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Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) First Impressions

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Samsung has always been at the forefront of innovation and in 2018 they announced  the Galaxy A9, the world's first smartphone with four rear cameras!
the new Galaxy A9 2018!
The new Galaxy A9 2018!

It features four cameras: 24MP f/1.7, 10MP f/2.4 Telephoto 2x optical zoom + 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide, and 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor with autofocus and LED flash.

The phone is running on Android 8.0 with Samsung Experience on top which is powered by a Snapdragon 660 with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM that is expandable up to 512GB.

It also has the Bluetooth 5.0 which allows connection of up to two audio devices!

Let's take a look at it now!

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Specs

Display: 6.3-inch 2.5D curved Super AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2220 x 1080 resolution at 408 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 512
RAM: 6GB
ROM: 128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB
Back Camera: 24MP f/1.7 + 10MP f/2.4 telephoto 2x optical zoom + 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide + 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor w/ AF and LED Flash
Selfie Camera: 24MP f/2.0 w/ screen flash
Battery: 3,800mAh
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80, 4G LTE Cat 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, Colors: blue, black, pink
Dimensions: 162.5 x 77 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 183 g
Price: PHP 32,990

Unboxing/Accessories

the stunning Super AMOLED display is bright enough to be used under sunlight!
The stunning Super AMOLED display is bright enough to be used under sunlight!

We received the Galaxy A9 (2018) with the phone only at the launch event in Kuala Lumpur. In the retail box, it includes the power brick, USB to micro-USB cord, earphones and documentation.

Build Quality/Design

beautiful glass rear panel with the cameras, fingerprint sensor and LED flash!
Beautiful glass rear panel with the cameras, fingerprint sensor and LED flash!

The Galaxy A9's build is flagship grade! Two glass panels sandwiching a metal frame will never go out of style. It is always premium. There's no mention of Gorilla Glass yet. We will confirm.
The speaker, USB Type-C port and 3.5 mm headphone jack at the bottom!
The speaker, USB Type-C port and 3.5 mm headphone jack at the bottom!
Microphone and SIM card tray on top!
Bixby button on left!
Bixby button on left!
Volume rocker and power button on the right!
Volume rocker and power button on the right!

Like the build, the design is up there with modern flagship Samsung phones. It is very stylish! It still has the 2.5D curved Infinity AMOLED screen with super slim side bezels and not that thick top and chin bezel. It has no notch. The phone is quite slim at 7.8 mm.

Premium materials, flagship design!

Our favorite color is the pink one with gradient color scheme. Unfortunately it won't be coming to the Philippines, yet.

The front has the a large 6.3-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with sensors, earpiece and Selfie camera on top of it. The bezels aren't the thinnest out there but they don't distract you away from the display.

At the rear panel are the four cameras, LED flash, Samsung branding, regulatory information and the fingerprint sensor!

On top is a microphone and the sim card tray while at the bottom are the 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone, single speaker and USB Type-C port.

The rear is beautiful glass panel that has this eye catching reflection when light hits it at the right angle. The triple camera set up with LED light are at the side while the Samsung branding remains at the center.

The glass isn't as slippery as it looks but it attracts fingerprints like a sugar cube is to ants.

Despite the 3,800mAh battery, the phone is sleek and easy to hold.

Initial findings

Pre-production model benchmark results!
Pre-production model benchmark results!

1. The Galaxy A9 (2018) is one of the most beautifully designed Samsung upper mid-range offering yet that carries large 6.3-inch FHD Super AMOLED display!

The display is bright with great viewing angles with saturated color and deep blacks. The bezels are noticeable but grow on you quickly because the display catches your eye more than than the notch can distract you.

2. It is running on the Snapdragon 660 with 6GB RAM and up to 128GB ROM. Our pre-production model (results may improve upon release) scored 140K in AnTuTu.

The battery capacity is 3,800mAh, but with adaptive fast charging via USB Type-C!

3. It is running the Android 8.0 Oreo with the latest Samsung Experience on top. This means that it has access to all of Samsung's features and services like a Samsung Account that allows you to save all your settings, themes and wallpapers that can be carried on to your next Samsung device.

This also means that the UI and Samsung apps are here. I am generally okay with it but I just find the settings menu harder to navigate than it should be with settings deep under other settings.
the four cameras!
The four cameras!

4. The rear quad lens set up consists of the 24MP f/1.7, 10MP f/2.4 Telephoto 2x optical zoom, 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide, and 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor with autofocus and LED flash. It is the world's first rear quad-camera smartphone!

The front facing camera is 24MP f/2.0 with LED and screen flash.

5. It has OTG support, gyroscope, light, orientation and proximity sensors. It supports LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and GLONASS. It does not have LED notification.

Related: Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018): First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is a statement that they will continue to innovate and lead the market with features like the new rear quad-camera setup, Bluetooth 5.0, 6GB RAM,128GB storage! 

It will be made available nationwide on December 2018 and will sell for PHP 32,990!

We will have to do more testing to see if it is really worth the premium price point.

Stay tuned for our review!
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