Tag Archives: Water-resistant

The Samsung IP68 Water-Resistance Technology Guide!

Ever since Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphone, their flagship S and Note smartphones have all been IP68-certified to be dust- and water-resistant.

Let’s take a look at the engineering behind the Samsung’s IP68 rating, and clarify its limitations, so you can enjoy your Samsung smartphones for many years to come!

 

Samsung IP68 Engineering

The challenge with making smartphones water-resistant isn’t just ensuring that water won’t get inside. Before the Galaxy S7 edge, a number of devices already did that, like Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 Active smartphone or the Kenxinda Flattop ruggerdised smartphones.

What Samsung introduced in their flagship smartphones from the Galaxy S7 edge onwards was IP68 dust- and water-resistance without prior preparation.

Unlike prior water-resistant smartphones, you don’t need to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water. There is no need to cap the earphone and USB ports. It is dust- and water-resistant 24/7.

To achieve this feat, Samsung introduced a number of engineering improvements :

  • An unspecified “new type of water resistance technology” was used to seal the unit internally against the ingress of water,
  • An “exclusive type of water protective tape” was added to the back of the front and rear glass, as well as other internal parts,
  • Rubber linings were used on parts like the USB port, the earphone port, and the SIM card tray to prevent the ingress of water

  • Anti-corrosive materials like nickel and platinum and corrosive-resistant coating were used for all external metal parts and connectors like the earphone and USB ports,
  • The USB port has a short circuit sensor to cut-off power when it detects a short circuit due to water contact
  • Portable electronic vents were used to ensure a good flow of air and outflow of water and humidity

As you can see, a lot of engineering went into ensuring that Samsung smartphones are dust- and water-resistant, while remaining ultra-slim.

Teardowns by iFixit also showed considerable use of adhesive in subsequent models, all the way to the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, to maintain this IP68-rated dust and water-resistance.

 

Is The Samsung S Pen IP68 Rated Too?

The S Pen of IP68-rated Galaxy Note devices are also IP68-rated against dust and water. However, the S Pen requires slightly different techniques to achieve such water-resistance :

  • its printed circuit board (PCB) is covered with a special epoxy material
  • rubber seals are used to seal off vulnerable passageways
  • important components like the pen pressure switch are also covered by rubber seals

This allows the pen tip to move as needed, while preventing the ingress of water that will damage the internal components of the S Pen.

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Samsung IP68 Rating Clarified

All Samsung smartphones that are IP68-rated can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes.

This means you can take it for jogs in the rain, or reading in the bathtub. However, we must point out that IP68 is a rating for water immersion.

IP68-rated devices are NOT designed to withstand water pressure. We therefore do not recommend you take it into the shower or while you swim.

The IP68 certification is based on a specific set of test conditions :

Temperature Range : 15-35 °C
Pressure Range : 86-106 kPa
Maximum Water Depth : 1.5 metre
Maximum Time of Immersion : 30 minutes

If you exceed those conditions, Samsung’s IP68 measures may not prevent the ingress of water.

In fact, if you check your User Guide, you will see that Samsung warns against exposing their IP68 smartphones to “water moving with force“.

This means you should not place them under running water from a tap or a waterfall. Even ocean waves may exert enough force to drive water into their chassis.

 

Summary : IP68 = Water-Resistance, NOT Waterproofing

The takeaway message is this – Samsung IP68 smartphones are water-resistant, not waterproof. You need to be gentle with them when they are exposed to water.

The biggest problem is water pressure, not depth. You can leave it at the bottom of a swimming pool without worry, but the force of water from a tap can exceed the IP68 pressure rating.

Do NOT do this!!! Never pour water on your device, because it exerts pressure!

Let’s consider a real-world scenario – taking photos and videos while snorkelling.

You won’t reach a depth of 1.5 m when you snorkel. But swinging your device underwater could literally force water into the chassis!

That doesn’t mean you cannot use your device underwater. You can, but you must make sure not to exert too much force. Take it in and out of the water gently, and if you have to move, do so gently.

 

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The Samsung Water Lock Mode Guide For Smartwatches!

Love to swim? Make sure you turn on the Water Lock Mode of your Samsung smartwatch before you do!

In this guide, we will explain what Water Lock Mode is all about. Find out how and why you should turn it on before a swim!

 

What Is Water Lock Mode?

Water Lock Mode is a feature that is found in Samsung smartwatches that are designed for swimming. Currently, it is available in the Galaxy Watch Active, the Galaxy Watch and the Gear Sport.

  • Enabling it disables the touch display, preventing you (or water splashes) from accidentally activating it during a swim
  • Disabling it will cause the speaker to vibrate and eject water from the speaker port

 

How To Enable & Disable Water Lock Mode

By default, it is not available in Quick Settings, so you will need to enable it in Settings 

  • Go to Settings
  • Swipe to Advanced
  • Scroll to the Water Lock Mode option
  • Tap the toggle switch to turn it on

Once you are done swimming, just press and hold the Home button to disable it.

