Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ at MWC 2018 with a promise of offering the best camera on a smartphone yet. According to DxOMark, the South Korean smartphone maker has managed to achieve just that.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+, the larger of the two models which also features a dual-camera system at the rear, has defeated the Google Pixel 2 to take the top spot. The Galaxy S9+ has scored 99, which is one point more than the Google Pixel 2 and two points more than Apple iPhone X. With a photo sub-score of 104 and video sub-score of 91, the Galaxy S9+ scored five points more than last year’s Galaxy Note 8, which was rated at 94.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are iterative updates to last year’s Galaxy S8 models and they come with the latest hardware enhancements. However, the South Korean company has focused entirely on offering a camera that performs better than the Pixel 2 and iPhone X. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature an updated 12-megapixel primary sensor at the back with variable aperture that can be opened to f/1.5 and closed down to f/2.4. The Galaxy S9+ also features a secondary 12-megapixel image sensor at the back like the Note 8 with f/2.4 aperture that acts as telephoto lens, and optical image stabilization.
In its test, DxOMark observes that the camera on the Galaxy S9+ does not have any obvious weakness in bright and sunny conditions. It says the smartphone captures bright colors with very wide dynamic range and good exposure. It notes Samsung has achieved the right balance between reducing noise and retaining details. However, it does produce artifacts with purple fringing on high-contrast edges and noticeable ringing halos. Since the aperture is wider than standard smartphones, the Galaxy S9+ ends up producing pictures with softer edges.
The Galaxy S9+ has achieved the highest score for still images for any smartphone in the DxOMark testing yet. Its strongest assets are good target exposure, wide dynamic range and good color delivery in all shooting conditions. “Even under close inspection, no color shading is evident in bright-light shots,” DxOMark says in its review.
However, DxOMark says it is not the number one smartphone for video despite offering a good video camera. It says fine detail in video footage is not on the same level as that of Pixel 2 and iPhone X. “We noticed occasional stepping during exposure convergence in changing light levels, and the stabilization system isn’t quite capable of eliminating all motion and shaking when walking with the camera while recording.”
It is pretty clear that camera is the single major differentiator among flagship smartphones and with the launch of Pixel 2 and iPhone X during the end of 2017, Samsung seemed to have fallen behind in the curve. With the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, Samsung is making a strong comeback and that camera alone might convince a lot of users to upgrade to the new phone.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be officially launched in India on March 6 and is expected to available online from Flipkart and the Samsung e-shop. The smartphone is expected to be priced around Rs 60,000 for the Galaxy S9.