WEIGHT

PCWorld (USA) - - Reviews -

Slow-mo, and AR Emoji—are equal parts gim­mick and catch-up to com­pet­ing mod­els. And be­cause Sam­sung is lim­it­ing the dual cam­era and Live Por­trait mode to the larger Plus model, the S9 (the phone I’m re­view­ing here) feels less like a new phone than a mid-cy­cle re­fresh. As such, the S9 is a per­fectly fine en­try for the first new pre­mium phone of 2018, but there’s noth­ing here that breaks ex­cit­ing new ground for other phones to fol­low.

Dual aper­ture? We ac­tu­ally found it’s not that nec­es­sary. Su­per Slow-mo? It works beau­ti­fully, but it’s not a fea­ture peo­ple will use all that of­ten. AR emoji? It’s fun and it works as ad­ver­tised, but it also feels like a re­sponse to Ap­ple, not a trail­blaz­ing fea­ture.

In short: When we look back on 2018 and pick a defin­ing hand­set, the S9 prob­a­bly won’t be it. But it’s still a great phone.

A CLAS­SIC (YET UP­GRADED) DE­SIGN

Lots of Gal­axy S9s are go­ing to be mis­taken for Gal­axy S8s once they start ap­pear­ing in the wild, given their ex­tremely sim­i­lar size and shape. How­ever, there are phys­i­cal dif­fer­ences be­tween the phones—sub­tle tweaks that change the new model just enough so last year’s cases won’t fit: Gal­axy S8: 155g Gal­axy S9: 163g

The Gal­axy S9 is a touch shorter than the S8 due to an ever-so-slightly smaller bot­tom bezel that up­sets the sym­me­try just enough to an­noy my eyes. It’s also thicker and heav­ier than its pre­de­ces­sor for two rea­sons: The front glass is thicker (0.6T vs. 0.5T), and the alu­minum on the sides has been strength­ened (AL 7003 vs AL 6013). While these changes are im­per­cep­ti­ble, they should bring more dura­bil­ity and drop pro­tec­tion—al­ways a plus for a phone that’s nearly all glass.

The Gal­axy S9 is a touch shorter than the S8 due to an ever-soslightly smaller bot­tom bezel that up­sets the sym­me­try just enough to an­noy my eyes.

You’ll still find the selfie cam­era and other sen­sors around the re­ceiver along the top strip of bezel, but they’re not as dis­tract­ing as they were on the S8. Among the other small changes to the S9 are the look of the speaker grille on the bot­tom edge, which is now a 1.5mm open slit rather than five small open­ings. This change brings stereo sound, but could con­ceiv­ably at­tract more dust and lint. Oth­er­wise, the but­tons and ports are ex­actly the same, mean­ing Sam­sung has once

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