Samsung Galaxy S9 +, review: the dual camera and added power reinforce what was already working very well

He came, he saw, and he overcame. The MWC was once again the environment that welcomed Samsung's first strong point in the smartphone field, and the double proposal of the Koreans conquered the Fira in the absence of having a suitable rival. And after all the technological hangover of the congress we bring you precisely the analysis of the Samsung Galaxy S9 +.

The largest of the pair of first flagships of the brand that finally incorporates a double camera, like its predecessor the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and like some of its direct rivals, such as the iPhone X or a shy LG V30S ThinQ at the moment. Although what ended up taking center stage was another photographic feature and, whether we like it or not, AR Emoji.

Data sheet of the Samsung Galaxy S9 +

Samsung Galaxy S9 + screen 6.2 inches Super AMOLED with resolution QHD + (1,440 x 2,960 pixels (529 dpi) 18.5: 9 Processor Samsung Exynos 9810, 10nm, 64bit Cores 8 cores (4 x 2.8 GHz Mongoose M3 + 4 x 1.7 GHz Cortex-A55) Graphic card Mali-G72 MP18 RAM 6 GB Memory 64/128/256 GB
+ microSD (up to 400 GB) Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience Connectivity LTE, WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5 GHz), VHT80 Mu-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, ANT +, NFC, GPS Battery 3,500 mAh Rear camera Dual camera
Main: 12 megapixels, AF Dual Pixel, OIS, variable aperture f / 1.5-2.4, wide angle
Secondary: 12 megapixel telephoto, f / 2.4
Super slow motion video at 960fps with motion detection Frontal camera 8 megapixel f / 1.7, AF, video at 1440p and 30fps Security Fingerprint sensor, Intelligent Scan (iris reader + face recognition), Samsung Knox 3.1 Ports USB-C, 3.5mm minijack Others IP68 resistance certification, Bixby Vision, AR emojis, AKG stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, supports Samsung DeX Price 949 euros, already available for pre-sale on the official Samsung website

Design: not renewing is not dying, it is right

We are not an easy general public who cater to these releases. Manufacturers are aware, and they have no other choice when the demand itself is what ultimately consolidates a pressure for renewal with annual cycles (whether or not "necessary").

Samsung is also and with the Galaxy S we have become accustomed to knocks on the table, usually with something related to design (which after all is the first thing that enters our eyes and is already known with first impressions ): a rear "band aid" style, the curves on the screen or a front that taught the sector in aesthetics and compaction work.

Six generations, a missing button and a new front that identifies it. From left to right, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, S6 Edge, S7 Edge, S8 + and S9 +. What's the bump on the table with the Samsung Galaxy S9? What characteristic is responsible for contributing the * wow * factor to the aesthetics of the terminal? None

What's the bump on the table with the Samsung Galaxy S9? What characteristic is responsible for contributing the factor wow to the aesthetics of the terminal?

None. Which is far from negative, since it sends us the subliminal message that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 + were well accepted, and as we counted last year in their analysis, these were the turning point: goodbye flat Galaxy, goodbye button front and hello infinite screen.

The Galaxy S8 + (left) was a goodbye to the flat format, goodbye to the front button and hello infinite screen, which has followed the S9 + (right).

It is clear that for tastes colors and that there will be those who still feel some grief or frustration at not seeing a flat, smaller edition or with other materials, but keeping it is far from new to Samsung. There was also not much change from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Galaxy S4, for example, and the change that came with the Galaxy S5 fell under the metal slab and curve of the Galaxy S6.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 + is an improved clone of the S8 +

In this way, the Samsung Galaxy S9 + is an improved clone of the S8 +, because it maintains design lines and almost dimensions (it gains volume and weight) but the percentage of use of the front by the screen increases by one point (84.2%). ) and [roll]: the fingerprint reader happens to be under the double camera, being reachable even for those of us with ridiculously small hands. Chapeau, Samsung.

At the moment a single notch and very, very clear fronts even from Japan. From left to right, Samsung Galaxy S9 +, iPhone X, LG V30s, Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 and Huawei Mate 10.

Twins, no matter how you look at them. On the left the Samsung Galaxy S8 + and on the right the Samsung Galaxy S9 +

There were therefore reasons to opt for a conservative design. Of course, with small changes in the back if we talk about the elements that now appear in the "+" version: the camera is still the central element, but now it is double and is surrounded by a slightly protruding frame that also embraces the reader, leaving the flash module out.

On the left the Galaxy S8 +, on the right the Galaxy S9 +.

Test

Samsung Galaxy S9 +

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy S8 +

Weight

189

195

173

Volume (cc)

99,11

104,53

94,82

Screen Diagonal (Inches)

6,2

6,3

6,2

Battery (mAh)

3.500

3.300

3.500

The Samsung Galaxy S8 + on the left and the S9 + on the right. The second measures and weighs more than the first, but both are more compact than the Note 8 and its battery is larger.

The edges draw curves identical to those of its predecessor, with a more matte touch on the aluminum than the models and with slight variations on the buttons. The most noticeable ones are that the power button is slightly larger and is millimeters higher and that the speaker no longer has a grille, but a single slit.

Talking about 8.5 millimeters in the era of smartphone anorexia is not exactly talking about a thin smartphone, but the compaction work if we take into account the clear front and that it is a 6.2-inch panel is worth mentioning. And above all: in hand it is comfortable (although it weighs its own).

It is a nice and well finished terminal. It gives the feeling of having a selection of materials and quality construction, speaking of those front and rear covers of Gorilla Glass 5 and the already mentioned aluminum edge. A metal frame that unites them in a chassis where the curve is imposed and the angles are not accepted, but perfection does not exist and there are no hits.

