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After months of rumour and speculation, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, has been released to the standard fanfare. So what’s new and different and were those rumours about custom AR emojis true?

Let’s take a look.

The technical details

  • A 5.8-inch QHD+ screen with 567 pixels per inch
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • IP68 Waterproof
  • Single lens, variable aperture 12MP rear camera
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB expandable onboard memory

Design changes

The primary difference is the smaller bezels at the top and bottom of the handset, retaining the screen size from the S8 and allowing for a slightly smaller body.

The S9 retains some of the features of the Samsung Galaxy S8, with a glass back and a front that’s rounded at the edges to give more of an edge-to-edge impression.

Bucking the trend of the latest iPhones and also the Google Pixel 2, the Samsung Galaxy S9 hasn’t ditched its headphone jack. There are also new and improved dual speakers, which are 1.5 times louder than the S8.

Cameras

Samsung has placed a lot of emphasis on the S9’s new rear camera. While it’s a standard 12 Megapixel single lens shooter, it features variable aperture. This means that the camera will automatically adjust its aperture depending on what you’re photographing.

Unless you’re into your photography, you may not appreciate what this means to you or your photographs. Measured in ‘f-stops’, aperture relates to the amount of light that the camera’s lens allows in. When you’re photographing a low-light scene, so indoors or at night, you’ll need a wider aperture to let more light in, or a higher number of f-stops.

Samsung’s new camera automatically adjusts the aperture depending on the amount of available light in the scene that you’re photographing. The camera will go down to f/1.5 in aperture, which is a wide setting to allow lots of light in, meaning the camera will adjust really well to dark scenes. This is the widest aperture that you’ll find in any smartphone. There’s also an improved slow-mo feature on the main camera, which will shoot at 960 frames per second.

The camera at the front of the phone is 8MP and works with the handset’s facial recognition technology.

AR Emojis are so hot right now

Similar to Apple’s Animoji feature, which allows you to communicate via a series of cute emojis, Samsung has launched AR emojis, which is an Augmented Reality version of yourself.

Mimicking up to 18 facial expressions, you can create a digital version of yourself, which you can customise and then record to send as video clips to friends.

Other features

The S9 is a little heavier than its competitors, weighing in at 163g, 15g heavier than the iPhone 8.

The battery is 3000mAh, which is much juicier than the iPhone 8, which comes in at 1,821mAh.

The S9 has 64GB of onboard memory, however this can be expanded with an SD card.

4GB of RAM against the 2GB on the iPhone 8 will make the S9 slightly more responsive.

XS SM MD LG