PROS

  • AMOLED Display
  • Dust and Waterproof Design (IP68)
  • One of the fastest Android phones when released
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Variable aperture camera for low light pictures
  • Slow Motion Capture at 960fps
  • Great video at 4k 60fps
  • Great OIS
  • They moved the Fingerprint Sensor
  • Still cheaper than an iPhone X

CONS

  • Not breaking any new boundaries
  • Pricey
  • Can be a bit narrow for those with long fingers/large hands
  • Iris Scanner still has Asian face issues
  • Bixby still needs more work
  • Bixby dedicated button (for now)
  • Battery Life
  • No Dual Camera Setup
  • 4k 60fps recording time limit

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ was released in March 2018 and they’re some of the best Android phones currently on the market. Yet, during this review, I can’t help but feel that I’ve reviewed the S9 already, déjà vu?

Pricing and Availability

Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB – RM3,299Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 64GB – RM3,799Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 128GB – RM3,999Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 256GB – RM4,399Midnight Black

In no ways is this a cheap smartphone, which is expected of a flagship smartphone from Samsung. The pricing is very much similar to the S8 when it first came out, which means the S8/S8+ might be a better investment if you want to save some money at the moment.

Lazada Malaysia

As for those who already own a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, there really is little reason for swapping phones. Just like anyone else who has bought a high end flagship phone last year, wait at least another year before upgrading. Otherwise, this is a good solid phone if you want to swapped out that old phone from 3 years ago.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is cheaper alternative to the iPhone X.

Lazada Indonesia

Design and Build

The Samsung Galaxy S9 doesn’t really feel that much different design wise from the Samsung Galaxy S8.  Nearly everything is identical except for the noticeable shifting of the fingerprint sensor. Now below the camera, the fingerprint sensor is not only easier to reach, but has a more noticeable tactile separation from the camera. This is also a blessing for those with smaller hands who couldn’t reach so high up on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and especially the S8+.

So while design wise they haven’t changed much, there wasn’t too much wrong with the old design being used in the Samsung Galaxy S9. Well they’re still retaining the dedicated Bixby button below the volume rocker, which I still frustratingly will press accidentally. Which to be truthful, could actually be a useful feature once Bixby becomes a bit more mature. For now, I would suggest either remapping it or disabling it all together.

As for the typing experience, I experience the same issue as with the S8. The keyboard feels to narrow for my large hands. Let’s say that I had a lot of typos in my emails and texts. Thankfully I can still be very productive on the phone with the large screen with two applications running at the same time.

Source: CNET

Now for the elephant in the room. With many people having dropped their smartphones at some point, concrete sidewalks and hard surfaces are a curse to Samsung S8 and S8+ users. Thankfully, the S9 has a slightly more thicker glass and a stronger aluminium chassis. Yet this doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t be careful, so do buy a nice case to protect your expensive investment.

Performance and Specifications

  • Chipset: Exynos 9810 (4 x 2.7 GHz and 4 x 1.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Mali G72 Mali-G72 MP18
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB 
  • Screen: 5.8″ Super AMOLED display (1440x2960) (~570 ppi)
  • Weight: 163 grams
  • Size: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm 
  • Front Facing Camera: 8 MP (f/1.7, 25mm, 1/3.6″, 1.22µm), autofocus, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR
  • Back Camera: 12 MP (f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.5″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF), 4K@60fps, OIS, LED flash

With a similar design on the exterior, you expect better hardware and features to compensate. The Samsung Galaxy S9 did fulfill this requirement for better hardware but doesn’t feel like they did enough features wise. This feel less like a new phone and more like a reiteration of the S8. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to call the Samsung Galaxy S9 the S8s or S8T.

You get essentially the same great screen (Enhanced High Brightness Mode makes it 20% brighter), 64GB of storage and 4GB RAM. The only real change was the audio, camera, chipset, and some upgrade to the biosecurity. Which doesn’t exactly impress anyone with the last generation of phones.

Audio wise, we finally get a stereo setup which actually sounds great and the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with those wonderful AKG earphones that the Samsung Galaxy S8 came with.

