as it gets!

On top of that, it boasts the best-in-class Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection on both front and rear aspects, and is IP68 dust- and water-resistant.

For these reasons, we gladly award the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, Samsung!

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Specifications

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate
– 240 Hz touch sampling (Game Mode)
– 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut
– 1750 nits peak brightness
– 3 million:1 contrast ratio
Protection Gorilla Glass Victus+ (front and back)
Water Resistance IP68
OS One UI 4.1 (Android 12)
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU 1 x Arm Cortex-X2 core (3.0 GHz)
3 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.5 GHz)
4 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 730
Memory +
Storage
8 GB + 128 GB
12 GB + 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 40 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Cameras 108 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Up to Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, 2.8 ms latency
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Hall, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass, QZSS
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 45 watt wired charging
15 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 77.9 mm wide
163.3 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 229 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Price + Availability

Samsung is offering the Galaxy S22 Ultra in four colour options – Burgundy, Green, Phantom Black and Phantom White.

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive Samsung preview event, to check out all four colours for ourselves.

Note : Samsung only allowed us to use digital cameras, so the video is not stabilised as it would be with smartphones that I generally use.

Here in Malaysia, it is available starting 10 February 2022 in three variants, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 5,099 (about US$1,219 / £899 / A$1,699 / S$1,629)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 5,499 (about US$1,314 / £969 / A$1,829 / S$1,759)
  • 12 GB + 512 GB : RM 5,899 (about US$1,409 / £1,039 / A$1,959 / S$1,889)

Here are some online pre-order options :

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > First Page | MobileTech ARP

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography Review!

Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s photography performance, and find out why it’s such an awesome smartphone for photographers!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Flagship Class Photography!

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is their flagship smartphone for the year 2022, and it boasts the best cameras money can buy.

Headlining its top-of-the-line quad-camera system is a Dual Pixel camera, which is built around the 108 MP ISOCELL HM3 sensor, and optically-stabilised lens with a large f/1.8 aperture.

You can seamlessly switch to its ultra-wide camera, with a 12 MP sensor and a f/2.2 aperture; or optically zoom up to 10X with its dual telephoto and periscope cameras.

In this review, we are going to take a look at the photography capability of Galaxy S22 Ultra, and show you just how well its cameras perform!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography Review

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra boasts a super-high resolution 108 MP main camera, built around the same ISOCELL HM3 sensor used in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

However, this camera features improved AI optimisations. Thanks to the improved performance of its GPU and NPU, it now runs approximately 60 new AI models through its Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to optimise the final output.

Here are six shots I took around Ipoh Old Town, using the 108 MP main camera, and the 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera.

They are 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, with a JPEG file size of between 4 MB and 15 MB – it all depends on the amount of detail in the picture. To save space, I definitely recommend that you enable HEIF – the High Efficiency Image Format.

By default, the 108 MP camera takes 12 MP photos, combining nine pixels into one super-large 2.4 µm pixel. Coupled with the new AI models, the final photo is not only much brighter, but has significantly lower noise.

When you take shots at night, the Galaxy S22 Ultra combines images taken using both the 108 MP main camera, and the 12 MP ultra-wide camera. The 12 MP camera provides the rough details, while the fine details are provided by the 108 MP camera.

Here are four shots to show you the incredible amount of detail you can capture at just 12 MP. If you need greater detail, you can always increase the resolution to the full 108 MP, but frankly – these pictures should show you that you don’t really need to.

Its digital zoom has also been improved by the new AI models and the faster processor. For images taken above 30X digital zoom, the camera actually takes 10-20 shots at once, and processes them to improve the details in the final photo.

Finally, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a new AI portrait model that uses two cameras to accurately differentiate the depth between the person and the background.

This is critical because the 108 MP camera has a very wide f/1.8 aperture, which makes for very narrow depth-of-field (DOF). If you do not accurately focus on the subject, you could end up with a blurry photo even though it looks sharp on the phone.

In these four shots, you can see just how narrow of depth of field you have to work with. This makes for better photos – you just need to make sure the subject is really in focus.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Photography Summary

If you want the best cameras on a smartphone money can buy, you should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Ignore the 108 MP marketing hoohah. What you are really getting is an awesome 12 MP camera with super-large pixels for really great noise-free images, and better low-light photos.

