Hands-on and first impressions with the Samsung Galaxy S9+

Despite only having a limited amount of exposure to last year's Galaxy S8+, the Galaxy S9+ feels quite familiar, offering very little difference in my opinion when it comes to the exterior. That isn't necessarily a bad thing and we have seen iterative successors in the past, but with all the hype surrounding new technologies on the horizon, you would think that Samsung would somehow be the one to bring it to the masses. Not that expectations were extraordinarily high for something completely new, spoiled by the leaks and all, but it would have been nice to have experienced something different.

That isn't to say that the Galaxy S9+ isn't a solid device. The moment you unpack it, you can tell that this is a quality piece of hardware, with just the right amount of heft to give it a perfect in hand feel. While it does pack a 6.2-inch display, it doesn't feel large in hand, mainly because of the 18:9 ratio, making for a more slender and taller device. The display's curved edges blend into the side bezels of the handset with the small bezels around the sides that are meant to prevent accidental touches. From a little over a day's use. I can say that those accidental touches still occur and is something that users will have to deal with if they want to own a Galaxy S9+.

Samsung has long mastered AMOLED technology in its displays and you can clearly see its years of experience at work in the latest model. The screen looks great indoors and outdoors, with colors having just the right about of pop, and images looking incredibly sharp. If the colors aren't to your liking, you can always customize the experience using the preloaded color profiles, adjusting the colors balance to a warmer or cooler look, and even getting more advanced by adjusting the reds, greens, and blues.

The rear is made of glass and as you can imagine, attracts quite a bit of fingerprints and smudges, which is to be expected. Also on the rear is the repositioned fingerprint reader, which still doesn't offer much distinction when compared to its surroundings. Located above the fingerprint sensor is the new dual camera setup, offering a gamut of new options like the Super Slow Motion mode and the ability to change between two different apertures. The images captured during the day were great, and the images and videos that were captured at night were okay. When you pixel peep lowlight photos you can see that the detail is lost, but this is something common with most smartphones. The HDR can be a bit aggressive, especially in lower light, but you do have the option to permanently disable it if you'd like. Naturally, we will be going more in-depth on this aspect in the coming weeks and publish our findings.

When it comes to performance, things run quite smooth thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB RAM. This is, of course, a brand new handset, so if things didn't run smooth, it would be a bit strange. As for battery life, by starting the day at around 9am, the Galaxy S9+ managed early into the next day without charging. The battery drain in the first hour was quite heavy, as 4K video was being shot. But after that, with normal use like web browsing using Chrome, YouTube, streaming Google Play Music through Bluetooth, and some light Snapchat - things leveled off. The day ended at around 10pm and the S9+ still had around 38 percent of battery left. Now, there are ways to extend the battery life, like lowering the resolution of the screen, but in its stock setup, I don't think this is a handset that will last heavy users all day. Luckily, it does have the ability to Quick Charge, which can quickly top up the battery a good amount in less than an hour. More testing will have to be done throughout its use to make a final conclusion.

Overall, things have been good with the Galaxy S9+, but this was just a quick hands-on and first impressions. If you would like to see something in particular, be sure to leave a comment down below.

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