Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Unveiled: What you need to know.


After numerous rumors and leaks, Samsung finally released it’s long-awaited flagships the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus. Visibly, at first glance the two phones don’t look any different from the previous Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus apart from minor changes if we look closely. The front is very identical to the previous flagships but we see change in the back modules placement. The fingerprint scanner is the noticeable change here. Samsung finally placed the scanner exactly where everyone expected it to be in the first place in the Galaxy S8. The fingerprint sensor on both phones is placed right below the camera making it easily detected and distinguishable from the camera which was not the case with the Galaxy S8. Also to note, the Galaxy S9 Plus comes with two camera modules at the back while the Galaxy S9 has one.

S9 and S9 Plus front
Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus (Credits: MKBHD)
S9 and S9 Plus back
Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus (Credits: MKBHD)

On the front the Galaxy S9 measures at 5.8 inches with 529 pixel-per-inch display where as the S9 Plus is bigger at 6.2 inches with 570 pixels-per-inch. They all use Samsung’s own Super AMOLED display technology. Underneath both the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are powered by the new most powerful Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset backup up by 4GB of RAM in the Galaxy S9 while the Galaxy S9 Plus bumped up to 6GB of RAM. They all run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and have memory configuration of 64/128/256GB with memory card expansion up to 256GB. The S9 comes with a 3000mAh where as the S9 Plus has a 3500mAh battery.

The camera is probably the most selling point on these two phones. The Galaxy S9 has a 12 megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization and an 8 megapixel front facing camera while the Galaxy S9 Plus has two 12 megapixel cameras at the back for a wide angle telephoto shot and an 8 megapixel front facing camera. One thing to note though is that these are the first phones to have variable aperture within their lenses. All phones from the past have had a fixed aperture and many major manufacturers struggled to make the aperture as wide as possible to have more light into the photos especially in dark conditions but these two phones not only come with the widest aperture in a smartphone at f/1.5 but can also be adjusted manually or automatically back to f/2.4 for sharper photos. The cameras are also capable of shooting slow motion videos at 240 frames-per-second at 1080p up to 960 frames-per-second at 720p.

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Another new cool feature that comes with these phones is AR Emojis. These are emojis created from an actual person, the user, using Augmented Reality technology. The front facing camera is used to take a selfie which then maps the person’s face to create a cartoon look-alike version of the person. It can then be fully customized according to the user’s wish. The camera also tracks facial movement to make this emoji as alive as possible along with recording void to make an animated message. GIF sticker can also be created from this emoji and shared on social media.

Galaxy S9 AR Emoji
Galaxy S9 AR Emoji (Credits: MKBHD)

Samsung DEX, a feature that lets you plug in your Samsung Galaxy S9 phone into a monitor and stream the entire OS on a large screen was also improved upon. The S9 and S9 Plus can now be used as track-pad when plugged into the DEX pad. The DEX pad was also redesigned for the purpose of using the phone while flat on the pad.

The two phones still retain the headphone jack and audio output from the on-board speakers was improved. Samsung in partnership with Dolby were able to put two firing stereo speakers on top and bottom making the S9 and S9 Plus sound richer and louder than previous Samsung phones.

The new phones still retain some of the cool features like facial and iris scanning, and IP68 water resistance. They come in three colors ie. Lilac Purple, Midnight Black and Titanium Gray. The S9 will start at $719.99 while the S9 Plus at $839.99