I’ve recently upgraded to a shiny new black Samsung Galaxy S9 leaving behind my trusty LG G5 which I was relatively impressed with. I’ve not owned a Samsung before but I’ve supported them for many years so some things are already very familiar.
First of all, it feels like quality. I’ve always said that a bit of weight is not a bad thing, which is why, design wise, I always liked the iPhone 4. It felt like quality in your hands. The Samsung S9 is not heavy by any stretch, less in fact than the iPhone X but more than its predecessor the Samsung S8, coming in at 163g. And for the first time in a while I’ve held off buying a case and the reason is that I’ve more confidence that the S9 will withstand moderate knocks and scrapes. I’m still careful of course but the S9 boasts an impressive, and near bezel-less, edge-to-edge 5.8-inch Quad HD+ super AMOLED Infinity Display. The screen and the bezel blend together to form a seamless design, with next-generation Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back for durability and a nice high-quality finish.
The camera is great, boasting two different aperture settings (shift between f/2.4 and f/1.5) meaning photos look great in low light. It has super slow-motion recording, which lets you shoot a 0.2-second burst of 960fps footage and stretch it out to 6 seconds. The rear camera is 12 megapixel and the front facing camera is 8 megapixel.
There’s a raft of security features and I already have it set up to be permanently unlocked when it is in the vicinity of my Samsung Galaxy S3 Gear Watch. The Gear S3 had to be reset when I connected it up but now it seems to work better, allowing me to see unread emails and to read texts and most noticably I can now use Samsung Pay with my watch. The S9 phone also has iris and facial-scanning alongside the fingerprint scanner on the back (which I am used to using from my LG G5) as well as your normal PIN and swipe methods. The facial recognition is quite good if you have your phone on your desk at work. All you have to look down at it. I’ve found the helpful hints actually quite helpful for a change with the phone periodically alerting me to things I didn’t know about, making sure I’m aware of all of its new features.
Samsung’s digital assistant (their equivalent of Siri) is called Bixby and you can speak to him/her either by setting it up to recognise ‘Hello Bixby’ or by using the dedicated button on the left-hand side (or both) which you hold down when talking. Despite getting off to a slow start a year ago when it debuted alongside the Galaxy S8, Samsung’s Bixby has made a lot of progress and I enjoy using the dictate feature to have it write out my Whatsapp messages. 95% of it is accurate and I just have to change the odd word here and there.
I’ve found the call quality to be fantastic and certainly better than the iPhone X and previous phones I’ve used, with a strong signal both on 4G and Wi-Fi. Apparently, there’s also support for 1Gbps LTE download speeds where it is available, Bluetooth 5, and storage starts at 64GB which I have but this can be increased through a microSD card.
I’m quite happy so far with the purchase and although I’ll miss my LG G5, I feel I’ve chosen a good upgrade.