Samsung Galaxy S9+ Has Familiar Looks and Powerful New Features

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Samsung Galaxy S9+ Has Familiar Looks and Powerful New Features

Another year, another flagship smartphone from Samsung. For 2018, the electronics maker isn't straying far from the winning design that made the Galaxy S8 and S8+ a best seller. At first glance it's tough to tell the new Galaxy S9 and S9+ apart from their predecessors. The most noticeable change is the repositioned fingerprint reader, which is now centered along with the rear camera. Other outward refinements are nearly imperceptible, including a slimmer gap between the AMOLED screen and the bezel. Most of the improvements are inside the case including a more useful virtual assistant, better cameras and a powerful Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm that puts a spring in Android's step. Here's a look at what the new Galaxy S9+ has in store.

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Little Design Changes Add Up

The Galaxy S9+ may not be much of a departure from last year's model, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The differences, as tiny as they are, add extra polish. For example, the top bezel now does a better job of masking the sensors stowed underneath—except for the front-facing camera, of course—rendering them practically invisible in all but the brightest lighting conditions.

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AMOLED Screen Impresses With Vibrant Colors

Although sloping AMOLED screens have become familiar fixtures in Samsung phones, the technology continues to impress with vibrant colors and sharp images. The generous 6.2-inch display on the Galaxy S9+ is particularly well suited for watching videos and consuming web content.

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This Handset Is Made for Shutterbugs

A dual-camera setup with optical stabilization in the back shoots sharp video and 12-megapixel photos, particularly in low-light conditions. New this time is super slow-motion, a mode that can record 960 frames per second and stretch 0.2 seconds of footage into a six-second clip.

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Samsung Responds to Apple’s Animoji

Somewhat following Apple’s lead with Animoji, Samsung Galaxy S9 users can create animated representations of themselves called AR Emoji. Although some may consider it a gimmick—or slightly unnerving, depending on the results—it shows what's possible using deep learning, 3D modeling and the phone's sensors.

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New Speaker Pumps Out Bigger Sound

In landscape mode, a new stereo speaker setup is 1.4 times louder than previous models and can produce a simulated surround sound effect powered by Dolby Atmos technology. That said, it can't beat a good set of headphones. Speaking of which, Samsung is bucking the industry by clinging to the 3.5mm audio connector.

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Snapdragon 845 Delivers Potent Processor

Paired with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor, Android 8 "Oreo" sets a new standard for UI responsiveness. Taps and on-screen gestures are lag-free and apps launch without delay.

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Bixby Gets Smarter

Samsung's virtual assistant has improved, but it still hasn't caught up to Google Assistant and Siri. On the plus side, Bixby has jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon, enabling real-time translation of signs and menus, similar to the Google Translate app.

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Samsung’s Intelligent Scan Works Fast—Usually

Samsung's answer to Apple's Face ID on the iPhone X is Intelligent Scan. This feature uses both facial recognition and the device's iris scanners to unlock a phone and approve actions in supported apps. It works impressively fast most of the time. It’s much faster than entering a PIN, but it did generate a "No face has been detected" error and a glare warning on occasion.

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Nokia 8110 4G Brings the Banana Phone Back to Smartphone Market

HMD Global, which produces mobile phones under the Nokia brand, harking back to the mobile phones of the 1990s with a basic feature phone called the Nokia 8110 4G that, affectionately known as the ‘banana phone’ for its curved design and yellow color.