 

Adding It To Quick Settings

If you find it useful, you can add it to Quick Settings using these steps :

  • Go to Settings
  • Swipe to Advanced
  • Scroll to Edit Quick Settings
  • Remove one of the existing Quick Settings by tapping on the minus (-) icon
  • Tap on the plus (+) icon to add a new Quick Setting
  • Scroll to Water Lock Mode, and tap on it
  • Once you add it to Quick Settings, you can tap and hold to move its icon to the position you prefer.
  • Then press Home to save your choice and exit

Now, you can swipe down and quickly toggle it!

 

Isn’t My Smartwatch Already Waterproof?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch, Watch Active and Gear Sport smartwatches are all certified water-resistant to the 5 ATM or 5ATM standard – they will withstand depths of up to 50 metres for up to 10 minutes.

You can actually start swimming without turning on Water Lock at all. Perhaps that’s why Samsung did not publicise much about this feature. However, we still recommend you use this feature if you intend to get wet.

 

When You Should Turn Water Lock Mode On / Off

Before You Start Swimming

You can swim with your 5 ATM-rated Samsung smartwatch without prior preparation.

But turning this feature on will prevent the touch display from being activated by water splashes.

After You Are Done Swimming

Disabling the Water Lock Mode after you are done swimming will eject water from the speaker port.

This is especially important if you are swimming in chlorinated or dirty water – the chlorine or dirt can dry out and clog the speaker.

In addition, we recommend that you repeat the steps above, with your Samsung smartwatch soaking in clean water for a few minutes. This would make sure the speaker port is cleaned properly, and nothing corrosive remains inside.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus “Dual Aperture” Smartphone Review

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

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

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

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

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

 

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Up Close

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

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

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

 

The Front Camera

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

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

 

Dual Aperture Camera

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

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

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

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

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New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

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

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

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

 

Super Slow-Mo

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

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

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

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

Next Page > Other New Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Features

 

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Bixby Live Translation

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

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

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

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

 

AR Emoji

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

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

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

 

Intelligent Scan

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

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

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

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New Fingerprint Sensor

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

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

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

 

Hybrid SIM

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

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

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

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

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

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

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

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

 

Ergonomics

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

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

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

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Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

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

 

Available Memory & Storage

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

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

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

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

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

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

Telephoto 2X Zoom Capability

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

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Camera Performance – Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

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

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

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

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

 

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

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

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

 

Battery Life – PCMark

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

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

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Battery Recharging Performance

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

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

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

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

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

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

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

 

Our Verdict & Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Review : Galaxy S8 Perfected!

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

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

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

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

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S9 Up Close + Camera Features

 

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Up Close

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

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

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

 

The Front Camera

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

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

 

Dual Aperture Camera

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

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

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

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New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

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

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

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

 

Super Slow-Mo

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

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

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

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

Next Page > Other New Samsung Galaxy S9 Features

 

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Bixby Live Translation

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

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

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

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

 

AR Emoji

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

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

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

 

Intelligent Scan

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

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

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

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New Fingerprint Sensor

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

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

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

 

Hybrid SIM

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

 

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

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

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

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

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

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

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

 

Ergonomics

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

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

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

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Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy S9

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

 

Available Memory & Storage

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

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

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

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

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

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (4K)

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

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

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

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (1080p)

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

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

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

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

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

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

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

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
5656 5618 5303 5197
Web Browsing 5708 5357 5155 5035
Video Editing 5888 5265 4998 4433
Writing 4509 4673 5158 5607
Photo Editing 10698 7560 7082 7238
Data Manipulation 3570 5616 4458 4183
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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!

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The Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch Revealed!

In the digital age where technology and exercise collide, wearables have transformed society’s approach to fitness and have the ability to keep us informed, motivated and on track to accomplishing our fitness goals. To that end, Samsung just introduced the new Gear Sport smartwatch to their portfolio of wearables.

 

The Samsung Gear Sport

More than just a smartwatch, the Samsung Gear Sport (Price Check) is a personal fitness coach that helps users get the most out of everyday activities. It provides the ultimate all-round fitness experience, keeping track of daily movements and workouts systematically.

The Samsung Gear Sport (Price Check) is water resistant with a 5 ATM rating [1] and advanced swim tracking capabilities to measure key swim metrics for better results. With its sleek, ergonomic form that can be worn in a variety of colourful and easily changeable standard 20 mm straps, it is perfect for any occasion so users can effortlessly transition from the gym to a night out with friends.

The Gear Sport is also functional, allowing users to balance business and fitness needs anytime. Users can keep track of their work, such as replying emails, as well as their fitness goals simultaneously, all in one single device. Available in Blue and Black, it is equipped with Gear foundational functions that include a control of Samsung IoT-enabled devices through Samsung Connect and Samsung Pay capabilities.