You may be wary about Samsung reusing the ISOCELL HM3 sensor from last year, but it has better photographic capabilities, thanks mostly to software and AI improvements.

For one thing, I noticed that it is now much better at accurately focusing on the subject, resulting in far fewer wrongly-focused shots.

It also does a better job of correcting for disparate lighting conditions, although some of you may find the photos oversaturated.

But there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has some of the best smartphone cameras I’ve tried this year.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Price + Availability

Samsung is offering the Galaxy S22 Ultra in four colour options – Burgundy, Green, Phantom Black and Phantom White.

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive Samsung preview event, to check out all four colours for ourselves.

Note : Samsung only allowed us to use digital cameras, so the video is not stabilised as it would be with smartphones that I generally use.

Here in Malaysia, it is available starting 10 February 2022 in three variants, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 5,099 (about US$1,219 / £899 / A$1,699 / S$1,629)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 5,499 (about US$1,314 / £969 / A$1,829 / S$1,759)
  • 12 GB + 512 GB : RM 5,899 (about US$1,409 / £1,039 / A$1,959 / S$1,889)

Here are some online pre-order options :

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Recording Performance!

Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera’s video recording performance, and find out why it’s such an awesome video recording device!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Flagship Class Camera Performance!

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is their flagship smartphone for the year 2022, and it boasts the best cameras money can buy.

Headlining its top-of-the-line quad-camera system is a Dual Pixel camera, which is built around the 108 MP ISOCELL HM3 sensor, and optically-stabilised lens with a large f/1.8 aperture.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the video recording capability of Galaxy S22 Ultra, and show you just how well its quad-camera system performs!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Recording Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s super-high resolution 108 MP main camera can take up to 8K videos, if you want to. But in reality – most people are not going to bother with 8K video recording, at least for now.

Very few televisions and devices support 8K video playback, and even the S22 Ultra will downsample the 8K video when playing back on its 3K display.

1080p and 4K videos are what the Galaxy S22 Ultra does best, thanks to its support for 60 fps recording and combination of optical image stabilisation and advanced electronic image stabilisation.

1080p Video Sample : Concubine Lane @ Ipoh

This video sample was taken at the famous Concubine Lane in Ipoh, which is crowded and really great to test the camera out.

In this video sample, you can see just how smooth and stable the video is at 60 fps, even with so much shaking and jostling.

4K Video Sample : Concubine Lane @ Ipoh

When we switched to 4K, the video was remarkably stable, even while we walk through the crowd, and pan around Concubine Lane.

You should also note the lack of wind noise, which is fantastic. You won’t need to use a third-party microphone with a dead cat with this phone!

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Zoom Capability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra also supports multiple zoom levels – up to 20X zoom at 1080p, and up to 10X zoom at 4K.

Its ultra-wide camera lets you record with a wider 0.6X zoom, while its 3X zoom and 10X zoom cameras allow for extended optical zoom capabilities.

1080p Zoom Demonstration

At 1080p, you can record videos from 0.6X zoom up to 20X zoom – which offers much wider range than competing smartphones.

The best image quality was seen at up to 10X zoom, while image stabilisation was best at up to 4X zoom, and still pretty good at 10X zoom.

While 20X zoom has pretty decent image quality, it is not as sharp as at 10X or lower zoom. Colours also appear more washed out at 20X.

4K Zoom Demonstration

You can record 4K videos from 0.6X zoom up to 10X zoom. – which is narrower than recording 1080p video.

For best image quality, limit your zoom up to 3X while recording 4K video. While image stabilisation was pretty good at 10X zoom, the image isn’t sharp and colours appear washed out.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Video Recording Performance Summary

If you ignore the 8K hype, you will realise that the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers truly excellent 4K and 1080p video recording capabilities.

You should buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra for its advanced optical and electronic image stabilisation for super-stable recording on-the-move.

You should also buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra for its wide zoom range of 0.6X to 10X when recording 1080p videos, or 0.6X to 3X when recording 4K videos.

These are the critical video recording features that will give you greater flexibility and super stable videos, without the need to use a gimbal.

While not showcased in our videos, the Galaxy S22 Ultra also supports Audio Zoom, focusing the audio recording as you zoom into a scene. That can be really helpful in isolating audio from the subject from background noise.

