The fingerprint scanner has been moved to below the camera in the centre.
The fingerprint scanner has been moved to below the camera in the centre.

iPhone X has nothing on Samsung’s Galaxy S9

I CAN'T help but feel sorry for the people that rushed out and spent just short of $1900 for an iPhone X when they could have just waited for the superior Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

If you listen quietly, you should now be able to hear the murmurs of disgruntled Apple fanboys outrageously suggesting I am receiving kickbacks from Samsung for my review of the S9 Plus.

Sadly these people just need to accept their device is below par when compared to Samsung's latest flagship and that their personal attacks online don't break me because my emotions are more durable than their dropped iPhone.

Look, I am happy to admit the iPhone X is a quality product, but for me the S9 Plus is the best phone you can currently buy in 2018. Here's why:

DESIGN

The device doesn't look all that different from the S8 Plus, but is this really an issue when you're talking about the most stylish-looking smartphone on the market?

Despite the dimensions changing a few millimetres to reduce the top and bottom bezels, the shape and feel of the elegant-looking, glass-and-metal smartphone design hasn't been altered.

The biggest change can be found on the rear of the phone, where Samsung moved the previously offset fingerprint scanner from beside the camera to directly below it.

While this still doesn't completely remove accidental smudges from occurring every so often, it's much more natural to use and offers a biometric security measure completed ignored by Apple - the iPhone X has no physical fingerprint scanner.

The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot are also features of the Galaxy S9 Plus you won't find anywhere on an iPhone - imagine having to pay an extra $250 for the 256GB iPhone X because Apple doesn't believe in expandable storage. LOL.

Samsung's predecessor had an impressively high screen to body ratio of 84 per cent, which has been increased to a whopping 90 per cent for the 6.2-inch display. There's also no ugly notch that crops content as there is with Apple's premium iPhone.

Look at the gorgeous display and rounded edges.
Look at the gorgeous display and rounded edges.

The Quad HD+ display uses a curved Super AMOLED panel and features the impressive 18.5:9 aspect ratio found on the S8, which set the standard for all-screen smartphones.

And whether you are using the battery saving Full HD+ or the Quad HD+ display, you can rest assured the colours will be vibrant and images sharp.

As a first for a Galaxy phone, Samsung has included new stereo speakers - splitting audio between the bottom-firing speaker and the earpiece.

On the bottom of the phone you will find the USB-C charging port Samsung included to fit with the new industry standard - Apple on the other hand still insists customers use Lightning Charging despite the company moving to USB-C on its latest laptops.

The right hand side of the phone is home to the power button, while the left has the volume rocker and the button used to summon Samsung's AI assistant, Bixby.

Unfortunately, you still can't remap the Bixby button and will likely press it by accident.

CAMERA

When Samsung announced the S9, it used the tagline: "The Camera. Reimagined."

And when looking at the quality of pictures from both low light and bright environments, it's easy to see why they were so confident in using the camera as a selling point.

Using a dual aperture lens - supporting f/1.5 and f/2.4 modes - the device adapts like the human eye and automatically switches between various lighting conditions with ease.

As a world first for a smartphone, the f/1.5 aperture pulls in more light for darker scenes allowing excellent low-light pictures, while the f/2.4 aperture reduces the amount of light to ensure photos don't become overexposed.

The S9 Plus inherits the Note 8's 12-megapixel dual-lens camera feature, which enables the bokeh effect popular on most new devices.

By including a telephoto lens, Samsung is also able to provide photos that can be optically zoomed without distortion.

The 8MP front-facing camera has no changes from the previous model, but it does a more than sufficient job for capturing crisp selfies for those so inclined.

In terms of video, Samsung has added the ability for recording 4K resolution video at 60 frames per second (fps).

However, the real hero is the device's Super Slow Mo video capabilities that match the 960fps offered by Sony's Xperia XZ Premium.

A picture taken using the S9’s ‘Live Focus’ feature.
A picture taken using the S9’s ‘Live Focus’ feature.

EVERYTHING ELSE

The S9 camera is an absolute beast in terms of detail.
The S9 camera is an absolute beast in terms of detail.

The Samsung comes with a 3500mAh battery, which is on par with the previous model and will last for a day if usage isn't too heavy.

And if you are someone like me who basically lives on his phone, fast charging will ensure you're back in the green in no time.

In addition to the fingerprint scanner, Samsung took the face unlock and iris recognition tech from last year's S8 and improved them to match Apple's Face ID.

Previously, each feature could be used independently but not at the same time, but with the S9 the systems work together with the iris scanner working automatically if face unlock doesn't work.

I found the feature to be reliable during testing, but still prefer my fingerprint as my default setting for unlocking the device.

The Galaxy S9 uses Android 8.0 Oreo software skin, is powered by an all-new Exynos 9 Series 9810 octa-core processor, and includes 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

One of the only other new features was Samsung's answer to Apple's Animoji - AR Emoji.

Essentially the feature uses the front 8MP camera to analyse a 2D image of your face and then maps more than 100 different facial features to a create a 3D avatar.

I get Samsung added the feature to keep on par with Apple, but it feels half-baked and doesn't offer the level of detail you would hope for.

In saying that, I wouldn't use the feature on Apple's phones either - I find it all to be overkill and added just for the sake of having something new, though I might feel differently if I was a 14-year-old.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has a number of valuable features not found on the iPhone X, it's the sexiest looking device on the market and is what you should be buying for your next upgrade.

The S9 Plus starts from $1,349.

 

Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

News Corp Australia

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