Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018): Review

Samsung Galaxy A9

Samsung is experimenting again with its line of smartphones, and with smartphones themselves. In recent years, the A-line was average in the Samsung range, between the flagships of S Note and budgetary J. Some features of the lines also change: earlier, in the A-line, there were smartphones with glass cases and moisture protection. Now there are both glass and metal in a design close to the J-ruler. What is not very happy – the line has lost its moisture protection. On the other hand, it seems that on Samsung’s A-line smartphones it decided to “run in” new developments, which we can see in a slightly modified form in future flagships. In particular, we are talking about the hero of this review, Samsung Galaxy A9. It is the world’s first smartphone with a quadruple main camera. Let’s try to figure out why, how it works, and in general, what is interesting about the new smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy A9

What is it?

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) – Android smartphone with a large screen Infinity Display 6.3-inch diagonal with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 6 GB of operational and 128 GB of internal memory, a quadruple main camera and bright design.

What makes him interesting?

Of course, the most interesting feature of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is its main camera, which consists of as many as four modules, which is a record at the moment. Why so much? On paper, it looks like this: main 24 megapixel module with f / 1.7 high-aperture optics, wide-angle module with a resolution of 8 megapixel and a f / 2.4 lens with a viewing angle of 120 °, a 10 megapixel telephoto with f / 2.4 aperture for 2x zoom and 5 MP module with f / 2.2 aperture for background blur. In theory, everything is logical, cameras for all occasions, but let’s see how it all works.

Samsung Galaxy A9

From a smartphone point of view, everything is more familiar: a 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9, rounded corners and a resolution of 2220×1080, without a cutout. Inside is a good mid-level processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 at 2.2 GHz with Adreno 512 graphics, which quite confidently copes with modern games. They did not regret their memory: operational 6 or 8 GB, built-in – 128 GB. And to whom this will seem a little – there is a separate slot for MicroSD. The smartphone has all the necessary wireless interfaces: dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and FM tuner. It is powered by an impressive 3800 mAh battery and runs on Android 8.1 OS Oreo with a proprietary shell.

What is in the box?

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) comes in a relatively small white box with the image of the smartphone itself. In addition, the box has a quick charger Adaptive Quick Charging with support for Quick Charge 3.0, a USB Type-C cable, a clip for a SIM card tray, a wired in-channel headset (“gags”) and documentation:

What does the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) look like?

The appearance of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is familiar to smartphones Korean Korean giant. Standard set: metal frame and glass front and back. On the front panel – a screen with rounded corners, a speaker, sensors and front camera. Always on Display supported. There is no Samsung logo on the front, which will definitely appeal to a number of users. And there is no LED indicator, but sorry. Although Always on Display to some extent replaces it. The glass is rounded off, the frames on the sides are very small. Above and below – also within reason. They are the same, which will please the eyes of the perfectionist:

The frame of the smartphone is rounded for a more comfortable grip, although in itself it turned out to be quite slippery. The layout of everything on the edges is a bit refreshed. On the right – the volume and power control buttons, on the right – the Bixby virtual assistant launch button. It cannot be reassigned. An external speaker, a microphone, a USB Type-C connector and a 3.5 mm headphone jack are located below. Above – an additional microphone and tray: You can safely insert two SIM cards and a MicroSD memory card into the tray if suddenly 128 GB is not enough for someone. 

Samsung Galaxy A9

The entire rear panel is glass, slightly curved on the sides. Despite the presence of an oleophobic coating, prints still remain. This is the problem of all glass smartphones. Recently, “gradient” colors have become fashionable in smartphone make. This option has just come to our review: the back cover smoothly changes from blue to green. It looks interesting and quite original. There are still pink and more rigorous black variants. Almost in the middle of the back cover is the Samsung logo, above which is a fingerprint scanner. The main camera is located vertically in the upper left corner, so getting into the lens instead of the scanner will not work even with a great desire. That same four-eyed main camera module is located in the corner. It protrudes slightly above the hull, although this does not affect the convenience in any way. LED flash below it.

