The annual ritual of smartphone launching by arch rivals Apple and Samsung seems to be as predictable as day and night. To put things in perspective, Apple launched iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus last year on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of iPhone, with some features closely mirroring those found on Galaxy S8.

Well, at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung has launched Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus which may have been intended to match those of iPhone X.

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Camera

There has been some improvement to the camera relative the Galaxy S8 series, such as the ability of the aperture to physically change from the regular size to an expanded size to let in more light, thereby enabling the ability to take good pictures in low light with its 12-megapixel resolution lenses.

Users are also able to try out the super slow-motion video feature running at 720 to 960 frames per second, allowing them to capture great moments accurately in really slow motion.

Animoji

By way of augmented reality (AR), the phone is able to create a cartoon image (emoji) of yourself, which animates as you talk. Some reviewers don’t like this capability in Galaxy S9/S9+, as they find it to be of low quality and incapable of tracking your face well, so much so that you may not even recognise your own face.

The poor AR capability is believed to be due to the relatively low quality of the camera in S9, relative to iPhone X’s 3D tracking camera. S9’s emojis do not capture your smile, which is quite creepy. Moreover, when you record a video message of yourself as a human avatar, the avatar does not match your skin or hair colour, also doesn’t smile.

Here are the main differences between S9 (and S9 plus): Display: 5.8 inch (6.2 inch); weight: 163g (189g); camera: single 12-megapixel (dual 12-megapixel); random access memory (RAM): 4GB (6GB); storage: 64GB (128GB); and battery: 3,000 mAh (3,500 mAh).

So what about the price of the S9 phones? It seems as if Samsung has cut its U.S. customers some slack on the prices, while the rest of the world pays more, like most international smartphone brands. The unlocked phones direct from Samsung cost RM3,299 (S9) and RM3,799 (S9 Plus). Different carriers U-Mobile, Digi, Maxis and Celcom all offer these devices at relatively similar prices.

Lowyat

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available starting 16th March 2018 in Malaysia, available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple. Visit Samsung S9 to learn more about the devices. 

Nadee Mode
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