We have already had in our hands the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the new high-end device of the Korean firm and with which it takes a consistent step when it comes to advancing in options offered with respect to the model it replaces in the market(the Galaxy S8/S8+), we are going to reel off what we thought once we have used it for a while.
With the new Samsung Galaxy S9+, many of the foundations that have solidified the company’s Galaxy S range are underpinned, and progress has been made in others where it was possible to take advantage of the technology available to the company. With a clear premium vocation, the device is an amalgam of functionalities where we must highlight two elements of level: its main or rear camera and a processor that has exceeded the expectations we had.
As we have pointed out the model we have tested in this case is the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, which is the largest and most powerful of the two that were announced at the Mobile World Congress 2018 that has been held in Barcelona and where there is no doubt that this device had become one of the big stars of the event. We tell you the impressions that the device has left us and the advances it includes regarding the Galaxy S8+, its predecessor.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Appearance: very attractive
Aesthetically the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a model that comes with certain developments, but with a continuity that, in our opinion, is not at all a problem since the previous generation. The case is that the device maintains its finish in aluminum (AL700, of great resistance but at the same time very light) and glass, which gives it a very clear premium aspect and, in addition, highly recognizable.
It seems that Samsung follows the Tick-Tock cadence, which is nothing more than launching a breakthrough novelty in one generation (Tick) and, in the next, debugging what is thought to have not worked in the best possible way (Tock). And this is done excellently by the Samsung here since the innovations that are included in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ are successful. The clearest example of what we say is the change in the location of the fingerprint reader, which is now more focused and in a much more logical place because of ergonomics.
The exact fingerprint placement is just below the sensors of the rear camera, it offers a small slit to identify it, and we have verified that it is much more accessible on its use (although, perhaps, it could be a little bigger sensor, everything is necessary to say it). The case is that now with one hand you can access this element perfectly, which also offers an excellent response when used with instant recognition. The best we’ve seen. Without a doubt, a total success on the part of the company has been implemented.
In the front aspect, it continues to stand out especially in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ the reduced of the frames of the screen (exceeds 84% of this place) and the curvature of the panel, which is still very comfortable to grab fits very well with 18.5: 9 Aspect Ratio. On the sides, the hardware buttons repeat the location: the right part of the ignition and, on the left, the volume controls themselves and the one executed by the Bixby assistant -all of them with a good resistance to pressure and finishing-.
With rounded corners (that give a good appearance) and soft edges, the finish of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is magnificent. A couple of details: in the upper part of the device there is only the tray for SIM cards, while in the lower part there are three elements: a speaker; the USB port type C (version 3.1); and the headphone jack(we think it is excellent news because keeping it is a success as there is room for it and does not add any limitation. There will be time to eliminate it if necessary.)
On the back is the aforementioned fingerprint reader, the dual sensor of the camera that we will talk about later specifically and, also, the heart rate reader to the right of the aforementioned elements and that does not offer very bad accessibility. It does not lack a slight lateral curvature that makes you have in your hand a balanced and symmetrical device, which always achieves a striking visual effect.
The traces remain marked on the back side to include glass (protected with Gorilla Glass 5 as with the front panel). The Samsung Galaxy S9+ does not lack protection against water and dust, compatible with the IP68 standard. There is not much news here -just the market demands it-, but it is also true that we appreciate this option and we have proven that its effectiveness is total.
Interestingly, there is an increase in thickness in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ compared to the model it replaces in the market, since it amounts to 8.5 millimeters (for the previous 8.1 mm), but remains one of the best of the current high-end. In addition, its weight is increased by just over ten grams – but this does not affect its usability as we have seen since the distribution of this is adequate. An additional detail is that the finish of the frames is darker, which means that the sensors located here are barely visible at dark and, also, that there is no visible difference with the screen when turned off, which provides an interesting sense of continuity.
In short, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a more than worthy successor of the Galaxy S8+, which corrects some details that could be improved with success and, yes, remains one of the most attractive and finest smartphones that have been manufactured until date.
Screen integrated in the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
This component, at first glance, is very similar to the one included in the Galaxy S8+. The dimensions are kept at 6.2 inches with a resolution of 2,906 x 1,440 (529 PPI is the pixel density it offers) in its SuperAMOLED panel with a ratio of 18.5: 9 that makes the Samsung Galaxy S9+ a narrower model, so it grabs better.
We have already talked about the excellent front use it offers, which is especially due to almost nonexistent frames that are the best on the market. This component is not missing Gorilla Glass 5 protection, like the rear glass, and compatibility with HDR10, which ensures a really good visual quality when viewing photos and movies. And, In our testing, we saw that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ integrates a panel that looks like a charm with excellent definition and contrast. The oversaturation of the colors is not excessive.
The truth is that. Almost this same high quality is already seen in the Galaxy S8+, which is enough. But, yes, Without a doubt, this screen panel is brighter and more equally balanced on Black & White shade, which is a lot since the component of the predecessor already was one of the best. I mean, it’s better. Compared with the competition, we believe that this is the smartphone that offers the highest quality screen that can currently be purchased.
