9 Exciting Things About the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Samsung has just officially launched its new flagship smartphones for the year - the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus - at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. And while these two devices share very similar looks with the S8 and S8+ predecessors, they are packed with a lot of exciting features to offer users most especially in the software and camera department. That being said, here are nine awesome things we learned during the announcement.

1. Super slow-mo video at 960 fps: You read that right! 960 frames per second, that's a lot! If you have used similar feature on last year's iterations, that is four times higher than the Galaxy S8's 240 fps. Samsung Galaxy S9's new Super Slow-mo feature captures what our eyes can't with video that is four times slower than traditional slow-motion videos. Once the video is taken, they can be customized with different background music available, as well as create looping GIF files that can be saved and shared in various ways like video on loop, in reverse, or swing mode (Boomerang style).

2. Dual Aperture Cameras: They work like the human eye. The apertures (f/1.5 and f/2.4) automatically adapt to either super low light or super bright light conditions. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are equipped with a Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP rear camera with autofocus sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS). The Galaxy S9+, however, takes it up a notch with an additional secondary telephoto 12MP shooter mounted on the back with its own autofocus feature. In other words, the S9 Plus is the first in the Galaxy S series to sport dual rear camera set up, next to the Galaxy Note 8 that was announced last year. On the front panel, both S9 and S9+ have 8MP selfie camera with autofocus and f/1.7 aperture.

3. AR Emoji: This allows users to personalize their avatars and emojis to express themselves in the best way possible with Augmented Reality Emoji. These new Galaxy S devices can analyse your selfie photo and map out over 100 facial points to create your very own 3D model that imitates a wide variety of expression. I talked more about it on a separate post (see link above).

4. More enhanced Bixby: Bixby is now capable of helping you understand the world, or at least different languages when travelling to another language-speaking place or country. With AR (Augmented Reality) now integrated into the camera, Bixby can now provide you useful information about your current surroundings via real-time object detection and recognition. For example, you can real-time translate a text or phrase that's in a foreign menu or signage, or get dietary details of the food you are about to eat.

5. The Super AMOLED Infinity Display is now even brighter: Last year, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ made waves with its bold, bright, and almost bezel-free Super AMOLED Infinity Display. This year, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus is bringing back that trademark with the curved Quad HD+ screen - 5.8-inch for the S9 and 6.2-inch for the S9+ - with added adaptive contrast enhancement. Meaning, even direct sunlight will not hinder the screen from producing stunning displays.

6. Stereo speakers tuned by AKG: the Galaxy S9 and S9+ can now be your very own "mobile theaters", thanks to its stereo speakers that are tuned by AKG, one of the leading manufacturers in the audio industry. They are also known for providing pure sound experiences with minimal distortion. Additionally, the smartphones support Dolby Atmos which gives 360-degree sound effect. Couple that with the super bright and super vivid Infinity Display, cinematic entertainment experiences on-the-go is spot on!

7. Manage home appliances with Dex Pad: These phones are the first flagship devices to carry the SmartThings App, allowing users to manage their home appliances and gadgets at home, anytime and anywhere. The Samsung Dex Pad will allow users to connect the S9 or S9+ to a larger monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Through this docking system, they can also convert their the devices into a Touch Keyboard and Touch Pad.

8. Water resistance, biometric authentications, storage and memory: The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ marry toughness with improved performance and heightened security. The Korean electronics giant, Samsung, sets the gold standard for smartphones with its IP68 water and dust resistance and fast wireless charging capabilities. The S9 and S9+ take it even further with 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM, respectively, and expandable storage of up to 400GB. Not only that, the handsets also offer three different biometric authentication options: Intelligent Scan combines the power of both iris scanning and facial recognition, while dedicated fingerprint sensor allows users to use different fingerprints for Secure Folders and the actual phone lock.

9. A new color option: In addition to the traditional Midnight Black and well-received Coral Blue color options, a stylish and chic new Lilac Purple is joining the lot.

The S9 with 4GB/64GB is locally priced at Php45,990 and there is only one variant for that model. The larger S9+ will be available in three storage options all with the same 6GB RAM. 64GB = Php52,990, 128GB = Php55,990, and 256GB = Php60,990.

Pre orders for these devices will begin on February 27 at all Samsung Experience Stores nationwide and will run until March 6. The official local release will begin on March 16, 2018.

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