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Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+: 9 key features that make them stand out from competition

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Samsung has launched its high-end Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ phones in India. While the 64GB version of the Galaxy S9 has been launched in India at Rs 57,900, the top-end 256GB version of the phone will be available for Rs 65,900. The Galaxy S9+ will meanwhile start at Rs 64,900 for the 64GB version, going all the way to Rs 72,900 for the top-end 256GB version. The Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ will be available for buying in the Indian market from March 16, the same day when they also go on sale globally.

The Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ are incremental upgrades to last year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ — largely in design and core hardware — but both the phones offer different set of specifications. In simple terms, while the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ were more or less the same deal differing only in screen size and battery capacities, the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ are a lot different from each other.

Here are 9 key features that make the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ stand out from competition:

1. The Galaxy S9 comes with a single camera on the rear. It can shoot dual-pixel 12-megapixel photos, assisted by OIS. This sensor can shoot between f/1.5 and f/2.4 with the former assisting in low light and the latter jumping in when lighting is ideal. It’s possible to manually switch between the two apertures using the phones’ pro-mode although you can’t choose values in between. The Galaxy S9+ carries the same primary sensor as the Galaxy S9 but it also includes a secondary 12-megapixel sensor with fixed aperture (F2.4) for portrait photography and bokeh.

2. Both the phones support a Super Slo-motion mode allowing users to shoot 960 fps super slo-mo videos, something on the lines of what Sony offers in phones like the Xperia XZ Premium. Unlike the Sony phone, however, Samsung’s new phones have a couple of more tricks up their sleeves. One is that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ support automatic motion detection while in slow-mo so getting a hold of it is easier, as opposed to the Sony phone where it’s more a trial and error. Secondly, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, also support three pre-set loops to get more out of your slow-mo videos.

3. There’s an in-built AR Emoji mode inside the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ that allows users to make animated avatars of themselves much like the iPhone X’s Animoji feature. Unlike the iPhone X, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, allow users to share AR Emojis as standard GIFs via any app that supports GIFs. Samsung says it’s gunning for catching the expressions rather than focusing on facial accuracy which means chances are its avatars may not look exactly like you but their expressions would seemingly be life-like.

4. Both the phones come with an 8-megapixel camera on the front with f/1.7 aperture. Although there is no secondary sensor here, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, can still shoot portrait selfies via a dedicated Selfie Focus mode.

5. The Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ retain the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch screen sizes of their predecessors, backed by Samsung’s proprietary Super AMOLED panels and 2960×1440 pixel (WQHD+) resolution. The phones also come with Samsung’s trademark always-on functionality. Samsung says its new panels are brighter, and also support a new horizontal mode that, as the name suggests, re-orients the home screen (as well as the app drawer) horizontally, something that can particularly be useful while playing games et al.

6. The Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ house stereo speakers tuned by AKG and support Doby Atmos sound technology.

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7. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ cram in a new technology that Samsung is calling Intelligent Scan. It’s a biometric feature that makes use of facial and iris scanning to unlock the phones even in dark and harsh light. Intelligent Scan makes use of the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+’ front camera sensor as well as the iris scanner to help the phones detect a user’s face in challenging light scenarios. The Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ allowed users to have fingerprint and face or iris unlock at one go, and it wasn’t possible to have face and iris sensing enabled at the same time. But face and iris scanning have their limitations. With Intelligent Scan, Samsung is looking to offer users the best of both worlds and therefore entail in phones that unlock more seamlessly.

8. Samsung has apparently made changes to Bixby, more specifically Bixby Vision, so it now supports live translations, as well as shows place and food information like the amount of calories a certain donut can have.

9. Samsung has partnered with Jio and Airtel, to bring LTE carrier aggregation to the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ in India. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can stream data at approximately 250Mbps, which is 2.5 times faster than the average smartphone connected to the same network, according to Samsung.

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