Performance, More Features and Final Thoughts
Much like the S8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 powers through practically any collection of tasks. 3D Games run smoothy and are a joy to play on the S9‘s Super AMOLED screen backed by those AKG-tuned stereo speakers. These speakers are loud and clear, enticing you to do your video watching or music blasting straight from the phone. Out in public and want to be a little more private with your media? Even the AKG earbud headset, that is included in the S9‘s box, gives you a good, simple, and balanced listening experience that is not at all bad for a free headset.
The Samsung Galaxy S9’s raw horsepower will encourage you to install and run all kinds of apps, which may lead you to worry about battery consumption. However, the S9 is just as worried about its battery as you are. The S9‘s battery monitor will periodically notify you about potential energy-guzzling background apps that you have not used in a while. It will also give you a nudge about more active apps that are draining your battery at a higher than average rate. It will flag them down, complete with drainage details, and leave it to you to choose which ones to put to sleep.
The Samsung Bixby assistant, introduced with the S8, makes another appearance with the S9. Bixby allows you to plan your day, ask questions, or even help out with object and character recognition. Just as I did with the S8, I found the Bixby Vision functionality to be the most handy for my day to day endeavors. Reading a food menu that has most items in English but just one mysterious page with unique items in another language? Or perhaps you got your hands on what looks like a snack but you’re not quite sure what it is. Have Bixby translate it on the spot.
Bixby Vision could be used on any objects of interest. Let’s say you’re looking at some unnamed statue and you want to learn about what it is and its background. Or perhaps you found a unique item at a shop and you want to do some price comparisons. You can do this with Bixby from just a picture, even if it is a screenshot. Sure, there are apps out there that take care of these kinds of things, but it is still nice to have it all in one place.
As much as I appreciated Bixby Vision, I was not too thrilled about having a dedicated button just for a mobile assistant. Especially since it took a small bit of time to get used to holding the S9 in a manner that did not have me accidentally pressing it when I used the phone in landscape fashion. I would sooner call upon Bixby straight from my camera than I would through an app-interrupting button.
If the Samsung Galaxy S9 was nothing more than just a Galaxy S8 with a better CPU and more software, it would still be an excellent device, but it would not be enough of a step up to warrant an upgrade if you already have an S8. This is not the case here. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the S8 but with an exceptional low light camera and upgraded sound capabilities. In a world where the smart phone camera is so prevalent, Samsung made a device that sets the bar for how the smart phone camera should handle all lighting situations – bright or dark. It is easily the best low-light camera on a mobile device that I have used so far.
Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S9 handles media very well, whether you are watching videos, listening to music, or just playing your favorite mobile games. It powers through tasks while helping you keep an eye on its own power. Also, I am still ok with Bixby and its uses, even though I could have done without a Bixby button.
If you are in the market for a new Android phone with a no-nonsense low light camera, and you have any phone before an S8, then you absolutely need to check out the Samsung Galaxy S9. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8 and you’re in the Galaxy Forever device upgrade program, then I have no idea why you should wait to take the jump now.
Check out the Samsung Galaxy S9 for yourself here.