[1] Gear Sport has ISO 22810:2010 certification for 5 ATM rating of 50 meters (165 feet) under specific conditions. This means that both devices are resistance to rain or shower and may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool. However, it should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth. If the device or your hands are wet, they must be dried thoroughly prior to handling.

 

Samsung Gear Sport Price & Availability

The new Gear Sport (Price Check) will be available in Samsung Experience Stores from 1 December 2017 onwards at a retail price of RM1,299 / ~US$ 309.

With every purchase of the Samsung Gear Sport from 1 to 31 December 2017, customers will receive two (2) complimentary Gear straps worth RM198 / ~US$ 47 and a Limited Edition Watch Collector Box worth RM299 / ~US$ 71, while stocks last.

Here are some purchase options in the US :

  • Samsung Gear Sport (Black – SM-R600NZKAXAR) : US$ 249
  • Samsung Gear Sport (Blue – SM-R600NZBAXAR) : US$ 249

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The 5 Features We REALLY Want In Our Next Smartphone

Every year, we are told that the smartphone market is saturated, and that it’s harder for the next smartphone model to offer consumers any real reason to upgrade. After all, how much more innovation can you pack into a device the size of a notepad?

Yet, the prognosticators of doom are proven wrong every single year. Not only are established brands like Apple and Samsung still churning out new smartphone models year after year, new smartphones brands like Neffos and Infinix are being established all the time.

That does not mean that consumers are just lapping up whatever they produce though. Many smartphones do poorly, selling only at great discounts.

 

What We Want In Our Next Smartphone

Now, we don’t know the secret formula to a successful smartphone, but we can tell you the 5 features we want in our next smartphone. Let’s see if they are also what you want in your next smartphone.

 

Water Resistance

This may seem like a frivolous feature, but water resistance is a must-have for us. If you ever lost a smartphone to water damage, that is a lesson you will never, ever forget.

Our first water-resistant smartphone was the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and we never looked back after that. Even our secondary smartphone, the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, is IP68-rated.

Water-resistant smartphones also allow for greater creativity and flexibility. You can’t use them underwater, but you can use them near water without fear. Check out this video I took with the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 during a recent trip to Krabi.

 

A Better Front Camera

Top-of-the-line smartphones like the HTC 10, the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge boast truly excellent main cameras, but their front cameras have long been neglected. They are only adequate for Instagram and Facebook selfies. They really need a much better front camera that can take higher resolution photos and better videos.

A better front camera is also important if you are using a gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile. Such gimbals use the smartphone’s front camera to record selfie videos. So it is important to use a smartphone with a good front camera.

OPPO identified and targeted that unfulfilled need in the market with their Selfie Expert smartphones. Their OPPO F1s smartphone, for example, has 16 MP front and rear cameras. Perhaps their success was the reason why the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 also has 16 MP front and rear cameras!

We don’t think you need a 16 MP front camera for videos. Even the 5 MP sensor on the Galaxy S7 edge is already capable of recording 4K videos. But a higher resolution sensor paired with a bright, fast lens would allow for better selfies and selfie videos.

 

Better Audio Recording & Playback

One thing we really liked about the HTC 10 was its Hi-Res Audio recording and playback capability. Audio fidelity is an oft-overlooked feature, which is a shame because it makes a HUGE difference to the videos you record.

Once you have tried recording videos in Hi-Res Audio, you will wonder how you ever made do with the flat audio  recording of other smartphones. The Hi-Res Audio recording and playback capability is definitely something we are looking for in our next smartphone.

 

No Limit Video Recording

Many smartphones are so good at recording videos that they have virtually decimated the consumer camcorder market. The only thing holding them back are the 30-minute recording limit and the 4 GB file size limit.

The 30-minute limit is used to avoid duties imposed on video cameras, while the 4 GB file size limit is due to the use of, or support for, the FAT32 file system.

The 4 GB limit is particularly problematic for smartphones that can record in 4K (like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and the HTC 10), because it limits them to just 10-11 minutes of footage.

We record a lot of long videos, and sometimes in 4K. So it is important that our next smartphone removes those limits by supporting the exFAT file system.

 

Longer Battery Life

This seems like a very obvious feature to demand, but it needs some clarification.

Smartphone manufacturers are well-aware that we want smartphones with long battery lives. That’s why some smartphones boast very large capacity batteries.

But a larger battery is not just the only way to achieve a longer battery life. What’s ultimately important to us is battery life, not battery capacity.

If they can deliver a longer battery life using more power-efficient components, even better! What matters to us is battery life, not battery capacity.

 

What Smartphone Are We Looking Forward To?

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As big fans of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, we are very psyched up about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 launch on 29 March 2017. Rumours and leaks are rife on the Internet, but as we all know – nothing is true, until the big reveal!

We have no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be IP68-rated like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A Series.

But will it have a better front camera? Support for Hi-Res Audio? How about the removal of video recording limits? Can Samsung improve its battery life?

