This morning I unboxed the Samsung S9+ phone, which I got from Verizon (a returnable press review model, but all opinions are of Geekazine). I had the phone for the last 24 hours, and I will be taking it to SXSW with me to record video, create social posts, and more. This is a first look of the device.
About the Samsung Galaxy S9+
This phone is all about the camera and it’s features, but it also has a powerful phone behind it. Some settings vary between the S9 and S9+, so check the specs page (and the slideshow) for more information.
The camera is only 12 MP rear, 8 MP front, which is no different than the S8. Samsung did add super slow mode (960 fps) in 720p. They also added live focus and Bokeh features (overlays and Augmented Reality sprites) to enhance your social media posts. You can even create your own Emoji to use in many different ways.
The phone itself is a 2.8 GHz Quad-core device with 64GB storage and 6 GB RAM (S9 has 4 GB RAM). A MicroSD card can be added (up to 400 GB) for extra storage. The Super AMOLED screen with Infinity display gives you a 18.5:9 screen at 529 ppi (571 for the S9).
AKG speakers with Dolby Atomos sound, wireless charging of the 3500 mAh battery (S9 is 3000mAh), and their 1.2 GB LTE network (where available). I was seeing 90 down / 15 upload speed in Madison (I’ll check in Austin as well).
Of course, the phone is IP68 rated for water and dust.
Samsung Knox Security
This is Samsung’s multi-layer security system that allows you to unlock the phone with facial recognition, fingerprint, pattern, or (in some cases) 2-form authentication. When I registered the phone, it sent a PIN number that automatically filled in the phone and advanced me forward.
Issues with the S9+
I had a problem setting up the facial recognition. It would not identify the face – with or without glasses. It took me several tries. I am thinking this is a Knox issue, because setting up the Emoji character wasn’t that difficult. It looks to be an issue that can get fixed with updates.
The Emoji character, by the way, is nice, but needs some work. They don’t offer facial hair to begin with, and the AR functionality for video is jittery at best.
The phone did have bloatware installed – removing was not a big issue, though. Verizon does also install their apps to the phone as well.
I am not a big fan of the bevel. I do like how the S9+ fits in my hand over my iPhone.
Positives of the S9+
It charges quick, the phone is fast (about 45-60 second boot up time), games look nice on the phone, and it’s easy to read. The infinity screen helps it look layered, putting the text in front. A sort-of 3D effect.