New Sam­sung S9 Plus a su­perb all-round choice for An­droid fans

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - By­dar­ren­tombs, Part­ner, Car­son­m­c­dow­ell Dar­ren Toombs is a part­ner at law firm Car­son Mcdow­ell

Sam­sung S9 Plus Pros: Ex­cel­lent de­sign, great all­round choice Cons: Very sim­i­lar to last year’s model, mod­est stor­age Price: £869

If you’re a Sam­sung user with an S7, S6 or older phone, this is a prime up­grade phone. You’ll no­tice the dif­fer­ent fea­tures straight away. You’ll also be very happy with it, as this is a su­perb hand­set.

The same goes for those think­ing of a high-end Sam­sung phone and who cur­rently use an­other An­droid de­vice. With the ex­cep­tion of Huawei’s P20 Pro, this is in­dis­putably the top of the pile in An­droid land.

But if you al­ready have last year’s S8 or S8 Plus, it’s a slightly dif­fer­ent story. Other than the cam­era, there ar­guably isn’t enough to jus­tify re­plac­ing your S8 or S8 Plus with this year’s model. It looks the same and, other than the cam­era in low light and some emoji, largely acts the same as the phone you al­ready have.

The 6.2in dis­play on the S9 Plus vies with Ap­ple’s iphone X as the best screen on the mar­ket. Both are ‘Oled’ screens as op­posed to the LCD dis­plays that most phones have. That means colours ren­der in a bet­ter way, as do blacks. Some in­de­pen­dent test­ing out­fits (such as Dis­play­mate) say the S9 Plus is now the best screen on the mar­ket (and even bet­ter than al­most any high-end 4K TV or mon­i­tor) based on in-depth mea­sure­ment of colour ac­cu­racy, bright­ness, out­door vis­i­bil­ity, and re­flec­tiv­ity.

The S9 Plus’s bat­tery is very good (3,500mah), though not the best on the mar­ket. In gen­eral, it will last through a full day’s use other than in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, such as a day spent be­tween trains and waiting rooms. This is now Sam­sung’s best bat­tery phone since they had to re­duce the size of the Note 8’s bat­tery in line with de­sign al­ter­ations to rem­edy the over­heat­ing de­fects ex­pe­ri­enced by the ill-fated Note 7.

From a de­sign and han­dling per­spec­tive, both the S9 and S9 Plus are al­most in­dis­tin­guish­able from their pre­de­ces­sor de­vices, the S8 and S8 Plus. In one sense, this is a pity. On the other hand, the flag­ship Galaxy S phones are prob­a­bly still the best-look­ing hand­sets on the mar­ket (al­though the iphone X also has a claim to that ti­tle). The whole edge-toedge screen de­sign tem­plate was set by Sam­sung and it still ar­guably does it best.

Does this mean the de­sign is flaw­less? To my mind, no — the one dis­ad­van­tage of the gor­geous-look­ing curved glass edges is that it makes grip­ping the phone a lit­tle more uncer­tain, as well mak­ing the over­all hand­set a bit slip­pier.

Ob­vi­ously, this can be reme­died by a case, which most peo­ple will prob­a­bly get. The S9 Plus’s cam­era is up there with the very best.

It has two rear 12-megapixel lenses, one of which has a very pow­er­ful fea­ture. The wide-an­gle lens can, when it de­tects dark con­di­tions, re­vert to a ‘vari­able aper­ture’. This lets it open up wider than any other cam­era can (to a set­ting of f1.5). Do­ing this means that it phys­i­cally lets more light in than other cam­eras.

The phone can also make some in­cred­i­bly clear low-light photos by tak­ing five shots con­sec­u­tively (al­most im­me­di­ately) and com­bin­ing them to take the best bits from each. But­tressed by op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion, this elim­i­nates ‘noise’ arte­facts that of­ten make low-light photos look a bit shabby and sub-par.

The hand­set has 64GB of in­ter­nal stor­age, which is mod­est for an An­droid phone at this price.

A last word: This is the only ma­jor flag­ship phone to still of­fer a 3.5mm head­phone jack.

Next time in Tech, Adrian Weck­ler re­views the Huawei P20 Pro

High street brands such as BHS, New Look and Car­petright have all en­tered com­pany vol­un­tary ar­range­ments (CVAS) and just last week House of Fraser an­nounced ‘ bru­tal’ plans to close 31 of its 59 shops, with the po­ten­tial loss of 6,000 jobs as part of a pro­posed res­cue deal in­volv­ing a CVA which its cred­i­tors will vote on later this month.

