8 things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S9

26 Feb 2018

Samsung building. Image: JPStock/Shutterstock

Samsung’s latest offering is unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

Last year, Samsung was embroiled in controversy around the Note 7’s hazardous battery problems but, following the success of the S8 and Note 8, the company was primed to unveil its S9 flagship model at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona.

So, what are some of the key highlights of the new jewel in Samsung’s crown?

Edge-to-edge display still reigns supreme

The slick ‘infinity display’ introduced with the S8 is still present with the S9 and S9 Plus, with minimal design changes to an already winning formula. Screen margins are just a touch slimmer at the bottom and top of the phone, and the biggest alteration is the physical opening and closing of the camera aperture.

It’s all about the camera

The new camera will take up to 12 shots at once and combine them into a single 12MP image, reducing pixelated noise in some shots. Super-slow motion is also a fresh feature, going as low as 960 frames per second, and a new mode will see recording begin when movement is detected.

The S9 camera can switch between two apertures, with the option for 28pc more light availability in dark conditions and less for glaringly bright days. The camera also employs some AI technology in the form of Bixby Vision, an intelligent camera feature that can translate currency and foreign languages in real time, among other nifty features.

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9. Image: Samsung

AR emoji

The new AR emoji feature can analyse a 2D image of a user and create a 3D facial model, imitating their own unique facial expressions for a tailored experience. This is rather similar to the Animoji feature rolled out by Apple for the premium iPhone X.

Impressive sound and memory

The S9 boasts Dolby Atmos surround sound and AKG-tuned stereo speakers. The device can also expand up to 400GB with the addition of a Micro SD card.

Get connected

Smart-home fans will be happy as the S9 is the first Samsung phone to support its new SmartThings app, so managing your connected devices from the handset will be an option.

Your choice of authentication

The new phone offers three forms of biometric authentication: iris, fingerprint and facial recognition. A new Dedicated Fingerprint option will allow users to use a different fingerprint to access secure folders rather than the one used to unlock the phone.

When is it out?

In Ireland, the phones will be on sale from 16 March with pre-orders open since 25 February. Those who get their orders in before 7 March will get their hands on the S9 by 9 March. Local pricing has not been announced at the time of writing.

Will it sell?

With the smartphone market currently at saturation point, many people are holding on to their smartphones for longer rather than upgrading every year. The technology powering smartphones has plateaued of late, but snap-happy users may be tempted by the exciting new photography options.

Samsung building. Image: JPStock/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects