The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are packed to the gills with features, not the least of which is a brand new camera setup, and a brand new camera trick too. Samsung is outfitting both phones with a main rear-facing camera sensor that can alternate between an f/1.5 lens and an f/2.4 lens. The f/1.5 lens is the lowest f-stop on the industry, and helps bring in more light than any other lens on a smartphone before. In automatic mode, the Galaxy S9 will typically use the f/2.4 lens to guard against the more shallow depth of field that a lower f-stop lens features, as well as prevent distortion from taking over the edges of a picture, as can be prevalent on these lower f-stop lenses. Once lighting drops below 100 lux, the phone will automatically switch to the f/1.5 lens to bring in more light, and therefore cut down on slower shutter speeds and overly high ISO, which can introduce unnecessary hand jitter and noise into a shot.
Samsung has also redesigned much of the user interface on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, while keeping other elements the same. Instead of having all modes in a grid of icons, as has been the case on Samsung phones for years now, all modes have been moved to a scrolling row of words along the top of the viewfinder. Swiping left or right anywhere on the screen will move between these modes, although switching modes now takes a significant amount of time to load. There’s also a ton of other new features, including a refined Live Focus mode with adjustable bokeh filter effect, which allows users to change the shape of bokeh effects in the background.
On the hardware side, Galaxy S9’s powered by a Snapdragon SoC will feature a 12.2-megapixel Sony IMX345 sensor for the main camera, while Exynos powered Galaxy S9 units feature a 12.2-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL SAK2L3 sensor. The Galaxy S9+ features a secondary camera on the back with f/2.4 2X optical zoom lens, and all rear cameras on either Galaxy S9 model feature OIS. Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S9’s feature an 8.3-megapixel Sony IMX320 sensor up front, and Exynos powered variants have an 8.3-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL S5K3H1 (the same sensors on the Galaxy S8). Both models feature an f/1.7 lens and autofocus on this front-facing camera. Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to get all the latest updates as they happen!