Samsung S9 and S9 Plus – Future is Here
Update – 15/June/2018
Samsung Launches S9+ Sunrise Gold Edition in India for Rs. 68,900. The new variant comes with 128 GB of storage and will be available for purchase starting 20th June from retail stores as well as Online.
The specifications are same as the normal S9+ and you may get initial discount offers on the launch day.
Update – 18/March/2018
JIO Terabyte Offer on Samsung S9 and S9 Plus
Jio and Airtel both are offering launch offers on the Samsung S9 and S9 plus. Since both these phones are pretty expensive and popular in the market both top telecom brands are trying to make these more affordable for the buyers. Let me explain these offers to you in the most simple way, reading it on the telecom site can be a lot confusing.
Starting with the Jio Terabyte offer
Offer Details – You recharge with Rs. 4,999 along with buying the Samsung S9 or S9 plus from the Reliance Digital Store or from Reliance Jio Portal. You need to pay Rs. 57,900 for the Samsung S9 and Rs. 4,999 for the JIO recharge, so in total you spend – Rs. 62,899.
What do you get? – Samsung S9 and One year of unlimited Data (1000 GB) + unlimited Voice and SMS + access to JIO Apps.
Normally, if you do a recharge of Rs. 4,999, you get only 350 GB data, so JIO is offering 3 times the data with the S9 and S9 plus. Also, this offer costs Rs. 15,000 and the cherry on the cake is JIO is not restricting your daily data usage.
Things You Need to Know about JIO Terabyte Offer
- This Jio offer is applicable on both Samsung S9 and S9 plus but there are some important conditions. Firstly, you need to be an active subscriber and also should have a JIO prime membership.
- You need to buy the Indian version of the phone from JIO stores on or after 16th March 2018.
Airtel Offer Buy Samsung S9 for Downpayment of Rs. 9,900
If you purchase the Samsung S9 here are the benefits and pack details.
Samsung S9 with 64 GB storage
- Rental per month- Rs. 2,499
- Voice Calls: Unlimited Calling on all networks, local + STD + Roaming.
- Data : 80 GB on Local + Roaming.
- Term : 24 months
Total Cost – 24*Rs. 2499+Rs. 9900= 69,966.
Data Benefit for 2 years – 80*12*2= 1920 GB in two years.
If we compare it to JIO for 2 years – Rs. 4,999+Rs. 4,999+57,900=67,900 with 2000 GB data.
Samsung S9+ 64 GB
- Rental Plan: Rs. 2,799/
- Voice Calls: Unlimited Calling on all networks, local + STD + Roaming.
- Data : 80 GB on Local + Roaming
- Term: 24 months
Also, there is a similar offer from Airtel, for the S9+ 256 GB that comes with an upfront payment of Rs. 17,990 along with the rental of Rs. 2799.
Also, Airtel is offering a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime for free with all the above plans. Additionally, there is free insurance on the phone for the buyers.
The biggest CON for the Airtel offer is that it is applicable only to the postpaid subscribers and not available to the prepaid users.
Apart from these offers, there is another buyback offer from Jio that is applicable only on the Samsung S9+ (256 GB model). Note – it is not applicable to Other S9 or S9+models.
Jio 70% Buyback Offer on Only Samsung S9+ 256 GB
Furthermore, Jio is offering a 70% buyback to the Samsung S9+ (256 GB) buyers. Notably, this offer is only valid for this large storage variant of the S9+ and not applicable on other phones.
So how to get the 70% Buyback from JIO?
You need to buy the S9+ (256 GB) from JIO store or JIO.com and also need to do a recharge of Rs. 2500 in one year period.
The S9+ (256GB) costs Rs. 72,900 and you will get 70% buyback when you return the device in good working condition without any physical damage after 13 months (from date of purchase).
Also, note JIO writes in terms and conditions that you will get the money after excluding the taxes (not sure how much will that be, probably the GST amount on the phone).
Importantly, you need to enroll in the buyback voucher program and need to pay one time fees of Rs. 500. At the end of the buyback period, you will have to submit the bill, box, charger and other accessories that you have received with the phone.
