(STL.News) They say that nobody makes better-looking phones than Samsung Electronics but according to the Wall Street Journal, there are pluses and minuses to the new Galaxy S9 and S9+. Last year’s Galaxy S8 was glassy and stark with that “infinity display” stretching almost entirely across the front. It was thoughtfully designed and as a result, it flew off the shelves.
So what did they change in the nine versions? A company spokeswoman said they did a nip and tuck, not changing the things that people already love. The S9’s updates include a smaller bezel, brighter screen, faster processor and relocated fingerprint reader.
Samsung also added a large number of new gimmicky features crammed into it so there’s something to show on commercials and not all are so good reports Wall Street reports.
Most of Samsung’s engineering this time around went into the camera. The S9 and S9+ both have 12-megapixel cameras on the back, and the S9+ adds a second camera for taking photos with more zoom.
Where the S9 stands out most is in bad lighting, like at a dimly lit concert. That’s because the S9’s camera has an actual mechanical aperture that controls the amount of light allowed into the camera lens, which in turn controls how bright your photo can be. Shooting at a super-bright f/1.5, as the S9 does by default in low light, gives you a decent photo.
Samsung’s track record for software changes is a bit rockier reports the Wall Street Journal. An example is using the S9’s selfie camera to create an emoji in your likeness. The features don’t work as well as similar ones on an iPhone or in Snapchat. Everyone’s emoji looks similar and the faces move badly.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new phones can capture video in the slowest-mo you’ve ever seen on a smartphone: 960 frames per second, four times the iPhone’s, but it’s hard to capture exactly the right moment at that speed, and you can’t change what you’ve captured after the fact.
Basically, Samsung crammed too many options and modes into the S9’s camera. It takes at least a half-dozen swipes to get through all the capture modes, and finding the right sticker or ISO setting takes forever.
If you already have an S8, the Journal reports you aren’t missing much and don’t need to spend roughly $800 for the S9 or upward of $900 for the S9+ when they hit stores this month. Almost anyone else will welcome the upgrade.