The exposure of aluminum will always be a constant risk that it will end up scratching, although if there are genes shared with its predecessor here, the alloy ended up being quite resistant and it suggests that this will continue. But the constant threat is our own fingers, since that crystal will be permanently covered by a layer of fingerprints that will accompany the pertinent logo of the house and the "DUOS" that accompanies it this time (referring to dual-SIM capability).

It is not traumatic, but the presence of traces will be constant on the back as it always happens with glass.

Robust, contemporary, with a new color (the one that we show you in this analysis, precisely) and with a not inconsiderable weight of 189 grams that is especially noticeable if we are used to lighter terminals. But, leaving tastes aside, there is the evidence: the work in compaction is, once again, notorious and praiseworthy, managing to put 6.2 inches where others put 5.2 (Moto G5 Plus) and achieving a terminal comfortable and meaningful.

Screen: betting on the usual to be above

Speaking of maintaining characteristic features and / or that work, Samsung jumped on the bandwagon of high screen resolutions back in 2015 and from there it does not go down, maintaining for the latter the QHD + (or what is the same, 1,440 x 2,960 pixels) and super AMOLED technology.

Stoics like no one in the latter, without being seduced by the p-OLED for the moment, and with good results in terms of detail, colors and contrast. In fact, noticeable or not, the Korean manufacturer has improved the performance of its panels compared to last year, something that qualifies in the always deep and highly technical analysis of Display Mate (on the screen of the S9), for whom the Samsung's flagship stands as the king of screens of the moment.

The experience with the screen is very good considering hardware and software

What makes this panel the best or at least a firm candidate to be it? Leaving the criteria of the people of Display Mate, the truth is that the experience is very good considering the combination of hardware and software, which after all is the latter, which allows us to be more comfortable starting from a certain level of quality.

Samsung Experience provides numerous extra options for the screen, starting with the possibility of choosing the color profile that we prefer. We have four presets to choose from according to the use we make and our preferences:

  • Adaptive display: This mode is dynamic, so it adjusts for content and environment by varying saturation, white balance, or color gamut. It is the most comfortable at the user experience level, in addition there is the option to customize the whites at the temperature level (from 8,800 to 8,600 Kelvins) and the three primary colors (green, blue and red).
  • AMOLED Cinema: it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, and what we will get when selecting it is more warmth and less saturation than with the Adaptive Display (although more than that of photography, as well as contrast).
  • AMOLED photo: focused on satisfying the public with preferences related to photography, being a calibration very close to the Adobe RGB standard. As we said, it offers less saturated colors than the previous ones and the whites are somewhat cooler.
  • Basic: It is a calibration that corresponds to the sRGB standard. It could be said that it is generic, and what we have is a temperature equal to that of the cinema mode with a little less saturation (and it also does not have the possibility of being customized).

In the end with so much possibility, if this aspect is not something that worries us especially, the practical thing is to pull the Adaptive, with which we have had good experience in general except in specific moments that "hesitates" a little when looking for the optimum temperature point and shine. But it is a plus that there is this level of personalization and that certain types of public are taken into account who may be looking for a screen that meets those needs.

It is always a plus (never better said) that the manufacturer provides options for users to adjust the screen to their preferences. We also have the additions "made in Samsung" as the Edge screen, which is also configured in the screen settings.

We also have the option of adding a filter for blue light or that the button bar can be hidden among others, as well as that of choosing the resolution, being able to stay in FullHD + or HD + if we believe that the 3K is above our needs or may be demanding more. In fact, we will talk about this in the performance and autonomy sections, but spoiler alert: in practice we will not notice it.

But there are two options that stand out for being somewhat Samsung's features (which are not exclusive): the Edge Screen and Always On Display, although the latter is found in the section "Lock screen and security settings. We will talk more about both in the software section.

Always On in its factory settings.

With all this we can still miss some detail, such as the double tap option to activate the screen (which is always missed when the reader is behind and usually uses the mobile phone resting on the table), or some other customization option in the Always On (for example, it is activated by double tap or grabbing the terminal and it is not always on). Although in practice we will see that it is never above the battery consumption (although it is the screen that takes the pole position).

Here it is worth remembering another of the advantages of the OLED and the sub-pixel matrix (being powered and used independently and conveniently), since the beautiful black AMOLED does not require energy and this mode ends up being very efficient. And perhaps for this Samsung can afford an "always on" mode, and not depend on the proximity of the user or the movement of the terminal as in other similar systems (such as the "lift to reactivate" of iOS).

Continuing with the analysis of the piece itself and leaving the customizations for later, very good in terms of brightness, both for how well the automatic brightness adjustment usually works (some point delay, but nothing annoying or constant) as for the nits that it reaches a maximum (1,130 nits if we force it to the limit, which has to be done manually), guaranteeing a good experience in any condition.

As for viewing angles, we begin to see that the panel “blue” if we tilt it more or less about 35-40 degrees above the horizontal or if we rotate it almost 90 degrees with respect to the vertical (positions that are not too natural in practice). In practice it is not annoying nor do we see worrying degradations, although this somewhat intrinsic hit to AMOLEDs will always affect us more if we are to have the mobile resting on the table regularly and consult it like this (and with clear backgrounds).

We do not know from our own experience if it is the best on the market (we still have recent terminals to touch), but the truth is that this phone has few, very few buts (and elaborate). The experience with it is continuously satisfactory and, as we have seen, adaptable to the taste of the consumer, and we always like that to choose. Vivid colors, good contrast and brightness to bore bordered by AMOLED blacks, good tactile sensitivity (and pressure on the Home button, for Google Assistant) and the good experience of a few tiny frames surrounding it.