The smartphone looks decent, high-quality assembled and well in the hand, which is especially important with such a diagonal screen. Perhaps, someone, it seems slippery. I think in this case, Samsung will release some kind of branded covers.

What’s up with the screen?

The smartphone has a 6.3-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9, rounded corners and a resolution of 2220×1080, the pixel density is about 392 PPI. The Samsung SuperAMOLED matrix is used with Diamond PenTile subpixels. You might think that the resolution is not enough, considering the type of matrix, but in reality, there are no problems: I did not manage to see some separate pixels, “ladders” or something like that. Maximum viewing angles, at some angles, the screen slightly gives a green tint, which is usual for AMOLED-matrices, as well as the “real” black color and maximum contrast. The stock of brightness is decent, on the street, the picture remains readable.

In the settings of the screen, there are a lot of things: setting the scale, font, text size, blue filter, auto brightness. In the settings of Always on Display, you can choose what will be displayed, choose the style and color of the clock and adjust the work schedule (for example, so that it is automatically turned off at night) if desired. There are four screen modes, as in all the latest Samsung smartphones: adaptive (with the ability to manually adjust color), photo, video, and main. 

Samsung Galaxy A9

The minimum brightness is 0, and the contrast tends to infinity. The maximum brightness in adaptive mode is 369.183 cd / m2. At the same time, the picture significantly goes into cold pictures: there is a lack of red and an excess of blue, and the color temperature varies around 8500-9000K with a reference value of 6000K. The color gamut is significantly wider towards green, which is expected from the SuperAMOLED with Diamond PenTile

Comparison with other smartphones that use OLED-matrix:

Device name White field brightness, 
cd / m 2
Black field brightness, 
cd / m 2
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) 369.183 0
Samsung Galaxy A6 + 345.625 0
Samsung Galaxy S8 + 349.839 0
LG V30 + 412.073 0
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 399.157 0
Moto Z2 Force 341.633 0

How powerful is iron?

Unlike Samsung’s flagships, which are sold only with Exynos branded processors in our market, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is equipped with an eight-core Qualcomm processor. This is a Snapdragon 660 medium segment processor, 6 GB of RAM in our version, which is more than enough. The processor is manufactured in compliance with the 14-nm process technology and includes eight cores of its own design Kryo 260. Four operate at a maximum frequency of 2.2 GHz, and four more – up to 1.8 GHz. Responsible for the graphics is Adreno 512, which copes with modern games a little better than solutions from the average segment of other manufacturers. The processor power is enough for the smooth operation of the interface and any applications in any quantity. Modern games do not slow down, but, for the most part, they do not work at the maximum graphics settings. 

The stability test showed that at peak loads the processor overheats and throttles up to 69%. Although in real life overheating is not observed, exactly like the sinking performance. Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) comes with 6 or 8 GB of RAM, but the internal memory is 128 GB anyway, which is especially nice, considering that this is not a flagship. In addition, there is a separate slot for MicroSD, in this case, you will not need to donate a second SIM card. Wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC and FM tuner. Navigation: A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, satellites catches quickly. 

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has a battery capacity of 3800 mAh. Far from a record, but very impressive capacity, as for Samsung smartphones. It is worth noting that with autonomy everything is very good: you should not expect miracles. But, according to subjective feelings, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) lives really longer than most modern smartphones. Yes, you can land the battery in the evening on any smartphone. But in the usual (for me) working mode, the smartphone lasts 1.5 days without any problems. And this is 20-30 calls minutes, the constant synchronization of the heap of accounts over Wi-Fi / LTE, social. networks, web surfing, YouTube, about half an hour of games and test photos. I think that calmer users will be able to charge it once every two days. Supports fast charging.

What about the interface?

