Cars & Gadgets

Your First Look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ and Their Specs

An improved camera, augmented reality emojis, and more.
IMAGE JOHN PATRICK MENESES
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The wait is over. 

Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones were finally revealed at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.

While we wait for the Korean company's newest flagship products to be officially available on March 16, here’s everything we learned at the Local Unpacked Livestream event hosted by Samsung Philippines.

Improved Camera

The updated 12MP primary cameras in the S9 and S9+ can now shoot better photos and videos with its dual OIS (optical image stabilization) and dual aperture functionality that allows flexible camera performance in a wide range of lighting conditions. The Super Slo-mo feature was also improved as well, and can now take 960fps clips that you can also save as GIFs. The secondary rear camera on the S9+ has 2x optical zoom and a wide-angle view, ideal for landscape photography and group shots.

Animated Emojis

Another new feature of the S9 and S9+ is Samsung's take on the animated emoji, called AR (Augmented Reality) Emoji. What it does is generate a 3D avatar of your scanned face using the 8MP front-facing camera. You can either save a video clip of it or create stickers or GIFs that you can then share directly via third-party messenger apps.

To take things a step further, Samsung has partnered with Disney to introduce its iconic characters through the AR Emoji. Mickey and Minnie will be both available by launch, and new characters like The Incredibles will be available soon.

Better Multimedia Experience

The dual stereo speakers on the new Galaxies are tuned by AKG and are now supported by Dolby Atmos, making the smartphone 1.4 times louder than the previous generation S8s. To the uninitiated, Dolby Atmos is a new audio format that gives sound a more three-dimensional, 360-degree effect. It's also the same audio technology that's used in some cinemas. The infinity display on both S9s now has thinner bezels versus the previous generation, giving you the biggest screen real estate on a Galaxy, yet. The IP68 rating also makes a comeback, which means you can submerge your phone in freshwater for 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1.5 meters.

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Smarter and More Secure

The S9 and S9+ now come with two more efficient security options for unlocking the phone, aside from the more traditional fingerprint scanner at the back. Face recognition is used when you're outdoors or in other bright environments, otherwise, it will switch to Iris Scanning. If you need even more security, a new verification method called the Intelligent Scan collectively uses the two previously mentioned sensors and has anti-spoofing technology to avoid unwarranted unlocks by using a photograph or (in rare, but not uncommon cases) by a twin sibling.

A New and Improved Bixby

Samsung's proprietary AI technology, called Bixby, is also now better than ever. It can do real-time text translations, give you information about the food you eat, or that bag on display at the store by just using your camera and taking a photo of it. Bixby also has an AR makeup feature that allows you to try different shades of makeup without being physically present at the store. For now, the AR makeup feature is only available in the U.S., Korea, China, and Canada.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is priced at P45,990 (64GB), while the S9+ is priced at P52,990 (64GB), P55,990 (128GB), and P60,990 (256GB). Both models will be offered in three colors: Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and a new hue, Lilac Purple. 

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John Patrick Meneses
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