These features are not new – they have been part of the Samsung Galaxy S and Note series for a few years now. Samsung just keeps improving them, which is why we keep using Galaxy S smartphones as our primary video recording device.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra : Price + Availability

Samsung is offering the Galaxy S22 Ultra in four colour options – Burgundy, Green, Phantom Black and Phantom White.

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive Samsung preview event, to check out all four colours for ourselves.

Note : Samsung only allowed us to use digital cameras, so the video is not stabilised as it would be with smartphones that I generally use.

Here in Malaysia, it is available starting 10 February 2022 in three variants, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 5,099 (about US$1,219 / £899 / A$1,699 / S$1,629)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 5,499 (about US$1,314 / £969 / A$1,829 / S$1,759)
  • 12 GB + 512 GB : RM 5,899 (about US$1,409 / £1,039 / A$1,959 / S$1,889)

Here are some online pre-order options :

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro – Everything You Need To Know!

Xiaomi just launched the Redmi Note 8 Pro, offering 64 MP photography at ridiculous price points!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, including its key features, price and availability!

 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Revealed!

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Lazada | Shopee) is more than just the Redmi Note 8 with a 64 MP camera. In fact, it is built upon the MediaTek Helio G90T mobile platform that is optimised for mobile gaming!

In this video, Allen An, Xiaomi Country Manager of Malaysia and Singapore, explains what the Redmi Note 8 Pro offers!

More Premium Design

Despite the very similar names, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Lazada | Shopee) is quite different from the Redmi Note 8. Not only does it boast a more premium curved design, it come with these features :

  • a larger 6.53-inch Dot Drop display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, and 84% NTSC gamut
  • 6 GB LPDDR4x memory and 64 GB / 128 GB storage options
  • 20 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 64 MP Samsung ISOCELL GW1 camera
  • 4,500 mAh lithium-ion battery

Gaming-Centric MediaTek Helio G90T

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Lazada | Shopee) uses the MediaTek Helio G90T, which is a 12 nm gaming-centric mobile platform.

It has two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.05 GHz, and six low-power Cortex-A55 cores running at 2.0 GHz. And it comes with the Mali-G76 GPU running at 800 MHz.

64 MP Samsung GW1 Camera

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Lazada | Shopee) is the world’s first smartphone to feature a 64 MP main camera built around the Samsung GW1 sensor, paired with a 2 MP depth sensor.

In addition, it comes with two additional cameras like the Redmi Note 8 :

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  • a new 8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • a new 2 MP macro camera with f/2.4 lens

In the front, it sports a higher-resolution 20 MP camera with a bright f/2.0 aperture.

Faster Charging Larger Battery

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (Lazada | Shopee) comes with a larger 4,500 mAh battery.

Like the Redmi Note 8, it supports 18 watt fast charging. But the good news is – it comes with a 18 watt fast charger.

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro Comparison

Specifications Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Display 6.3-inch Dot Drop display
– 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
– 84% NTSC, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6.53-inch Dot Drop display
– 1080 x 2340 pixels (395 ppi)
– 84% NTSC, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front + back)
IP Rating NA
Operating System Android 9 Pie
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 MediaTek Helio G90T
CPU 4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
2 x ARM Cortex-A76 cores (2.05 GHz)
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores (2.0 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 610 ARM Mali-G76 (800 MHz)
RAM 3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4x 6 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 32 GB / 64 GB / 128 GB storage 64 GB / 128 GB UFS 2.1 storage
Front Camera 13 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture 20 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP Samsung GM1 camera with f/1.79 aperture
8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
2 MP macro camera with f/2.4 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
64 MP Samsung GW1 camera with f/1.89 aperture
8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
2 MP macro camera with f/2.4 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Dual SIM Capability Dual SIM, dual active capable
Connectivity 4G : LTE Cat 13 UL, Cat 13 DL
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Rear-Mounted
Other Sensors Proximity, Ambient Light, Acceleratometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
NFC No Yes
Battery 4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery 4,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger 18 W fast charging (maximum)
10 W fast charger in box
18 W fast charging (maximum)
18 W fast charger in box
Dimensions 75.3 mm wide
158.3 mm tall
8.35 mm thick
76.4 mm wide
161.35 mm tall
8.79 mm thick
Weight 190 g 200 g

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Price + Availability

There are three Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro models :

Both models will be available for sale starting 12 October 2019, with three colour options – Forest Green, Mineral Grey and Pearl White.