Performance: a new Exynos and its entourage of RAM to fly

The Galaxy S always bring the latest in-house and Qualcomm processors, distributed between locations. This is one of the characteristics that remains in both twins, although in the case of the Galaxy S9 + the Exynos 9810 is accompanied by 6 GB of RAM, looking from you to those who already made up this amount such as the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, the OnePlus 5T or, on its own land, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (with the Exynos 8895).

How is all this noted? In that the terminal goes like a bullet, it does not heat up and it has no buts for any heavy app. Fluidity and power are a constant in the use of the terminal, without clearing, lag, drag or stress symptoms, in fact the only "but" is that multitasking is so fluid that if we are not careful the app carousel goes too fast to touch the app that interests us.

The games with the highest graphics performance load without problems and their performance does not generate a striking warm-up. In fact, it has not passed 33 degrees when we have noticed that the highest temperature (after playing games or camera after a while), and we can have it in multimedia playback for a long time without the glass and aluminum back being cool. .

As a reference we leave you the usual benchmarks, for those who take them into consideration. Given that the Galaxy S9 releases processors, we still cannot make a strictly fair comparison of you to you, but we compare it with nearby processors in release date and features, seeing that it is usually over the top.

Test

Samsung Galaxy S9 +
(Exynos 9810 + 6GB RAM + Mali-G71)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
(Exynos 8895 + 6GB RAM + Mali-G71)

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2
(Snapdragon 835 + 6GB RAM + Adreno 540)

Moto Z2 Force
(Snapdragon 835 + 6GB RAM + Adreno 540)

Huawei P10 Plus
(Kirin 960 + 6GB RAM + Mali G71)

LG V30
(Snapdragon 835 + 4GB RAM + Adreno 540)

AnTuTu

253.740

175.686

179.913

173.122

151.644

175.078

GeekBench (Single / Multi)

3.781 / 8.942

2.022 / 6.762

1.933 / 6.672

1.931 / 6.638

1.950 / 6.220

1.916 / 6.357

PCMark Work

5.076

5.151

6.734

6.141

5.931

7.224

3DMark (IceStorm Unlimited)

36.685

32.670

18.442

40.172

25.693

34.373

See complete gallery »Samsung Galaxy S9 +, benchmarks (3 photos)

Software: the new airs may have come too soon

Another novelty brought by the S9 is the premiere of version 9 of Samsung Experience, Samsung's own layer. Software that is above Android Oreo 8.0 in which we see some differences from what we saw in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.

With this software, the Galaxy S9 + appears after its first awakening after the particular "preload" of Samsung Experience (with its dose of permits and requests for installations and sending information).

The aesthetics are very similar and we hardly see any changes, there are some in the interface of the app drawer, the arrangement of the apps on the Edge Screen (now wider) and some font size or software information, but they are all tiny. They follow the same design lines and vivid colors for the icons and minimalism for the settings interfaces, editors and other own apps.

The settings menu on the S9 +.

Yes, the settings and options of some elements change, such as this same Edge Screen, Always On or the camera app, redesigned although maintaining fundamentals (we will talk about it in detail in the next section). But the main settings menu is the same, with no additions.

The lock screen with the music playback window and the "toggles" of the notification curtain. After installing an app, we will be able to add the corresponding one (if you have one). The music playback controls, both here and in Always On, are quite demanding on a touch level and we may find it difficult to give it on more than one occasion.

The apps that are pre-installed after the first startup of the mobile also change, having more apps from Samsung (in addition to Microsoft's Office suite) and the Facebook app. The good thing is that many of us will be able to uninstall or inactivate them if we are not interested in them, but seeing that other manufacturers such as ASUS are beginning to establish policies such as not to duplicate standard Google apps with their own (email, messaging, etc.) we do not like Much that from one version to another there are no less, but more apps that not all of us ask for.

Depending on which app it is, if we are not interested we can hide it, delete it or leave it in the drawer. Samsung Experience allows you to do this from a context menu by pressing and holding on the app, without having to go to the settings of each one. Samsung software provides a degree of customization and adaptation to considerable use

Thus, as usual, the Samsung layer is not only aggressive in terms of aesthetic change, but it also tends to give a lot of vitamin content to what the Google system offers in terms of aesthetic and functional options. Ultimately, this translates into a degree of customization and adaptation to considerable use, for example in what we were talking about for the screen or being able to choose whether or not we want the app drawer (the eternal discussion) among many other things.

More Samsung Experience-specific features, such as being able to organize apps in a drawer or directly on the desktop or the possibilities for notifications.

We also have some "advanced functions" such as the possibility of activating a gesture to capture the screen (slide your hand from side to side), which can be more comfortable than the physical buttons, although it does not always work well. We also have several options to be simultaneously with two apps, having adjustable floating window, split screen or being able to minimize an app in a floating shortcut.

The floating window can be run both with an app in the foreground (left) and on the split screen with two apps in the foreground (center). We can also minimize it to a floating shortcut, and both it and the window can be placed wherever you want.

In general, it works well, although from time to time we encounter some errors such as the sudden closing of the camera app (especially if we have been using it for a while) or the closing of "IMS Service" after deactivating airplane mode (it has appeared on time). , not every time), which may be because the software is still premature. But speaking of the layer itself, as add-ons made by Samsung Important are, for example, Edge Screen, unlock and security methods, optimization tools and Bixby (well, and AR Emojis). Let's go by parts.

