It’s a bigger, badder version of last year’s must-have, must sell kidney-for-a-phone. And if you sold a kidney last year, you are out of luck trying to purchase the new S9+. It is pricier.
It has a massive 6.2-inch curved display that continues to fall over the edges like an exotic waterfall. Much like the way your wallet contents will disappear. And that’s the last of our wide-eyed price point proclamations.
While the device is big, it is actually a bit shorter than the previous S8 plus. They did the unthinkable magic of narrowing down the bezels even further to give you more screen awesomeness.
And finally, they fixed the one annoying design glitch: the off centre fingerprint scanner. Now on the S9 and the plus, it is located smack dab in the middle NO more awkward caressing of the backside looking for the right spot. He face detection and iris scanner ensured that would not be a problem, but plenty of people prefer to be horrified by their face being scanned by strange invisible rays.
And then there are stereo speakers on a Samsung flagship for the first time. These are supposedly 40 percent louder.
The design isn’t new. But then, you sometimes don’t need new when the old works so well. Putting the older unit side by side, it is difficult to tell them apart at first glance. They have also stuck with the 3.5mm jack in this day of Bluetooth headphones. The microSD card slot also remains which is always a good thing as does the Bixby call button, which still cannot be remapped without third party app.
So it turns out, what gets carried over is mostly the good stuff.
IMPRESSED BY THE SCREEN
Some device manufacturers go full screen only to cut a silly looking notch on the top. The S9 and plus offers default FullHD 1080p, notch-free display. Vibrant colors and an amazingly high contrast ratio will bring you back to the screen over and over.
AR emoji is all the rage or so manufacturers want you to believe. Apple did it. And now Samsung has its version called, er, AR Emoji. Rather straightforward there. The front 8MP camera analyses a 2D image of your face and creates tons of facial features to create cartoony 3D avatars. You can convert it to a standard GIF and send it to your non S9 friends to be super annoying. Although my avatar ended up having a rather furry/cottony beard instead of my actual caveman face.
The global unit is powered by the Exynos 9810 and 6GB of RAM. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset is in the US and China versions. In either case, there is currently nothing on the market to slow down the phone. Or even give it a hiccup. Nothing. Running on Android 8.0 Oreo, Samsung has done away with the TouchWiz. Now called Samsung Experience, the streamlined software now features very little bloatware, most of which can be deleted. This is probably the best iteration of the Samsung flagship OS so far.
IT SHOOTS, IT SCORES
Few phones are there to beat it for photo quality now. The camera unit also borrowed a little from last year’s Note8. It now features an optical zoom lens. The f/1.5 aperture is the first on a smartphone ever. It can apparently take in 28 percent more light meaning your photos in low light are that much well-lit and sharper. While the images are super sharp in average light, in low light situations the bigger aperture ends up over processing certain facial features giving you smooth polished skin. Which, according to Instagram trends, is exactly what people want.
Video can be shot at a max 4K resolution at 60 fps limited to five minutes for keeping file sizes manageable. It lacks optical stabilisation which is available for all video resolution from 4k 30fps down. But this year, the most hip feature is the super slow motion at 960fps for 720p video.
This is a pricey device (again) but then this is the hottest device RIGHT NOW. It mixes the tried and tested old bits, fixes a few issues and adds a few cool features. So it seems to have done it all right. It’s a fantastic new device which will not disappoint. It is also a big phone requiring big hands. The 3500mAh battery manages to get you through an easy day and more of showing off your fancy new device.
But is it a terrific upgrade? While the AR Emoji isn’t really all that cool, the S9 offers one of the best camera experiences on a smartphone right now. Most S8/8+ users will not be noticing the significant difference in processing performance or even how it looks. But in the end, you sometimes get something because it is cool. And this definitely is cool.
Display: 6.2 inches, Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio
OS: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
CPU: Octa-core (2.7GHz,1.7GHz)
Camera: Front-8.0 MP & Back- 12.0 MP + 12.0 MP
Features: Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, HR Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor etc.
Battery: 3500 Mah
Price: Tk. 105,900/-