Samsung Galaxy A9 works on Android OS 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0 shell. Samsung is not in a hurry to upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie, which is not surprising, considering the proprietary shell with a bunch of customization and additional features/capabilities. The shell itself is completely redrawn, there is not much left of Android stock. There are a lot of options for displaying desktops: standard, with a separate application menu, which is called by a swipe from the bottom or a separate button. There is also a mode exclusively with desktops and a simplified model with large icons. The shutter is customizable, with familiar icons and brightness settings. On the desktops, a grid of up to 5×6 is supported, there is a one-hand operation mode (a smaller window), a fingerprint scanner triggering the curtain, the ability to customize the navigation bar and hide it if necessary. 

To lock your smartphone, you can use a fingerprint scanner and face recognition. The scanner works very quickly and accurately, face recognition works without problems in good light. The application manager can be displayed in the form of cards or a list. A two-windowed mode with adjustable sizes and the ability to create a shortcut on the desktop for a couple of applications are supported. 

What about the cameras?

The main camera consists of four modules, while it is a record for the main camera in the smartphone. The main module has a resolution of 24 megapixels and is equipped with high-aperture optics, wide-angle module – 8 MP, f / 2.4, 120 ° without autofocus. 

Samsung Galaxy A9

Next – a 10 MP module with f / 2.4 aperture for implementing 2x zoom and a fourth module with 5 MP resolution and f / 2.2 aperture is needed to blur the background. More clearly. Why is this all about? The idea is simple and logical: maximum possibilities and modes for all occasions. 

Samsung Galaxy A9

This is all controlled by the proprietary camera application, which has not changed much compared to other Samsung smartphones. Shooting modes are switched by swipes in different directions, on the main screen there are controls for flash, camera switching and so on. The main innovation was the new three-way switch, which is responsible for the choice of camera. Standard mode, wide-angle and zoom.

Samsung Galaxy A9

As is usually the case with such innovations, the manufacturer needs some time to run in, refine the software and image processing algorithms from the four cameras available. At the moment, the camera takes good pictures (especially considering that this is not a flagship, but a model of the middle price segment) with good lighting, but when lighting decreases, noise appears, detailing decreases, sometimes there are smears.

In the dry residue

If we consider the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) from the usual point of view, then this is a very good smartphone of the average price segment. It boasts a large, high-quality AMOLED-display, let it not a top, but a very productive platform, an impressive amount of both operational and internal memory, a full set of modern wireless interfaces (including NFC for wireless payment) and a very good battery life. But if you recall his main chip, the “four-eyed” main camera, then everything is not so smooth. While the quantity has not turned into quality: the camera is not bad, but not as much as one would expect from promotional materials. I think the situation will improve with updates. A smartphone costs 15,000 UAHand in this price range there are models that shoot better.

5 reasons to buy Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018):

  • quality SuperAMOLED Infinity Display;
  • long battery life;
  • availability of all necessary wireless interfaces including NFC and aptX and LDAC codec support via Bluetooth;
  • productive platform;
  • separate trays for SIM cards and MicroSD and a large amount of internal memory.

2 reasons not to buy Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018):

  • the main camera is of average quality;
  • In this price range, there are competitors with more powerful stuffing.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

The world’s first smartphone with four main cameras. Equipped with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD + resolution. For the operation of the device meets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and 6/8 GB of RAM. In the novelty also installed 128/512 GB ROM, battery for 3700 mAh.

Specifications Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Display SuperAMOLED, 6.3 inches, 2220×1080 (aspect ratio 18.5: 9), 392 ppi
Housing dimensions: 162.5x77x7.8 mm, weight: 183 g
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, 64 bit, 14 nm, 4Kryo 260 2.2 GHz and 4xKryo 260 1.8 GHz, graphics accelerator Adreno 512
Flash memory 128 GB, microSD
Camera Primary: 24 megapixels (f / 1.7) with autofocus, wide-angle module – 8 MP, f / 2.4, 120 ° without autofocus, 10 MP with f / 2.4 aperture for 2x zoom, 5 MP and f / 2.2 aperture for background blurring.
Wireless technology Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (dual-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 c aptX, NFC, FM tuner
Battery 3800 mAh, non-removable
operating system Android 8.0 Oreo + Samsung Experience 9.0
Sim card 2xNanoSIM

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