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Pre-Order Deals

Xiaomi is offering these deals for the pre-order period from 8 to 11 October 2019 :

You can grab these pre-order deals here – Lazada | Shopee

 

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 – Everything You Need To Know!

Xiaomi just launched the Redmi Note 8, offering 48 MP photography at ridiculous price points!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 8, including its key features, price and availability!

 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Revealed!

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Lazada | Shopee) builds upon the Redmi Note 7 that was launched just 6.5 months ago, offering a faster and more efficient Snapdragon 665 mobile platform and expanded photographic capabilities.

Join Allen An, Xiaomi Country Manager of Malaysia and Singapore, for his presentation on what’s new!

Same Key Features

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Lazada | Shopee) retains many of the Redmi Note 7‘s key features :

  • a large 6.3-inch Dot Drop display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, and 84% NTSC gamut
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection in both front and rear aspects
  • 3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4x memory and 32 GB / 64 GB / 128 GB storage options
  • 13 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • 48 MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 camera
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • 4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery

Faster + More Efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 AIE

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Lazada | Shopee) replaces the old 14 nm Snapdragon 660 AIE platform, with a new 11 nm Snapdragon 665 AIE platform.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 actually has a slightly slower CPU, but makes up for it with a much faster Adreno 610 GPU.

More importantly, it is built on the smaller 11 nm process technology, which reduces its power consumption and thermal output.

Expanded Photographic Capabilities

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 first introduced a 48 MP main camera built around the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 sensor, paired with a 5 MP depth sensor.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Lazada | Shopee) uses the same 48 MP Samsung GM1 camera, but pairs it with a 2 MP depth sensor instead while offering expanded photographic capabilities through two additional cameras :

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  • a new 8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • a new 2 MP macro camera with f/2.4 lens

The Redmi Note 8 Has Faster Charging… Well, Not Quite

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Lazada | Shopee) supports 18 watt fast charging. However, it only ships with a 10 watt fast charger.

If you wish to make full use of its faster charging capability, you will need to purchase a separate 18 watt fast charger.

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 vs Redmi Note 7 Comparison

Specifications Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Display 6.3-inch Dot Drop display
– 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
– 84% NTSC, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front + back)
IP Rating NA
Operating System Android 9 Pie
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
CPU 4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 610 Qualcomm Adreno 512
RAM 3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 32 GB / 64 GB / 128 GB storage
microSD hybrid slot (up to 512 GB)
Front Camera 13 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture 13 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP Samsung GM1 camera with f/1.79 aperture
8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
2 MP macro camera with f/2.4 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
48 MP Samsung GM1 camera with f/1.8 aperture
5 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Dual SIM Capability Dual SIM, dual active capable
Connectivity 4G : LTE Cat 13 UL, Cat 13 DL
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Rear-Mounted
Other Sensors Proximity, Ambient Light, Acceleratometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
NFC No
Battery 4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger 18 W fast charging (maximum)
10 W fast charger in box
10 W fast charging (maximum)
10 W fast charger in box
Dimensions 75.3 mm wide
158.3 mm tall
8.35 mm thick
75.21 mm wide
159.21 mm tall
8.1 mm thick
Weight 190 g 186 g

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Price + Availability

Like they did with the Redmi Note 7, Xiaomi will offer three Redmi Note 8 models :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 599 / ~US$ 143 / ~£117 / ~A$212
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 / ~US$ 191 / ~£156 / ~A$282
  • 4 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 899 / ~US$ 214 / ~£176 / ~A$318

They will make the 4 GB + 64 GB model available for sale starting 12 October 2019, while the other two models will start selling on 18 October 2019.

There are three colour options – Space Black, Neptune Blue and Moonlight White.

 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pre-Order Deal

If you pre-order the 4 GB + 64 GB model from 8 to 11 October 2019, you will receive a FREE pair of Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic worth RM 99 / ~US$24 / ~£19 / ~A$35.

You can grab this pre-order offer here – Lazada | Shopee

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T835) Tablet Preview

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is here! This is not just an upgrade of last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, but a larger model Here are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 that arrived in our lab last week!

 

How Does The Galaxy Tab S4 Compare To The Galaxy Tab S3?

