Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review

This Samsung galaxy s9 plus review will take you through its camera performance in detail by comparing it with...

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samsung galaxy s9 plus review

This Samsung galaxy s9 plus review will take you through its camera performance in detail by comparing it with the likes of iPhone and Pixel 2.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the latest smartphone that is taking the world by a storm. Most people will think that it resembles the Galaxy Note 8, which I agree because it has been designed with a similar dual-camera setup. But when you get down to it make, you will realize that the camera has been added with a variable-aperture lens installed on the main camera.

When you are in dim conditions, the camera will use a slower f/1.5 aperture that is very fast so that it is able to maximize the light that it captures. The opposite happens when there is a bright light. It switches back to use a slower f/2.4 aperture so that you are able to get a detailed and sharp image. If you want to make it unique, just try to add a 2* optical zoom on the secondary camera and with a super-slow-motion mode, then you will be ready to get the best video mode.

Camera Specifications

  • 12Mp main camera
  • Both lenses have OIS
  • Dual-pixel PDAF for the main camera
  • Has a LED flash
  • 4K video at 60fps
  • 720p for slow-motion videos at 960 fps

The camera of this phone always undergoes tests from time to time with our DxOMark engineers. They capture and evaluate almost 1500 test images. To ensure that it works completely, they also take videos of more than 2 hours in controlled and natural environments. This article has been made to give you the most important results that you will get from our testing. If you want to get more of the results from DxOmark mobile test control, then click here.

Test Summary

The DxOMark took an overall score of 99 points. That is why this phone has the number one spot in the mobile ranking. The S9 has been made with a camera that does not have any weakness and will perform well both in video recording or photo taking sessions. It managed to get a photo score of 104 points and makes it the best ever seen in the market. Although the video managed to score low points of 91, it is still in the range of the best and an ideal one among Samsung phones.

Bright Light performance

Galaxy S9 Image
Galaxy S9 images show bright colors and low levels of noise in all conditions.

You don’t have to get worried when there is a bright light or even sunny condition; this camera has been made to give you excellent results. The colors that it produces are bright, vivid and also with a dynamic range. Samsung has gone a step further, in making sure that there is a good balance between the retention of detail and also noise reduction. The fine detail levels might not be that good but what keeps or makes it a promising one I the ability to ensure that you get fine textures, noise management that is good when you are doing a recording and limited grain when you are having blue skies. The autofocus is not as fast as you might want but you will get the best. This is a reliable phone and will always give you good results.

Also read, Samsung Galaxy S8, Best Flagship Phone Ever?

The camera of the phone has not been detected with serious weaknesses but we cannot miss criticizing its artifacts. This is because the bright light images fickle around and show images with purple fringing on high-contrast. The corners that it produces are a little softer when you compare them with the center part. But these are all minor issues as the camera is known as the best bright light performer.

Low light and also flash usage

When you are in dimmer environment or conditions, expect this smartphone to give you impressive performance. For the camera to give you the best, you will realize that there will be a reduction if fine detail so that the phone is able to its sensitivity and multi-frame sensitivity so that it is able to adapt to low light. It is also confirmed that it is able to maintain and balance between noise and detail in any light level. We managed to get one downside of this; there was a sight underexposure that was noticeable. But that is a problem that lies across all other products, even across Samsung competitors. But the good part is that this is a no-problem because it is never noticeable in real life shots.

galaxy s9 plus image
The Galaxy S9 Plus records nice exposures with vivid color, accurate white balance, low noise, and good texture in low-light conditions.

Light can be too low to take a shot, that means that the Galaxy S9 flash is readily available to save the situation at all times. When you use the flash, images will show good exposure. The auto white balance will also help in producing accurate results; the only problem that we realized here is that the flash can sometimes lead to an emergence of red-eye effect.

samsung s9 image
Flash exposure is good, but a red-eye effect can be visible.

Zooming and Bokeh

When you compare this phone with other cameras in its class, then it is proofed that you will get or achieve the best results when you are zooming. It has the best resolution and will work impressively up to a 4X zoom factor. When you look at the zoomed images, you will notice that they are cleaner and finer than those that emanate from its direct competitors.

The comparison below gives you a better viewing point of why this is a smartphone that cannot be compared with others. The Google Pixel 2 is admired for its single lens camera performance, but remember that it does not have a dedicated telelens. That makes it not to be in a good position to compete with Apple and Samsung products.

The dual camera set-up makes Galaxy S9 plus generate you the best ‘bokeh-simulation’ images. The blur does not only extend to the back of a scene but also to the foreground. The blur strength and also the transitions are able to make a good look at the images. The idea of subject selection is also one of the best although at some point minor segmentation artifacts tend to be visible when you look at the foreground subject. They are limited in bokeh mode when you compare it with the standard shooting mode.

The photo scores explained

Galaxy S9 plus was given a total score of 104, making it able to achieve higher scores of still images. These overall photo scores are got from calculating results from sub-scores in tests that were carried out to examine different aspects of their performance n different lighting conditions. Let’s look at this image quality sub-scores.

