Samsung is taking a fresh approach with its mid-range Galaxy A-series, because the old way has proved to be unfruitful in today’s competitive market. Samsung is showing that it can anticipate trends — or at least keep up with other companies that do. It’s quite a surprise that Samsung’s first quad-camera phone is an A-series model. Having four cameras unlocks a wide number of modes and options for users to capture the perfect shot. But are four cameras enough to give the Galaxy A9 an edge over the competition?
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) specs
Body: Glass back, metal frame; 162.5 x 77 x 7.8mm, 183g; Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink color schemes;
Display: 6.3″ Super AMOLED, FullHD+ 2,220×1,080px resolution Infinity display (18.5:9 aspect ratio), 392ppi pixel density.
Rear camera: Primary 24MP, f/1.7 aperture; phase detection autofocus. Secondary 8MP, f/2.4 aperture, fixed focus, 12mm ultrawide. Third 10MP, f/2.4 aperture, autofocus, 2x optical zoom telephoto. Fourth 5MP, f/2.2 aperture, depth sensing only. LED flash. 2160p/30fps video recording.
Front camera: 24MP, f/2.0 aperture; fixed focus; 1080p/30fps video recording.
OS/Software: Android 8.0 Oreo; Samsung Experience 9.0 custom overlay.
Chipset: Snapdragon 660: octa-core 4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260, Adreno 512 GPU.
Memory: 6GB/8GB (market dependant) of RAM, 128GB of storage; dedicated microSD slot for expansion.
Battery: 3,800 mAh Li-Po (sealed); Samsung Adaptive Fast charging.
Connectivity: Dual SIM; LTE Cat. 9 (450Mbps download/50Mbps upload); USB 2.0 Type-C port; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/AC; GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0; FM radio.
Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; Samsung Pay; single speaker on the bottom; 3.5mm jack.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) design
The 2018 model looks quite different from its predecessor which offered a metal unibody design. This one has more glass, more display and a gradient colour design that completes the overall look. It is offered in some funky colours called Bubblegum Pink and Lemonade Blue. The Caviar Black is plain without any gradient design, for those looking for a more subtle option. The body of the Galaxy A9 is quite attractive. The 3D glass on the back curves around the edges and into the metal frame, giving it a Galaxy S9 like comfortable and premium feel.
The power, volume and Bixby buttons on the sides also have a nice click to them. I like the placement of the Bixby button, in particular, as it is placed above center and reduces accidental presses.The top of the frame sees a slot that will hold two Nano SIMs and a microSD card. The bottom sees a speaker grille, USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. The squarish fingerprint sensor on the back is well-positioned and made it easy to reach and identify on one go. The four cameras have been placed vertically and are pretty flush with the panel so you won’t have to worry about any imbalance or damage to the lenses while placing the phone on a flat surface.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Display
The Galaxy A9 comes with a tall 6.3-inch FHD+ (1080×2160) Super AMOLED Infinity display. This is a sharp and vivid panel with some oversaturated colours, which is natural to find on Samsung’s OLED displays. App icons look bright with colours that pop on screen. Blacks are deep and viewing angles look good. The brightness is good enough even in bright, sunlit conditions. This is a display that should keep you pleased while streaming videos or playing games.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Performance
Galaxy A9 (2018) is a Snapdragon 660 chipset powered phone. The phone handles most intensive tasks with ease, showing barely any signs of lagging or slowdown. Apps are quick to open and load and multitasking is a breeze thanks to 6GB of RAM on board. The Galaxy A9 is a great device to play graphic intensive games like PUBG. Not only will the game run smoothly with negligible frame rate drop. The phone does get a little warm after about 10 to 15 minutes, but it won’t affect battery life significantly. The Galaxy A9 is still on Android 8.0 Oreo with Experience 9.0 on top. It’s disappointing to see Galaxy phones running Oreo when Pie has been out for months.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Cameras
There is quad cameras on the back of the new Galaxy A9. This setup includes a 24MP main sensor with f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP 120-degree ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.4 aperture, a 10MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and a 5MP depth sensor. The front camera also sees a 24MP selfie camera. Outdoors and with adequate sunlight, photos captured with the primary lens look bright and sharp thanks to a fast shutter speed. The 24MP primary camera will retain good detail even after zooming in. The camera app comes with a host of modes like Live Focus, Beauty, Super Slow-Mo and Scene Optimiser, among others that you can play around with depending on the situation. If you use Scene Optimiser while photographing the camera will boost the contrast so colours look deep. In low-light situations, the zoom and ultra wide-angle cameras are not useful at all.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Battery
The phone gets a large 3,800mAh battery with fast charge support via USB Type-C. Samsung has given a generous amount of battery here so you can message, watch a few videos on a bright AMOLED display or play a session or two of PUBG and play around with the quad cameras and still be left with some battery in the tank by the end of the day. Thanks to fast charging support, the Galaxy A9 takes a little under 2 hours to charge from zero to 100 per cent.
Samsung has certainly made a splash, and is showing a creative new side while beating all its Chinese competitors to market with the next big feature. Cameras aside, this is a competent phone that delivers strong performance and looks good doing it. If you’re looking for a big, bold style statement, you’ve found one. The Snapdragon 660 chipset is a capable and smooth performer that won’t let you down with a sufficient amount of RAM on board. Of course, it won’t come close to what the OnePlus 6T delivers with its Snapdragon 845 chipset. The gradient design and 3D curved glass makes the Galaxy A9 a very good-looking phone. Lastly, the crisp and vivid AMOLED display is one of the best you’ll get in this segment.