So these are some of the things, I think you need to know you can comment below or tweet to Candytech if you have some confusion.
HDFC, Paytm Discounts and Samsung Exchange offer
HDFC Bank is also offering Rs. 6,000 cash back in case you buy it using the HDFC Bank Credit Card. Apart from that, you can even get Rs. 6000 Cashback on purchase through Paytm Mall. Also, Samsung is offering Rs. 6,000 discount in case you exchange your old Samsung phone, the offer is applicable on selected Samsung phones.
Samsung Says, “The Samsung exchange offer is valid in selected outlets/cities only and shall be available until 31st March 2018.” – Read more on these offers here.
That’s a lot of offers for S9 and S9 Plus buyers. You can choose what you think is best for you.
So Which is the best offer Airtel Vs JIO for S9 and S9 Plus?
- You are a prepaid subscriber, need tons of data and have the cash to purchase the S9 and S9 Plus – Jio offer is the best.
- You are low on cash and want to pay monthly installments (rental). Can survive postpaid, and also need the Galaxy Phone – Can go with the Airtel monthly plan.
- If you have an existing Samsung phone you can trade that and get Rs. 6000 discount plus avail HDFC or Paytm offer for additional Rs. 6000 discount.
Samsung S9 and S9 Plus Launch and Top Features
Samsung has unveiled the new flagship phones for 2018, yesterday at the MWC 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The new Galaxy phones are probably the biggest attraction at the Mobile World Congress this year, and there is a lot of hype around the launch.
Samsung every year unveil the new Galaxy Flagship phones around the same time. This year phones are called S9 and S9 Plus, successor to the S8 and S8 plus.
Not to mention, the upgraded LG V30s ThinQ, Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 8110G, Nokia 1 and the Sony Xperia XZ2 are other key attractions at the venue.
The new Galaxy phones this year come with the tagline “Camera Reimagined,” clearly highlighting the camera prowess.
But before we get into details about the new Samsung phones, let’s take a quick journey in the past.
Released in 2015, Samsung S6 was a good phone but came with a smaller battery (2550 mAH) capacity and poor battery life. To make things worse, Samsung even added a Quad HD display that further ruined the battery life. It was moderately successful in the market.
But Samsung S7 and S7 edge are immaculate devices, with a stunning display, fast performance, and incredible cameras. These brought the company all the success they ever wished. Both the phones surpassed the consumer expectations and were nearly perfect for the time.
Last Year the brand launched the S8 and S8 Plus. Again, both the phones were ahead of the curve and came with the voguish bezel-less display.
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But there was no further improvement in the camera in comparison to the S7. In fact, Apple, Google, HTC are playing catch up with Samsung for almost last 2 years.
Samsung releases phones in early March with the flagship processor and other cutting-edge technology and rest of the industry than adapt it.
But the biggest challenge this year to build on that lead and stay ahead of the rivals that are catching up fast. The new Samsung S9/S9+ comes with lots of new features but are they enough to keep Samsung ahead of competitors let’s find out.
The Camera Re-imagined
For starters, the most significant differentiator is the variable aperture camera that works like a DSLR.
The variable aperture camera means the camera can change the aperture size automatically based on the lighting condition. The Samsung S9 has the largest aperture camera with f/1.5 in comparison to the LG V30 that comes with F/1.6 aperture.
Moreover, the camera has an aperture of f/1.5 / f/2.4. So in low light conditions, it can use f/1.5 aperture and for portrait shots with deep bokeh can utilize the f/2.4 aperture.
960 FPS Slow Motion
Another, a key highlight of the S9 camera is the presence of ultra slow-motion video recording capability. The camera can record up to 960 FPS videos that is 32 times slower in comparison to a normal video.
Moreover, Samsung is using a SuperSpeed Dual Pixel technology with dedicated DRAM memory chip that allows faster processing of the images as well as help record the slow-motion videos.
Super slow motion is not a unique feature, and in fact, Sony XZ premium already offers this.
S9 Vs. S9 Plus Camera
It is almost 2 years since we saw the revolutionary Samsung S7 camera and even the S8 came with a similar camera. But this year there is a discernable improvement in the new phones.
