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


Samsung Bixby Has Been Refined:


Bixby Voice Assistant:


Many Samsung Galaxy users were unhappy with Bixby on the Samsung Galaxy S8. Bixby is Samsung’s voice assistant.


The main problem is the fact that Bixby struggled to understand things contextually and it only had the ability to interact with a few apps.


As a result of this, many users opted for the Google Assistant instead because it came pre-installed on the phone and it worked extremely well.


But Bixby has been upgraded on the Galaxy S9. The Bixby button is located on the left side of the phone below the volume rocker.


To access this feature, you must press the Bixby button while delivering your command and release it when you’re done. You have to be patient when using this feature because Bixby is a little slow when trying to interpret directions.


So if you’re in a rush, you may be better off manually doing a task rather than using Bixby. Even though this feature has been improved, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.


It would be great if Samsung can make this feature more responsive. If you end up buying this phone I would still recommend that you opt for Google Assistant instead of Bixby.


Bixby Vision:


The Bixby Vision is software which was built into the camera, Samsung internet, Bixby Home, and the Gallery. The main purpose of this feature is to give you a deeper understanding of what you’re looking at.


Bixby Vision uses object recognition to translate words or identify businesses or landmarks around you.


This feature has also been improved on the Galaxy S9 it does a much better job when interpreting what it’s seeing. It can give you some great results on the web.


Biometric Authentication:


The biometric authentication features in the Galaxy S9 has been improved from that of its predecessor. The placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 was not very good.


It was difficult to reach the fingerprint scanner when holding the phone in one hand. The facial recognition feature and the iris scanner were not reliable. The success rate for unlocking the phone via these methods were not very high.


However, on the Galaxy S9, these features have been refined they are extremely fast and responsive. As a result of this, you can unlock the phone in a fraction of a second via the fingerprint scanner, the facial recognition feature, or the iris scanner.


Intelligent Scan:


Samsung refers to its new biometric authentication system as Intelligent Scan. It works by using the selfie camera and the iris scanner in conjunction with machine learning to quickly authenticate your face by looking at it and unlocking the phone.


It’s great that Samsung kept the fingerprint scanner on this phone because the iris scanner is not as responsive in low light conditions.


So if you’re having a hard time unlocking the phone via the iris scanner in low light conditions, you can opt for the fingerprint scanner. You should opt for the fingerprint scanner because this method works just fine in low light conditions.


Biometric Authentication Flaws:


When it comes to biometric authentication this is one area where Apple has the advantage on Samsung. When using the facial recognition feature on the Galaxy S9 it does a 2D scan of your face.


This isn’t very secure in comparison to other methods of authentication such as the fingerprint scanner or Apple’s Face ID.


The viewing angle of the sensors on the Galaxy S9 is extremely limited. So this makes it very difficult to unlock the phone via the facial recognition feature when it’s on a table.


It’s much easier to accomplish this on an iPhone because the field of vision is larger. I think it’s great that Samsung improved the biometric authentication feature on the Galaxy S9. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in this area.


Samsung Galaxy S9 Performance And Battery Life:


The Galaxy S9 is extremely fast and it performs very well. This is due to the Android 8.0 Oreo Samsung Experience 9.0, the Snapdragon 845 / 10nm 64-bit Samsung Exynos processor and the 4GB of RAM that this phone possesses.


The battery life on the Galaxy S9 hasn’t been improved from that of its predecessor. This phone comes with a 3,000mAh non-removable battery. This is the same battery that powered the Galaxy S8.


The processor that powers the Galaxy S9 and the software may be more efficient. But the battery life is almost the same as the battery life on the Galaxy S8.


This is disappointing, the battery will last for roughly one day of moderate use. The Galaxy S9 has wireless charging capabilities, and it’s compatible with PMA and Qi standards. This means that the Galaxy S9 has the capability of charging on any wireless pad.


I think it would be great if Samsung can improve the battery life on their phones in the future. This is something that would be greatly appreciated by all smartphone users.


Samsung Galaxy S9 Hardware:


The Galaxy S9 comes with a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display screen which has a resolution of 2960×1440 with an aspect ratio of (18.5:9).


The processor will be the Snapdragon 845 or the 10nm 64-bit Samsung Exynos depending on where you buy the phone.


The phone has 64GB of expandable storage which is expandable up to 400GB via the microSD card slot.


There’s 4GB of ram, the primary camera is a 12MP Super Speedy Dual Pixel camera with OIS which has a dual aperture setup one aperture is f/1.5 and the other is f/2.4.


The front-facing camera is an 8MP camera with a f/1.7 aperture which has autofocus. The phone also comes equipped with stereo speakers and a Dolby Atmos 3.5 headphone.


The battery is a 3000mAh non-removable battery, the phone is iP68-certified which means that it’s waterproof. The dimensions of the phone are 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm and it weighs 163 g.


The phone is available in the following colors if you plan on buying it in the U.S. lilac purple, midnight black, and coral blue.


If you plan on buying this phone outside of the U.S. the phone will be available in lilac purple, midnight black, coral blue, and slate grey.


My Final Thought:


The Galaxy S9 is a great phone that performs very well. However, I wish Samsung could have been more innovative with this phone. The main selling point for this phone is the camera, the camera is the main thing that sets the Galaxy S9 apart from its predecessor.


If your phone is a few years old and you’re looking for a fast and responsive phone that takes great photos you should consider getting the Galaxy S9.


New Samsung phones are constantly being released. However, if you currently have the Galaxy S8 and you’re happy with it, I would not recommend upgrading to the Galaxy S9.


You may be better off waiting for the Galaxy Note 9 later this year. Please let me know your thoughts about the Samsung Galaxy S9 in the comment section below.


  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.

  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.