The newly launched Samsung Galaxy S9 and the S9+ bear close resemblance to their predecessor, the S8. Much of what’s seen on the S8 is adopted on the S9 albeit with little upgrades here and there.
But what’s definitely new is its camera. It features what Samsung calls ‘dual aperture’ lens and this is a big deal, so much that the company themed the Galaxy S9 ‘The Camera Reimagined’.
So what is it about this reimagined camera?
Let’s start with the aperture. Smartphone cameras have an aperture which is a tiny hole that allows light into the image sensor.
Apertures on most smartphones are fixed, which means the size of the hole letting in light doesn't change. Well, until the S9 came along.
JUST LIKE YOUR EYES
What this camera does is vary the size of the aperture mechanically, giving it an aperture of f2.4 (very tiny hole) and an f1.5 (big hole), the largest aperture on a smartphone device.
It's more like the iris in your eye, it widens at night to let you see better and narrows during the day. This camera adopts the same principle.
To understand why this is a big deal, you need to understand the advantages of having a large and a small aperture.
For starters, a large aperture allows more light into the image sensor which is very useful especially in low light conditions. Smaller apertures on the other hand allows the camera to capture sharper images on well-lit environments. The S9’s camera offers the best of both worlds really, as it gets to shine in low light conditions as well as in normal conditions.
Other key features on this camera include a new dual pixel image sensor, optical image stabilisation, an increased camera shutter speed capable of a blistering 960 frames per second giving the Galaxy S9 superior slow-motion capabilities and of course its dual partner, a 12MP telephoto camera on the Galaxy S9+.
Up front, Samsung has integrated its 8MP camera with an interesting feature called the AR emoji. This allows you to take a selfie and instantly turn it into a personalised 3D emoji through Samsung’s machine-learning algorithm.
According to Samsung, it analyses more than 100 distinct facial features, including your eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks and forehead, and uses that data to generate a personalised 3D avatar, or ‘my emoji,’ that looks just like you. Remind you anything from Apple?
Samsung’s Bixby hasn’t been left out either. It utilises augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide users with a wide range of helpful, real-time information about the world around them.
For instance, with Bixby, you can point the camera at an object and it would overlay important information about the object on the screen. It also features a text mode that allows users to translate foreign languages simply by pointing the camera at the foreign text, Samsung calls it the Bixby live translator.
Samsung galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available in Kenya in March.