Tragically, Samsung is using the Dual camera set up only in the more expensive S9 plus whereas the S9 has a single rear camera.
Unlike this year, Samsung has used the same camera in previous S series variants. But probably company wants to make more money by pushing the sales of the expensive model henceforth.
Portrait Shots on S9 and S9 Plus
Notably, the S9 will have a single camera with 12 MP lens with f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture, and the S9 plus flaunts Dual 12 MP camera. The Samsung S9 and S9 Plus both can click images in the portrait mode.
The S9 plus the results are better as there are Dual cameras helping with the bokeh effect while on the S9 it is done using the software.
Front Selfie Camera
Also, the front camera is same, and not getting a megapixel bump; it offers an 8 MP lens with f/1.7 aperture, similar to the S8 series.
Samsung is using the same display size and design as the S8 and the S8 plus, with some minor tweaks. The phones are bit thicker and more massive in comparison to past iterations. However, they still house the same battery capacity as last year models.
Notably, both the phones measures 8.5 mm in thickness in comparison to 8.0 mm thickness of Galaxy S8/S8+. Also, the S9 weighs 163 grams while the S9+ weighs 189 grams.
The Samsung S9 comes with a 5.8 Inch Display with the QHD+ (2960*1440) pixels AMOLED Display and with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. On the other hand, the elder sibling has a 6.2 Inch display with similar resolution and aspect ratio. Also, it is noteworthy that the display is protected using the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to prevent wear and tear.
Both the phones run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and some countries will get the Samsung Exynos 9810 processor.
The 10 Nm, 64 Bit Snapdragon 845 has 4 performance cores clocked at 2.8 GHz, and the energy efficient cores have a clock speed of 1.7 GHz. Whereas the Exynos 9810 has 2.7 GHz clock speed for the performance cores, and the energy efficient cores have 1.7 GHz clock speed.
Both the processors use the 10 Nm manufacturing process similar to the Apple A11 chipset. Notably, these are the fastest processors on any Android phone currently, even faster than 8 GB ram phones running on SD 835 (Oneplus 5T).
Oddly, Samsung in its long presentation never shared any benefit or even mentioned about the processors. I am not sure this was on purpose to underplay the Qualcomm chipset prowess, or some other internal reason was there not to share details about the processors.
Contrastingly, watch a Xiaomi or even Apple presentation, and they will always emphasize on the chipset performance.
Additionally, the Samsung S9 comes with 4 GB Ram and has 64/128/256 GB internal storage, expandable up to 400 GB using the hybrid micro-sd card slot.
The S9 plus comes with 64/128/256 GB internal storage and 6 GB RAM. The 4 GB Ram seems low for 2018 and 2019 since most flagship phones now offer 6 GB ram as standard.
Furthermore, it comes with the Android Oreo 8.0 OS along with the Samsung experience 9.0 UI.
Another highlight feature can be considerably improved sound quality. The sound is Achilles heel for Samsung, and despite several attempts, they lag rivals in this department.
The S9 comes with sound improvements using the AKG and Dolby Atmos technology. In fact, Samsung is using dual stereo speakers, tuned by AKG to ensure up to 30% higher sound volume to offer an immersive sound experience.
AI and Bixby
Like most other manufacturers that are banking on AI and assistants to offer a unique experience, Samsung is working on enhancing its Bixby Assistant.
Bixby is now deeply integrated into different modules, and for example, you can point the camera and Bixby can share with you information related to the object. Moreover, it now has 9 different modes including Text, Food, Makeup, Wine, Shopping, Image, QR Code.
Another interesting, application of the Bixby text mode is the use of live translation. You can point the camera at any text written in any language, and the Bixby can translate it to your preferred language.
Bixby is capable of translating up to 54 languages which can be helpful for people who are traveling overseas and may need some assistance.
Also, another nifty trick is that you can point the camera at the food you are eating and it can let you know the calorie count.
Apple introduced the Animoji feature along with the iPhone X last year, and Samsung has now come up with its version of an animated AR emoji.