We await with bated breath… 😀

 

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My Trip To Krabi With The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7

During the recent 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A5 launch event, I won a holiday to Krabi and a 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, which I reviewed here. Krabi is famous for its beaches, hot spring waterfall and the Emerald Pool, so I took the opportunity to try out the 2017 Galaxy A7 smartphone, which is IP68 water-resistant. Check out some of the pictures and videos I took on my trip to Krabi!

 

Ao Nang Beach, Krabi

The Ao Nang beach is the main beach and transportation hub in Krabi. This is where the main road meets the coasts, and where all the boats to the other beaches and resorts make port. Naturally, it is packed with tourists, and is hardly the pristine beach seen in tourist brochures. However, you can get some pretty nice photos as the sun sets.

Here are some photos I took at, or near, the Ao Nang beach, using the 2017 Galaxy A7 smartphone. They have been cropped but not edited in any other way.

Next Page > The Krabi Hot Spring Waterfall Pictures & Video

 

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The Krabi Hot Spring Waterfall

The Krabi hot spring waterfall is one of Krabi’s main tourist attractions. Also known as Namtok Ron Khlong Thom, it features a mix of hot springs and cool streams which converge to create a waterfall of warm water.

Due to the craggy nature of the rocks and tree roots in and around the hot springs and waterfall, you are highly advised NOT to carry your smartphone, unless they are water-resistant like the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A Series (IP68) the Samsung Galaxy S7 (IP68) or the Apple iPhone 7 (IP67), or are protected with a waterproof case / bag.

Here is a video I took with the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7. Because it does not support image stabilisation, a gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile is highly recommended. Then again, the gimbal is not water-resistant…

Next Page > The Krabi Emerald Pool Pictures & Videos

 

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The Krabi Emerald Pool

The Krabi Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot) is another must-see tourist attraction. Also known as the Crystal Pool, it is located in the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, which is close by the Krabi hot spring  waterfall.

The pool requires some walking (800 meters or so), but it is worth the calories burned. Just make sure you are prepared to get wet. So make sure you bring a waterproof bag for your smartphone, unless they are water-resistant like the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A Series (IP68) the Samsung Galaxy S7 (IP68) or the Apple iPhone 7 (IP67).

Here are is a video I took of the Krabi Emerald Pool.

The Krabi Emerald Pool has a sandy bottom with rocks all around. However, the rocks are very slippery because they are covered with underwater moss.

This video and photos will show you just how good the front 16 MP camera is on the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7!

 

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The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 (SM-A720F) Review

We covered the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 quite extensively after its launch, with a look at its new IP68 capability and the 7 upgrades since the 2016 model. But there is nothing like a full review, and that’s what we are proud to share with you today – our comprehensive review of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 (SM-A720F) smartphone!

 

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 Specifications

Here are the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 specifications, compared against the 2016 model.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy A7 (2017)Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Dust- And Water-ResistanceIP68-rated
- water submersion up to 1.5 m for up to 30 minutes
Not water-resistant
Display5.7" Super AMOLED (1080 x 1920 pixels)
- Always On Display
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4
5.5" Super AMOLED (1080 x 1920 pixels)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4
System PlatformSamsung Exynos 7880 OctaSamsung Exynos 7580 Octa
Processor8 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.9 GHz)8 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.6 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T830MP2ARM Mali-T720MP2
Memory3 GB RAM LPDDR3 (1066 MHz)3 GB RAM LPDDR3 (933 MHz)
Storage32 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (up to 256 GB)
16 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (up to 128 GB)
Front Camera16 MP fixed focus camera with f/1.9 lens5 MP fixed focus camera with f/1.9 lens
Rear Camera16 MP PDAF sensor with f/1.9 lens13 MP sensor with f/1.9 lens
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat.6
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
4G : LTE Cat.6
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
Fingerprint SensorYesYes
USB PortUSB Type Cmicro USB 2.0
Battery3,600 mAh lithium-ion (non-removable)
- supports Fast Charging
3,300 mAh lithium-ion (non-removable)
Wireless Charging SupportNoNo
Samsung Pay SupportYesYes
Dimensions77.6 mm (wide) x 156.8 mm (tall) x 7.9 mm (thick)74.1 mm (wide) x 151.5 mm (tall) x 7.3 mm (thick)
Weight186 g172 g
Launch PriceRM 1,899 / ~US$ 419RM 1,899 / ~US$ 499

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Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy A7

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 comes in the ubiquitous white Samsung cardboard box. Not as fancy as the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge‘s classy black box, but hey, it’s a completely different segment. Watch us unbox the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 in this video, and look at what we found inside!

Inside, you will find the following items :

  • One 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 smartphone
  • One Samsung 15 W adaptive fast charging travel charger
  • One USB 2.0 to Type C USB cable
  • One pair of Samsung earphones
  • One SIM card tray extractor
  • One set of  Quick Start Guides and Warranty Cards and a Region Lock Guide

Next Page > The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 Quick Tour & Key Features

 

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The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 Quick Tour

Before we go into the details of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, let’s take a quick 2-minute tour of its key features.