Exposure and contrast (91)

It does not matter which light condition you will find yourself in, this is a phone that has been made to give you the best of qualities at all times. It has been designed with an Auto HDR system. The only downside that you will get from this product is slight exposure variables when you are taking images in just the same place. The effect can be strong is some that might result in a look that is not natural.

The dynamic range comparison is also given below between Galaxy S9 plus, Google Pixel 2 and also iPhone X. The winner of them all is Samsung because it achieves a wider range especially in high light areas of the frame that you can find a lot of detail. Some scenes will give you a strong effect which will result in an effect that is not natural.

If you are having difficult high contrast scenes, then Galaxy S9 is the right phone that will help you to deal with that. It has an ability that will assist you in getting a balance between exposing the foreground effect and maintaining a brighter background.

google pixel 2 bokeh outdoor
Target exposure in this backlit window is very good. A lot of detail is maintained in the bright background and the foreground.

Below, there is a test chart that was short at an extremely low light. The image that came up was slightly underexposed but the good thing about it is that it is still large and usable. Most competitors that will fall under this scenario might not give you a better picture at all.

1 Lux
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus extreme low-light (1 Lux) test chart exposure.

Color (81)

The color that you will get from using this smartphone is one of the best. Some of the points that were deducted from this system are just because of a slightly visible slight pink or blue color that is cast in outdoor scenes. When we compared the three cameras in our comparison below, we found that variance is exposure is all that brings out the difference. You will notice color shading in low light shots but is a non-issue when you use Samsung.

Autofocus (91)

The autofocus that is installed in Samsung Galaxy S9 plus might not be the fastest but also close to being the best of them all. The chart that is below has been made to give out the performance in low light (20 Lux). You will get to know that the level of acutance and also the focusing time are consistent.

samsung galaxy s9 autofocus
Defocusing between each shot and then requesting focus, the Galaxy S9 Plus was quick to respond in low light (20 Lux), with the average delay around 320ms.

Texture (67)

You can be able to completely separate texture and noise because they are interlinked. That allows us to look at the two all at the same time. With our Galaxy phone, our engineers moved a step further to ensure that they compromise between detail retention and noise reduction. When you ensure that the two are balanced well, you have a better and finer outcome. Noise levels are low in bright light and low light.

In the comparison below, Samsung gives out the best good detail but lags a bit behind to leave Google Pixel 2 take over.

When you go to low light level, Samsung outranks them all as it is able to provide the clearest picture. But the Google device also takes up when you compare the levels of detail and texture.

Noise (79)

The image that was produced by Galaxy S9 Pl the s in bright light of 1000 Lux, it was much cleaner and smoother when compared to its competitors. This is because the device is able to maintain its noise advantage in any light level that it comes across. Both the Google device and iPhone X produce much grainier images. The only downside with Samsung is that it can erase some fine color details.

Artifacts (62)

This is now a point and place that makes Samsung fail. It easily produces purple fringing on high contrasts edges hence ringing halos will easily be noticeable when you zoom an image to 100%. You will also get to realize that some images produce softer corners, flare and also vignetting.

Flash (86)

The camera in this phone will capture good images by use of a flash and give you a decent enclosure and white balance. But we can also say that slight variance will be noticed when you are shooting a series of images using a flash. Slight color changes will also be noticed when you use low 5 Lux tungsten light. Never worry about the red-eye effect because this device just works generally well when you are shooting by use of a flash.

Zoom (65)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is our phone that currently performs best in this category, Galaxy S9 does not fail too because it also works on just the same platform. The zoom technology is impressive and can run up to 4x in magnification. So if you are that person that uses zoom factor frequently, Samsung has been designed just for you.

Samsung device has been designed to have dual-cam setup but works a little harder to give more detail that iPhone X. the Pixel 2 cannot be in this race because it has a single-lens camera. This can be ascertained by the real-life shots that we took below.

Bokeh (50)

Galaxy S9 has the ability to capture images that are able to simulate the ‘DSLR-Look’. When you compare it with other competitors, when you use the portrait mode you will get pleasant blur images that have smooth transitions that extend to the foreground of the scene. Detail is also one of the best noticeable things when you use the bright-light conditions.

galaxy s9 bokeh
Bokeh mode produces pleasant blur, but some segmentation artifacts are usually noticeable — for example, around the hand of our subject in this picture.


Samsung is the device that takes the day as it sets up the pace. It has no real weaknesses that can make the camera loose detail and value. That is why you can also take good still photos and videos without getting to worry at all. You will get the best zooming ability with a capable bokeh simulation mode.


– It has a quite fast and accurate autofocus

– Can be used both in indoor and outdoor shooting conditions

– Noise is well controlled in all conditions

– You will get bright and vivid colors

– Gives you good target exposure and faster exposure transition

– Good stabilizations are also provided by the device.


– Can provide slight color contrasts

– There is a visible residual global motion

– During exposure convergence, you might get visible stepping occasionally

– Noticeable ringing that can also cause loss of sharpness in the field.

All credits for this review go to the author Lars Rehm and the website DxOMark

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TheTechVerse is a blog for ultimate security, hacking, hardware, software, gaming leaks, articles, news and reviews on AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, iOS & more. Profile

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