Samsung Unveils Galaxy S9 Series Smartphones With Dual Lens Variable Aperture Camera and AR Emoji

Samsung on Sunday unveiled its latest Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showcasing the handset's new dual-lens camera, stereo speakers, and AR-powered emoji. The new smartphones take the same general design as the Galaxy S8 devices, with slightly slimmer bezels on the top and bottom.

The headline feature of the S9 and S9+ is a 12-megapixel dual lens camera, boasting the first variable aperture system built into a smartphone, which promises better results in low light conditions and hardware-based shallow depth of field effects. Samsung's new photography computation also shoots 12 photos in three groups of four and then combines them at the pixel level to eliminate noise and boost detail.

samsung galaxy s9 and s9 plus
The S9 features variable dual lens 12-megapixel cameras with dual optical image stabilization, while the S9+ features a variable aperture lens paired with a second 12-megapixel lens with a fixed aperture. The S9 Plus also includes a new slow-motion mode that can shoot at 960 frames per second, which can turn a 2-millisecond recording into six seconds of video. For comparison's sake, Apple's iPhone X shoots at a maximum of 240 frames per second.

In U.S. models, the S9 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor, but in other regions, including Europe, the smartphone is powered by Samsung's own Exynos chip. Samsung has combined the face and iris recognition features into a new system called Intelligent Scan, which uses the best biometric sensor for the given situation. The fingerprint scanner on the back now sits below the camera module rather than alongside it. Like the S8 devices, the displays on the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch models are Quad HD+ and Super AMOLED, respectively. Also, there's a headphone jack.


The inevitable comparison of Samsung's new AR-based emoji will be Animoji on iPhone X, which map users' facial expressions onto cartoon facades using Apple's TrueDepth camera technology. However the Galaxy S9 diverges here by creating 3D personalized characters more akin to Bitmoji or Nintendo Mii avatars, which can then be shared as GIFs.

The S9 comes with 4GB of RAM while the S9+ has 6GB of memory. Both versions come with a base 64GB storage (user expandable up to 400GB via the Micro SD slot). In the U.S., the S9 starts at $720, with the S9+ costing $840. Pre-orders for both models begin on March 2 and the phones start shipping on March 16.

Top Rated Comments

dan9700 Avatar
36 months ago
loved how they had to keep dissing apple but they copy Animoji, such a lame update from Samsung
Score: 104 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
36 months ago
Yet with all those beefed up specs and CPU, it still doesn't deliver the same experience as an iPhone.
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alex00100 Avatar
36 months ago
...and there is a headphone jack.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DNichter Avatar
36 months ago

Samsung had "faceid" for a long time. Apple copied that.

2D face recognition is very much different than Face ID.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
36 months ago
they even copy that useless feature
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
36 months ago
No notch...
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...