Four cameras in the back. 6.3 inch screen. 6 GB of RAM. 128 GB of storage. And a beautiful design that combines metal and glass with degraded colors. Those are the weapons with which the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 wants to compete in the medium-high range of Android terminals. Will they be enough to succeed?
The Samsung Galaxy A9 is the first cell phone with four cameras on the back, which makes it clear that Samsung seeks to excel in the photographic section. However, the A9 is much more than four lenses. It is a very complete phone that has very little to envy at the main terminals in the market. I had the opportunity to spend almost three weeks using the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 as the main mobile phone and here I will tell you how it works and what I think about it.
Data sheet Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
|Screen||Super AMOLED panel of 6.3 inches, FHD resolution of 2,220 x 1,080 pixels|
|Main Camera||Four sensors:
· Main 24 MP, f / 1.7
· 5MP depth sensor, f / 2.2, dynamic focus
· 10MP telephoto lens, f / 2.4, 2x optical zoom
· 8MP ultra wide-angle sensor, f / 2.4, 120 degree
|Camera Selfies||24 MP, f / 2.0|
|Extension||MicroSD (up to 512 GB)|
|Processor and RAM||Octa-Core (four at 2.2 GHz and four at 1.8 GHz)|
|Drums||3,800 mAh with fast charge|
|Operating system||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Electrical / Electronic Manufacturing||4G LTE, GPS, MIMO dual band WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type C, 3.5mm connector|
|Design||Metal and crystal, colors: black, blue and pink (the last two with gradient)|
|Dimensions||162.5 x 77.0 x 7.8 mm, 183 grams|
|Featured Features||Fingerprint reader
Always on the go
|Release date of||Available|
Four cameras are better than two (or one)?
Maybe it's one of the most repeated questions you ask about the existence of a four-camera phone. Are they needed? Why do we want four cameras in one terminal? Needed of course they are not, but yes can offer us a versatility that we do not find on other phones.
And is that not all lenses of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 have the same functionality. On the one hand, we have the usual set that we see in a double system. That is, a main sensor accompanied by a depth sensor responsible for the known bokeh effect. In the A9 of this they care a 24-megapixel sensor with f / 1.7 aperture and a 5-megapixel aperture with f / 2.2 aperture. The latter is what gives us the dynamic approach, about which I will speak later.
The other two sensors offer us a different kind of photography. In fact, they do not work in conjunction with the first two, but we will have to select them in the camera application to use them.
On the one hand, we have a telephoto lens with 10 megapixel resolution and f / 2.4 aperture. This allows us to have a 2x optical zoom. On the other hand, ultra wide angle sensor with 8 megapixel resolution and f / 2.4 aperture. With the latter we can take pictures with a 120 degree angle.
But the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 photo set does not close here. In front we have a 24-megapixel f / 2.0 aperture sensor, which does not lack a complete mode of beauty.
Do you want to see how this four-camera system is shared in real life? Now I tell you, but first let's take a quick look at the application.
Samsung Camera Application
Samsung makes available to the user a full camera app, but at the same time easy to use. Placing the cell phone horizontally, we have the trigger, access to the gallery and the button to record the video on the far right. Right above, we see some shortcuts, such as settings, change of camera, some filters, flash or button to use the full screen.
If we continue from right to left, the next thing we find is a slider to switch between the main camera, ultra wide-angle and 2x zoom. And to the left of the entire screen, we have the different modes that the camera offers.
Among the available modes, we can highlight the Pro Mode, which is the manual mode of Samsung, for my taste something lacking in options. We also have the "Dynamic Focus" mode, which translated into other phones would be the portrait mode.
On the other hand, we have a mode called "Scene Optimizer", which uses the AI system to theoretically improve the photographs by adapting them to the scene detected by the terminal. And I say in theory because its effect is very light. It simply saturates a few more colors.
Finally, it is worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 also has the Emoji AR. In this way, we can create our custom Emoji to send it or publish it in social networks and messaging applications.
The only thing I did not like about the Samsung Camera app is that does not offer the possibility to activate and deactivate the HDR from the main interface. To do this, we will have to enter Settings, which is not practical.
The four cameras in action
The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 offers three types of photography thanks to its four sensors. With the main camera (I mean the set consisting of 24 and 5 MP sensors) we get a good image quality. If we shoot with abundant light, the camera is able to show realistic colors and sharp images.
Against backlight or more complex situations we can use the HDR, which works very well and can save us the shaded areas or skies burned. The result is also good at sunrises and sunsets, and its use is highly recommended.
When the light begins to fade, as is usually the case, things get complicated. O noise makes an appearance and you lose clarity, the usual in almost all terminals. With artificial light, we have some flaws, such as the appearance of the watercolor effect and the sharp loss of sharpness.