You can create a personalized 3D avatar of yourself with 18 preset expressions using this feature. It is something similar to the Bitmoji that is a free App on the play store that you can use to create your 3D avatar and share it using Whats App or messenger.
However, the experience is not on par with the Apple Animoji reports CNET.
Samsung S8 and S8 plus were ridiculed for the sloppy placement of the fingerprint scanner beside the camera module that caused unintentional fingerprint marks on the camera lens.
However, this time the company has listened to the feedback and the oblong shape fingerprint module is present below the camera, making it more accessible.
Face Recognition and Iris Scanner
The Duo comes with the Face recognition as well as Iris Scanner technology that ensure quick unlocking of the device. However, the face unlocking is not as secure as iPhone Face ID but works for
To recall, a couple of days back Vivo unveiled the Vivo X20 Plus UD, the first in-display fingerprint scanner mobile. While we were expecting the industry leader to come up with a similar technology for the S9 Duo but it is not the case. We may see this tech in the Samsung Note 9 that will come in September this year.
More Features – Battery Life / Wireless Charging
Lastly, the phones have similar batteries as the S8 and S8 Plus, fast/wireless charging, and water/ dust proof IP 68 rating. The Samsung S9 comes with 3000 mAH capacity battery with fast charging support whereas the S9 plus offers a 3500 mAH capacity battery.
Moreover, Samsung in its presentation said the wireless charging on these devices also supports fast charging which is another excellent addition to the capabilities of the device.
Also, there is USB type C port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, NFC, Samsung health, Bluetooth 5.0 and Gigabyte LTE support.
Additionally, the Duo supports the Samsung DEX that converts your phone into a desktop by plugging into the DEX hub that costs close to $110.
India Launch – Price and availability
The Samsung S9/S9+ will be available in select markets starting 16th March 2017, in Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, Coral Blue and a new hue, Lilac Purple color.
However, an exact date for the mobiles in India is yet not disclosed by Samsung India. We will share with you the exact date when it will go on sale soon.
Also, the pre-booking for the S9 and S9 plus is starting in India, and you can do so by paying Rs. 2,000. The sales price for both the devices in India is unknown at the moment. Also, the grey color variant is not listed on the Samsung India website hinting at the unavailability of the color at the moment.
Samsung is also offering trade-in discounts for your existing phones in the global markets, and we will have to wait and see if Flipkart or Samsung India announces some lucrative options to upgrade to a new Galaxy phone.
In the global market the Samsung S9 costs $720 (or Rs. 47,000), we can expect it to cost close to Rs. 57,900 in India and the S9 plus costs $840 in the US, and we can expect it cost over Rs. 64,900 in the Indian market.
In fact, the retail sources have confirmed the price as Rs. 57,900 for 64 GB S9 and Rs. 64,900 for the 64 GB S9+. Both the S9/S9+ are premium phones and lot of people would like to wait for the upcoming Oneplus 6 or the Xiaomi Mi 7 that can deliver a great experience for almost half the price.
Initial Thoughts – S9/S9+
Samsung S9 and S9 plus come with some exceptional features like the variable aperture camera with f/1.5 aperture, improved Sound, AI, Bixby and AR Emoji. Not to mention, these are the most powerful Android phones available currently, running on the latest Qualcomm or Exynos Chip.
But are these way superior to the Apple iPhone X or Google Pixel XL 2 or the new LG V30s? At least not on the first impression. The camera quality can set it apart as Samsung claims but that will need more testing and results from many independent testers are reviewers if it is better than the Pixel XL 2.
Also, the S9 gets only single camera setup which may offer lower quality in the portrait mode shots in comparison to the S9 plus. However, it does not seems like a deal breaker but probably companies want you to shell more money for top end variants if you want the absolute best.
The features like AR Emoji and Face unlocking and Iris Scanner are still not perfect and may improve over a period of time. In fact, we may see technologies like in-display fingerprint scanner in phones like Oneplus 6 which may be a better and secure way of unlocking the devices.
Undoubtedly, the S9 and S9 plus comes with great features and overcome the minor shortcomings like sound or AI in comparison to the S8/S8 plus.
But in nutshell, the upgrades seem to be more incremental than a leapfrog.