Edge screen

The Edge Screen seemed the perfect reason excuse to justify the curve, so that it was not "only" an aesthetic decision and that in the end it almost resulted in a change in the user-terminal interaction. The truth is that it can make access to certain actions or apps more comfortable, especially if we decide to have them in the drawer, but that change in interaction will vary greatly depending on the case.

Since it was incorporated into the manufacturer's layer as a complement to mobile phones with a curved screen, it has gradually acquired functions and is currently quite practical as a quick access method, although it is all identical to the previous version of software and there are no news in this element (except for that small aesthetic change that we have commented).

The Edge display is easy to slide off and quite customizable.

Security and unlocking methods

To unlock the terminal we have several options, which Samsung implements from the S8 as already commented on Xataka Android when comparing the Apple solution on the iPhone X. Thus, we find the usual software methods, the fingerprint reader, the iris recognition and facial recognition (or its combination). Does everything work equally well? Not much less.

The most effective and comfortable will always be to use the fingerprint reader, which is fast and undemanding with respect to the inclination and the footprint surface that we put. The iris and / or face reading will only be given with an active screen (not blocked) and it does not always work, the most efficient combination of both.

With good lighting it does recognize us even with sunglasses, but as soon as we are indoors (although well lit) neither the facial nor the iris are correct on many occasions (their combination was much more effective than the separate readings). But here the game is won by at least the iPhone X and even the OnePlus 5T, in the case of the first, probably due to the mapping that the face does with FaceID.

The most effective and comfortable will always be to use the fingerprint reader

It should be said that the software asks for innumerable permissions for everything, that although they may be excessive, they are actually necessary (and there may still be something left to ask) with the important thing that it is to know what information we give, for what and where it goes. In fact, in iris recognition, he warns that “people who have dizziness, loss of consciousness, seizures, fainting or any symptom associated with epilepsy states, or who have a family history of such symptoms or states, should see a doctor before to use the iris scanner ”, so it doesn't hurt to pay attention to what comes out.

When we activate the terminal, the reading that we have activated automatically starts (the photo is indicated by the icon of a person on the clock).

How about security when we try to access content with the screen locked? There are services available with the terminal locked, such as the Edge Screen or Bixby. But as soon as the action requires access to the internal data or tools, we will always be asked to unlock it, as well as the security method chosen as the basis for configuring the biometric parameters.

Optimization tools

Some proprietary software layers complement the system with tools that serve to improve performance, autonomy and general operation in a simple and understandable way for any type of user. Samsung dedicates to this a section of the settings, in which we find sections for battery, performance, storage, memory (RAM) and security, as well as a generic option to optimize that works with these five of the flip (for give us the best grade).

We have a tab in the settings menu dedicated to these tools.

The battery offers to activate battery saving modes and control the consumption of each app in percentage, as well as an approximate calculation of the autonomy (having access to the usual system information). Modes that we also find in the performance section, while in the other sections it gives us the option to directly optimize (free space, memory or check the security of the device).

The utility in practice is relative. What you get to perceive is the freeing of space and the saving of battery, because it is difficult to fill the RAM memory of this terminal (at least we have not succeeded, and we have not noticed it slow or full) and the security analysis it doesn't tell us too much (also being a way to get to know McAfee services, basically). The performance modes are not decisive either (although they may favor something, especially entertainment), and if we are somewhat sticky in this regard, we probably already touch the resolution, the brightness and others according to our interest.

Bixby

Samsung's assistant has been updated and continues to promise that it will understand more languages, but at the moment it continues to stay in Korean, Chinese and English. We, due to life circumstances, can only test it in this third language, so we tell you how about the experience.

Bixby hears us even if the mobile is at rest, although it is better to increase the precision of the listening (or it may be our turn to raise the tone).

In general, there are two positive and two negative things in the current version of the Samsung assistant. On the one hand, it provides utilities that we do not see in others, such as Bixby Vision, which works very well recognizing objects, text or indicating the situation of what interests us (restaurants, pharmacies, etc.) and has a "gamification" component based on a point system that encourages users to use it more and discover its possibilities (and to supply the information they have agreed to give).

On the other is that its actions are still very limited below Google Assistant, with which it shares space in this terminal: Assistant will take us to the point that we ask, while Bixby is unable to open the map application. The Google assistant also has a better ear and understands us better, so for the moment Bixby does not convince us against the competition.

You learn quickly how to use Bixby thanks to the assistance provided by the system from the beginning and to "reward" us every time we use it (or try it).

The button intended for Bixby is still a questionable decision, although luckily it can be disabled as we discussed here. It is very easy for us to press it by accident, and soon we will have the interface corresponding to the voice assistant software about what is currently on the screen.

Having the voice activation, which works if we are not in a very noisy environment (we also recommend increasing the listening sensitivity to the maximum allowed), the button is almost meaningless. Perhaps it would be more consistent if it were Bixby and not Google Assistant that was activated by pressing the start button, leaving for the Google assistant some other gesture or command.

AR Emojis

Samsung has not fallen into the temptation of the notch (thank you), reaffirming that 18: 9: 1 screen with trivial edges as a certain sign of recent identity, but it has been carried away by the "well me" with Apple in the field of entertainment . Those of Cupertino surprised with the animojis, being a more playful application of the FaceID machinery, and Samsung has somewhat imitated the move but seeking that it is not an Emoji that reproduces the user's gestures, but that it be their own version.

The result was actually seen face to face between AR Emojis and Animojis. Samsung's solution is far from Apple's in terms of gesture fidelity (much more precise in the case of Apple) and the person it represents. It was what could be expected, they are 100 points of facial recognition compared to 30,000 (not to mention the assortment of clothes in the customization of the female option, although there we perhaps get into another topic).