Portrait (Dynamic Focus) mode can be used with any type of object, not limited to people. That yes, we should find a minimum distance of 1-1.5 meters, telling us the application of it. However, what he does not tell us is when we keep this distance. So to know if we are at the correct distance, we will have to press the object to focus. If we are positioned correctly, a signal will appear that Dynamic Focus is ready.
We can adjust the degree of blur, before and after the photo is taken. Of course, the more blurred, the less precise the crop, and it is possible to blur part of the image that should not be.
As for the other two goals, we should always keep in mind that they are much less brilliant than the main. The wide angle gives us a different view of the scene thanks to its 120 degrees. The image quality obtained by this sensor is quite good, very similar to what is seen on the main sensor.
And with regard to the 2x ZoomI was a bit disappointed. He loses sharpness when to use it, but the most impressive thing is that the colors are quite washed, with less force.
Samsung has spent all its sensors on the back, so the camera selfies has only one. Specifically a 24-megapixel sensor with f / 1.9 aperture.
This camera offers results that are within the average. With good light you receive a clear photo with soft colors. The HDR system works great in tricky situations, being able to greatly enhance a photo.
As for portrait mode, get a well managed blur, provided we do not place it in a very complex situation. If we are in an environment with less light, as you can see in the photo, errors will appear. Also, we will have to look directly at the camera, because if we do not do that, it will not be blurred.
I leave here a gallery of photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 to see how it behaves in different situations.
Photo gallery made with Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Video with or without stabilization
And to close the analysis of the camera I want to talk about the video section. O Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 allows you to record with 4K resolution and Full HD. If we decide to record with 4K resolution, we will get an image with more definition, realistic colors and a good level of contrast, but we will lose the electronic stabilization.
If we are going to record a moving video, we may be more interested in opting for 1080p resolution. We will get good image quality and we will have the possibility of using HDR, video effects and the commented electronic stabilization. The truth is that the latter is quite noticeable and worth having activated.
Gradients of metal, crystal and beautiful colors
We started with the camera because it is one of the great attractions of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, but not the only one. This year Samsung has taken a step forward in the mid-high range, providing its terminals with larger screens and better materials.
The A9 has metal and glass 3D frames on the back. A back curving sideways, much in the style of the S range, but with a less pronounced curvature. The four cameras are placed in the upper left and upright position. We have all four sensors forming a single set with a black background. Under them the small LED flash. These do not project practically anything, so the terminal is not lame when left on the table.
In this model, Samsung replaces the Fingerprint reader on back. It is located in the center and slightly sunken. Also, it looks a slightly different color to the rest of the back of the phone. And speaking in color, the A9 2018 is available in black, blue and pink. The latter two offer a good gradient finishvery striking
The terminal buttons only buttons are placed in the frames. On the right (looking forward mobile), we have the volume and ignition buttons. On the other side we have the Bixby Button, without much use at the moment, since the assistant of Samsung only speaks English. However, it seems that very soon will be available in Spanish.
The tray of cards is placed at the top and at the bottom we have the 3.5 mm socket for headphones and Type C USB connector for the load.
The front is governed by a large panel of 6.3 inches that we will discuss later. We do not have any notches, since Samsung preferred to use a small black frames at the top and bottom. Both have a size of one centimeter, thus providing the symmetry that many users require.
The overall dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 are 162.5 x 77.0 x 7.8 mm with a weight of 183 grams. IS a good terminal, comfortable to use and with a very impressive finish. There's nothing to envy at the design level of high-end mobile phones.
Large screen with Super AMOLED technology
The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 has a Super AMOLED panel of 6.3 inches. This offers a 2,220 x 1,080 pixels FHD resolution, enough to get a good viewing experience.
I do not have the maximum brightness data, but I can say that I had no problem to see the content even with the sun beating directly. That yes, Automatic brightness control works regularly. There were several occasions when, in dark environments, the screen overshadowed excessively.
Samsung takes good care of your screens, so it offers many configuration options. From configurations we can change the screen mode adapt the colors to our personal taste. also modify the color balance, to get a colder or warmer hue. And activate the "Advanced Options" and change colors individually.
On the other hand, we have the option to activate the "Blue light filter"To reduce visual fatigue. And, of course, the function is not lacking"Always on the go"This, although it has lost some prominence because it has not advanced much, is still very useful.
In general, we could say that the screen of Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 is good, without exceeding the others. Provides correct viewing angles and good tactile sensitivity. Of course, it is very easy to make accidental touches when holding the phone with one hand, since the side edges are very narrow.
Lots of RAM with a slightly outdated processor
The technical data of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 are quite impressive. First because we see that it has a eight-core processor, four running at 2.2 GHz and four at 1.8 GHz. Although lately the Korean manufacturer prefers not to report on the processor model, we find that the international version of this year's A9 is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It is a good performance processor but was released last year.
