The Samsung S9 and S9+

Same look, new camera: Samsung presents the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Android smartphones will have to be measured against Samsung’s flagship this year.

Samsung have revealed their new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, at its launch event at Mobile World Congress, with the South Korean giant now emphasizing photography and improved imaging efforts in their latest attempt to beat Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8.

The S9 pair maintain the S8’s attractive and efficient design, with extra tall 18.5:9 screens, curved sides, and glass front and backs. The 5.8-inch (S9) and 6.2-inch (S9 Plus) screens are identical Super AMOLED panels with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolutions.

Samsung moved the fingerprint scanner from the right of the camera to below it, which should make it much easier to use, especially on the larger S9 Plus. Though it isn’t an in-screen fingerprint scanner, as some probably have wished for, it will probably be a clear improvement over the old design.

Under the direction of “Do What Can’t Be Done,” Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy S8 taps into the demands of the social media age, ramping up its camera and speakers, while introducing a slew of new features like AR Emoji and Super Slo-mo.

There is an focus on the camera of the flagship phones from Samsung. Both models include a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor, which can combine up to 12 distinct images into one photo. Perhaps most impressive may be the dual aperture lens, supported in F1.5 and F2.4 mode, and installed on the rear camera of the S9 and the rear wide-camera of the S9+.

Super Slo-mo captures video at 960 frames per second. Users won’t even need to be ready for it: by using an smart feature that detects movement in the frame and automatically starts to record, all users have to do is set up the shot. After capturing the Super Slow-mo video, users can choose background music from 35 distinct choices to accompany the detailed shot.

Integrated into the new camera app is Samsung’s take on the iPhone X’s Animoji, which it calls AR Emoji. It enables you to take a photo of your face, and working with over 100 points, it builds a custom 3D character with all your features. AR Emoji are fully customizable, can be easily shared with others as well as utilized as a wallpaper for the user’s home or lock screen.

Samsung’s intelligence platform, Bixby, is deeply built-into the Galaxy S9’s camera, and utilizes augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide users with a variety of valuable, real-time information regarding the world around them. When the user points their camera at an object, Bixby recognizes what it’s looking at and instantly presents information associated with that object overlaid over the image. This means that, a person on a business trip abroad will be able to make use of the Live Translation function under Bixby’s Text mode to immediately translate a menu or sign written in a foreign language, or even foreign currency, in real-time.

Pre-orders for both the Galaxy S9 and S9+ begin March 2, 2018. The phones will hit stores in the U.S. on March 16, 2018. Pricing for the unlocked models is $719.99 and $839.99. US customers can make a choice between black, purple, or blue color options at launch, while a grey model will also be available internationally.