As for the chipset, it comes with a Exynos 9810 octa-core (4 x 2.8GHz and 4 x 1.8GHz) with an 18-core Mali-G72 for the graphics. Which I must admit makes the S9 and the S9+ one of the fastest Android phones on the market, but overkill for the average smartphone user.

Lastly, talking about unlocking features, as mentioned above, the fingerprint sensor is so much easier to use. I also would like to say it’s much more responsive as was the iris scanner for me. Though, it should be mentioned, my boss still ran into the eye issue with the iris scanner.

Open eyes fully

- Samsung Galaxy S9

As for the Intelligent Scan option that uses both face unlock and iris scanning depending on the lighting condition, it’s not secure enough to be used for mobile payment yet. So currently it just feels like a weaker version of Apple’s Face ID.

Below are the benchmarks of essential some overpowered hardware for a typical user. With both the high performance and power saving mode being benchmarked in Geekbench 4 and AnTuTu.

Camera

Coming to the camera, this is really the only real reason to get the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the S9+. Now while I can’t pass judgement if the dual camera setup of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is worth it, I can say that losing the 2x optical zoom and to a smaller extent the live focus mode (portrait mode on iPhone X and Pixel 2) is quite the loss.

From what I have tested, the single camera setup on the Samsung Galaxy S9 still delivers where it counts. With Dual Aperture supports of F1.5 and F2.4 modes the ability to take great photos in daylight and low light conditions is simply stunning. While an old technology, most phones only have a single fixed aperture. Working much like how your eyes work, in dark light your irises grow bigger to let more light in and in bright light they shrink.

The other thing to note is the addition of Super Slo-Mo mode, which shoots a 720P video at 960fps. Which also includes a smart auto-detect system to capture in Slow-Mo only when an object passed a specific point you have selected. A pretty nifty and much appreciated mode to play with, but quite novel for everyday use.

Now if only we can get rid of the 4K 60fps 5 minutes time limit for recording. At least the OIS will make those 5 minutes awesome, as well as any other photos or videos you would normally take.

 Battery

Well this has been an issues since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, battery capacity. Sporting the same 3,000mAh capacity, there is much to be desired for high performance battery life. Generally in power saving mode (which throttles the phone), I obtained a good solid 11-14 hours of battery life. Which sounds great until you try put the phone in high performance mode. With under 6 hours of general usage, the battery completely drains itself.

So if you want to use this every day phone, you will have to lower the brightness, resolution and the CPU/GPU power or bring a power bank or use wireless charging constantly. I know Samsung wants to be safe and chipsets and software optimization can extend the battery life of a smartphone, but I think a bigger battery at this point is the only logical step forward. I think fast charging shouldn’t be a crutch anymore on flagships, but it’s good to know I can charge the Samsung Galaxy S9 from 17% to 100% in 2 hour and 5 minutes.

Conclusion

It feels like we are constantly enticed to buy the latest phone, yet the flagships aren’t really getting any cheaper each year. With the Samsung Galaxy S9, while a brilliant phone in of itself, not enough has changed from the S8 to wow me.

For anyone with last generation of flagship high end phones, I see little reason to upgrade to this one. To me, the Samsung Galaxy S9 played it way to safe. All I can hope for is that the Samsung Note 9 does a better job to excite us.

%

Overall

%

Pricing

%

Design

%

Performance and Specs

%

Camera

%

Battery

Brother Introduces New Line of Printers to Suit All WorkStyles and Lifestyles

By Muhammad Salihin Brother International, one of the leaders in IT peripherals, has recently introduced a range of top-of-the-line colour and monochrome laser printers, and inkjet multi-function centres (MFC) for business, retail and home that suits all...

Cryptocurrency Miner Hidden in Garena Philippines’s League of Legends (LoL) Client

Filipino League of Legends (LoL) fans are up in arms, as a cryptocurrency mining code was discovered in Garena Philippines’ LoL client. The issue was first brought to light on the LoL subreddit /r/leagueoflegends by /u/lestargonzaga. The emergence of this...

ASUS x Lazada – RM1 Frenzy for ZenFone 5, ZenFone Max Pro and More!

Yesterday, ASUS Malaysia had an ASUS x Lazada TV Livestream where their marketing rep showcased the new ZenFone range which are ZenFone 5, ZenFone Max Pro M1, ZenFone Live and also announced give-away prizes throughout the Livestream session....