AR Emojis are still far from being able to resemble the user they have as a mold.

Camera: dual camera, dual aperture and dual optical zoom, but not twice the enhancement

Photography has been one of the most important pillars of flagships as a product for years, in correlation with the rise of social networks and the virtues that year after year these millimeter cameras add. This time Samsung has focused all its marketing power on this aspect, so let's see how it has reimagined the camera (s).

A feature that again discriminates against the minor, since unlike the S9 the Galaxy S9 + incorporates two rear cameras with 12-megapixel sensors. One of them takes center stage for the variable aperture f / 1.5-2.4, the feature that they wanted to project as the star of the stage and that we explained their theory a few days ago.

This camera also has optical image stabilization and is wide-angle, but what also stands out is the ability to record in super slow motion at 960 fps as Sony incorporated last year. The secondary lens is a tele with f / 2.4 aperture, opting for the use of the double camera that we have seen with LG or Apple (a telephoto lens).

To continue with our customs, we will first talk about the app, which as we mentioned previously has changed at various levels with the new version of Samsung Experience. We will navigate a little through it and then we will get thoroughly into the results of the cameras.

Camera app: updated and complete, but not perfect

A good ship must have a good rudder to reach a good port, and a good camera must have a good app so that the user can truly get good juice and therefore guarantee a positive experience.

Did Samsung put the best helm for its three cameras? No, it can still improve, although we are not talking much less about a bad app. It is a complete and intuitive software, maintaining the navigation scheme of the previous one (swipes to change the camera or mode), although instead of finding a menu for the modes when sliding we have them arranged by tabs, Apple style.

The camera will always open in automatic mode and we can go to the different sections using "swipes". Here all the modes of the rear camera.

This is positive because it is visual and simple, but it can play a trick on us if we are adjusting parameters in Pro (manual) mode and we are not right (or we think about it too much) and when doing swipe we change mode or camera. In full adjustment of the shot to our liking it is as if we were suddenly switched cameras, although at least when returning to Pro mode the settings previously made are preserved.

If adjusting parameters in the Pro we lose our finger a little or we do not put it at a correct angle so that there is a certain surface of the yolk in contact with the screen, it is very likely that the mobile will interpret it as a "swipe" and we will pass adjoining mode.

The flash and filters are still a tap shot with its shortcuts, as well as the possibility of aiming at full screen, but the one that has gone is the HDR one, for which we will have to go to the settings each time ( which was much more convenient with quick access before). This is quite uncomfortable, although luckily or unfortunately in the end this type of shooting will not be so decisive (we will see later).

Every time we want to enable or disable HDR, whatever the camera, we will have to go to settings. What does appear in the camera interface is the warning that it is activated.

It would also not hurt if there was more direct access to video quality, since in addition to having more options (at 60 fps also in QHD) stabilization and improvement are not available in all cases, so we will have to enter settings too.

Leaving these caveats aside, the app works well in general and opens without problems both from the active mobile phone and from the locked screen (we have the icon on it or the possibility of configuring the double tap on the power button to start it) Although we have had some stops and closings. Very, very punctual and after using it for a long time, yes, which seems more a sign of premature software or something that can be repaired by updating.

After squeezing the camera, the experience was somewhat curtailed with this in a timely manner (two or three times during the entire experience).

We did not find a saturation of modes or options but it is close to the limit; Although it is something that seasoning the experience, we still have plenty of elements such as the "Food" mode. And, of course, in the front as well as a portrait mode (as is and not "indirect" like the one in the back) we have a thousand and one options of retouching or "beauty", that is not lacking.

Auto mode has extra tools for "beauty" and other settings, and more add-on apps can also be installed.

Rear cameras: finally the dual camera reaches the Galaxy S

The reimagined camera according to Samsung is not (only) the addition of an (expected) secondary lens, but to double the possibilities in terms of aperture. Is this noticeable in the result? Does an amateur eye notice it? Let's see.

As we explained a few years ago, we talk about aperture when referring to the camera's diaphragm, or what is the same, which regulates that the sensor receives more or less light. This determines a series of aspects in the result of the photography; The one that has had the most hype is the depth of field, since it is what determines that blur that is now so fashionable.

The doubts with the dual aperture come when we refer to sensors as small as these, in which the depth of field differences between f / 1.5 and F / 2.4 could be almost imperceptible

However, the aperture also influences the definition (the less it opens -higher number-, the sharper it is) and the light that reaches the sensor, among other things. All this according to physics, but the doubts come when speaking of sensors as small as these, in which the differences in depth of field between f / 1.5 and F / 2.4 could be almost imperceptible.

Hence, in the analysis of these cameras we have stopped a little more in macro shooting and in this dual aperture, which is when we resort to automatic and that if we opt for the pro (manual) mode we can choose at our whim, going to the shutter speed setting.

If you choose to be "pro", you have to be with everything. In setting this mode, it is we who must choose openness.

What we see is that in automatic mode there seem to be certain presets regarding this aperture (perhaps less scene dependent in specific cases). In night scenes we see that it usually uses f / 1.5 (more light will enter) and variable ISO (usually always a little above what is necessary, for which we can use manual mode and shoot with less), but in selective focus mode shoots with f / 2.4, so it restricts blurring a bit less by offering later editing.

Can you see the difference? It is appreciated going into detail, but it is not something that has a decisive impact on obtaining photographs with bokeh or at night (due to the greater amount of light that reaches the sensor when opening more). Extending much we see that the blur is somewhat greater, but it is a difference as these cameras are: ** very, very small **.

Can you see the difference? It is appreciated going into detail

In general shot, there will not be much difference in practice, at least noticeable with the naked eye (and even enlarging).

