Though it might not look like an awful lot has changed on the outside, that does not mean that much has not changed on the new Samsung S9 when compared to its predecessor the S8. The most popular android smartphone manufacturer is once again looking to wow its customers and the world with what they have on offer.
With features such as a variable rear camera aperture, AR Emoji, super-slow motion, improvements to Bixby and Intelligent Scan just to name a few. It will be interesting to see how the smartphone compares to the likes of the google Pixel 2XL and the iPhone X.
If you have seen my review of the previous Samsung smartphones the S8 and the Note 8, then you will know that the fingerprint scanner has been in a very unfavourable position which is why I'm glad to see Samsung have taken the time to listen to the feedback of the community with relocating this to a more ergonomical location. With the latest processor technology, updated software, larger battery, and improved design the Samsung S9 is sure to turn heads and wow its customers; if you would like to see this smartphone get unboxed then click on the image to the left or below.
Now though benchmarks don't always show the true capabilities of a device, they're very good at showing the differences between these devices when it comes to a set range of activities; these can include running various algorithms to the amount of frames which can be rendered within a specific amount of time. One of the main reasons as to why i like using benchmarks is that you can use them to work out how much of a difference there is between the device you use on a daily basis verses the newest device just released by your favourite company. So here i will show you only a few results between the newest Samsung smartphone the S9 and compare it to their previous the S8.
One of the most common benchmarking applications today seems to be Geekbench, a cross-platform benchmarking collection of tests which are ran on the processor and the graphics unit giving us more of a comprehensive look at the machines ability to handle a variety of tasks; from playing popular games to exporting video in different codecs. Taking a closer look at the charts below you get an idea of how much has changed between the S8 & S9; looking at the single core scores given from geekbench there seems to be an above 40% improvement. While the difference on the multicore side of things isn't as much at above 25%; its still a huge increase and will definitely help out when it comes to opening up 'heavier' applications and handling harder tasks.
Above you also see the scores of the GFXBench Open GL tests and once again comparing it to the previous smartphone the S8 there has been improvements; though the improvements aren't as big as those we have seen such as the single core side of things from geekbench, But nevertheless when it came to the heavier graphically intense tasks there was approximately a 16% increase, with the less intense tasks gaining close to 12% of an increase in performance.
It's been no secret that the cameras on Samsung smartphones are really good (if not the best in the industry), but the only areas where they've been lacking has been when it comes to taking images and video in low light situations, along with this the zoom on these smartphones hasn't been as good as other smartphones which use a secondary telephoto lens. This time around Samsung have addressed both of these issues; firstly by fitting the primary camera with a variable aperture which changes depending on the lighting conditions to allow more or less light to enter the the camera; this can also be manually adjusted by using 'pro mode'. Secondly the larger S9+ model comes with a secondary telephoto lens which means you shouldn't lose too much detail when it comes to zooming in on distance subjects. Though for the camera testing we are using the S9 and not its larger dual lens counterpart, you should get a good idea as to how the camera performs in most lighting situations.
Optical Image Stabilisation
Aperture - F 1.5 & 2.4
Video Recording Resolution - UHD 4K @60fps
Firstly the images taken with the S9 have turned out great, in low light using the mechanical aperture to allow more light to get to the sensor works, and damn does it work well. It's become a feature which i think we need and will hopefully see on all flagships going forward, because the difference is really big. As is typical with Samsung smartphone cameras the images and video does turn out slightly more saturated then other smartphones, but as-long as you're not too bothered about having images that look a more visually pleasing but slightly less true to life then you shouldn't have much of an issue with the end results even if you, do there is still a 'pro mode' which will allow you to change different behaviours such as the focus, exposure and ISO.
Zoom once again with the single lens variant, is not the best especially when you compare it to the quality of other smartphones which use two cameras; but having said that, for a single lens camera it's actually quite good. Due to the variable aperture zooming in while in the dark is night and day better than anything else out there.
Video footage is exactly what you would expect after reading the above, saturated though great in low light conditions, one thing which Samsung are doing well is the audio from the recordings. For some reason the audio just seems noticeably crisper than other smartphones.
If you would like to see the images as they are then you can click the button below to view and download both the images and the video footage.