World Cosplay Summit Malaysia 2018 (WCS) – 14th & 15th July 2018

The World Cosplay Summit Malaysia 2018 (WCS) will be taking place on the 14th and 15th of July 2018 at The Rift @ Mid Valley Megamall for the Malaysia Finals 2018. With the winners and Malaysian representatives getting the chance to go to Nagoya, Japan on the 28th...

Movie Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp (No Spoilers!)

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a movie that Marvel fans could really use after the great MCU event that launched a million memes, “The Snappening”. A historical cinematic event involving Mr. Grimace himself that completely catapulted movie goers into...

AirAsia, WESG’s OFFICIAL AIRLINE

by Maruxa Lynd SEPANG, 29 June 2018 –  AirAsia has just announced that it will be the Official Airline Partner for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in the Asean region. The WESG which was established in 2016 is an international esports championship...

After Five Gaming League (A5GL) – A Gaming Platform for Office Worker

Acer Predator will be partnering up with Nvidia GeForce to bring you their very first After Five Gaming League (A5GL). The Predator X Nvidia GeForce A5GL is an esport tournament specially designed for office workers who wishes to represent their company in...

Asia’s First Museum of Illusions + Ticket Giveaway

Sometimes you can’t trust what you see, as your eyes can easily trick your mind in ways you just couldn’t believe. Called an optical illusion, this trickery can be witness in person at Asia’s first Museum of Illusions in KL, Ansa Hotel*. With over 70...

Bigo Live launches CubeTV, a new live – streaming app for E-Sports

by Maruxa Lynd   Singapore’s fastest growing internet company, BIGO Live, launched CubeTV last June 12th at their special event in Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur.  For an app that has over 200 million registered users and a presence in over 100 countries...

GRAB officially launches ‘GrabPay Credits’

by Maruxa Lynd South East Asia’s leading Online – to – Offline (O2O) platform, Grab has just introduced the GrabPay mobile wallet today. Yes! The all new GrabPay, which previously only accepted debit or credits cards is now enhanced with the mobile wallet...

PROS

  • AMOLED Display
  • Dust and Waterproof Design (IP68)
  • One of the fastest Android phones when released
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Variable aperture camera for low light pictures
  • Slow Motion Capture at 960fps
  • Great video at 4k 60fps
  • Great OIS
  • They moved the Fingerprint Sensor
  • Still cheaper than an iPhone X

CONS

  • Not breaking any new boundaries
  • Pricey
  • Can be a bit narrow for those with long fingers/large hands
  • Iris Scanner still has Asian face issues
  • Bixby still needs more work
  • Bixby dedicated button (for now)
  • Battery Life
  • No Dual Camera Setup
  • 4k 60fps recording time limit

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ was released in March 2018 and they’re some of the best Android phones currently on the market. Yet, during this review, I can’t help but feel that I’ve reviewed the S9 already, déjà vu?

Pricing and Availability

Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB – RM3,299Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 64GB – RM3,799Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 128GB – RM3,999Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple

Samsung Galaxy S9+ 256GB – RM4,399Midnight Black

In no ways is this a cheap smartphone, which is expected of a flagship smartphone from Samsung. The pricing is very much similar to the S8 when it first came out, which means the S8/S8+ might be a better investment if you want to save some money at the moment.

As for those who already own a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, there really is little reason for swapping phones. Just like anyone else who has bought a high end flagship phone last year, wait at least another year before upgrading. Otherwise, this is a good solid phone if you want to swapped out that old phone from 3 years ago.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is cheaper alternative to the iPhone X.

Design and Build

The Samsung Galaxy S9 doesn’t really feel that much different design wise from the Samsung Galaxy S8.  Nearly everything is identical except for the noticeable shifting of the fingerprint sensor. Now below the camera, the fingerprint sensor is not only easier to reach, but has a more noticeable tactile separation from the camera. This is also a blessing for those with smaller hands who couldn’t reach so high up on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and especially the S8+.

So while design wise they haven’t changed much, there wasn’t too much wrong with the old design being used in the Samsung Galaxy S9. Well they’re still retaining the dedicated Bixby button below the volume rocker, which I still frustratingly will press accidentally. Which to be truthful, could actually be a useful feature once Bixby becomes a bit more mature. For now, I would suggest either remapping it or disabling it all together.