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 has a large 5.7″ display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It also uses a Super AMOLED panel, which gives very rich and vivid colours and true black. Perfect for watching full HD videos.

It is also notable as being the first Samsung Galaxy A series smartphone to boast IP68 dust- and water-resistance. That means it is rated to withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes.

On the left side of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, you will find two Volume buttons and the SIM1 tray. On the right side are a Power button and curiously, the speaker ports.

The microSD card and SIM2 card tray is located at the top of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, together with a microphone port. It supports microSD cards of up to 256 GB in capacity. The second microphone port is located at the bottom, together with the bidirectional Type C USB port and the 3.5 mm earphone port.

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Dual SIM, Dual Standby

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 has dual SIM, dual standby capability, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon). However, it has two dedicated nano SIM trays, instead of a hybrid SIM tray.

The SIM1 tray is located on the left side, while SIM2 shares the same tray as the microSD card. This is not a hybrid SIM tray so both a microSD card and a second nano SIM card can be used at the same time.

 

Fast Fingerprint Sensor

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 comes with a fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button. Our tests showed that it requires about 21 finger presses to register a fingerprint.

However, it is very fast in recognising the fingerprint after it’s registered, and it has 360 degree fingerprint recognition.

Next Page > Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory & Storage, Cameras

 

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Initial Setup

When you power up the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 for the first time, it will take only about 24 seconds to boot up. If you set it up as a fresh device, it should take no more than 5 minutes to complete the initial setup. Check out our quick 3-minute video on the initial setup process.

 

Ergonomics

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 is a large smartphone. It is actually larger and a bit thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon), so it is best for those with larger hands. Nevertheless, this is a two-handed device.

Both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 4, with a 2.5D edge cut for the front and a 3D curve for the back. The back glass cover naturally lacks the oleophobic coating of the front, which is great for grip, but makes it an absolute magnet for fingerprint smears.

As usual, the Super AMOLED display is a delight for the eyes. It may not be a QHD display like those on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon), or the HTC 10 (Amazon).

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Available Memory & Storage

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 comes with 3 GB of LPDDR3 memory, of which half is available for use. This is about par with other smartphones with 3 GB of memory (e.g. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, OPPO F1s), and enough free memory to run several apps at the same time.

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 also comes with 32 GB of internal flash memory. Once you deduct 8.9 GB for the Android 6.0 operating system and apps, you have 23.1 GB of free space to use. This is pretty decent, allowing you to store about 4,000 photos, or record 180 minutes of 1080p video.

Don’t worry about running out of storage space with the Galaxy A7 though. It has a dedicated microSD slot that supports microSD cards of up to 256 GB in capacity.

 

Front & Rear Cameras

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 boasts a 16 MP front camera that uses Samsung’s own S5K3P8SX BSI sensor. It is capable of recording 1080p videos at 30 fps. Thanks to its f/1.9 lens, it has great low-light capability equivalent to that of the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (Amazon) and Galaxy S6 edge (Amazon) smartphones. It will come in handy since the front camera does not have flash support, not even screen flash.

The main camera uses the same 16 MP Samsung S5K3P8SX sensor, paired with a single LED flash. It also boasts the same fast f/1.9 lens, which allows for better low-light performance. Let’s take a look at some sample pictures and videos in the next page!

Next Page > Camera & Video Recording Performance

 

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Camera Performance

The 16 MP Samsung S5K3P8SX BSI sensor has great resolution, which is obvious in the close-up shots of the rubber balls, cauliflower and flowers. However, it has a tendency to blow out the highlights (the bright reflections on the glass elevator) and white balance issues in certain scenes (the Dala horse).

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Video Recording Performance

Despite sporting a 16 MP sensor, the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s rear camera is limited to recording 1080p videos, even though it is capable of recording 4K videos. This is Samsung’s way of differentiating the Galaxy A7 from their premium models like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon).

Also disappointing is the lack of optical or electronic image stabilisation. While this is another product differentiation decision, I wished they would at least enable electronic image stabilisation.

To test the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s video recording capabilities, we recorded both a lion dance, and a street dance at night. Check them out!

First off, you can tell that there is a complete lack of image stabilisation. The videos were rather jerky, even though they were taken with two hands. Using a gimbal like the Osmo Mobile is highly recommended.

The bright background was completely overblown. But as long as it does not affect the main subjects, it actually acts as a kind of bokeh effect. The audio fidelity was also pretty good.

