Samsung released its latest offering, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at the Mobile World Congress on 25 February, and the phone’s features will have Samsung fans queuing to get the upgrade to Samsung’s flagship phone.

What to look out for

While the Galaxy S9 and S9+ look quite similar to their predecessors, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, they do sport some cosmetic improvements. Fans will be excited about the phones being available in Midnight Black or Titanium Gray, but also in Coral Blue and Lilac Purple (colour availability will vary from region to region).

The display of the S9 is 15 percent brighter than the S8, and the new dual speaker setup provides sound that is 40 percent louder than the S8’s speaker.

The fingerprint scanner moves to a more practical place underneath the camera on the back, improving this feature after its previous placement drew criticism from users.

One of the most impressive features of the S9 is its improved camera. Competing with the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2, which are considered the current front-runners as far as mobile cameras go, the Galaxy S9 packs an impressive punch into its 12MP back and 8MP front camera. What really sets it apart is the dual-aperture technology that allows the mobile camera to automatically adjust the aperture according to the light. This allows for better low-light image capturing than Samsung has ever had before. The camera’s slow-mo feature has also been improved to shoot at 960 frames per second, matching the industry standard.

To compete with Apple’s Animoji, Samsung has introduced AR emoji with the S9. Similar to animoji, it uses the front camera to capture facial expressions of users that are then integrated into an augmented reality animoji, which can then be customised with clothes, hair colours and eyewear.

Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, is now also integrated into the camera app. Bixby Vision, as it is called, has a live translation feature that uses the camera to “read” menus and other text and then translates it automatically. Bixby can also use the camera to count the calories in the food you take pictures of, and now also has a make-up app that superimposes make-up looks and colours on your face, saving you the trouble of having to wash off an unflattering look when you’re short of time.

The bottom line: if you like Samsung phones, you’ll probably be impressed by the S9 and S9+. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ will officially be released in South Africa on 9 March 2018.

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