When the iPhone X was released, we wrote about the way in which Apple use both showmanship and hype better than their competitors when it comes to new models. Although the features of the X seemed very impressive initially, competitors have been quick to release copycat features in an effort to keep up. So what would Samsung come up with for the much anticipated release of the S9 and S9+? Would it be enough to keep android users loyal or will Apple start to lure this loyal fan base away? Below is the video that Samsung are using as the S9’s “introduction” to the market. At over 3 minutes long, it goes into plenty of detail to demonstrate improvements in the new models’ camera, AR (Augmented Reality) capabilities and even sneaks in a cheeky nod to retaining it’s headphone jack in the face of Apples highly publicized lack of one.

 

 

It’s clear from the above video that Samsung understand exactly where the market is going and how geared it is now towards the individual sharing and connecting over social media apps. Exploring is also one of the main themes in the video and some of the functionality the phone will have as an AR assistant may change the way we search for things and interpret everything around us. Despite all of these ideas being beautifully communicated in the video, let’s take a closer look at some of the more important features that people will love.

 

Camera: 

With nearly half of the entire Samsung intro video being devoted to the camera, it’s clear that they have identified this as it’s key selling point. With a camera that “works like your eye”, the lens will adjust in aperture to adapt to any lighting situation. This means that not only will you get more intelligent shooting and clearer photos, the camera will offer stunning pictures while working in dark spaces. The second and perhaps most appealing piece of tech that Samsung have added to this phone is the “super slo mo” settings. This will make “super slo mo” (960 frames) videos a novelty for social media addicts and could become as popular as “boomerangs” on picture sharing websites.

 

Image of a Samsung phone taking a picture of archways in low light. The Samsung S9 prides its camera for low light quality

 

Emojis: 

In a not so subtle move to “replicate” Apples recent introduction of “Animojis”, Samsung have launched their AR Emoji. This is essentially a mix between “Animojis” and “Bitmojis” that many are already familiar with. You can then use these Emojis to send video messages, reactions and even use Disney characters as your Avatar. It appears from the most recent releases in the smartphone market that whether you love using emojis or not, they’re here to stay.

 

Image of the new Samsung S9 Emojis in action.

Image Via: Samsung.com

 

Bixby:

Samsung’s answer to “Siri” has gotten a heavy upgrade and will offer users a wealth of AR apps that can give you real time information relating from current weather updates (from your camera), food nutritional info and other tools. With Amazon’s market leading echo and dot home assistant products hinting at a future focused on voice assistance, these innovations in voice will be an important part of any smartphones functionality in coming years.

 

Image of the Amazon Echo. Voice commands will become very popular in the near future and Samsung understand this with the Samsung S9

 

Sound: 

With voice technology continuing to thrive, sound is also something that Samsung want to hold onto the importance of too. With so many of us using our phones daily now for apps like “Spotify” or to catch the latest trending Podcast, sound quality is something that will need to be constantly innovating. Samsung have partnered with Dolby on the models’ speakers and retained their headphone jack for the ease of those who find even the idea of “pods” or “buds” unpalatable.

 

Image of a samsung phone with their signature headphones. The Samsung S9 retains the headphone jack from previous models

 

Other specs:

The S9 and S9+ have continued to make changes to their facial recognition system to make this even easier to access our handsets while keeping them secure from other people. As always it’s important to note the memory features on this phone. The 9+ has 6GB of RAM vs 3GB in the iPhone X meaning it will operate faster for slightly longer. One major benefit that Samsung users will be happy to see continued in this model is the ability to increase the storage. You can have a 64GB or 128GB internal storage depending on which model you choose and you will always have the option of expanding this with a separate SD card. This expandable storage option can be a lifesaver and is something that Apple users don’t have the benefit of.

 

Image of external memory sources and SD cards. The Samsung S9 allows for external memory to be added

 

Release/Cost: 

With general retail release here in Ireland scheduled for the 16th of March, many carriers are already taking pre orders for both the S9 and S9+ models. With retail prices ranging from between €809.99 for the S9 and €899.99 for the S9+, it may be slightly beyond affordable for many people. However, this does seem a lot more reasonable when compared with the iPhone X which still retails from a whopping €1179 in Irish stores and online. With many networks offering a wide range of payment plans and contracts, it might just be worth the long term investment.

 

Image of the new Samsung S9 Range

 

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