Here’s a comparison of their key specifications :

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Tab S4 (2018)Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (2017)
Display10.5-inch Super AMOLED display
- 1600 x 2560 pixels (287 ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
9.7-inch Super AMOLED display
- 1536 x 2048 pixels (264 ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 7.0 Nougat
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 835Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 280 cores (2.35 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 280 cores (1.9 GHz)
2 x Qualcomm Kyro cores (2.15 GHz)
2 x Qualcomm Kyro cores (1.6 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 540Qualcomm Adreno 530
RAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 400 GB)
32 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP camera5 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP camera with single LED flash
- Up to 4K video recording @ 30 fps
13 MP sensor with f/1.9 lens
- Up to 4K video recording @ 30 fps
Network4G LTE
LTE Cat16 DL : 1 Gbps
LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
4G LTE
LTE Cat16 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth v5.0
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth v4.1
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
GPS SupportGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDouGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
Iris ScannerYesNo
Fingerprint SensorNoYes
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Proximity SensorAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
NFCNoNo
S PenIncluded
Pen tip : 0.7 mm
Pressure levels : 4,096
Included
Pen tip : 0.7 mm
Pressure levels : 4,096
Battery7,300 mAh lithium-ion battery6,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions164.3 mm wide
249.3 mm tall
7.1 mm thick
169.0 mm wide
237.3 mm tall
6.0 mm thick
Weight483 g434 g
Available ColoursBlack, GreyBlack, Grey

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Price + Availability

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is available in two colour options – Black and Grey. They are both available starting 21 September 2018. with these recommended retail prices :

 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T835) Tablet Up Close!

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 was a 9.7-inch phablet, but with the Galaxy Tab S4, Samsung decided to go bigger with a 10.5-inch display. Yet, it’s barely larger than the Tab S3. In fact, it is slightly narrower.

How is that possible? They reduced the bezel size, and removed the physical and capacitive buttons. This allowed Samsung to expand the display size by 8% while only increasing the form factor by 2%.

Of course, without the physical home button, the Galaxy Tab S3 lost its fingerprint sensor. A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor would be awkward in such a large tablet. So they replaced it with an iris scanner

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) also got a boost in performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. It is not only faster, it is 35% smaller, and uses 25% less power.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Key Features

 

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Better Performance + More Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) runs on the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.

It has four  Qualcomm Kryo 280 cores running at 2.35 GHz, and another four Kyro 280 cores running at 1.9 GHz. It also has a faster Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU.

Like last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, it has 4 GB of RAM. This time, they are using the faster LPDDR4x memory. They also doubled its storage capacity64 GB of internal flash storage. This addresses one of the weaknesses of the Tab S3 – lack of storage.

 

New S Pen Stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) comes with a redesigned S Pen with a glossy, rounded design. Samsung also removed the pocket clip, and replaced it with an odd metal fin to help you identify where the button is located.

Despite its new look, the new S Pen still has the same 0.7 mm nib and support for 4,096 pressure levels. It is also electromagnetically-powered by close proximity to the Galaxy Tab S4’s display. So it will never run out of power.

In case you are wondering, no, it does not come with the new remote control function that is the hallmark of the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Bluetooth S Pen.

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The Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) boasts a higher-resolution 8 MP Sony IMX320 sensor, up from the 5 MP shooter in the Galaxy Tab S3. It can take pictures with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels, and record Full HD videos.

Samsung kept the rear camera resolution at 13 MP, which is really good enough. But they switched out the Sony IMX260 sensor for the Samsung S5K2L2 ISOCELL sensor, which is an improved version of the sensor used in the main camera of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphones.

Just like last year’s Galaxy Tab S3, this camera can record 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second, and supports electronic image stabilisation.

Next Page > More Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Features

 

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Improved Audio Capabilities

One of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is its quad speaker system tuned by AKG. That carries over in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App). But that’s not all.

This time, Samsung added support for Dolby Atmos. This allows the Galaxy Tab S4 to deliver a more realistic 3D audio soundscape using those four speakers. Incidentally, the Tab S3 is smart enough to detect when you rotate it and change the output accordingly.

 

SIM + microSD Tray

The SM-T835 is an LTE model, while a less common WiFi-only SM-T830 model is also available in some countries. The LTE model comes with a unique double-sided card tray – one side for a microSD card, and the other side for a nano SIM card.

It officially supports microSD cards of up to 400 GB in size, like the 400 GB SanDisk Ultra (Price Check), but could theoretically support higher capacity cards when they are launched.

