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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus launched in India: What's new?

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Samsung has released the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus in India. To recall, the flagship smartphones from the company were unveiled a day ahead of the official launch at MWC 2018. The phones succeed the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus launched last year. 

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are priced at Rs 57,900 and Rs 65,900 respectively for the 64GB variants, and the 256GB variants are priced at Rs 64,900 and Rs 72,900. Vodafone users buying the phones will get free one year Netflix subscription. The sale kicks off from 16 March. They will be available to purchase from Samsung India Store, Flipkart, and Airtel Store.

What’s new in the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus?

A well-placed fingerprint sensor

After the backlash received for the awkward fingerprint placement on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the company has found a new place for the hardware. The fingerprint sensor is now placed below the camera lens, which was first noticed on the Galaxy A8+

A new camera with variable aperture

The S9 and S9 Plus now have a camera that can use software to adjust its aperture according to the ambient lights. In bright surrounding, the camera switches to the f/2.4 aperture and in low-lit conditions, the aperture goes down to f/1.5. This not just improves the quality of pictures but enables it to click brighter photos in low light. 

While the Galaxy S9 has only one camera, the Plus variant introduces the second camera for the first time in the Galaxy S series. The S9 Plus features an extra wide-angle camera on the rear. DXoMark recently rated the camera above the Pixel 2 with a 99 rating.

On top of all, they come with a new camera UI that allows users to swipe through modes, new features like ‘Super slow-mo’ up to 720p, and enhancements in autofocus and noise reduction.

Improved displays

This is a small upgrade over the predecessor, but the new displays are one of the biggest and the most vivid smartphone displays right now. The S9 and S9 Plus have a 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays respectively. The displays are slightly taller than the competing 18:9 displays as Samsung sticks to its awkward 18.5:9 ratio.

As per Forbes, “Samsung has made both Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus displays 20% thicker than the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, bumping their front glass thickness value from 0.5T to 0.6T”.

AR Emoji

Samsung has undeniably copied Apple’s Animoji here. The new flagship phones have hopped on the augmented reality bandwagon with its AR Emoji feature. It is similar to Apple’s Animoji, as it lets you superimpose your face onto an avatar or creature, letting you record and send wacky facial expressions. 

New-age hardware

Both the phones come with a new set of specifications inside. The Indian variant of the phones will run Exynos 9810 Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55) chipset with Mali-G72 MP18 GPU and 4GB of RAM. Both the phones support hybrid dual-SIM and a microSD card up to 400GB.

The Exynos 9810 has four performance cores for heavy tasks and four efficiency cores. Although, the principles are same as the older processors, this one offers a maximum clock speed of 2.9GHz, which means the S9 and S9 Plus will process games and intensive tasks slightly faster. 

To put things in context, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset also has eight cores and the performance cores can deliver up to 2.8GHz clock speed. Meaning, it is at par with the latest Qualcomm processor.

The Exynos 9810 is also the first Samsung chipset to support hybrid face detection and AI-based depth sensing. So the new Samsung flagships will utilise both hardware and software to scan faces. This enables 3D mapping of faces like the Sony Xperia XZ1, and also improves facial recognition. It also brings dual ISP (Image signal processor) — high-performance ISP and power-efficient ISP, which improves image capturing speed and saves power depending on the demand of a shot.

Another advantage of the chipset is the 1.2Gbps LTE modem. It supports 1.2Gbps download speed and 200 Mbps upload speed, which is at par with Snapdragon 845’s X20 LTE modem. Since Airtel and Jio have introduced LTE-A network in India, the phones will now be able to offer faster peak speeds.

A new colour

Samsung has introduced a new Lilac purple colour of the phone. In India, the phones are available in three colour options — Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, and Coral Blue. 

While Black and Blue were already seen, the new Lilac Purple has debuted with the new phones and it surely stands out of the over-crowded metal and glass phones in the market. However, the Lilac Purple and Coral Blue will be available only with the 64GB variants, whereas, only the Midnight Black will be sold in 256GB variant.

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