In close-up shots we can see that there is a bit more blur with f / 1.5, although it has to be enlarged a lot.

The advantage of having the Pro (manual) mode is that we can also configure this parameter. Here for example the automatic chose f / 2.4 and not f / 1.5 for this macro (it not only depends on what is focused, also on the light, etc.).

Shooting in manual mode with f / 1.5 indoors with medium and indirect lighting.

Shooting in manual mode with f / 2.4 indoors with medium and indirect lighting.

Beyond this, the overall camera quality is very high. In shots with abundant light, apart from the sharpness, the realism of the colors stands out (vivid in their right measure and no oversaturation). Balanced exposure as well as white balance in all of these shots.

Shooting with abundant-medium light and HDR (automatic) mode.

Automatic shot. A medium light backlight that defends very well.

In well-lit interiors, he also doesn't limp and take pictures without noise and with sharpness. Automatic shooting (without HDR).

Manual mode allows you to minimize the minimum focus distance.

Shooting in automatic mode with HDR.

Shooting in Pro mode.

The loss of sharpness is to be asked: it must be at least in the afternoon, in half light, or indoors. And the noise also takes time to appear, although here we can resort to the complete and at the same time simple Pro mode.

When the light is more of a challenge than an aid, the camera begins to suffer and we see the loss of detail (in any of the modes).

However, if we have a close-up it will save it at the level of detail even if there is little light.

This mode allows manual adjustment of focus, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, light metering and, as we have said, one of the two available apertures. By pulling it we can play to obtain the silk effect in the water or trails, by forcing ISO (up to 50, although in automatic mode it sometimes pulls at ISO 40) and playing with speed (also with aperture), or simply adjusting the I shoot more to our liking.

For night shooting we can pull manual (and tripod) to better adjust to our preferences or look for effects such as silk in the water.

Manual mode lets you define the photo a little more, with less noise and compensation for exposure (even compared to HDR).

We qualify this because it may be of interest to those who decide to stop a little with each shot and practice a less spontaneous mobile photography: we have come to adjust with large ISO differences (from the ISO 1250 of car to one of our 100) in night shots on everything, thus reducing a little more noise (without miracles) and obtaining somewhat more defined shapes. In fact, sometimes the ISO changes in HDR, being less than when shooting without it.

HDR in practice doesn't make much difference either

Although precisely the one we have not missed too much is the shooting in HDR, which with the new app is quite uncomfortable to activate or deactivate, but in practice it does not make a big difference even when there is a sky to save. It pays to leave it on automatic, since whether it is activated or not probably does not influence whether we like the photo or stop liking it.

Returning to the subject of macro, very good shots are obtained even with backlight and moving elements. We can resort to automatic, manual or selective focus mode, but this does not always have too good results. In fact, we have not seen an evolution since the time we tried it comparing it with its rivals, although in good light and without maximizing forced blur, sometimes good photographs come out.

We must be 1-1.5 meters from the main element (it alerts us when the selective focus mode is activated).

Photography taken with the selective focus mode (which would be the portrait mode in Samsung).

Once the photo is taken we can adjust the blur we want with the editor.

Perhaps the best option for the macro lover is to resort to the manual. This mode not only allows us to choose the aperture and lighting, it also makes it easier to shorten the minimum focus distance as much as possible, and except for occasional occasions it is very good to see which area is being focused on when it is highlighted in green (such as as we saw in the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 with the tool peak).

With the manual mode, we can make the macro faster with regard to the minimum focus distance.

In manual mode, focus is indicated by the green marking on the focused area. In the image we can see it on the foreground (the pineapple and the bank) until part of the background.

Other modes that we see are video (we will comment in that section), mere entertainment such as that of AR Emojis (adding masks and other elements of augmented reality to a face in the photo) or food mode, which as previously occurred it provides nothing more than an extra saturation, the possibility of blurring like on Instagram or changing the temperature. Although we can at least reorder or remove the modes of the app (if we keep tap on one of them, a menu will appear to do so).

The food mode continues to spare us. Automatically adds saturation and does not offer to add blur and regulate temperature.

Has the evolution been very noticeable from the Galaxy S8 + to the S9 +? Not really that much. Although the dual aperture appears to be an interesting addition, it is possibly something that in the end is not valued as much if we talk about a more generic audience as it is not as attractive or decisive (as Apple's portrait mode was at the time).

Going to night and indoor photography, where Samsung tends to chest rightly, the difference between them was not so decisive. In these, for example, what can attract the most attention is the different tone of the flash (in the one below).

In fact, the S9 + app plays a trick compared to the S8 +, since in Pro mode the preview fails to vary the shutter speed and we are in a dark scene, making if we are not familiar with the speeds or we are not so knowledgeable we have to risk a little when shooting.

What we also have new with the S9 + is the secondary camera, which as we have already mentioned is a telephoto lens that adds the possibility of using the optical zoom, although in practice the quality is similar to that of the electronic one. However, the result is good even in night shots and the detail is kept as much as possible.

The 2x zoom brings us pretty close to what our 1x eye cannot define, in this case a bird on the rocks (the circle is a cutout of the shot 2x on the background, 1x).

Automatic shot at 1x and 2x (optical blue and electronic black). The differences are almost negligible and it depends a lot on the shooting conditions (in the first of the square, for example, the ISO and the shutter speed varied).

Also comment that shooting in panoramic mode is quite easy to do and the interface provides it, having to rotate as usual to capture more angle. The results are good even with the contrasts in the lighting (when going from a direct to an indirect or vice versa), which usually play us (and will always depend on our pulse).