 

Samsung DeX Built-In

This is a great new feature that was first introduced in the Samsung Galaxy Note9. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) has Samsung DeX built-in. You won’t need to purchase a DeX station or a DeX pad. You just need a simple USB-C to HDMI adaptor. You don’t even have to use a Samsung-branded adaptor (looking at you and your MFi bullshit, Apple!)

Just hook up a monitor to the Galaxy Tab S4 using the HDMI adaptor, and you can use a mouse and keyboard to enjoy a desktop working experience. While using Samsung DeX, you can also use the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (US | UK | MY Web | MY App) as a very touch pad, a digitiser or a touch keyboard.

All in all – this is a very useful feature if you are always on the go, and yet would like to enjoy a desktop working experience.

 

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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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Price Check Review
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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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Price Check
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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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Price Check
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Price Check
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Price Check

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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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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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
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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!

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Review – In A Class Of Its Own

We loved last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note7 and were sad to return it to Samsung before we could complete our review. We are glad to see it return as the Galaxy Note FE, but if you are one of those who were impressed by the Note7, you will be even more impressed with the new Samsung Galaxy Note8. It is literally in a class of its own.

In fact, we are so impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), we gave it our Editor’s Choice Award. Find out why we think it deserves no less!

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Specifications

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) is more than just a Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+ with an S Pen. While it shares many similarities, it introduces numerous improvements. Here is a table that compares the specifications of the Galaxy Note8 against the Galaxy S8+ and the Galaxy Note7 (now known as the Galaxy Note FE)

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Note8Samsung Galaxy S8+Samsung Galaxy Note7
Display6.3" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (521 ppi)
6.2" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (529 ppi)
5.7" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2560 pixels (577 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5 (front & back panels)Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front & back panels)Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front & back panels)
Operating System (At Launch)Android 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
System PlatformSamsung Exynos 8895 Octa
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa
Memory6 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage Options64 GB / 128 GB / 256 GB internal flash storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 256 GB
64 GB internal flash storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 256 GB
64 GB / 128 GB internal flash 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

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 flash12 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 standby capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
ConnectivityNetwork : 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
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 PenYesNoYes
Water & Dust ResistanceIP68IP68IP68
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
Dimensions162.5 mm tall
74.8 mm wide
8.6 mm thick
159.5 mm tall
73.4 mm wide
8.1 mm thick
153.5 mm tall
73.9 mm wide
7.9 mm thick
Weight195 g173 g169 g
Colour OptionsMidnight Black, Deepsea Blue, Orchid Gray, Maple GoldMidnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple GoldBlue Coral, Silver Titanium, Gold Platinum, Black Onyx

 

Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy Note8

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) comes in the premium black Samsung box. Let’s unbox it, and see what’s inside!

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When you unpack everything, you should find the following items :

  • One Samsung Galaxy Note8 phablet with S Pen
  • One Samsung Galaxy Note8 TPU bumper case
  • One set of Samsung Galaxy Note8 documents
  • One 15 W Samsung Quick Adaptive Charger
  • One USB Type C cable, with USB Type A and micro USB converters
  • One pair of AKG earphones with replacement ear buds
  • One set of spare S Pen nibs, and nib extractor tool
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Up Close, Cameras, Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Up Close

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) has a large 6.3″ Super AMOLED display with a WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. But thanks to its Infinity Display design, the Galaxy Note8 is just 2.2 mm wider than the Galaxy S7 edge, which only has a 5.5″ display! This means it will better fit smaller hands, while offering a much larger display.

Just as we saw with the Galaxy S8 (Price Check), the new Infinity Display covers almost the entire frontal aspect of the Galaxy Note8. Samsung achieved this by removing the physical Home button and making it part of the display. It is pressure-sensitive, and works like a physical button.

The same metal-glass design philosophy from the Galaxy Note7 was retained, with the glass protection upgraded to Gorilla Glass 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note8 continues to boast the same IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating of its predecessor, as well as its iris scanner.

The Infinity Display required the fingerprint sensor to be moved to the back, as it was in the Galaxy S8 (Price Check). There is also a dedicated Bixby button, as well as a new dual-lens camera.

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Cameras

Like the Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) has a new 8 MP front camera with 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.

But what’s unprecedented is the new dual-lens main camera that beats everything else in the market today. It boasts a regular wide-angle 12 MP camera with a very fast f/1.7 lens, as well as a telephoto 12 MP camera with f/2.4 lens. However, unlike other dual-lens cameras, 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! Learn more about these two features in our article – The Samsung Live Focus & Dual Capture Explained & Tested.