We were more impressed with the night scene. The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 did well in the Gangnam Style street dance, even though it was pretty dim. The subjects were reasonably well-exposed, and the noise level was surprisingly low. The bright areas were overblown, as expected, but because they were in the background, it helped to keep focus on the subjects.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life & Recharging Performance

 

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Work Performance : PCMark

We tested the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) ASUS ZenFone 3 honor 5C OPPO F1s
Work Performance Score
(Average)
4954 6405 5357 3884
Web Browsing 5143 8045 5643 3688
Video Playback 4515 3469 4487 3789
Writing 4948 7316 5944 4141
Photo Editing 5243 8246 5469 3933

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 is not the fastest smartphone in this comparison, particularly in the Web Browsing and Writing tests. However, it came up tops in the Video Playback test. Overall, it was a decent, if unspectacular performer, in this benchmark.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 lasted an astounding 12 hours on the PCMark stress test on its 3,600 mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (Amazon) is the only Samsung smartphone to comes close to its battery life, and that’s because it has a 5,000 mAh battery.

In our real world experience, we had no problem using it for a full day with light loads.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s remarkable battery life is thanks to its 3,600 mAh battery, which is about 9% larger than the 2016 model. But does it take much longer to recharge? Let’s find out!

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 supports quick charging, and even comes with a 15 W fast adaptive charger. Our tests showed that the Galaxy A7 will recharge from 18% to 100% in just 100 minutes (1 hours and 40 minutes). This is very good performance, with an incredible battery life : recharging ratio of 7.2 : 1.

Next Page > Overall & Gaming Performance, Verdict & Award

 

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Overall Performance – AnTuTu Benchmark

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) ASUS ZenFone 3 honor 5C OPPO F1s
TOTAL SCORE 56431 62761 53417 41486
3D SCORE 15458 18816 9842 4868
– 3D (Marooned) 10511 10861 5795 3188
– 3D (Garden) 4947 7952 4047 1679
UX SCORE 18496 26794 19297 17640
– UX Data Secure 5295 5077 5577 4885
– UX Data Process 2612 4198 2706 2542
– UX Strategy Games 3671 7503 4109 2829
– UX Image Process 3373 6879 3144 3885
– UX I/O Performance 3545 3137 3761 3499
CPU SCORE 16459 23689 19254 14336
– CPU Mathematics 3132 6950 4198 3142
– CPU Common Use 5199 6311 5947 4805
– CPU Multi-Core 8128 10428 9109 6389
RAM 6018 6797 5024 4643

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 did not do so well in the CPU tests, coming in between the honor 5C (Amazon) and the OPPO F1s (Amazon). However, it did well in the 3D tests, coming in close to the performance of the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon).

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7‘s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) ASUS ZenFone 3 honor 5C OPPO F1s
Gaming Score 13540 13956 11560 7666
Graphics 13548 13484 11067 7511
Physics 13510 15903 13698 8265
Graphics Test 1 81.1 fps 80.5 fps 63.4 fps 49.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 46.2 fps 46.1 fps 38.8 fps 24.4 fps
Physics Test 42.9 fps 50.5 fps 43.5 fps 26.2 fps

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 did well in this 3D gaming test, virtually matching the performance of the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon). It was only slightly slower in the Physics test.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 is a big upgrade from the 2016 model, offering IP68 dust- and water-resistance, a 20% faster processor, twice as much storage and a new 16 MP front camera. It also boasts the new bidirectional Type C USB port and a bigger fast charging battery.

The dual 16 MP cameras of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 is a unique development. It appears to be Samsung’s first salvo at OPPO and their focus on high-resolution front cameras. In fact, its dual 16 MP cameras appear to be a direct competitor against the OPPO R9s, which was launched at the same time.

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Samsung is also positioning the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 as the affordable version of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon). It packs many of the Galaxy S7 edge‘s key features with some tradeoffs. For example, it has higher-resolution 16 MP cameras but they can only record videos at 1080p, instead of 4K. They also lack both optical and electronic image stabilisation.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon) still boasts the better cameras, a higher resolution QHD display and a wireless charging capability. The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, on the other hand, has better battery life, a larger display and separate SIM and microSD slots.

So which Samsung smartphone should you get? Samsung would love for you to buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon). But if you can’t afford it, that’s where the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 comes in.

Despite our misgivings about the lack of image stabilisation of its cameras, and the 1080p restriction on video recordings, we are impressed with major upgrades Samsung packed into the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7. We think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Samsung!

Go Back To > First Page | ReviewsHome

 

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The Samsung Torture Tests – Can Your Smartphone Survive Them?

Samsung has been working hard to restore the truth of their customers that was sorely tested when the much-vaunted Galaxy Note7 was torched by battery issues. They started the long, hard process with an extensive recall process, followed by a serious revamp of their quality assurance program.

Samsung just shared with us the videos of the torture tests that all of their top smartphones have to survive. Can your smartphone survive the Samsung torture tests? 😀

 

The Samsung Torture Tests

For a quick understanding of the extensive torture tests Samsung put their top smartphones through, watch this video.