Some interesting details of this screen is that, it is possible to choose different options for setting colors. Without reaching the options of controlling the color temperature of other modes, there are many possibilities to find the one that fits every moment, but we believe that the most recommended are: Adaptive display (since its automatic adjustment is quite correct) and Photo AMOLED.
In short, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ screen must be classified as excellent. It does not offer major changes and improvements, but this is not necessary since it is based on a base that already offers superior quality. Therefore, it exceeds what is expected of a panel of a device that aspires to the maximum.
Performance of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The components integrated into the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is really powerful as befits a high-end model. The amount of RAM is 6 GB, so it remains one of the best. In addition, for the storage there are new models, since it will be possible to choose between three possibilities: 64, 128 and 256 gigabytes, depending on your region (apart, it is possible to use microSD cards of up to 400 GB to extend this feature).
You may wonder, then, where is the great feature of the Samsung Galaxy S9+? Well, in the processor. The SoC that touches in Asia and Europe region is the Exynos 9810 octa (manufacturing technology of 10 nanometers), a model with Mongoose M3 architecture that has eight cores in its interior that work at a maximum frequency of 2.7 GHz. The GPU that accompanies This component is a Mali-G72 MP18. When using the smartphone with different types of applications the results are exceptional(for now). The solvency with which moves the most demanding software is tremendous, including games of the Asphalt saga. Needless to say, we have not detected any delays in this review period and, even, the management of the camera is carried out with great fluidity.
Next, we leave the results obtained with the Samsung Galaxy S9+ in the performance tests, where we highlight those obtained in the graphical and own tests of the processor, and the results achieved by measuring the speed of internal storage are also not bad:
It does not lack anything in the connectivity to the device, with options as effective as WiFi Dual Band (the coverage is very large without losing speed); the Bluetooth version is 5.0; has NFC; and the one for positioning offers the following compatibility: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS. Of everything. One important comment is that on the front of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ includes a good number of sensors, as we will show later, has important functions. They are the following (from left to right): SVCLED; iris emitter; proximity and light; proximity emitter; frontal camera; and iris detection. By the way, this model offers compatibility with Cat.18 when accessing LTE networks, and we have verified that it is really efficient when making use of internet and using VoLTE.
It is important to mention that, apart from the excellent performance offered by the Samsung Galaxy S9+ that we have found clearly superior to the Galaxy S8+ and almost any other Android model on the market, Samsung has taken the step of including stereo sound in this model (a demand on the part of users for some time) with the help of AKG technology – as it happens with the headphones that are included with the smartphone – and has compatibility with Dolby Atmos. One of the speakers is located on the bottom of the phone and the other, integrated into the front in the same place where the calls are.
The result is a powerful sound, well defined – very well in the middle ranges – and that surpasses any other high-end model of the company. But, yes, there are steps to take as there are other smartphones that are still somewhat better.
The battery that is included in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is 3,500 mAh, so there is no increase in amperage compared to the model it replaces in the market. And, so far we have obtained an experience of use similar to that of the Galaxy S8+ since getting an hour of use is always possible if the user is normal. With the screen on, what is achieved depends on the resolution used in the panel (HD, Full HD or QHD), but in all cases, exceeding four hours or more is completely possible.
As usual for several generations in the high-end models of the firm, there is compatibility with wireless and fast recharge. Here the great feature is that power of 15 watts is provided, so the speed is great for wireless charging standards. Achieving 60% in half an hour is achieved without problems. And, the technology used is Quick Charge 2.0.
With the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus comes the Bixby assistant(personally I am not a fan of this AI. but its a great option to have, and also personally I am all about features, so the more, the merrier) that offers interesting improvements, such as the use of Augmented Reality (AR) to get information about where you are and the existing objects. the operation is quite effective and remains for the good work that could already be seen in the Galaxy S8 +. But, yes, at the moment it does not recognize voice very well, so its use is somewhat limited. But, for actions such as finding places or accessing information about a brand or object, its operation is good. By the way, the own button is kept to open the mentioned assistant (located in the left part).
Another of the improvements included with the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is the unlock access through facial recognition, which has now merged with the iris itself to be more effective and secure. The name that the company has given to the functionality is Intelligent Scanning, and once the two possibilities are configured, the response when using it is fast and the efficiency is high. In low light conditions, it has sometimes cost a bit.
And speaking of this component, it is important to indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ includes what is called Secure folder (which takes advantage of the options of the Knox platform by encrypting its content). That seemed like a great idea since it increases the possibilities and, also, the security.
With the operating system, this smartphone comes with Android Oreo scarce resources consumed as the almost nonexistent bloatware. Besides, the lace of the Edge tools that take advantage of the curved sides, and the Smart Select options -which allow for example to create a GIF directly or capture a rectangle- we find it very interesting.
To be honest, here, I am really not a fan of Samsung OS, and I find Stock Android much more stacked and easy to use. But besides Stock Android, this is the best Third Party Software Skin on any device.