This is also the world’s first dual-lens camera to boast optical image stabilisation (OIS) for both lenses! This is especially important for the telephoto camera, as it is paired with a “slower” f/2.4 lens. What this ultimately means is better photos and videos with either camera, even in low-light conditions.

If that’s not enough, the Galaxy Note8’s dual-lens camera is also the first in the world to allow you to switch between the two lenses on-the-fly while recording videos! This is an incredibly useful feature. Once you tried it on the Galaxy Note8, you will wonder why on Earth can’t other dual-lens cameras can’t do the same thing!

We will share with you photo and video samples later in the review. You will be able to see for yourself, the quality of the images captured by the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). Be sure to also check out how useful it is to switch between the two lenses on-the-fly in our video samples. This is, no doubt, the best dual-lens camera system in the world today.

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Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

This is the South East Asian model (SM-N950FD), which supports 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 256 GB in size.

With the removal of the physical Home button, Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the Galaxy Note8. This is not unique as many smartphones have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor (e.g. Huawei Mate 9, Honor 5C). However, the Galaxy Note8 fingerprint sensor is awkwardly placed next to the camera sensor, instead of the more natural position below the camera sensor.

The higher position makes it harder for the user to reach, because the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) is a tall device. Being offset makes it harder for left-handed users to use, and makes it easy for all users to smear the main camera lenses with their oily fingerprints.

Obviously, we do not like this fingerprint sensor at all. It is harder to use, as our Galaxy Note8 set-up video will show, although its usability improves with practice. But the good news is – the Samsung Galaxy Note8 also supports alternative login methods like iris scanning and face recognition, that work better.

Next Page > Iris Scanner, Facial Recognition, IP68, S Pen Stylus

 

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Iris Scanner & Facial Recognition

These are not new abilities for a Samsung Galaxy Note device. They were first introduced in the Galaxy Note7, The iris scanner was easy to set up and use, and so, it quickly became our favourite way to log into the Galaxy Note8.

The iris scanner works best if you are not using glasses or contact lenses though, and it may not work in bright sunlight. Its accuracy may also be affected by dirt and fingerprint smudges on the iris camera and LED sensor. Finally, the iris scanner takes longer to log in than the fingerprint sensor, but the coolness factor is undeniable.

The facial recognition feature is easier and faster to use because it does not require you to align your eyes with the sensor focus circles. However, it is less secure than the iris scanner or fingerprint scanner.

 

IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (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 The Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Galaxy Note8 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 Note8 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 Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

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S Pen Stylus

This is the defining feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note8 – the S Pen stylus. This is the same S Pen used by the Galaxy Note7, with a 0.7 mm tip and 4,096 pressure levels. The S Pen is electromagnetically-powered by close proximity to the Galaxy Note8, so there is no need to worry about batteries – which is just awesome.

A set of spare nibs and a tweezer are included, so you can also swap the default black nib for a white nib, depending on your preference for more friction (black) or a smoother writing experience (white).

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Setup Process, Ergonomics, Memory & Storage

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Setup Process

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, 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.

 

The Ergonomics

Looking at the specifications, you would expect the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) to be a large phablet. After all, it has a large 6.3″ display. Yet, it is about the same size than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 with a 5.7″ display!

Despite its larger display, it is only 0.9 mm wider, so it fits most hands comfortably. But 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 Midnight Black version. Perhaps that’s why Samsung threw in a clear TPU bumper case – it protects the Galaxy Note8 while keeping the shiny back smear-free.

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Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory, of which 2.8 GB (37.5%) is available for use. There is obviously quite a fair bit of bloat. That said, 2.8 GB of memory is more than what many smartphones ship with, and is more than enough to run many applications simultaneously.

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, with 51.1 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 11,500 photos, or 6.25 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy Note8 Camera Performance – Photos & Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) uses the same excellent 12 MP sensors as the Galaxy S8 (Price Check) for both the wide-angle and telephoto cameras –  either the Sony IMX260 sensor, or Samsung’s own ISOCELL S5KL1 sensor. They are both identical in specifications and performance – with Dual Pixel autofocus technology and 1.4 μm pixels.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Each picture has a resolution of 4032 x 3024, and a file size of between 3.8 MB and 4.8 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.