 

The Samsung Water Resistance Test

Watch this short clip on Samsung’s Water Resistance Test, where the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon) was tested under simulated raindrops and splashes, and submerged under 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes. The 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 (Amazon) and 2017 Samsung Galaxy A5 (Amazon) will similarly survive the same test.

 

The Samsung Durability Test

The Samsung Durability Test helps to ensure that Samsung smartphones live long and survive, even under pressure.

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The Samsung Drop Test

Samsung performs these extensive drop tests on their smartphones, because well, people drop them all the time!

 

The Samsung Extreme Weather Test

Finally, Samsung puts their smartphones through extreme weather tests, including extreme temperatures. Just in case you bring your Samsung smartphone to the desert or heck, even the ice planet Hoth? 😀

 

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Sony Xperia XZ & Xperia X Compact Smartphones Revealed

Sony Mobile just revealed two new additions to their X smartphone series – the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact. They also revealed an exclusive pre-order campaign with 11street, from today until October 4. Check out the full details below!

 

The Sony Xperia XZ & Xperia X Compact Revealed

Andrew Cheong, Country Director (Malaysia) at Sony Mobile kicked off the launch event with a keynote speech on the two new Sony X series smartphone.

Then Lawrence Lim, Business Manager of Sony Mobile Malaysia, covered the key features of the Sony Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact smartphones.

 

Sony Xperia XZ & Xperia X Compact Specifications

SpecificationsSony Xperia XZSony Xperia X Compact
Display5.2" TriLuminos display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
4.6" TriLuminos display
- 720 x 1280 pixels
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass with 2.5D curved edge
Capless water- and dust-resistance (IP65/IP68)
Corning Gorilla Glass with 2.5D curved edge
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0.1 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 820Qualcomm Snapdragon 650
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro (2.2 GHz)2 x ARM Cortex-A72 (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 530Qualcomm Adreno 510
Memory3 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (shared with second SIM slot) - up to 256 GB
32 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera13 MP Sony Exmor RS sensor with f/2.0 lens
5-axis stabilization
1080p video recording capability
5 MP Sony Exmor R sensor with f/2.4 lens
Rear Camera23 MP Sony Exmor RS sensor with LED flash
Triple image sensors - image sensor, laser AF sensor, RGBC-IR sensor
Predictive Hybrid Autofocus capability
5-axis stabilization
4K video recording capability
23 MP Sony Exmor RS sensor with LED flash
Triple image sensors - image sensor, laser AF sensor, RGBC-IR sensor
Predictive Hybrid Autofocus capability
5-axis stabilization
4K video recording capability
Network4G : LTE Cat 9 (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28, 29, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41)
3G : UMTS HSPA+
WiFi : 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
4G : LTE Cat 6
3G : UMTS HSPA+
WiFi : 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
ConnectivityGPS + GLONASS
WiFi Miracast, Google Cast
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC, DLNA
GPS + GLONASS
WiFi Miracast, Google Cast
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC, DLNA
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
Hybrid SIM (nano SIM x 2, or nano SIM + microSD)
Single nano SIM
Audio CapabilityHigh Resolution Audio capability
Front Surround Sound
Stereo Audio Recording
High Resolution Audio capability
Front Surround Sound
Stereo Audio Recording
Fingerprint SensorYes, on Power buttonNo
Battery2,900 mAh lithium-ion battery
Qnovo Adaptive Charging with Quick Charge 3.0 support
2,700 mAh lithium-ion battery
Qnovo Adaptive Charging with Quick Charge support
Dimensions72 mm wide x 146 mm tall x 8.1 mm thick65 mm wide x 129 mm tall x 9.5 mm thick
Weight161 g135 g
Available ColoursForest Blue, Mineral Black, PlatinumMist Blue, Universe Black, White
Launch PriceRM 2,699 / ~US$ 675RM 1,999 / ~US$ 499

 

Availability & Offers

The Sony Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact smartphones will be available for sale in Malaysia beginning 7 October at Sony Mobile Stores, Sony Centres, and authorised dealers. The Xperia XZ will be available in the Dual SIM variant (Hybrid SIM slot) and the Xperia X Compact will be available in the Single SIM variant.

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All Xperia XZ users will gain access to exclusive content in the Xperia Lounge (including 12 movie downloads), Qoo10 15% discount coupon and 20% off storewide on Zalora. In addition, users can also obtain a code via Xperia Lounge to stand a chance to win a brand new wardrobe from Zalora.

In addition, those who pre-order on 11street during the exclusive pre-order period will receive complimentary gifts worth RM 600 (~US$ 150) such as the Sony Bluetooth Headset, screen protector for Curve Display, back casing and an OTG 3.0 64GB Type C Connector.

Furthermore, 11street customers who participate in a lucky draw will stand a chance to bring home a Cristiano Ronaldo Signed and Framed Real Madrid 2015-2016 jersey worth RM 3,000.

