The Galaxy S9 looks much like its S8 predecessor, but Samsung has given its imaging powers a big boost.
(CCM) — Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone looks similar to last year's S8, although it is now available in Lilac Purple. But Samsung believes that its enhanced camera capabilities will give it the edge over the iPhone X.
The rear facing camera is now equipped with a system that Samsung calls "dual aperture," which uses an f/2.4 aperture for daylight pictures, but a larger f1.5 aperture in darker conditions to allow 28% more light to reach the sensor. The result is much better picture quality in low-light conditions which smartphone cameras have traditionally struggled with.
The phone also has what Samsung calls a "super-speed dual pixel" sensor with built-in DRAM for extra processing speed. It uses this to carry out multi-frame noise reduction – essentially the camera can take a batch of four pictures and use the detail from all of them to produce an image which has 30% less visual noise compared to the Galaxy S8. It can also take 960 fps "Super Slow-mo" video which can be posted to social media.
The Galaxy S9+ — but not the S9 — is also equipped with dual rear cameras like the Galaxy Note8 and iPhone X. One of these is a traditional wide angle lens, while the other is for portraits and for producing a bokeh effect, which involves blurring the out-of-focus part of a composition.
Samsung has also integrated its Bixby intelligent assistant with the camera to produce Bixby Vision. When the camera is pointed at a sign in a foreign language, Bixby Vision can automatically translate it, in the same way as Google Translate.
To help ensure that images are as clear as they can be, Samsung has also made a practical change. The S9's fingerprint reader is now positioned on the rear of the phone in the middle of the device away from the camera, so that users do not accidentally smudge the lenses while trying to unlock the phone.
Image: © Samsung.