Each in­ter­ested party will come with its own par­tic­u­lar view on the sit­u­a­tion when the re­tailer pro­poses or en­ters into the CVA. For the re­tailer, they will see it as the only vi­able op­tion to avoid in­sol­vency. They will see that they are of­fer­ing their cred­i­tors, in­clud­ing their land­lords, not only an al­ter­na­tive to liq­ui­da­tion, but in fact a fi­nan­cially bet­ter al­ter­na­tive.

That may well ap­pear cor­rect on raw fig­ures but the land­lord will no doubt feel that they are hav­ing their ‘face washed’, with the ten­ant po­ten­tially writ­ing his­toric debt down to pence in the pound and trad­ing out the other side, po­ten­tially on more pref­er­en­tial terms. The land­lord may well also have lit­tle say in the out­come of the CVA since they do not hold the req­ui­site vot­ing weight by value of debt to al­low them to vote the proposal down.

The in­sol­vency prac­ti­tioner will at­tempt to il­lus­trate that the ar­range­ment is a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive for both par­ties. They will see the ob­vi­ous ben­e­fit to the oth­er­wise in­sol­vent re­tailer and can see that whilst the land­lord may have taken a hit on his­toric debt, they are do­ing bet­ter than they would on in­sol­vency. In many, (but ad­mit­tedly not all cir­cum­stances), the land­lord avoids hav­ing a va­cant unit and with added hope that the busi­ness can be turned around.

The re­cent case of SHB Real­i­sa­tions Lim­ited (for­merly BHS Ltd) pro­vides clar­ity for all of the par­ties men­tioned above as re­gards what they might ex­pect out of a CVA.

BHS pro­posed a CVA to avoid be­ing placed into liq­ui­da­tion. The ma­jor cred­i­tors were land­lords and as a re­sult of the ap­proved CVA, many saw their rent slashed by over 50%. A clause in the CVA, how­ever, stated “com­pro­mises and re­leases ef­fected un­der the terms shall be deemed never to have hap­pened, such that all land­lords and other com­pro­mised CVA cred­i­tors shall have claims against BHS Lim­ited that they would have had if the CVA proposal had never been ap­proved”.

Soon af­ter ap­proval of the CVA, BHS went into ad­min­is­tra­tion fol­lowed by liq­ui­da­tion in Novem­ber 2016 and the CVA was ter­mi­nated a month later.

The Pru­den­tial As­sur­ance Com­pany was one of the af­fected land­lords. They ar­gued the liq­uida­tor owed all out­stand­ing rents in full and not the CVA com­pro­mised amount. They also ar­gued that for the pe­riod of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, this greater amount was due to be paid by the ad­min­is­tra­tor as an ex­pense of the ad­min­is­tra­tion. The liq­uida­tor was there­fore forced to ap­proach the court seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion on three fronts.

The court held that the clause was not a penalty clause. It sim­ply re­in­stated the land­lord’s right to full rent.

The CVA was ne­go­ti­ated and was pro­posed in the in­ter­ests of the ten­ant. It is in­ter­est­ing it was held that the re­duc­tion of rent pro­vided for was not a vari­a­tion of a lease. Any vari­a­tion was held to have to take place by deed. The CVA was not a deed of vari­a­tion.

The court held that the rel­e­vant clause did not breach the pari passu principle since the rea­son­ing in the CVA was sim­ply to en­sure that land­lords would not be dis­ad­van­taged if the CVA was ter­mi­nated. The re­duced rent only con­tin­ued when the CVA was in force.

It was also held that his full rent now due was prop­erly payable as an ex­pense of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, it was al­ways a con­tin­gent li­a­bil­ity whilst the CVA con­tin­ued. The court thus made it clear that for any pe­riod dur­ing which the administrators used lease­hold premises, they were li­able to pay as an ex­pense.

This case high­lights the im­por­tance of le­gal ad­vice when a ten­ant pro­poses or en­ters a CVA. If a land­lord is not happy with the pro­pos­als put for­ward, the only way to chal­lenge a CVA is through the court and within 21 days of the CVA be­ing ap­proved.

For the re­tailer, a CVA is clearly a use­ful tool in any po­ten­tial in­sol­vency sit­u­a­tion. Whilst the BHS CVA did not end well for this re­tailer, we have seen re­cent ex­am­ples of re­tail­ers get­ting a sec­ond chance by suc­cess­fully im­ple­ment­ing and work­ing through a CVA.

What is clear in the cur­rent re­tail mar­ket is that we have not wit­nessed the last high pro­file re­tailer propos­ing a CVA nor land­lord hav­ing a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make.

Screen time: the new Sam­sung S9 Plus Pros

Cam­era ac­tion: the S9 Plus

House of Fraser is clos­ing 31 of its 59 stores

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.