Front: a lot deja vu and few nuts with the AR Emoji

The front camera of the Samsung Galaxy S8 + we already liked when we confronted you with those of the main mobiles of that moment, so the least we expected from this is that in general it left us a good feeling, given that by characteristics if not is superior is at least equivalent. That has been accomplished, and in fact we see some improvement (although also other changes that we do not like so much).

The possibilities that the app offers to the front camera are to make a standard selfie, being able to opt for HDR shooting (also without quick access), a selfie pan, play with the AR Emoji, and a specific blur mode for these portraits. They are different from those of the previous version of the software, in fact it is no longer selective focus as it is, but is a specific way to add blur in the background that does or does a makeup session apply to us.

Makeup also exceeds us in the "beauty" tools that we find both in the form of filters of certain styles and to personalize eyelashes, lips and other elements separately. With the S9 + the front portrait mode is about to be perfected a lot, but before dead than simple.

They call it beauty, but for tastes, colors. What it is about is offering the maximum number of tools (and quite specific) so that the user can see himself to his liking just by tapping (and, depending on the case, after spending a few minutes adjusting).

Jokes aside, in this mode we can not resort to HDR since this option is disabled, and we will have to face (detects faces) or something turned, but it does not work if we put ourselves in profile. The result is quite artificial because of the effect on the skin and because a smudge usually appears in the hair (or the holes that always escape these modes), although it is also not harmful and some shots are saved.

Hair and lack of contrast will always be the worst enemies of these modes. Here we see in which areas it loosens more, and we can also appreciate the extra layer of makeup that gives us the way we want or not.

If we put ourselves in profile, the selfie portrait mode stops detecting our face and does not apply.

In general, the camera takes good snapshots even in low light. The loss of detail is accentuated in medium-low illumination and HDR shooting is more noticeable here (as it usually happens, on hair and on surfaces that have edges to highlight), although not as much as in other cases in which we pass from not having heaven (for being burned) to recover it. In fact it will be a good companion in indoor photography.

The HDR on the front ends usually highlights the edges more (it shows in the hair) and better compensates the exposure in the backgrounds. In this case, it is not aggressive either and can be a good ally when light is scarce.

At night this loss of sharpness is accentuated and above all we have to be more patient holding the phone (and posing) because being a slower shot it is easy for photos to be moved if there is very little light, even if we pull the flash. This, by the way, is simulated on screen and is not a white light, but a warm tone.

Despite being an interior scene, the detail remains quite good (automatic shooting, normal mode).

We leave you some of the images obtained with the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S9 + in different environments and the different options it offers.

See complete gallery »Samsung Galaxy S9 +, photos (43 photos)

Video: one more in the race for the best super slow motion

Some of the main innovations of the cameras are also in the video, and we see some improvement in the front that has not been commented on either and seems important to us by affecting the focus, which had some life of its own in the S8 +. The main addition is the super slow motion at 960 fps, thus being able to look at you at Sony, although playing perhaps with better cards.

When we record in this mode the HDR is inactive and we can do it with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720. The need for lighting for these films is greater than for the normal mode, so in interiors and dimly lit environments we will have a low result quality and very pixelated.

Super slow motion offers manual recording capability, but needs plenty of light for some quality to come out

Of course, the interface is intuitive and the super slow motion capture can be done automatically or manually. If we choose the first, the system will choose when to capture like this, depending on the movement it detects in a certain area of ​​the frame, if we opt for the manual we will be able to capture at 960 fps whenever we want.

In normal mode, the camera allows you to capture in 4K, offering the possibility of doing it at 60 fps in both this resolution and FHD. Stabilization (and the supposed self enhancement that can also be activated), however, will not be available in this option. And it is quite noticeable when it is not active since stabilization becomes somewhat aggressive on time.

The result is quite good when the light is abundant and indoors with medium or high lighting. The detail is lost a lot on cloudy days or at night, but they are not bad shots to be said context and the result in 4K at night is considerably good.

Autofocus works consistently, as do white balance and exposure compensation if we change scenes, and the colors are very realistic (no dead colors or oversaturation). Very good also the capture of the audio.

The fast camera also has a lower maximum resolution, but a little higher than the super slow moving to FullHD. And a good addition for those who want to get the most out of it and control a little more (or want to learn) is that there is also the possibility of manually adjusting some parameters in the video.

If we record from Pro mode we will have the possibility to manually adjust some parameters for the video.

As for the videos with the front camera, we have captures with a very good level of detail in the foreground, both in good light and with medium and well-lit interiors. The background, yes, normally we will get a little blurred, out of focus (which is quite logical) and with enough watercolors on cloudy days and situations with less light.

Of course, the autofocus has improved and behaves much better than what we experienced with the S8 +. In this camera we get quite decent shots of detail in the foreground even in medium light or on cloudy days, and here we will not be able to have (electronic) stabilization in the highest resolution (QHD) or if we choose a 1: 1 ratio.

Autonomy: unchanged, for better and for worse

When we met the Note 8 we were struck by a certain aspect of the technical sheet: the battery had less milliamps / hour than the Galaxy S8, the Note being somewhat more voluminous but including one of 3,300 mAh compared to that of 3,500 mAh of its predecessors.

It almost goes without saying that the numbers are not everything in autonomy, but the fact is that for these new flagships Samsung has maintained those 3,500 mAh, recovering the capacity of that of its direct predecessors.But how about this time these 3,500 mAh?

The autonomy is not outstanding if we take into account that of other terminals with larger batteries (and sizes), but that of the Galaxy S9 + gives us to endure almost a whole day of a day of intense use (data connection all the time, a lot of camera , multimedia, etc.) arriving at 6:30 on the screen. On average it gives about 12:30 hours of autonomy, with about 4:30 of screen in these days of more intensive use.

