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Samsung's latest flagship smartphones have arrived in the Indian market. Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been launched in India at Rs. 57,900 and Rs. 64,900 for the 64GB variant. The 256GB variants of the new smartphones will sell at Rs. 65,900 and Rs. 72,900 respectively. The new smartphones look almost identical to their predecessors but bring some significant upgrades in camera, audio and connectivity department.
The smartphones will be available in India starting March 16, 2018 in three distinctive colours-Midnight Black, Coral Blue and a new hue, Lilac Purple variant. Samsung will sell them at select retail stores and online exclusively on company's official online store Samsung Shop and Flipkart. The 256GB variant of Galaxy S9+ will be sold exclusively at Reliance Digital stores, Samsung exclusive stores and on Samsung Shop.
This time around, Samsung has roped in various partners to offer some interesting deals to interested buyers. Users can get a cashback of Rs. 6,000 on purchasing the new Galaxy devices by scanning the Paytm Mall QR code at select retail stores. They can alternatively get a cashback of Rs. 6,000 if Galaxy S9 and S9+ are purchased using 'No Cost EMI' on HDFC Bank debit and credit cards. Interested buyers will also be eligible for the cashback when making a full payment using HDFC Credit Cards or by paying through HDFC CD Loan.
Moreover, users who already own a Samsung Galaxy device will be eligible to get additional Rs. 6,000 bonus over the regular exchange price when they upgrade to Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. There are some other exciting offers for internet users, but before that, let's find out what Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ has to offer to users in flagship smartphone category.
We have just got our hands on the new Galaxy S9+ and here's what we think of the new Samsung flagship smartphone.
Improved camera with AR Emoji support
The biggest development in the new generation Galaxy flagship devices is seen in the camera department. Inspired from human eye, the new cameras can adapt according to the environment to deliver better images than the last year's galaxy handsets. The camera features dual-aperture technology that makes it possible for camera lens to expand and contract just like the iris of a human eye. The ‘Dual Aperture' works in the range of ‘F1.5 / F2.4' and automatically lets in more light when it's dark and less light when it's too bright.
The cameras on Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can also record Super slow motion videos at 960fps, which is made possible by integrating Super speed image processor and a DRAM chip. However, this is not the first time we have seen this feature. Sony Xperia XZ Premium and XZS handset can also record slow motion videos at 960 fps.
While the Galaxy S9 has a mono camera setup, the camera on Galaxy S9+ comprises of one Wide-angle and Telephoto lens. Both the lenses on Galaxy S9+ support OIS. We tried the cameras on both the handsets for a brief time and found that the ‘Live focus' mode now works faster than the previous generation handsets. However, there were not any major differences in the overall image quality when compared to their predecessors. But then it's too early to give a verdict on the camera performance of the new devices. We will test the mightier Galaxy S9+ in the coming week to give you a full review of its camera performance.
What else is new in the camera department is the iPhone like AR Emojis. Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ let consumers create emojis that look, sound and act like them. The feature uses a data-based machine learning algorithm to analyze a 2D image of the user. The refined cameras then map out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization.
Good old vibrant Samsung AMOLED displays
We loved the screen on Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ and the same AMOLED display technology is offered with the new Galaxy flagship handsets. Galaxy S9 sports a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display, while the bigger Galaxy S9+ feature a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display. The displays on both the handsets have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Samsung has slightly trimmed down the bezels at the top and bottom of the device and has given the new displays a deeper black so as to blend in with the bezels when the device is off.
Samsung has also added ‘Adaptive Contrast Enhancement mode' to improve the brightness of the screen. We did not have the predecessor Galaxy S8/S8+ with us to compare the two displays; but the new AMOLED screens do look crisper and vibrant than the previous Galaxy devices.
Significant upgrades in audio department
The next big change or you can say improvement is seen in the audio department. To make the new smartphones more multimedia oriented, Samsung has added the loudest ever speakers offered on a Samsung device. Both the devices come equipped with AKG tuned dual front facing speakers and also have Dolby Atmos effect that add 360-degree surround sound support. As per Samsung, the new audio technology carefully analyzes how key variables affect the audio in order to create the most immersive sound experience possible.
Relocated Fingerprint scanner
For me, the repositioned fingerprint scanners were by far the best upgrade to new Galaxy devices. Samsung has addressed the most irritating thing about the last year's flagship handsets by relocating the fingerprint scanner for a better handling experience. The biometric scanner is now placed under the camera, which is a more convenient place to unlock the handset. We tested it on both the handsets and it worked flawlessly. Unlike the Galaxy S8 and S8+, it is much easier to unlock the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
CPU, RAM and Battery
The noteworthy changes in the hardware come in the form of latest Exynos 9810 chipset. Samsung's in-house octa-core processor is paired with an 18-core Mali-G72 GPU to handle graphical intensive tasks. Galaxy S9 will have 4GB of RAM, whereas Galaxy S9+ will use 6GB of RAM to handle multitasking. The devices now support expandable memory of up to 400GB with a microSD card.
Besides, what caught my eye during the launch event is the Samsung's claim that the new handsets can stream data at approx. 250 Mbps, which is 2.5 times faster than the average smartphone connected to the same network. We will push the new handsets to their limits in our comprehensive review in the coming week.
Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung UI
The S9 duo runs on Android Oreo with the Samsung's Experience UI 9.0. The new Galaxy smartphones will have support of AR Emojis and will come equipped with improved KNOX 3.1, Samsung's latest defense-grade security platform. Galaxy S9 and S9+ support three different biometric authentication options - iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition. Both the handsets support Samsung Pay, which now comes with new partnerships with more banks, UPI payments, a Gift Card Store and the option to pay bills seamlessly.
Bixby is deeply integrated into the cameras of the new devices and will now use Artificial Intelligence to help you in real-time during foreign language translation via cameras. With the improved Bixby, the new Galaxy devices will also show you the nutrition level when you point the camera at a food item.
Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ look virtually identical to their predecessors; however they offer some significant upgrades that can bring some huge improvements in everyday performance. We are quite excited to test the new camera setup on new Galaxy devices and the handset's overall multimedia performance. Stay tuned on Gizbot for our comprehensive review of Galaxy S9 and S9+.