Though the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have the same design as their respective predecessors, they have received many upgrades. The biggest improvement you’ll notice in the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus is the camera. Camera testing firm DxOMark has put the Galaxy S9 Plus through its exhaustive tests. DxOMark has declared the Galaxy S9 Plus as the world’s best smartphone camera with a total score of 99. The score is even higher than the iPhone X (97) and Google Pixel 2 (98).
Samsung has put a lot of efforts in improving the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus cameras, and DxOMark’s test results clearly reflect that. The Galaxy S9 Plus received a combined photo and video score of 99. It scored 104 points in still photography, the highest ever for any smartphone. The video score isn’t equally impressive at 91, but it’s still among the best. DxOMark said the S9 Plus strikes an excellent balance between noise reduction and detail preservation in all lighting conditions.
There are no “obvious weaknesses” in the Galaxy S9 Plus camera. The device performs well across all photo and video test categories, offering consistently good photos and videos in all shooting situations. DxOMark noted that the Galaxy S9 Plus was “difficult to ignore for any photo-minded smartphone user.” The only thing DxOMark wasn’t impressed with is the autofocus. Though the autofocus isn’t the fastest, it is fast enough not to be an issue.
DxOMark praised the Galaxy S9 Plus’s zoom, bokeh, flash, color accuracy, contrast, and exposure. The phone’s camera produces “excellent results” in bright light conditions, but the testing firm did experience a few “fairly minor issues” in daylight conditions. Some of the pictures had noticeable ringing halos and purple fringing on high-contrast edges.
The phone performs particularly well in low-light conditions thanks to its variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. In low-light situations, the camera automatically adjusts the aperture to f/1.5 to capture maximum light. The f/2.4 aperture improves detail and sharpness in bright light situations. If you want, you can also change the apertures manually in Pro Mode.
Experts at DxOMark evaluate a smartphone’s camera by taking and analyzing more than 1,500 photos and more than two hours of videos in lab environments as well as in natural outdoor and indoor scenarios. They use the default camera settings during analysis. The overall quality of a smartphone’s camera is subjective, so a lot of things depend on your personal preference. Other experts are also expected to publish their analysis of the Galaxy S9 Plus camera in the near future.
The Galaxy S9 Plus has two vertically-aligned 12-megapixel sensors on the back. Both the lenses offer optical image stabilization and phase detection autofocus. The wide-angle lens has a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. The telephoto lens that helps in taking Portrait shots has a fixed aperture of f/2.4. There is an 8-megapixel shooter on the front for selfies. Samsung has also deeply integrated its Bixby AI assistant with the camera.
The Galaxy S9 Plus camera also has a new super slo-mo functionality that allows users to capture slow-motion pictures at 960 frames per second and 720p resolution. It has automatic motion detection, which can detect movement in the frame automatically and begin recording. All you have to do is set up the shot. The S9 Plus also offers animated emojis called AR Emoji. It’s similar to Apple’s Animoji.
Galaxy S9 Plus sports a huge 6.2-inch bezel-less Super AMOLED Infinity display with Quad HD+ resolution and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The screen is 15% brighter than the Galaxy S8. It packs 6GB RAM and 64GB of base storage. There is also a microSD card slot for external memory expansion by up to 400GB. The device is powered by the Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 chips depending on the region.
The new Galaxy S9 Plus flagship packs 3500mAh battery with fast charging and wireless charging support, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and dual stereo speakers tuned by AKG. The fingerprint scanner is located on the back panel of the device, below the camera module. Samsung has also included a new Intelligent Scan feature for unlocking the device. It uses data from both the iris scanner and the facial recognition to authenticate the user. The Intelligent Scan is still not as secure as Apple’s Face ID technology.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are now available for pre-order on Samsung’s website. The regular Galaxy S9 has a starting price of $720 while its bigger sibling starts at $840. The phones will hit the store shelves on March 16th. If you buy the unlocked version from Samsung’s website, you’ll be able to use it on any carrier of your choice.