The South Korean tech giant on the 25th of February 2018 unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest phone show.
While the phones are about the same size as the previous versions, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the screens are brighter and slightly bigger. They have an advanced camera and stereo speakers, along with fun new tools, such as AR emoji, photo language translation and improved slow-motion video.
“Consumers are expressing themselves more,” Suzanne De Silva, Samsung director of product strategy and marketing, said at a media event in New York ahead of the launch.
“We don’t really call each other as much as we text, and that text has gotten richer. We’re adding images and emoji’s [to everything],” she said.
Like other Samsung Galaxy phones, the Galaxy S9 is water resistant and touts an infinity display, wireless charging, and a headphone jack. It also features enhanced facial recognition to better compete with the iPhone X.
The device will initially be available in black, blue, and purple, with a gray option coming later.
Pre-orders start on Friday March 2, and the new phones will be available in stores on March 16. The S9 costs $720 for an unlocked device, while the S9+ is available for $840.
Although the Samsung Galaxy S9 builds on where the Galaxy S8 left off, does it have enough wow factor?
It’s certainly not a revolutionary model, but fans may be convinced to upgrade for the camera, better audio for video streaming, and other unique features like ultra-slow motion video.
The brightest spot of Samsung devices has long been its camera. Its latest smartphone is no exception.
The new camera can take sharper photos in challenging lighting conditions than previous models. It has a dual camera and a new dual aperture that works like a human eye to adjust to bright or dark lighting. It makes sure photos are crisp and clear even in difficult lighting, and the aperture can switch between F2.4 and F1.5 to let in more or less light.
A fun slow-motion tool lets users take videos that are 32 times slower than traditional video. This can give you quirky, shareable shots that the phone automatically matches with music. For example, when someone throws confetti in slow motion, the phone pairs the video with upbeat music. (The music can be changed if Samsung misses the mark).
Samsung (SSNLF) has surpassed a number of challenges in the past year and a half, including faulty batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 phones and Lee Jae-yong, the company’s de facto leader, being found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges. Nevertheless, the company has reported record earnings of $50 billion in 2017. It’s also the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer and chipmaker.