In addition, Samsung equipped the A9 with 6 GB of RAM, a very high figure. In addition, it has 128 GB internal storage. A figure we can expand using a Micro SD card up to 512 GB.
The overall performance of the terminal is good. Multitasking works with ease, and while we small delay when opening heavy applicationsThis is not boring. Game loading is also relatively fast, so experience with the terminal is satisfactory.
But for those who love numbers, in the image at the top you can see the results of the AnTuTu and Geekbench tests. In the first, the A9 2018 141,566 points, while in AnTuTu it reaches 5,877 points for the Multi-Core test. It is in the line of terminals like the BQ Aquaris X2 Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 arrives with Base 8.0 Oreo Android. But, as you well know, Samsung's personalization layer is quite intrusive. As for pre-installed applications, we have Samsung's own applications for the Office suite, Facebook, or most Google applications. Nothing crazy.
In addition, the customization layer from Samsung offers some advanced features of the company. For example, we have the Smart Stay, which holds the screen as you look at it. We also have the option to one hand operation, which adjusts the screen size and design to control the phone with one hand.
On the other hand, we have the "Digital sensor manager", Which allows you to open and close the notification panel using the fingerprint sensor.Slide the palm to capture"They are very curious, and others like it"Smart Alert"They are very useful since they will notify us by vibration when they answer the phone that we miss calls or messages.
Before finalizing with the software, it is worth highlighting the security section. The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 has a fingerprint reader that honestly did not convince me completely. In fact, it's not that it works wrong sometimes, it's that Unlocking is not as fast as it should and sometimes it seems he ignored it.
On the other hand, we have a face recognition system. The system registers the face quickly, but it takes between 2 and 3 seconds to perform the facial unlock. It may not seem like much time at first, but once you get used to the instant unlocking of other cell phones, it shows. Also, it is very difficult to wear glasses and we will have to "turn on the screen" for the system to scan the face. That is, we will end up opting for the fingerprint reader almost certainly.
Very good autonomy
A big screen, lots of RAM and four cameras to feed, so we need a good battery. The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 equips one 3,800 mA battery, surpassing even the Samsung Galaxy S9 +.
This results in a really good range. In the three weeks I used my cell phone, I did not have a single day when I needed to charge the battery before bed. Not even days of camera-intensive testing. On a day of normal use, with social networking, messaging, browsing, some videos and some photos, I came home with more than 30% of the available battery.
In relation to charging, the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 uses a USB connector type C compatible with fast loading. The included charger allows the battery to be charged 100% in less than two hours from a vacuum. However, despite the use of glass, it is not compatible with wireless charging.
Dolby Atmos Decaffeinated Audio
To play music on A9 2018, we have two options. For one, a small speaker located at the bottom, next to the USB type C connector. Yes, only one, the terminal does not have stereo sound. It receives a "heap" sound. It looks good, has enough power, but does not stand out against the competition.
On the other hand, we have the ability to connect headphones to your 3.5mm connector. Because yes, In this model Samsung decided to keep the headset, which shows that the thickness of the cell phone is not a problem.
When connected, in the Sound and Vibration settings, we will have a special section dedicated to the advanced audio functions called "Effects and sound quality". From here we can activate the Dolby Atmos, change the equalization or activate the "UHQ Optimizer" it's him "Pro Tube Amplifier"
One characteristic that caught my attention is "Adapt Sound"This customizes the sound profile taking into account our age.And I also liked the function"Independent application sound"Which allows you to play the sound of a specific application on an external audio device. That is, we can tell you that, for example, the sound that comes from Netflix plays in the sound bar of the room.
Conclusions and price
We come to the end of the analysis and come to conclusions. Samsung this year wanted to differentiate itself from the camera-based competition. Thus, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 came with three cameras in the back, raising the bet for the four cameras with the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018.
Are we going to make better photos with four cameras instead of two? No, but at least we'll have more options. The truth is that it's not bad you can take normal photos, 2x zoom photos and wide-angle photos on the same phone. However, it would be best if all the sensors had the same image quality.
In design you can not put many "but" in this terminal. IS a nice, comfortable and elegant cell phone. You can immediately see that we have a premium device. Could they have rushed the top and bottom edges of the screen? Of course, but the symmetry achieved will certainly please many users.
The screen looks great and the terminal, despite using a chip from last year, works well fluid. The small "delays" in opening applications we've commented on are minimal and certainly almost ineffective by a large number of users.
We have too a very good autonomy and a software that you may like more or less, but there is no doubt that it works perfectly. In addition, we have several options added "made in Samsung" that enhance the user experience.
Could it improve? Clear. I could count, for example, with the wireless charging. It may also be compatible with Samsung Pay. The cameras could be better and the processor more modern. But then, we would probably be facing a model of S.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 is its official price of 600 euros. Now that we have reached the end of the year, we can locate high quality models with a very similar or even lower price.
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