By the way, this model comes the new version of the DeX Pad accessory, which allows a more professional and efficient use (we will discuss its effectiveness when tested) and, also, the Smart Things Application tool that centralizes in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ to manage other devices of the company, such as televisions, independent loudspeakers and air conditioners -as long as these offer connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Camera: The all-rounder Best
Photography is where more and better things come in the Samsung Galaxy S9+. To begin with, this model includes two sensors in its main camera, which already makes it radically different from the Galaxy S8+ (and therefore resemble the Note 8). The elements that it integrates are the following:
- First sensor: 12 megapixels with a Variable aperture of F: 1.5/2.4 type Dual Pixel. Other options offered are 24 mm and 1.4 microns, so we are talking about a high-quality component.
- Second sensor: 12 megapixels with F: 2.4 focal. This element offers 54 mm and 1 micron, and it does not lack autofocus.
Therefore, we are talking about a really important combination, which has optical stabilization, PDAF and LED type flash. With these components on the Samsung Galaxy S9+, it can be used as 2X optical zoom.
And what is achieved with all this? Well something as simple as some exceptional photos in all kinds of situations, but without a doubt, those that are made at night or low light are impressive compared to the previous generation of the company itself and, also, with the rest of smartphones on the market. Today, there is no one who crashes the Samsung Galaxy S9+ atleast in low-light competition.
The images that are obtained offer a very good white balance, with a very wide dynamic range and a work with the light that we had not seen before. In addition, the use of Zoom 2X is really good, with minimal loss and simplicity of use very large: just click on the corresponding icon on the screen.
By the way, the application is really good and complete. Simple to use as it recognizes gestures (this can sometimes play a trick since the screen is so precise that it recognizes any slight touch).
These are more examples of what we have achieved with the Samsung Galaxy S9+ at the time of taking pictures, and it is proven that the quality of this model is very high:
There are details to comment in a particular way. An example is the use of b> Multi-Frame Noise Reduction. This technology allows capturing twelve successive shots (advancing from the three of Note 8) that combine without loss of time to offer the best possible result in the definition – it also reduces noise by 30% compared to the Galaxy S8 + -. And, it works perfectly and is safe for the user.
Portrait mode is present and works really well. It is possible to choose the defocus when the photo is taken or later (since all the information is acquired) and, in addition, this time it is even possible to add additional effects to the background in a simple way with Live Focus -by default it includes ten. The precision in recognizing objects is very high, and does not clash with the competition. The best in the market? Here it is complex to say since there are models like the Google Pixel 2 XL that are really good at this task.
Neither the Samsung Galaxy S9+ lacks the option to create emojis giving use to Augmented Reality (AR). Using the front camera of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (which is of good quality and has a resolution of 8 megapixels and focal F: 1.7 with HDR and autofocus), the face of the user is recognized.
Subsequently, and through internal processes where artificial intelligence comes into play -and taking advantage of up to 100 types of stored facial options- a modeling is carried out that ends with a three-dimensional image similar to that of cartoons that even shows facial expressions. It’s effectiveness? Well, we have not encountered serious problems … but do not use it with glasses, as this makes it lose precision.
Video recording with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
We have given a specific section to this functionality of the camera due to a new option that comes with the Samsung Galaxy S9+. Normally it is possible to use the device to record videos with 4K quality at 60fps with great definition and stability. The results are excellent, as is the case with photos, and the truth is that you can not ask the device much more … or do you?
It has included the option to record Super slow motion reaching what Sony offers in some of its Xperia phones: 960 frames per second at 720p quality – to achieve this, a buffer is included in the camera to store the necessary information. To get an idea of the power offered is the following: convert 0.2 seconds of normal action to six in slow motion.
There is a useful automatic mode that when the element to be captured is framed by pressing the record button if the motion is detected, the slow-motion process is performed. But, in addition, there is also a manual mode that allows full control to the user, with a second button to perform the activation. In both cases, the operation is very good.
Once you have the video, it is possible to edit this with such interesting options as creating a GIF with the recording or adjusting the space you want to see in Super Slow Motion.
Conclusion and opinion on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review
This Samsung Galaxy S9+ is the best device of the Korean company we have seen, surpassing any other we have tested to date. The improvements are important, both in sections as the camera as in the processing capacity and, therefore, the result is that we are facing the most recommended smartphone in the market at this time. Even, its design improves with necessary corrections, which is why a complete advancement process has been carried out.
The arrival of stereo sound is very necessary and positive, without losing options such as protection against water and dust, and the screen continues to be a delight to represent colors and show videos. Well in the battery life, although it would have been advisable to advance in the compatibility with Quick Charge, At the end of the bottom line, here the truth is that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ has very few fissures in general.
And, we do not want to end without leaving one thing clear: waiting to know what the competition offers in this 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ makes it very difficult to overcome in what has to do with photography. Without a doubt, the qualitative leap is very large and almost unexpected. Excellent work is done.