They're finally here. After months of speculation, rumours, and leaks flying around all over the internet, Samsung finally pulled the sheets of its next flagships — the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

The Korean electronics company’s marquee phones, the S series and the Note series, are arguably the most anticipated launches every year apart from Apple’s iPhones. And for good reason too.

Over the years, we have seen Samsung up the ante in terms of technological innovation — hardware and software — to rival Apple and entice consumers to look beyond the iPhone for a premium smartphone experience.

The display, for instance, is where Samsung’s has been consistently top-notch. For evidence, look no further beyond the displays on the iPhone X coming from Samsung. On the software end too, Samsung’s Bixby is slowly carving a niche for itself as an in-phone assistant that does your messages and navigation for you rather than the all-encompassing, internet-trawling likes of Siri or Alexa or the Google Assistant.

So what’s new with the S9 and the S9+? Well, going by the unveiling and the specs and features being talked about, these new flagships seem more like upgrades to the S8 phones than completely new models. Something like the ‘s’ iterations that come out for the iPhones, if looked at that way.

An important change to the hardware is that these phones will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful chip, the Snapdragon 845 in some markets, while some others will have the ones with Samsung’s own Exynos chips. But perhaps the most anticipated and exciting change is the camera on the S9 phones.

In India, both Samsung S9 and S9+ can be pre-booked for Rs 2,000 in the company's website.

Like the human eye

A self-adjusting aperture to let in more or less light depending on ambient conditions, the new primary cameras on these two phones look like they’ll be improving on the already-laudable low-light capabilities that the S8 and the Note 8 boast. The two aperture setting are f/1.5 for low light and f/2.4 for regular day lighting conditions.

Another feature Samsung brings to its new phones is the super slow motion video capture with 960 fps, first seen on the Sony Xperia XZ premium. This feature promises upto six seconds of super slow motion playback that can be interspersed in a regular video and is available only in HD resolution. It also detects motion to start filming in slow mode when the subject begins to move. Another cool feature is that you can use super slow motion shots as your lock screen live wallpaper.

AR emojis

First made popular by the iPhone X, AR emojis are the next big fad that everyone wants a slice of, and Samsung has brought them to its users, albeit with some tweaks. You can take a picture of yourself and create an ‘emoji avatar’ that looks like you and add changes to its hair, clothes, accessories etc.

The stickers created based on your emoji showcase a variety of emotions that can be used in conversation. It’s a little reminiscent of the popular ‘Bitmoji’ feature now extensively available on a variety of apps.

The other typical Samsung flagship features like infinity display, almost non-existent bezels, wireless charging, IP68 water resistance and so on are present in all their glory on the S9 and S9+. Unlocking technology remains the same, with face unlock, iris scanner, and the fingerprint sensor.

A lot of comparisons have been made between these new phones and the iPhone X, but we feel that it’s the S8 and the Note 8 phones that merit that comparison. The S9 and the S9+ have taken the camera to another level altogether (at least on paper, we’ll have to use it to see what its actually like) and Apple has its task cut out for the year already.

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