Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on
– Hey this is Dan from The Verge
and this is the new Galaxy S9
and the Galaxy S9 plus from Samsung.
Now if you're looking at these,
you probably think they look pretty familiar,
and that's because they do.
They basically look exactly like the Galaxy S8
from last year.
Except for one major difference.
We've been complaining about the placement
of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8
since it came out.
So for the Galaxy S9, Samsung fixed it,
and moved it from next to the camera,
to below the camera, which is way easier to reach.
Even on the larger model.
Now otherwise, they are very similar in design.
You've got a 5.8 inch display on the S9,
6.2 inch display on the S9 plus.
They're still super AMOLED screens,
they're still have the same high res displays,
they're still have the curved sides,
that Samsung calls this infinity display
that spills over the edge.
And Samsung has actually made the bezels the same,
the bezels are the same size, but they're a little bit
better masked than last years models,
so they don't quite stand out as much.
You still have the power button on the side,
you've got the volume rocker over here,
and then of course, there's the Bixby button
that hasn't gone anywhere.
And on the bottom, there's still the headphone jack,
which you get on both models.
A lot of the new things you can't actually see,
but they are appreciated.
It's got stereo speakers now,
so the earpiece speaker works in conjunction
with the bottom speaker to produce stereo sound.
The camera has been new and improved,
and I'll get into that in a minute.
It's got a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor inside of it.
There's four gigabytes of ram in the small model,
there's six gigabytes of ram in the bigger model.
3,000 milliamp hour battery here,
3,500 milliamp hour battery here.
Both of them have fast charging.
Both of them have fast wireless charging.
Both of them have IP68 water and dust resistance.
Both of them have 64 gigabytes of storage.
Both of them have microSD card slots.
And both of them have gigabit LTE.
So, a lot of those things are familiar to S8 owners.
But the big difference that Samsung is touting
this year is the cameras.
And you can see, on the S9 it has a single camera,
and on the S9 plus it now has a dual camera,
which is very similar to the Note 8's dual camera.
So it's got a wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens,
which lets you get closer to your subject,
or do different types of blurring,
what Samsung calls live focus effects.
On both models you do have a new variable aperture lens.
Which means that the aperture on the camera
goes from 1.5 which is brighter than last years phone,
and one of the brightest lenses on the market,
and you can close it down to F2.4 if you're
in a very bright environment, if you're outdoors, sunlight,
and you've got too much light,
you can shut down the aperture
for better quality photos there.
You can do that automatically through
the Samsung's camera app, or if you go into the pro mode you
can actually switch between the two which is pretty neat.
This is the first phone we've seen with a mechanical,
physically changing aperture, which is very interesting.
It is locked at 1.5 or 2.4,
it doesn't any values in between, but it still is more than
pretty much any other phone offers you.
In terms of the camera quality itself,
it's still 12 megapixel sensor, but Samsung says
it now has next generation dual pixel auto focus.
So it's got faster, more reliable auto focus.
It does more processing on chips,
so you get better noise reduction than the prior generation.
Up to 30 percent, so in certain situations.
And then the other features that are new
are on the video side.
It can shoot 240 frames per second, slow motion,
like it could do last year.
But now it can do up to 960 frames per second at 720p
for short bursts, for a super slow motion mode.
Now Samsung says that the S9's gonna have
better low light performance thanks to
improved multi-frame noise reduction algorithms
where it combines multiple frames together
to reduce the amount of noise in the actual image.
We're gonna have to be testing this out
once we have a review on it, but so far,
the early impressions are pretty promising.
Now, the camera app has also been redesigned,
so it's a little bit easier to use.
You can switch between modes by just swiping,
which is way easier than Samsung's older user interface.
And you can quickly switch there.
There is, of course, a pro mode, which gives you
full manual controls over white balance and aperture
and shutter speed and such.
So the other thing that's new on the camera is
Samsung's new ARmoji, which is basically its take
on the iPhone's Animoji feature.
It creates a 3D animated image based on 100 points
of your face when you look at the camera.
And it then turns that into animated GIF's
that you can share through the camera app
and various messaging apps.
You can also customize the appearance of it,
you can change the hair color, add glasses,
change the outfit, and do these other things
that you can't quite do with Animoji.
It's not quite the exact same thing,
but it provides a very similar effect.
Samsung has also improved and upgraded its flagship features
like Bixby, which has a new user interface design,
it has a couple of new features.
It can also take a picture of food
and estimate its calorie count that you can then link
to S Health as well.
Samsung's also upgraded the DeX feature,
which lets you use your phone as a full desktop environment.
With various open apps and things like that.
It used to be using a docking station with the Galaxy S8,
now it has a new accessory called the DeX pad,
which is basically a flat pad and lets you use the phone
as a track pad or keyboard if you don't happen
to have an external mouse or keyboard with you.
There's a lot more in the Galaxy S9 and S9 plus,
that we'll be diving into as we spend
more time with the devices.
But initially, it's gonna be available for pre-order
on March second, it'll be shipping on March 16th,
it's gonna come in three colors in the US,
black, purple, and blue.
And the pricing should be about the same as the Galaxy S8.
For more on the Galaxy S9 and the S9 plus,
be sure to check out theverge.com
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