NEW YORK-Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 for the world this week, and recently we were able to get our hands on the latest from Samsung. The phone is very much a Galaxy S8 with some updates; Here you can get the basic information.
What interested me most was to test the location of the fingerprint reader, which is new this year. When Samsung switches to a slim bezel design with the Galaxy S8, the fingerprint reader must move backwards. Instead of placing it in an easily accessible position, Samsung chose to stick it on the side of the camera module. As a result, the fingerprint reader was difficult to reach from a normal hand position, making the fingerprint reader look like a late occurrence.
On the S9, the fingerprint reader is located under the camera and is much closer would normally rest. After testing it in person, I am pleased to report that the location of the fingerprint is fully repaired. The Galaxy S9 + reader is not only lower than in the S8; it's lower on the back of the phone than the Pixel 2 XL that I brought to compare. The S9 fingerprint reader should be easy to reach for everyone, regardless of the size of your hand. However, I could not prove the accuracy of the fingerprint reader, something that still worries me. It remains one of the smallest fingerprint readers on the market, which could hinder its use.
The Galaxy S9 does not use exactly the same body as the Galaxy S8. The S9 is 1.2 mm shorter than the S8, and the S9 + is 1.4 mm shorter than the S8 +. These space savings come from removing part of the bottom frame of each device, but you will only notice the difference in a side-by-side comparison.
The other great update of Galaxy S9 is the new configuration of the camera. It now has a double-aperture camera, which means that there are small aperture blades inside the camera lens that can be moved, which results in an aperture of f / 1.5 or f / 2.4. We'll have to wait for a review unit to really test the camera, but it was quite surprising to see how the small opening sheets come in and out. I expected the range of movement to be very small in such a small lens, but it is something that can be easily seen by the naked eye.
I also tried the new speaker configuration. This year Samsung has stereo speakers, with the handset doubling as a second speaker. Again, it was just a quick demo, but it was very noisy. Good enough for video or occasional game, but it's not something you want to listen to music on.
Animoji from Samsung is a horror show
This year, Samsung is satisfying its deep envy of Apple with a copy of Animoji called "AR Emoji". Samsung has adapted the iris scanner and front camera to a primitive motion capture system so that a character on the screen can imitate your facial expressions.
Tracing can control blinking, eyebrow movements, lip flap, mouth shape, and head angle. While it seems comprehensive, the problem with AR Emoji is the large amount of jitter present throughout the follow-up. All the characters contract uncomfortably and have constant micro-convulsions, spasms of eyelids and eyebrows up and down, and the mouth opens and closes at random. All the characters are found as defective robots. Neither am I, you can see the erratic movements during the demonstration of the Samsung stage. The follow-up never had to be perfect, after all; These mo-cap characters are just for fun. All they needed to do was to be cute and attractive, but they are just the opposite: they are restless, scary puppets, more likely to inspire a nightmare than a smile.
Speaking of nightmares, the Galaxy S9 can make Animoji characters based on a photo of you. Just take a picture and, after a bit of processing, the phone will produce a horrible creativity that lives at the bottom of the mysterious valley. It always seems that you have a small stick body, a huge head and huge eyes. I think the main problem (besides all the creepy spasms of tracking the face of the janky) is the skin, which creates a real texture of the skin of the photo. The imperfections, the stubble and the occasional pores of the skin are transmitted to the character, and it looks horrible.
It is worth mentioning that this is purely a software function in a pre-release device, so it could be improved over time. The best that Samsung could do is set some kind of threshold to the movements of the face to smooth out all the small tracking shakes. If a character wants to blink quickly, that's fine. But you should never be able to have an eyelid that moves quickly up and down.
Do not you fix what is not broken?
That's all I have to do in my brief time with the Galaxy S9. We will have to wait for a review unit to really immerse itself in the features, since I have not yet been able to try the new facial unlocking, the camera or a million other things.
On the one hand, seeing a "minimal" update from Samsung is disappointing. Recycling the same design of the Galaxy S8 certainly will not keep Samsung competitive with the iPhone X or the upcoming wonders of the slim bezel like the Xiaomi Mi 2s. Galaxy S phones are supposed to be the flagships with the best specifications, but you can get more RAM from the OnePlus 5T, which is much cheaper, and comes with up to 8 GB of RAM.
On the other hand, nobody is giving Samsung a reason to change No matter what the reception of the Galaxy S9, it will be the best-selling Android flagship in 2018. The S9 will be in all stores and will be pressured by all the sales representatives of the operators. It will be on all televisions and in all advertisements. No other Android OEM can compete with the scale of Samsung's advertising and distribution machine.
Even Apple's flagship is not doing so well. According to reports, the company was forced to reduce the production of the iPhone X by half due to the weak sales of its $ 1,000 phone. Samsung can also rummage through the hearts of some consumers by simply stopping: the Korean company produces one of the few flagship smartphones that has not eliminated fan favorites such as the headphone jack and the MicroSD card.
So, although it seems many new phones have a better hardware or software design, or have a better value, or are more exciting, all Samsung has to do is succeed. Do not fix what is not broken, I suppose?
Image of the listing by Ron Amadeo