In a few words: if we spend the day fiddling with our mobile phones and pulling the camera, it will last us until the afternoon has already started (about nine hours), but if we alternate with periods of inactivity and Wi-Fi connection, it easily supports us.

It has, as we mentioned before, a tool that tries to improve autonomy by notifying which apps are consuming more energy in the background. This can come in handy or perhaps annoy us by notifying us in the same settings (but can be disabled). What it also offers us is the possibility of activating three different energy saving modes, and it also applies it automatically if we use the mobile as a Wi-Fi point.

Of course, it has a USB Type-C port and fast charging. Every time we charge it, it indicates the approximate charging time and the truth is that it is quite accurate (and sincere), lasting a charge from 0 to 100% plus or minus 1 hour and 38 minutes (with the phone turned off and its charger).

If we have a photographic day or very, very active (pulling data) it will hold us for about nine hours, taking about 6:30 hours on the screen.

Sound: pampering the decibels no matter where they come from (and we continue with jack)

Volume, quality and stereo. This sums up the experience we have had with the audio of this terminal, an aspect that the house has also historically taken care of looking for interesting friends to pepper what are already good sensations in an auditory matter.

Volume, quality and stereo. This summarizes the experience we have had with the audio of this terminal

We have, therefore, an overall satisfactory audio, both at high and medium volumes. In fact, it is quite surprising how going to maximum volume maintains good audio, without clearing or a marked reduction in quality as usually happens at this point.

Habemus audio jack, although what stands out is the quality in general (and the stereo).

The maximum volume that we have been able to register is also quite high, about 117 decibels. To get to this point we will always have to accept the warning that the phone software gives us after a certain volume that high volumes can be harmful, by the way.

The sound comes out in stereo through the speaker located in the base, next to the audio jack and the USB, and the earphone, having good performance and without the vibration of the audio output being transmitted to the rest of the chassis (as with mobile phones). smaller, like iPhone 7). Of course, we do not have sound settings as specific as those offered by other manufacturers such as ASUS or Sony.

These AKG headphones are included in the pack with the phone. The experience with them (both multimedia listening and calls) is good, as well as that of the microphone they incorporate. The only disadvantage is the form factor, which depending on in which cases they can "jump".

Sound with headphones always improves, both for its quality and for the physical barriers that we avoid by having a shorter path from the emission of sound to our inner ear. This case is not an exception and the experience is much better, with the added bonus that the ones included are also quite good (the AKG we already saw with the S8 + and the Note), although they may "jump" or they won't end. to couple (depends on the person).

Samsung Galaxy S9 +, Xataka's opinion

The challenge of conquering the podium of the smartphone is becoming increasingly complicated precisely for those who seem to have taken the pan by the handle. A long time ago that it was far from "only" satisfying the user with the product: now the goal is to seduce, captivate, is the boom plus boom never.

That is known to those who every year reserve a lot of time, money and effort to materialize a top of the range that will not only have the role of being the object of desire or of convincing the most demanding. The flagship of Samsung, Apple, who dares enter its ring, has to have everything, has to have it better and has to surprise. The magic triad, the formula of triumph that makes the cash registers sound from the zero minute of the sale.

Does the Samsung Galaxy S9 + meet this formula? It is early to say when we are still in the first quarter of the year and there are many Titans to show off weapons, but at least it does concentrate the ingredients to compete in that elite league of latest processors, miracle cameras and scare prices.

It has a spectacular design, some finishes that seat the chair and allow the manufacturer to look over the shoulder at others in this regard, because the feeling with the terminal is as good as the work in compaction. Once again, chapeau.

It has the hardware combination that aspires to be the most powerful of the year, with a processor from the house that is speculated to give a better result than Qualcomm's flagship (which also integrates for the other version), unless we see that someone clears his throat already with more RAM. Whether this is so or not, what counts is the experience and the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, as we have discussed, flies. It goes like a rocket whatever you throw at it.

It has a lady screen with attractive numbers for those who look at these details and with a very satisfactory result for those who simply look, to read, watch multimedia content or play both indoors and outdoors. And personalization, that is what we like (some, at least).

It finally has two rear cameras, but in the end what is satisfactory is the overall performance rather than what they allow. Very good macros and many possibilities, and a result in night photography that will be interesting to put in comparison with its rivals.

It also has aspects that we did not like as much as a somewhat premature software (in appearance), a Bixby still quite green or precisely that the camera has not "freaked out" (if you allow us the colloquial expression). In the end there is no noticeable difference between its predecessor (which is not that it limped on camera), and we are seeing increasingly surprising systems and results in night photography or bokeh.

So there are aspects in which to put the batteries, but this is always good (along with good competition) so that manufacturers do not settle and there is a next product that improves the weakest points. Meanwhile, we have to squeeze it a little more, especially in order to see how it looks in front of what comes out.

9.25

Design9.75 Screen 9.5 Performance9.5 Camera9.5 Software8.75 Autonomy8,5

In favor

  • The design and construction: the aesthetics and quality of the materials are superior, and it is certified for IP68 resistance to dust and water.
  • The screen, good overall experience and customization options.
  • Wastage of power without getting hot.
  • The camera has many options and gives good results overall.

Against

  • The software seems to be finishing, there are some specific errors.
  • The dual camera has also not meant a turning point or a noticeable change in experience compared to the above.
  • The battery is not bad, but it may be short for intensive users.

In the making of the video we have Pedro Santamaría.

The terminal has been loaned for testing by Samsung. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.

This Freepik vector was used for the wallpaper.

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