Design and Display
The Samsung Galaxy S9 looks very much like its predecessor maintaining the nice premium build as seen before. It is also made up of a combination of metal and glass to give a smartphone that is both classy and stylish.
However, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is a tad thicker and heavier too which makes it feel more premium when held knowing fully well you are holding a 9th generation Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Although the significant change here is the fingerprint sensor which was criticized for previously being in an awkward position at the side of the camera, has been relocated to the side but is still part of the camera module which is in a unusual.
Samsung Galaxy S9 is available in Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue, though all colours may not be available in all countries.
The top bezel also appears to be a bit slimmer than before with more conscious effort from Samsung to hide the sensors more. The Samsung Galaxy S9 maintains the 3.5mm audio jack some premium flagships has been leaving out lately which is a nice thing.
The Android phone is IP68 certified, which means it is dust proof and will survive up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 metres of water.
An Infinity Display
One of the great things about the Samsung Galaxy S9 flagship is its rich vibrant display which is the same except for being a bit smaller at 5.8-inch. There is still the 18.5:9 aspect ratio as before which allows you to have more screen space without being unnecessarily large.
To conserve power, the Super AMOLED display runs on a full HD resolution by default which you might decide to change in settings if you want to the maximum 2960 X 1440 pixels (570 ppi) and don’t care about battery. Also, you’ve got that curved display with nothing in the way at the sides which is sort of a charmer if you look at it. Samsung Galaxy S9 offers Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection against scratches and easy damage.
The display offers a near-bezel-less edge to edge screen that creates the illusion of an infinity display. The Samsung Galaxy S9 also offers an Always On feature on the display that displays useful information like date and time when the screen is locked. You can also customise the Always on Display to show more or less information. The screen also supports HDR10 and 3D Touch on the home button.
Battery and Camera
As much as we would have loved to see a larger battery capacity the Samsung Galaxy S9 only comes with a 3, 000mAh battery. This is sort of problem with its predecessor but the setup conserves power and the fast charging (Quick Charge 2.0) is still present using the USB Type-C connector. It also supports Qi / PMA wireless charging.
Samsung boasts up to 14 hours Wi-Fi use for the Galaxy S9. You could get up to 12 hours and 11 hours respectively on 4G and 3G respectively. Samsung Galaxy S9 also boasts up to 16 hours of video playback.
Two Good Cameras
There is more AI integration into the camera featured on the Samsung Galaxy S9 which is more of a thing in most high-end flagship trying to offer the next milestone capturing experience. Additionally, you have a new 12MP rear camera with the DRAM chip mounted on top. This deliver power directly to the camera, hence, a much quicker processing speed. Another great thing, is the dual aperture technology which switches between a f/1.5 and f/2.4.
This is dependent on the brightness of the environment, it utilizes a smaller aperture when there is much light to give a better picture and then to the bigger one when there’s less light. Also one of the features of the Samsung Galaxy S9 that was showcased at the MWC 2018 event, is the slow motion capturing up to 960fps at 720p. While this is cool, the problem is the timing to capture the really fast actions. The solution is the motion detector which automatically starts the recording once motion is detected. You can also record Slo-Mo at 1080p full HD, but at 240 fps.
By the way, the Samsung Galaxy S9 can record 4k videos at 30 fps or 60 fps. Full HD videos can also be recorded at the same rate.
The rear camera on the Samsung Galaxy S9 also boasts Optical Image Stabilisation with up to 8X digital zoom. Background blur effect (a.k.a. Bokeh effect) is also baked into the camera.
Unlike the older model, the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with a better selfie experience by help reducing noise in pictures taken. The smartphone recruits a 8MP sensor for a better wide angle selfies. Another highlight is the Bixby Vision which helps to translate live texts written in a foreign language to your native language. Samsung also stated the camera can help you estimate the amount of calories in your food although how it does this is still unclear.
Hardware and Software
Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S9 offers two different options based on your region of course. While let’s say in the USA, there are some carriers that might not work with a certain chipset. To avoid this, the Samsung is rolling out with two different SoCs. For users in USA and China you have an Octa-core Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 845 processor with an Adreno 630 GPU. For the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) there’s an Octa-core Exynos 9810 chipset with a Mali-G72 MP18 GPU.
In segue, the Samsung Galaxy S9 features 4GB RAM which is enough for a smooth performance in my own opinion. You also have a 64GB internal storage space with variants of 128GB and 256GB respectively. The smartphone supports a memory card up to 400GB for more storage space.
Samsung Galaxy S9 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with the Samsung Experience UI formerly referred to as TouchWiz. You also get DeX for desktop experience support. You also get Knox for real time security monitoring and protection. Plus you can also create secure folders that will require bio metric scanning (iris scanning or fingerprint scanning) to access.
Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with Samsung Pay out of the box for easy and secure payment on your phone.
The smartphone supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and, USB Type C.
Audio Tuned by AKG
Samsung Galaxy S9 features stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Expect surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology including Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus.
Dual SIM or Single SIM
Depending on your country or carrier, the Samsung Galaxy S9 may support a single Nano SIM or dual Nano SIM. Dual SIM models, however are hybrid, which means that the secondary SIM slot will also double as the microSD card slot.
The Bottom Line?
If you connect two SIM cards to your Samsung Galaxy S9, you will not be able to add a more storage to the phone using a microSD card. Adding a microSD card for the dual SIM models will require sacrificing a SIM slot.
Up to 1200 Mbps Download Speed
Samsung Galaxy S9 supports LTE cat 18, which is capable of 1200 Mbps download speed and 200 Mbps upload speeds, which means super fast browsing and streaming for your videos.
In Nigeria, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will support LTE on all networks including MTN, Glo Mobile, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel, Smile, etc.
What’s in the Box (Samsung Galaxy S9)
According to Samsung, the following can be found in the box:
- Samsung Galaxy S9 unit
- USB Cable
- SIM Ejector Pin
- USB Power Adapter
- USB Type C connector
- micro USB Connector
- Clear View Cover
- User Manual