Welp, they’re finally here. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are officially official.
Samsung was kind enough to give me some limited time with them before they were released and I figured I’d try and do one of my complete walkthroughs. If you’re not familiar with my complete walkthroughs, they’re basically me trying to go through every feature I can of a device so you can get as much info as possible about it and help you decide if you want to go out and maybe buy one at some point. So, without further ado, here’s my complete walkthrough of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
First up, the styling.
They are very similar to the S8 and S8 Plus except for a few changes: the bezels are just a hair smaller at the top and bottom and around back we have a fingerprint scanner in the center, directly under the cameras (thank god).
It’s IP68 certified as the S8 was and supports fast charging as well as fast Qi Charging.
Back on the front, we have our 5.8″ Quad HD Super AMOLED screen in 18.5:9 aspect ratio on the S9 and a 6.2″ Quad HD Super AMOLED screen in 18.5:9 aspect ratio on the S9 Plus.
Above that, the sensors have been hidden a bit better with a new paint job and the front-facing camera is an 8MP f1.7 aperture lens.
On the left side, we have the volume rocker and the Bixby button.
On the right side, we have our power button.
At the top, our SIM card slot and MicroSD card slot combo.
At the bottom, we have our USB-C charging port, the headphone jack, and one of our two stereo speakers tuned by AKG and that are Dolby Atmos-enabled.
Moving to the back, we have our dual cameras on the S9 Plus. The main one being a 12MP wider lens with an adjustable aperture from f1.5 to f2.4 (this is the same camera on the S9) and we have a 12MP telephoto lens similar the Note8 configuration that has a fixed f2.4 aperture.
The camera controls allow you to switch between the 1.5 aperture for low-light shots and the f2.4 for brighter ones manually in Pro mode or, if left in Auto it’ll automatically switch between them based on the shot.
Diving into the camera, we have our auto mode, Pro mode to adjust settings manually, a panorama mode for taking panoramic shots, and live focus from the Note8 that allows you to take a shot with a more pronounced blurred background and then adjust that background after the fact.
Another feature that they’ve added, thanks in big part to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in here (that I did a video on not too long ago that you can check out here if interested), is Super Slow-Mo. This allows you to record in 720P at 960fps for a split second. It can either be used manually or you can set it to auto-detect and it’ll automatically switch to 960fps whenever it senses movement within the square in the center of the screen. Kinda clever.
Samsung also told me that the phone will do 1080P 240fps continuously for slow-mo (compared to Super Slow-Mo) but the devices we had didn’t actually have this feature enabled at the time.
In addition to those modes, we have a Selfie Focus mode which allows you to take blurred background shots using the front camera; a regular selfie mode; a wide selfie mode that captures more of what’s behind you; and a new feature called AR emoji.
Which lets you take a photo using the front camera of your face and it’ll try and make an AR emoji based on that that you can then tweak to make look more like you. Once set up, you can use this emoji in different gifs that have 14 pre-determined poses but you can also use it as an avatar and send short video clips of it to other people. Samsung also lets you use other characters with this, as well, and said through a partnership with Disney will be bringing Disney characters to this sometime in the future, as well.
On the software side, the units we had were running Android Oreo with Samsung’s proprietary UI on top as well. Also, Samsung has added a few apps and features as usual.
Firstly, Bixby has gotten some new tricks like the ability to control Smartthings devices and being integrated into those now, but also some new camera-oriented stuff, as well.
Makeup mode, for example, let’s you try on different sets up makeup and looks and then through their partnerships with Sephora and other makeup companies be able to buy those products directly through Bixby.
Then we have translate which does real-time translations of text, image recognition mode, a mode called Places that helps you identify and find famous landmarks, a QR code reader, a wine bottle scanner powered by the popular Vivino app to scan wine labels and tell you what they cost, tasting, notes, and ultimately allows you to buy them, as well.
Samsung also mentioned a Bixby feature to scan items and find them in a shop through their initial partners of Nordstrom and Sam’s Club and also a food mode that allows you to scan food and get nutrition data on it that you can then save in Samsung Health. Neither of these was working in this build, however (but since we’ve seen similar features in other apps, you can imagine how it’ll work and with the Snapdragon 845 in there, I imagine it’ll be pretty snappy at both).
For other apps, since this wasn’t a full release model, we just have the normal Samsung apps included from the Internet, to Smartthings, Voice recorder, Galaxy Apps, Samsung Health, Samsung Gear, My Files, and Email.
For security, the device has the fingerprint sensor, but also Iris and Facial Recognition and Intelligent scanning mode that uses both Iris and Facial recognition (it tries to use Iris first since that is more secure and then quickly defaults to face if needed).
As mentioned the device has the Snapdragon 845 in it and it is paired with 4GBs of RAM in the S9 and 6GBs of RAM in the S9 Plus. It also supports Qualcomm’s gigabit LTE with peak download speeds of up to 1.2gbps.
Powering the devices, we have a 3000mah battery in the S9 and a 3500mah battery in the S9 Plus.
And there you go, guys. The most features I could run through in my limited time with the phone. If Samsung sends me a review unit, you can be sure I’ll put it through its proper paces alongside the other devices we see this year ASAP.
Let me know what you think of the phones or the complete walkthrough video format in the comments below.