Next Page > The Key Features of the Sony Xperia XZ & Xperia X Compact Smartphones

 

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Improved Camera Technology

Sony’s first flagship of the X series, Xperia XZ, and premium Xperia X Compact bring new and improved camera technology to give the best pictures from Xperia yet. Maximising Sony’s acclaimed image sensor, two additional assisting sensors have been added to make Sony’s triple image sensing technology. This allows you to capture beautiful images in motion with true to life colours in virtually any condition.

The technology includes Sony’s original Exmor RS for mobile image sensor which provides a powerful blend of high quality image and autofocus (AF) speed combined with Predictive Hybrid AF to intelligently predict and track subjects in motion for blur-free results.

Added to this is the Laser AF sensor with distance sensing technology which captures beautiful blur-free photos in challenging low light conditions. And what’s more, you will enjoy superb true to life colours thanks to the RGBC-IR[i] sensor with colour sensing technology which accurately adjusts the white balance based on the light source in the environment.

The 23MP main camera not only gives you clear shots, but also super-fast start-up going from standby to capture in 0.6seconds[ii] at the touch of a dedicated shutter release button. Advanced features have been added for those who want more flexibility with manual settings to further enhance the shooting experience and creative possibilities, such as shutter speed and focus controls.

With videos being ever more popular for capturing and sharing unique moments on social media, both models bring significant advancements in the evolution of image stabilisation, cultivated in Sony’s Handycam camcorders, with Sony’s SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode to enable superb video recording. Now with 5-axis stabilization, you can shoot smoother videos[iii] even when walking or capturing extreme close-ups[iv].

Xperia XZ provides a 13MP front camera for the selfie perfectionist, with its super high sensitivity as high as ISO6400 and 24mm wide angle lens it will make the best of your pose even in low-light and group selfies. Xperia XZ also offers the highest quality recording in 4k so you get sharp, crisp footage that is full of detail.

[i] RGBC-IR stands for Red, green, blue, clear and infrared

[ii] Based in internal protocol defined by Sony Mobile Communications

[iii] 5-axis stabilisation feature is only available in Full HD video resolution

[iv] 5-axis stabilisation is activated only when the camera recognises macro video. Other situations will be recorded as 3-axis(pitch/yaw/roll) only

 

Premium design

With its stunning loop surface design, the 5.2” glass display and metal back of the Xperia XZ become one, to provide a perfect fit and beautiful feel in the hand. The loop surface is inspired by a monolithic form, whilst ALKALEIDO metal with high brightness and high purity provides shine and a feeling of depth which both enhance its premium design.

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Xperia XZ is available in a brand new blue colour inspired by the beauty of nature – Forest Blue – along with stylish classics, Mineral Black and Platinum.

Adding a popular Sony form factor to the X series, the Xperia X Compact packs mighty technology into its small frame. Its 4.6” screen and loop surface design make it extra comfortable to hold and is ideal for an operation with just one hand. Xperia X Compact’s premium design can be clearly seen via its high-gloss finish and solid feel. It also follows our new signature blue colour expression with a Mist Blue colour hue together with timeless Universe Black and Stylish White.

Sony’s expertise in functional design is carried through to the Xperia XZ with a water resistant[i] design to take the worry out of a little splash of water. In addition, the fingerprint sensor power button[ii] on Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact is intuitively placed on the side of the phone, so you’re able to pick up and securely unlock in a single movement and adds to the comfortable fit in the hand.

 

Intelligent Features

We’ve incorporated intelligent features into our smartphones so that they can assist you to make your daily life more convenient, more efficient, and more enjoyable. Both models feature new Battery Care[i] complemented by Qnovo adaptive charging which work in harmony to keep your battery healthy and make the lifespan last up to twice as long[ii].

Qnovo adaptive charging monitors and adjusts the charging current to avoid damage for battery longevity whilst Battery Care controls the charging based on learned habits and avoids excess charging by pausing charge at 90% and only completes the charging just before it’s needed.

Xperia Tips also recognises user habits to provide personalised tips and recommendations, helping you optimise your own personal user experience while Smart Cleaner automatically maximises performance by cleaning the cache from certain apps based on learning their usage so optimal performance is achieved at all times.

[i] Battery Care not available in all markets

[ii] Qnovo adaptive charging is featured on all X series models. 2x battery lifespan refers to Xperia X and Xperia X Performance with Qnovo enabled when compared to Xperia Z2. During laboratory battery capacity retention cycle testing conducted by Sony Mobile Communications and Qnovo Incorporated, the battery cell used in Xperia Z2 achieved a lifespan up to 2 times longer with Qnovo. The result may vary depending on conditions and environment.

 

Accessories

Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact each have a range of matching optional Style Covers in corresponding colours including Style Cover Touch (SCTF10/20) which lets you access your favourite smartphone widgets through a smart window without needing to open the case.

For easy video viewing, Style Cover Stand (SCSF10/20) has an auto on/off function with adjustable viewing angle. Each model will be supplied with the new USB Type-C charger for easy charging.

 

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