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Samsung unveils Galaxy S9, S9 Plus at MWC 2018, touting Dual Aperture camera

At its Galaxy Unpacked 2018 event today, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ along with some more accessories. The phones have been subjected to a series of leaks and renders, but finally, we have official confirmation of what the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9\+ will bring to the table.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 starts from $720 in USA (approx. Rs 46,500) while the Galaxy S9+ starts from $840 (approx. Rs 54,300). Samsung’s 2018 flagships are significantly cheaper than Apple’s iPhone X, which was launched at $999. The phones will go on sale from March 16th in USA, with pre-orders starting today. We will update the story with info on India availability and the prices later.

While Samsung focused mainly on the Infinity Display with the Galaxy S8, this year it’s all about the camera. The cameras on the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ have dual aperture lens arrangement f/1.5 for low-light shots and f/2.4 for regular shots. Incidentally, f/1.5 is the largest aperture on a smartphone camera, yet. It is essentially the same principle on which most inexpensive zoom lenses are created, and one that the Apple iPhone 7 Plus first introduced. Samsung, however, may make smarter use of it as the company claims that the dual aperture switches instantly based on the lighting of the environment.

While the Galaxy S9 features a single camera at the back, the Galaxy S9+ becomes the first in the Galaxy S family to boast a dual camera setup. The S9+ comes with a wide-angle and a telephoto lens. So you’re likely to see 2X optical zoom and of course, the much-popular Portrait Mode, or as Samsung likes to call it, “Live Focus”. The camera can also record slo-mo videos in 960 frames per second, instead of the more usual 240 frames per second. It comes with an intelligent tracking feature that starts the slow motion as soon as it detects motion in the video. This is the same tech that the Sony Xperia XZ Premium brought last year, although Samsung may have yet against presented it in a more refined fashion.

The new flagships retain the design from last year. Samsung paid attention to the widespread criticism of the fingerprint sensor’s location on the Galaxy S8 and put it below the camera, where it is more accessible. There was also a ‘ no-notch’ joke thrown in among everything else, serving as a jab at the iPhone X’s design. The display is more or less the same as last year, and the body is once again carved out of a single block of aluminium. You get a 5.8-inch curved Super AMOLED display in the Galaxy S9 while the Galaxy S9+ sports a 6.2-inch panel. The Galaxy S9 and the S9+ come in four colours – Midnight Black, Grey, Coral Blue and Lavender Purple. Like last year, they are also IP68 water and dust proof.

But that’s not all in the AR department. You can also fire up the camera and perform live translation of languages. It is powered by Google translate, and works in real time. AR has also breached the Samsung Health app – you can take a photo of the food you are eating, and it will tell you the name of the dish and its calorie count. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus essentially focus on the imaging department, all of which we will judge when we get our hands on it. As of now, here are the full list of specifications of the two phones.

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