As for the typing experience, I experience the same issue as with the S8. The keyboard feels to narrow for my large hands. Let’s say that I had a lot of typos in my emails and texts. Thankfully I can still be very productive on the phone with the large screen with two applications running at the same time.

Source: CNET

Now for the elephant in the room. With many people having dropped their smartphones at some point, concrete sidewalks and hard surfaces are a curse to Samsung S8 and S8+ users. Thankfully, the S9 has a slightly more thicker glass and a stronger aluminium chassis. Yet this doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t be careful, so do buy a nice case to protect your expensive investment.

Performance and Specifications

  • Chipset: Exynos 9810 (4 x 2.7 GHz and 4 x 1.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Mali G72 Mali-G72 MP18
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB 
  • Screen: 5.8″ Super AMOLED display (1440x2960) (~570 ppi)
  • Weight: 163 grams
  • Size: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm 
  • Front Facing Camera: 8 MP (f/1.7, 25mm, 1/3.6″, 1.22µm), autofocus, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR
  • Back Camera: 12 MP (f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.5″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF), 4K@60fps, OIS, LED flash

With a similar design on the exterior, you expect better hardware and features to compensate. The Samsung Galaxy S9 did fulfill this requirement for better hardware but doesn’t feel like they did enough features wise. This feel less like a new phone and more like a reiteration of the S8. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to call the Samsung Galaxy S9 the S8s or S8T.

You get essentially the same great screen (Enhanced High Brightness Mode makes it 20% brighter), 64GB of storage and 4GB RAM. The only real change was the audio, camera, chipset, and some upgrade to the biosecurity. Which doesn’t exactly impress anyone with the last generation of phones.

Audio wise, we finally get a stereo setup which actually sounds great and the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with those wonderful AKG earphones that the Samsung Galaxy S8 came with.

As for the chipset, it comes with a Exynos 9810 octa-core (4 x 2.8GHz and 4 x 1.8GHz) with an 18-core Mali-G72 for the graphics. Which I must admit makes the S9 and the S9+ one of the fastest Android phones on the market, but overkill for the average smartphone user.

Lastly, talking about unlocking features, as mentioned above, the fingerprint sensor is so much easier to use. I also would like to say it’s much more responsive as was the iris scanner for me. Though, it should be mentioned, my boss still ran into the eye issue with the iris scanner.

Open eyes fully

- Samsung Galaxy S9

As for the Intelligent Scan option that uses both face unlock and iris scanning depending on the lighting condition, it’s not secure enough to be used for mobile payment yet. So currently it just feels like a weaker version of Apple’s Face ID.

Below are the benchmarks of essential some overpowered hardware for a typical user. With both the high performance and power saving mode being benchmarked in Geekbench 4 and AnTuTu.

Camera

Coming to the camera, this is really the only real reason to get the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the S9+. Now while I can’t pass judgement if the dual camera setup of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is worth it, I can say that losing the 2x optical zoom and to a smaller extent the live focus mode (portrait mode on iPhone X and Pixel 2) is quite the loss.

From what I have tested, the single camera setup on the Samsung Galaxy S9 still delivers where it counts. With Dual Aperture supports of F1.5 and F2.4 modes the ability to take great photos in daylight and low light conditions is simply stunning. While an old technology, most phones only have a single fixed aperture. Working much like how your eyes work, in dark light your irises grow bigger to let more light in and in bright light they shrink.

The other thing to note is the addition of Super Slo-Mo mode, which shoots a 720P video at 960fps. Which also includes a smart auto-detect system to capture in Slow-Mo only when an object passed a specific point you have selected. A pretty nifty and much appreciated mode to play with, but quite novel for everyday use.

Now if only we can get rid of the 4K 60fps 5 minutes time limit for recording. At least the OIS will make those 5 minutes awesome, as well as any other photos or videos you would normally take.

 Battery

Well this has been an issues since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, battery capacity. Sporting the same 3,000mAh capacity, there is much to be desired for high performance battery life. Generally in power saving mode (which throttles the phone), I obtained a good solid 11-14 hours of battery life. Which sounds great until you try put the phone in high performance mode. With under 6 hours of general usage, the battery completely drains itself.

