The Samsung Galaxy S9+ was unveiled at the MWC 2018, at the same time as the Galaxy S9. The Galaxy S9+ is the natural successor to the Galaxy S8+, from which it takes over the screen size, and the phantom version of the Galaxy S9. This new flagship of the Korean brand, which uses the same panoramic design and Infinity Display, differs from the S9 in that it has 50% more RAM and a dual photo sensor, inherited from the Galaxy Note 8, has been integrated on the back of the S9. Choosing between S9 and S9+ is therefore only a question of screen size, a strategy similar to Apple’s.
A variant of the Galaxy S9
From an ergonomic point of view, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ takes up the few small changes made to the design of the Galaxy S9 compared to the Galaxy S8: very slight rebalancing between height and width, correction of a few flaws, such as the location of the fingerprint reader. Previously positioned to the right of the photo block, it is now underneath, a more usual place among the brands that have chosen to move this component to the back of their mobile. The heart rate monitor and the dual LED flash are now in its former place.
The dimensions of the S9+ are almost similar to those of the S8+: one and a half millimetres less in height, less than half a millimetre more in width and thickness. The design always gives pride of place to mineral glass, in this case Corning’s Gorilla 5. The borders around the screen are still thin. The side edges are always curved. The Galaxy S9+ is waterproof with its IP68 certification. The whole thing weighs 189 grams, 16 grams better than the Galaxy S8+.
The Galaxy S9+’s screen is still 6.2 inches, compared to 5.8 inches for the Galaxy S9. Its format is still 18.5/9th, an unusual ratio (compared to the more usual 18/9th). He’s Super AMOLED. Its definition is identical to that of the S8+: 1440 x 2960 pixels. The screen resolution does not change: 529 pixels per inch. The navigation keys on the Android system are virtual. The location of the Home button is pressure sensitive (similar technology to Apple’s 3D Touch).
Exynos 9810 and 6 GB RAM
The smartphone benefits from Samsung’s new high-end Exynos: the Exynos 9 Octa 9810, a component featuring four 2.8 GHz Mangoose M3 cores (Samsung’s third generation of custom cores), four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A55 cores, a Mali-G72 MP18 GPU and a Category 18 LTE compatible modem. The chipset comes with 6 GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), 2 GB more than in the Galaxy S8+ and S9, 64 GB of internal storage (expandable by microSDXC) and a 3500 mAh battery that is fast chargeable and wirelessly chargeable (IQ and Airfuel standards). Apart from RAM, there are very few changes.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is compatible with WiFi ac dual band, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS (Galileo, Glonass and Beidou), NFC, ANT+, USB 3.1 type-C, Samsung Pay (LoopPay technology), heart rate monitor and 3.5 mm jack (no abandoning wired headsets). The audio chipset, developed by AKG, is hi-fi and is used to drive the two built-in speakers as well as headphones (a pair of AKG headphones is supplied with the mobile). Note the presence of three biometric sensors: a fingerprint reader (offset on the back), a retinal fingerprint scanner and facial recognition software.
Dual Photo Sensor with Variable Aperture
On the photo side, the Galaxy S9+ marks its difference not only from its predecessor, but also from the Galaxy S9. Because the phablette is equipped with not one, but two 12 megapixel sensors. The first one is identical to the one in Galaxy S9. We find there the 24 mm lens is with variable aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4), a very beautiful novelty proposed by Samsung.
This is because this lens is able to adapt the amount of light reaching the sensor to the light conditions. In addition, its maximum aperture, f/1.5, is larger than the lens aperture of the Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S7 Edge photo sensor (f/1.7). The main sensor is also equipped with an integrated phase-detecting autofocus (Dual Pixel technology).
2x optical zoom
The second 12 megapixel sensor is inherited from the dual sensor of the Galaxy Note 8. It is equipped with a standard autofocus and a 52mm lens opening at f/2.4. It will be used mainly for landscape shots. The difference between the two lenses gives the Galaxy S9+ a 2x optical zoom, like the phonograph released at the end of 2017. This is combined with an optical stabilizer and an LED flash.
The set is capable of filming in 4K at 60 frames per second and the slow motion mode rises to 960 frames per second in 720p (or 240 frames per second in 1080p). Up front, the Galaxy S8, S8+ and S9’s 8-megapixel webcam is back, still equipped with autofocus and a lens that opens at f/1.7. It remains HDR compatible.
Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0
The Galaxy S9+ is powered by the latest Samsung Experience interface (numbered 9.0) based on Android 8.0 Oreo. This interface integrates Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, Samsung Connect to access compatible home automation devices, as well as software to connect to DeX Station (the latest version of which turns the mobile into a PC and the mobile screen into a trackpad).
Four colours are available: black, grey, blue and purple.