Samsung is kicking off its time at this year’s Mobile World Congress by outing the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in a series of focused looks at different aspects of the phone, and the camera in particular brings a ton of new features and improvements, such as Super Slow-Mo and deeper integration with the company’s AI-driven Bixby assistant, among lots of other features. A variable, wider aperture and software improvements make this the crispest, most detailed, and most low-light-friendly Galaxy yet. You can also make AR emoji with your camera to send friends unique expressions. Finally, dual cameras are on board this time, along with a glut of software features to take advantage of them. Naturally, all of this is enhanced through onboard machine learning, a feature that originated in last year’s flagships, and has been improved upon in the Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 powering the available variants of this device.
Diving into the Super Slow-Mo first, you’ll find that the most basic improvement over normal slow-mo cameras here is the most important; this phone’s camera can take slow-motion video at 960 frames per second, making it a bird watcher’s best friend and a magician’s worst enemy, among other roles. When you’re in Super Slow-Mo mode, the camera will even detect and capture motion, just in case the action happens too quickly for you to activate the feature and get the shot. This is all enhanced by the aforementioned machine learning, and a special Super Speed Dual Pixel that’s made to process images faster than any solution before it. Users can also choose to capture multi-take Super Slow-Mo videos, ensuring that the best possible video ends up being shared with loved ones. To share it with strangers or anybody else in a user’s immediate surroundings, it can be set as a live wallpaper for the lock screen or home screen, though you can’t set it up for the Always On Display.
The Galaxy S9 is one of very few mobile phones on the market with a mechanical part in the camera out of the box, without having to buy any accessories. That part is the aperture cover, which can capture fine detail in decent lighting by narrowing into an f/2.4 aperture, or open up a wide f/1.5 aperture to drink in all available light for good shots in the dark. This can be done manually in Pro Mode, or users can leave it to the phone and its built-in machine learning. Multi-frame noise reduction is also available, further reducing noise by combining exposures with algorithms. The AR emoji feature can mimic users’ movements, and also use 18 pre-made expressions. The camera can’t turn you into a 3D emoji, but you can create an avatar or use a pre-made character. You can use AR emoji anywhere you can use the Samsung Keyboard, or post them online in GIF or PNG format. Bixby is also a part of the camera, giving users information, translations, and other help while shooting photos.