So if you want to use this every day phone, you will have to lower the brightness, resolution and the CPU/GPU power or bring a power bank or use wireless charging constantly. I know Samsung wants to be safe and chipsets and software optimization can extend the battery life of a smartphone, but I think a bigger battery at this point is the only logical step forward. I think fast charging shouldn’t be a crutch anymore on flagships, but it’s good to know I can charge the Samsung Galaxy S9 from 17% to 100% in 2 hour and 5 minutes.

Conclusion

It feels like we are constantly enticed to buy the latest phone, yet the flagships aren’t really getting any cheaper each year. With the Samsung Galaxy S9, while a brilliant phone in of itself, not enough has changed from the S8 to wow me.

For anyone with last generation of flagship high end phones, I see little reason to upgrade to this one. To me, the Samsung Galaxy S9 played it way to safe. All I can hope for is that the Samsung Note 9 does a better job to excite us.

%

Overall

%

Pricing

%

Design

%

Performance and Specs

%

Camera

%

Battery

Brother Introduces New Line of Printers to Suit All WorkStyles and Lifestyles

By Muhammad Salihin Brother International, one of the leaders in IT peripherals, has recently introduced a range of top-of-the-line colour and monochrome laser printers, and inkjet multi-function centres (MFC) for business, retail and home that suits all...

Cryptocurrency Miner Hidden in Garena Philippines’s League of Legends (LoL) Client

Filipino League of Legends (LoL) fans are up in arms, as a cryptocurrency mining code was discovered in Garena Philippines’ LoL client. The issue was first brought to light on the LoL subreddit /r/leagueoflegends by /u/lestargonzaga. The emergence of this...

ASUS x Lazada – RM1 Frenzy for ZenFone 5, ZenFone Max Pro and More!

Yesterday, ASUS Malaysia had an ASUS x Lazada TV Livestream where their marketing rep showcased the new ZenFone range which are ZenFone 5, ZenFone Max Pro M1, ZenFone Live and also announced give-away prizes throughout the Livestream session....

World Cosplay Summit Malaysia 2018 (WCS) – 14th & 15th July 2018

The World Cosplay Summit Malaysia 2018 (WCS) will be taking place on the 14th and 15th of July 2018 at The Rift @ Mid Valley Megamall for the Malaysia Finals 2018. With the winners and Malaysian representatives getting the chance to go to Nagoya, Japan on the 28th...

Movie Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp (No Spoilers!)

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a movie that Marvel fans could really use after the great MCU event that launched a million memes, “The Snappening”. A historical cinematic event involving Mr. Grimace himself that completely catapulted movie goers into...

AirAsia, WESG’s OFFICIAL AIRLINE

by Maruxa Lynd SEPANG, 29 June 2018 –  AirAsia has just announced that it will be the Official Airline Partner for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in the Asean region. The WESG which was established in 2016 is an international esports championship...

After Five Gaming League (A5GL) – A Gaming Platform for Office Worker

Acer Predator will be partnering up with Nvidia GeForce to bring you their very first After Five Gaming League (A5GL). The Predator X Nvidia GeForce A5GL is an esport tournament specially designed for office workers who wishes to represent their company in...

Asia’s First Museum of Illusions + Ticket Giveaway

Sometimes you can’t trust what you see, as your eyes can easily trick your mind in ways you just couldn’t believe. Called an optical illusion, this trickery can be witness in person at Asia’s first Museum of Illusions in KL, Ansa Hotel*. With over 70...

Bigo Live launches CubeTV, a new live – streaming app for E-Sports

by Maruxa Lynd   Singapore’s fastest growing internet company, BIGO Live, launched CubeTV last June 12th at their special event in Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur.  For an app that has over 200 million registered users and a presence in over 100 countries...

GRAB officially launches ‘GrabPay Credits’

by Maruxa Lynd South East Asia’s leading Online – to – Offline (O2O) platform, Grab has just introduced the GrabPay mobile wallet today. Yes! The all new GrabPay, which previously only accepted debit or credits cards is now enhanced with the mobile wallet...