I am sure that all of us would have heard about the recently released Samsung Galaxy S9. And how Samsung is so proud of the work that it did with its cameras. While the might seem like a rule of the thumb that any latest flagship device would automatically get the highest DXO mark (the universally accepted smartphone camera benchmark test), it is not necessarily true.
Recently, the site posted a 99 for the S9+, beating the amazing Google Pixel 2’s very good camera by a point, and the iPhone X by two the. This is not at all surprising as the The S9 camera itself still has a 12-megapixel sensor with OIS, fast autofocus and is accompanied by an app that’s easy to use. Video can now be recorded at 4k 60fps – as is possible on the iPhone X – or at 960fps for a short burst.
What makes it even more amazing is that instead of having a fixed aperture on the lens, the S9 can shift between f/2.4 and f/1.5, providing ideal optics for both day and night photography. If it’s bright outside, it will shoot at f/2.4; but when there’s less light available then the lens will widen and utilise f/1.5 to let in more light. We have seen software-based variable apertures on phones from Huawei and Honor before, but they’ve essentially been ‘bokeh’ filters. If it works as well as Samsung’s admittedly very staged demos suggested, then this could be the phone to beat if you like to take pictures in dingy bars.
For the young at hear amongst us, there’s also a new AR Emoji feature that appears to be in response to Apple’s Animoji. These AR faces look a little more like Bitmoji than typical emoji, with a human touch, but like Apple’s variant they map your face with the 5-megapixel selfie camera and replicate your movements on-screen.
DxO Mark site gives the S9+ its highest photo score for a handset so far. The video score, while note quite tops, is still up there. According to DxOMark, “The S9 Plus comes with a camera that hasn’t got any obvious weaknesses and performs very well across all photo and video test categories.”
Furthermore, The S9+ also sport has a zoom lens not found on the S9, which significantly reduces artifacts. The phone also gets high marks for its bokeh effect (for Portrait Mode), which was pretty good to start with on the last note handset.
Of course nothing is perfect in life but at this stage and level, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is definitely better than some quality DSLRs or professional cameras if you may, and is certainly the best smartphone camera out there as of now.