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Meet Samsung Galaxy S9+, The flagship to beat of 2018?

Nova 2i
The bigger brother of the two that differentiates itself with a larger 6.2-inch display, heftier feel, dual OIS cameras, live focus, 6GB RAM and 3500mAh capacity!
Beautifully refined!

Related: Samsung launches the reimagined Galaxy S9 series!

The highly anticipated flagship from Samsung with headline features of a 6.2-inch curved Super AMOLED display that weighs 189 grams and height of 158.1 mm against the Note 8's weight of 195 grams and height of 162.5 mm is refinement of the S8+'s design. 

What else could this new phone from Samsung differentiate it from other models and justify the starting price of PHP 52,990.

Meet Samsung Galaxy S9+

Better fingerprint reader placement with smaller camera bump too!

The S9+ improves on the design of the S8+ with polishing of the unibody and curved glass design but there is a decrease in size that is more noticeable in person. It may be just 6 grams lighter than the Note 8 but the small weight difference can be felt after a tiring day.
Microphone and hybrid sim card tray
Microphone and hybrid sim card tray
YES! With headphone jack!
YES! With headphone jack!
Volume rocker and Bixby button!
Volume rocker and Bixby button!
Power button!
Power button!

This makes sure that well loved features like the headphone jack and microSD card slot remain even though it is smaller.

One quality of life improvement is the new placement of the fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the rear camera. This makes it easier to reach and less awkward than the last Samsung flagships. 

The S9+ is equipped with a 6.2-inch display with tall screen aspect ratio of 18.5:9. However, with not much difference in bezel size. It is still as immersive as it can be with bright saturated colors. The touch screen is also quick, accurate, and responsive.

Improved Curved Super AMOLED with the immersive 18.5:9 aspect ratio!

Inside, is the Exynos 9810 which is the equivalent of the Snapdragon 845 with dedicated AI processor paired with the Mali-G72 MP18 which is 6 cores higher than the Mali-G72 MP12 in the Huawei Mate 10.

As expected it is snappy!

It has 6GB of RAM compared to the little brother with 4GB and even with multiple apps in the background, we never noticed stuttering. Samsung also added a bigger 3,500mAh battery that should last longer than the Note 8.

The main cameras are a dual lens set up of 12MP (f/1.5 / f/2.4) + 12 MP f/2.4 telephoto lens w/ Dual Pixel, Dual OIS, multi-frame, and dual tone LED flash while the selfie camera is a 8 MP f/1.7 w/ AF, wide angle lens, and screen flash.

Out of the box, the auto mode is intuitive and easy to use with a lot of added features that we will cover in the full review. There is just too many!

We love the new camera app loaded with improved Live Focus modes that made natural looking out of focus areas (bokeh) and an even wider field of view from the Panorama Selfie. We could also test out the AR selfies which were like improved versions of Snapchat filters. 

There were also a new AR Emojis that the app generates when you take a picture of yourself. It created an Emoji of me that is surprisingly does look like me.

The new stereo speakers are obvious as soon as you play music or videos because it is significantly louder than the S8. This is a welcome addition especially when consuming media.

The rest of the features

Stunning camera performance!
Stunning camera performance!

The S9+ also has a speedy and accurate fingerprint scanner, LTE Cat 18, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (hybrid). It has an LED light for notifications as well.

During the preview event we were given demo units that weren't allowed to be connected to WiFi and via USB so we couldn't test the WiFi or Data connection speeds nor were we able to transfer files to and from the device. We hope to to test these when we get a production unit.

It is now running Oreo out of the box with the Samsung Experience 9 (formerly known as TouchWiz). From our 5 hours with the phone, Samsung Experience 9 is the lightest version of the OS ever. We never had stuttering, slow downs or crashes. We hope this is true in our full testing.

Lastly, Bixby 2.0 is now here with more functionality. It is clear why Samsung placed the Bixby button and retained it for the past two years because of all the software features that uses AI.

Bixby can now do live translation and subject identification with camera app. In addition to this it can tell you the weather when you point the Bixby vision to the sky and tell you your location when you point it to the ground. These are just some of the new features.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9+: First Camera Samples

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Specs

Display: 6.2-inch WQHD Super AMOLED 2960 x 1440 resolution w/ Curved Infinity Display and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at 531 ppi
CPU: 1.79GHz 64-bit Exynos 9810 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G72 MP18
ROM: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB expandable via microSD card up to 256GB
Back Camera: 12MP (f/1.5 / f/2.4) + 12 MP f/2.4 telephoto lens w/ Dual Pixel, Dual OIS, multi-frame, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/1.7 w/ AF, wide angle lens, and screen flash
Battery: 3,500 mAh w/ fast charging and wireless charging
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo w/ Samsung Experience 9.0
Connectivity: WiFi ac, 3G, HSPA+, LTE Cat 18, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Pressure, accelerometer, barometer, gyro, geomagnetic, hall, HR, proximity, light
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IP68 rating, fast wireless charging, USB Type-C, UHQ 32-bit / DSD support, Colors: coral blue, midnight black, lilac purple
Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 163 g
Price: PHP 52,990 (64GB) / PHP 55,990 (128GB) / PHP 60,990 (256GB)

So far, the phone is looking to be one of the best phones that will be available in the market very soon!

The new Exynos 9810 with the Mali-G72 MP18 and A.I. combination on paper will be quite the powerhouse versus the other flagships in the market today. 

Samsung clearly focused on refining the hardware and innovated with software that aren't just novelty but may actually be useful in real life.

Whether or not these changes justify the starting price of 52,990 is still up for debate and will be judged in our upcoming full review.
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