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Galaxy S9: Best and worst features about Samsung's phone

Samsung is done with cheap, plastic flagships -- like in the Galaxy S5 days. Samsung is out with its new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones, and their best features heavily outweigh the worst.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Improved display

Best: Samsung includes a stunning 5.8-inch display on Galaxy S9 and a 6.2-inch display on Galaxy S9 Plus. Both phones have slightly curved AMOLED screens, with 2,960 x 1,440 pixel resolution displays. Like other Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy S9 includes an infinity display.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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2 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Headphone jack

Best: Both theGalaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus keep the 3mm headphone jack -- unlike iPhone X. This means no extra accessories or inconveniences.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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3 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Better fingerprint placement

Best: Samsung moves the Galaxy S9's fingerprint scanner to below the camera array. On the Galaxy S8, the fingerprint scanner was found to the right of the camera. In ZDNet's review, we found Galaxy S9 fingerprint scanner placement to be much better.

Worst: Just watch out for fingerprints on the back of the all-glass Galaxy S9.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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4 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Stereo speakers

Best: Samsung added stereo speakers to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. A bonus for audiophiles, they're tuned by AKG and pump out surround sound supported by Dolby Atmos. Samsung claims sound is 1.4x more powerful than previous Galaxy devices.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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5 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Aperture

Best: Galaxy S9's main camera is a 12-megapixel Super Speed Dual Pixel (f/1.5, f/2.4) lens with a variable aperture. This means it adjusts depending on light conditions.

Samsung claims Galaxy S9 is the first phone to include adjustable aperture. If the Galaxy S9 is taking a picture in the dark, the lens opens to F1.5 mode to pull in light for a bright and clear photo. In the daylight, the lens shifts to F2.4 mode to help reduce the amount of light filtering into the photo for a sharper look.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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6 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Increased power

Best: Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus pack beefy specifications:

RAM and storage

  • Galaxy S9 has 4GB of RAM
  • Galaxy S9 Plus has 6GB of RAM
  • Both phones ship with 64GB of internal storage

Battery

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7 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

Bixby button

Worst: Samsung includes a button pre-programmed to launch its Bixby smart assistant. The problem is, Bixby's feature set is not as strong as other competitors like Siri and Alexa. You also can't reprogram the button's functionality through official Galaxy S9 settings. However, you can disable the button entirely through Galaxy S9 settings.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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8 of 8 CNET/CBS Interactive

AR emoji

Worst: In an attempt to fend off Apple's Animoji, the Galaxy S9 includes AR emoji. From a single selfie, the Galaxy S9's uses machine learning to generate a personalized 3D avatar that looks like you and can mimic movements. Here's early impressions, and they're not great. AR Emoji are compatible with messaging apps that tap Samsung's keyboard.

AR emoji can be shared as GIF or video for non-supported platforms.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Android perfection achieved

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