The United States media began publishing the first reviews of the Galaxy S9 and S9 +, the new generation of Samsung’s top-of-the-line smartphones. And the first impressions are those of a high level, although little innovative device.
“Predictably great, predictably flawed,” says Dan Seifert’s review for The Verge. “If you saw the Galaxy S8 from last year, you’ve seen the Galaxy S9. […] The S8 was a great cell phone a year ago, and the S9 grows on top of that.”
On paper, the Galaxy S9 is little more than an upgrade from the S8: Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB RAM (6GB on S9 +), 3,000 mAh battery (3,500 mAh on S9 +), from 64 GB of internal memory . On the outside, the difference is even smaller: same screen of 5.9 inches almost no borders in the standard model, 6.2 inches in the Plus.
What’s new in the design of the Galaxy S9 is the fingerprint reader, which now lies below the rear camera, and the speaker, which is now a pair of stereo boxes, one below the cell phone and another at the exit connections.
Another novelty is the authentication method. In the S8, Samsung debuted an iris scanner. In S9, this scanner works in conjunction with a face reader. Depending on the lighting in the environment, the phone automatically chooses one of two methods.
But the Verge review makes it clear that neither is good. The system “is slow, flashes an annoying red light when it activates the iris scanner and never looks as simple as the Face ID [of iPhone X]. Good thing the digital reader is easier to use now.”
Cherlynn Low, of Engadget, pointed out that the S9 is “excellent, but not monumental”. The journalist’s review highlights the strengths of the performance, the battery and the cameras of the new phone, and, as only weak point, the fact that there is not a great improvement over the S8.
The camera is the main highlight in Cherlynn’s review. The Galaxy S9 comes with a variable aperture system that adjusts the amount of light captured by the sensor automatically or manually, ranging from f / 1.5 to f / 2.4.
“Sometimes you’ll notice details bursting with the f / 1.5 aperture, but in general, the wider aperture is good for capturing what would otherwise have been a dark, noise-filled mess,” Cherlynn wrote.
See some photos taken with the S9 courtesy of the CNET team of photographers.
Jessica Dolcour, of CNET, also praised the camera of the device, although with some reservations. “The Galaxy S9 tends to make colors colder than they are in real life, but the outlines are always clean and the contrast is usually very high. Usually you’ll be happy with the photos you take.”
The Gizmodo review, written by Sam Rutherford, highlights energy autonomy. “Despite having a 3,500 mAh battery that is the same size as the S8 + component from last year, the S9 + lasted almost an hour and a half more,” the analysis says.
MrMobile’s youtuber review follows the same line as the others, and concludes in a similar tone: little changes compared to last year. “If you love your Samsung mobile and have a Galaxy S7 or earlier, the S9 is absolutely a worthwhile step forward,” says Michael Fisher.