/>
X

Galaxy S9 camera: Its best features to take on iPhone X

Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus' camera includes a dual aperture design to bring sharper photos, Bixby integration, augmented reality emoji and more.
galaxy-s9-3colors.jpg
1 of 13 Samsung

New Galaxy cameras

Samsung's new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will be available Friday, March 16. Perhaps the biggest addition to the Galaxy S9 flagship lineup is the upgraded camera with dual aperture lens. Here's a closer look at the Galaxy S9's camera specifications and features ahead of its debut to take on the iPhone X's powerful camera...

Read: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus first impressions: Improving upon the S8 Plus just where it was needed

galaxy-s9-plus-cameras.png
2 of 13 Samsung

Variable aperture

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus' main camera is a 12-megapixel Super Speed Dual Pixel (f/1.5, f/2.4) lens with a variable aperture. It adjusts depending on light conditions.

galaxy-s9-camera.png
3 of 13 File photo

Variable aperture

Samsung claims it's the first manufacturer to put an adjustable aperture lens in a smartphone. 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.

CNET has a great explainer on variable aperture.

The Galaxy S9 only has one main camera on the rear, while the Galaxy S9 Plus has dual cameras.

samsung-galaxy-s9-camera-up-close.png
4 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Best-ever DxOMark ratings

Independent camera tester DxoMark called the Galaxy S9 camera the mobile camera to beat. It gave the Galaxy S9 a score of 99, its highest ever, beating out the Pixel 2 at 98 and iPhone X at 97.

galaxy-s9-camera-close-up.png
5 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Plus model

Samsung's beefier Galaxy S9 Plus adds a second 12-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4 aperture) lens that supplies 2x optical zoom.

.jpg
6 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Faster focus

Samsung outfitted the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus with a dedicated image processor, called the Super Speed Dual Pixel Image Sensor. It's made up of an image sensor, a fast readout circuit, and a smart dedicated DRAM memory chip to provide faster image processing and focus.

.jpg
7 of 13 CNET/CBS Interactive

Bixby vision

Samsung is extending its artificial intelligence platform Bixby to the Galaxy S9's camera to provide more real-time information over the Galaxy S8. When a user points the camera at an object, Bixby will recognize what it's looking at and presents information related to that object overlaid on top of the image.

Bixby features nine different camera modes including Text, Food, Makeup, Wine, Shopping, Image, QR Code, and more.

.jpg
8 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Super slow motion

Samsung's Galaxy lineup has featured slow-motion video before in the range of 240 frames per second. The new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus add "super slow-mo" that shoots at 960 frames per second. This is powered by the new super speed dual pixel image sensor.

Samsung explains:

Composed of an image sensor, a fast readout circuit, and a smart dedicated DRAM memory chip, this sensor allows Super Slow-mo to record content that's 32 times slower than normal video, and four times slower than any other slow-motion mobile technology. That means that just 0.2 seconds of normal video can be transformed into approximately 6 seconds of stunning footage.

.jpg
9 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Front facing camera

Samsung left the 8-megapixel front-facing camera on its new Galaxy relatively unchanged. It should gain crisper focus and speed thanks to the Galaxy S9's new image chip.

.jpg
10 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

AR emoji

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.

.jpg
11 of 13 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Emoji messaging

AR Emoji are compatible with messaging apps that tap Samsung's keyboard. They can also be shared as GIFs or PNG files to non-supported smartphones.

galaxy-s9-intelligent-scan.png
12 of 13 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Intelligent Scan

The Galaxy S9 lineup adds a new feature called Intelligent Scan that combines iris scanning and face recognition. The thing is, it might not be as secure as what Apple offers.

Related Galleries

Jabra PanaCast 20 review: in pictures
jabra-panacast-20-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Jabra PanaCast 20 review: in pictures

9 Photos
Bluejay Sport electric bike review: in pictures
bluejay-sport-electric-bike-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Bluejay Sport electric bike review: in pictures

22 Photos
Sony LinkBuds review: in pictures
sony-linkbuds-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Sony LinkBuds review: in pictures

20 Photos
Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar review: in pictures
garmin-fenix-7-series.jpg

Related Galleries

Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar review: in pictures

14 Photos
Nomad iPhone 13 Pro Max case review: in pictures
nomad-iphone-13-pro-max-7.jpg

Related Galleries

Nomad iPhone 13 Pro Max case review: in pictures

12 Photos
First look: Products revealed at Samsung Unpacked 2022 [in pictures]
galaxy-unpacked-2022.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Products revealed at Samsung Unpacked 2022 [in pictures]

20 Photos
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar review: in pictures
garmin-instinct-2-solar-3.jpg

Related Galleries

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar review: in pictures

8 Photos