A few years ago, a little smartphone maker changed the way we listened to music on our phones. That company, known as HTC, started to have dual speakers in its phones way before it was cool. 3 years later, we see all other manufacturers catching up, by not only adding a secondary speaker, but also put sounds as an important feature of their devices.
With that context in mind, Samsung finally decided to make sounds as important as they have made their screen/displays. With the S9+, you get an amazing sound experience. You get stereo speakers that are tuned by AKG (by Harman) and are Dolby Atmos certified. SO when you are streaming your favorite Netflix action flick or listening to Pandora/Spotify, I promise you, the sound will blow you away!
Give it a try and hear it for yourself. Although, as a side note, I am not sure how much Dolby Atmos would really matter at this size, but hey, I hope Dolby labs knows what they are doing
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ comes with something called Bixby Vision. Bixby Vision is a pretty cool tool that uses the camera to help provide information. What kind of information, you ask? Below, I’ll review some of the functions that Bixby Vision can perform.
First, to access Bixby Vision, either open Bixby Vision app on your device, or open the camera and tap “Vision” icon.
Let’s say you’re at a statue or see a historical landmark and want to learn more about it. Just point your S9 camera at the landmark and tap the “Vision” icon. It will provide information about that landmark.
In a foreign country and see some text in a foreign language that you do not understand? Simply point your S9 camera at the text, tap the vision icon, and the text will translate live on your screen. No need to take a photo of it for the translation to occur. You can also access this feature by opening the Bixby Vision app directly (instead of going through the camera menu).
Let’s say you see something you’re interesting in buying. Open Bixby Vision, point your camera at it, Bixby Vision will attempt to identify the object and find one similar to it online to purchase.
Curious about the food you’re eating? Bixby Vision can identify the food and then tell you the nutritional data on it. Here are two screenshots of Bixby Vision identifying my banana.
It can have some hiccups, however. For example, I tried to identify some M&M’s, but as you can see it thought they were Skittles instead.
Bixby Vision also identifies wines. By pointing Bixby Vision and the bottle, you can learn about the wine rating and the vineyard from which it came. I haven’t tried this feature yet though.
It also has a cool make-up feature using augmented reality and makeup from Sephora. Simply point the camera at your face and try on various lipsticks, eyeshadows, blushes, eyelashes, etc. I could see this tool being useful to virtually try on makeup before you buy it.
So, if you’re getting a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+, definitely check out Bixby Vision. It is some pretty cool technology, and a lot of fun to use.
One thing that has always stood out for me with all Samsung devices is the quality of the camera. I have tried many different phones and each time I find myself migrating back to Samsung.
The S9+ has taken the Samsung to a whole new level of innovation with an industry first with its dual aperture f/1.5 and f/2.4. This lower f rating means more light able to fill the lens and in turn in theory better low light performance. Let’s face it, most flash pictures taken with a phone based camera are terrible so few people use them. This means that for a quality shot taken in low light, you need good performance that is flash free.
The S9+ also has built in a second camera lens that allows dual capture and a live focus option to give you a professional looking blur to the background of your shots. Live focus feature means that right on the screen you are able to adjust as you take the picture not only what is blurred but the level of effect as well.
This feature uses the phones “telephoto” lens so you will need to be 3 to 5 feet away from the object you want to capture and this works best outside with good lighting.
An easy thing to overlook when using the live focus feature is that the camera is actually taking two pictures at once. The picture defaults to the “close-up” using the telephoto lens and at the same time is taking a picture with the other “wide-angle” lens. Live focus is an option chosen through the camera menu which is found at the top of your screen when the camera is launched.
After the picture is taken, is it possible to switch between the close up live focus view and a wider view. This can be done easily using a menu found in your phone gallery. This menu and the option to change views is not available for pictures uploaded to Google Photos.
Having moved to the S9+ from the V30+, I was excited to learn about this wide angle lens hoping there was a way to take wide angle only shots. Unfortunately, the wide angle referenced is only wide in comparison to the telephoto shot. Pictures taken using auto or other options are at the same angle. This means the other lens is not a true wide angle.
"wide angle" vs telephoto
So, how does the phone actually perform in low light and using the live focus? I am going to have to so say--Fantastic! The file size and space limitations degrade the quality of my Community uploads but you will nonetheless get an idea from my examples how will the camera performs. So far I am very pleased.
If you would like to see more shots you can visit me on Instagram @davidnprogress
The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee
Today’s blog is on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Bixby Vision! I’ve written about Bixby Vision before on the Samsung Note 8. If you want to check out the Bixby Vision write up for that device, go here. The Bixby Vision application is new and improve on the GS9, so therefor worthy of a second write-up!
Samsung has really impressed me with taking it up a notch in the biometrics space. For those of you that don’t know what biometrics are, “Biometrics is the process by which a person's unique physical and other traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device as a means of confirming identity.”1 On the Galaxy S9 Plus, there are several ways that Samsung uses biometric data to unlock your device and use Samsung Pay.
First: Fingerprint Scanning. Fingerprint scanning launched a few years back and has always been one of my favorite ways to unlock my devices. In the former days of fingerprint scanning, to record your fingerprint you had to tap your finger multiple times until it recorded your finger and its edges. Sometimes, I’d record the same finger several times just to make sure it would accept my finger when unlocking the device. With the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, your fingerprint is recorded with just a swipe of the finger across the fingerprint sensor (which is on the back of the device below the camera). To do this, visit Settings > Lock screen and security > Fingerprint Scanner, and follow the prompts. Recording fingerprints is much simpler than it was before.
Second: Face Recognition. Samsung has brought their facial recognition into the S9 series, and it works great. In order to record your face to use for unlocking your device and using Samsung Pay, go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Face Recognition, and follow the prompts. The front camera will scan your face and map your biometric data.
Third: Iris Scanner. I don’t know about you, but this just somewhat feels like we are entering the age of Minority Report. If you don’t get the reference, check out this video: https://youtu.be/zhpCu-ZJiu4. The Iris Scanner works beautifully on the GS9 plus. Using this biometric data will allow you to unlock your device and use Samsung Pay as well. To record your iris scan, go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Iris scanner, and follow the prompts. Also in this menu area, you can change your Preview screen mask to a fun mask that will appear when your irises are being scanned.
Fourth: Intelligent scan. This is an awesome feature and makes unlocking your device all the simpler. Intelligent Scan improves accuracy and security by using BOTH iris and face data. In normal or low light conditions, the iris opens and provides data to unlock for a secure authentication scan. In bright sunlight, the iris contracts, making facial recognition a better method of access. Combining these two authentication methods into “Intelligent Scan” makes for unlocking your device under different conditions work well. This is what I have enabled on my device and it works most of the time. The only times it doesn’t work is when I’m not holding my phone upright and steady.
Samsung has done a super job with adding biometrics into the Galaxy S9 series. I’m quite impressed, and think you will be too.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PAs do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #jruggiero #sprintproductambassadors
Android Influence are blogs written by Product Ambassadors who are Sprint employees and Device Champions who are customer device experts, both volunteer to test and blog about Sprint Android devices. Information and opinions posted here do not necessarily reflect or represent that of Sprint itself.