Samsung Galaxy S9 Review – A Phone That’s Been Refined



Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera:


Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera

As I stated earlier, there are quite a few similarities between the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9. However, the main selling point for the Galaxy S9 is the camera.


The primary camera is a single-sensor 12MP camera with dual-aperture. The Galaxy S9 is the first smartphone to feature a dual-aperture setup.


Both apertures are not identical, there’s a f/1.5 aperture and a f/2.4 aperture. The sensor will determine which aperture would be appropriate when taking photos depending on the conditions.


For example, if you’re taking photos in a darker setting the sensor will choose the f/1.5 aperture because this was made to take great photos in low light conditions.


If you’re taking photos in a well-lit setting the sensor will choose the f/2.4 aperture because this aperture was designed to take great photos in a brighter setting.


The photography modes have been upgraded, now you have the ability to take a wide variety of different styles of photos.


When you get the Galaxy S9 the auto mode is chosen by default. As a result of this, this is the mode that most users will probably be using.


The camera takes great photos in auto mode whether taking photos in a well-lit setting or a darker setting, the picture quality is amazing.


The colors look natural in the photos, however, if you would like the colors to look more rich and vibrant you can select the auto enhancement feature and this will enhance the colors.


When rapidly taking multiple photos you may experience some shutter lag. This is due to the exposure and autofocus sometimes they need more time to recalibrate before taking another photo.


If you’re an avid photographer who enjoys taking photos you can choose the expert mode in the camera settings.


The expert mode is complex because it gives you much more control over the camera settings. However, it’s also extremely user-friendly and easy to use.


The front-facing camera is an 8MP camera which takes great photos. You can select portrait mode when taking selfies, this works great if you would like to focus on the subject while blurring the background.


There’s also a panorama mode which works great when you’re trying to take a selfie with multiple people but some people are out of the field of view. You can turn the camera at different angles to make sure you capture everyone in the selfie.


The primary camera and the front-facing camera does a great job when taking photos. Whether taking photos in a well-lit setting, or a darker setting, the picture quality is amazing.


Super Slow Motion Camera:


The super slow motion camera is another new feature that’s been added to the Galaxy S9. This is something that many flagship phones that were released within the last year have adopted.


This camera captures 960 frames per second, it has the ability to record something that happens within a fraction of a second and turn it into a six-second long slow-motion clip. This will work great for capturing special moments in sporting events.


This feature works best in a well-lit setting when the phone is stationary. You can also set the phone to automatically sense movement but the phone must be stationary for this to work. So you may not be able to use this feature while holding the phone in your hands.


You can also record slow motion video manually, this is easier because the camera will start recording immediately after you press the record button.


The quality of videos shot in slow motion is great. However, it’s not as impressive when you record footage in a darker setting, because the video will look distorted.


If you’re recording something in a darker setting and the subject is relatively close to you. You can use the flash when recording the slow-motion video and the quality of the video will not be compromised as much.


However, if you’re trying to record something in slow-motion and the subject is far away from you. You will not get very good results when using the flash.


The slow-motion camera has potential but it needs more work. Hopefully, Samsung will find a way to improve the picture quality when shooting slow motion videos in a darker setting.


Augmented Reality (AR) Emoji:


This is Samsung’s AR Emoji, Samsung and Apple have been competing against each other for quite some time now.


I guess Samsung’s AR Emoji is their response to Apple’s Animoji which debuted on the iPhone X a few months ago. This is a great feature which makes the iPhone X stand out from the competition.


I think it was a great idea for Samsung to add this new feature. However, it’s not as responsive to your facial expressions as Apple’s Animoji.


So the Samsung AR Emoji needs a bit more work hopefully they will improve this feature before the arrival of the Galaxy Note 9.


To create your own avatar on the Galaxy S9 you must focus the selfie camera on your face while making a facial expression.


Then the Galaxy S9 will create a digital version of you while capturing your facial expression. After your digital character has been created you will have the ability to modify the clothes, skin color, and hair.


There are a few software bugs that need to be fixed. Sometimes this feature may not capture your face or facial expression correctly so you may have to do it a few times to get it right.


You also have the ability to record yourself speaking as the AR Emoji. The Galaxy S9 does a good job of capturing your features.


However, from time to time the camera struggles to keep up with you in real-time and when this happens your avatar will twitch its eye. Samsung’s AR Emoji feature needs to be refined a bit, I’m excited to see what Samsung will do with this feature in the near future.



  1. This review was very helpful!

    I currently have the Samsung Galaxy J7, which is a nice phone but nothing like the Galaxy S9. I’ve been spending a lot more time on my phone, so I can warrant an upgrade.

    One of the features I am most interested in is the slow motion video capture. I’d like to do under water filming. Do you know if this phone is waterproof or would I need to purchase a special case.

    Thanks again for the great review. This looks like an awesome phone.

    • Thanks kmv, the Galaxy S9 is a great phone and it’s water resistant but only up to 1.5 meters if you go any deeper it may have an adverse effect on the phone.

  2. Good review. Very informative. I must say your format us a little strange to me; the way the review is structured, like which topics are addressed, in which order, and thoroughness, and such. But this is not a large issue. Overall, do you think its worth the extra money for the s9 over the s8?

    • Thanks Jason, if you have a phone that’s two or three years old and you would like to buy a new phone then the Galaxy S9 would be a great fit. But if you have the Galaxy S8, I would not recommend upgrading to the Galaxy S9.


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