Finally, it's time to talk about the feat of this glorious phone. Yes, the camera system on the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is the best thing about the phone, with a DXOMARK score of 99, more than the Apple iPhone X (97) and Google Pixel 2 (98). As the phone itself is branded as 'Camera, reimagined', it gives us a hint that there will be major improvements in the camera department and turns out, there are quite a lot.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ has a rear dual 12 MP camera setup with a world's first mechanical aperture of f/1.5-2.4 in a phone. The special thing about this camera is that it has a much bigger pixel density than the previous Samsung Galaxy S8+ which means more information in the pictures together with dual aperture technology, where the camera lens changes its aperture according to the lighting conditions just like a human eye. This aperture system comes as a remedy for all the grainy low-light photo scenarios we had to face with previous Samsung Galaxy phones, as the new camera absorbs 28% more light due to its ability to switch between the two apertures. The camera shoots beautiful pictures and takes stunning videos up to 4K at 60 frames per second which is quite impressive. The videos I took from this phone were sharp, with lots of details and very stable, thanks to the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
The front camera is an 8 MP shooter with an f/1.7 aperture and it takes great selfies in almost all sorts of lighting conditions and what impressed me the most was its ability to autofocus even with the front camera, something we don't usually see in phones. It can still record in 2K which is pretty decent for a front camera video.
I took the phone out on a camera spree to test it in different conditions and it did not disappoint me at all. The selfies I took were sharp and had more details, thanks to the 8 MP front camera and after comparing it with selfies I took on the Samsung Galaxy Note8, I would say that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ just performs better.
The star of the show was the main rear dual camera setup which worked like a charm. The pictures I took were both in bright sunlight and indoors at a dimly lit restaurant and in both cases, the pictures came out to be great. The colors were accurate, the saturation was on point and the overall image quality was just super fine.
There are several shooting modes which comes in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ but the one which got my attention was the Super Slow-Motion mode which shoots videos at 960 fps at 720p. The slowed down videos look fun and dramatic, although, the video can be shot only for a few seconds and there's some image quality loss as in low light the video might come rather grainy. It's a cool feature, or a gimmick, depending on how much you'll use the Slow-Motion mode.
In normal video mode, you can shoot videos up to a resolution of 4K, which is nothing new but now the video can be shot at 60 fps. This doesn't come without its downside as the video can be of a maximum 5 minutes only and there's still no OIS support for the 4K video mode. One upside is that Samsung now gives you the option of recording normal speed video in the new HEVC format to save space.
The Camera resolution is the same as last year's Samsung Galaxy s8+ with 12 MP but now as there are two cameras, the overall detail in the image is impressive. The sharpness in the pictures is improved as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and there's almost zero noise even at low lights. The colors might get overexposed during bright sunlight though and I think the Apple iPhone X handles such conditions better but in all other situations, this phone's camera reigned over the Apple iPhone X's. Another area where the camera performs better than the Apple iPhone X was in the portrait mode with the bokeh effect. The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S9+ detects the edges off the object much better than the Apple iPhone X, hence, creating an overall improved portrait mode photo which can fool someone to believe that the picture was taken from a DSLR.
The Camera app on the phone is robust, yet simple to operate with multiple shooting modes and a great control over the camera with the pro mode where we can tweak every setting and set out preferred one for the best experience. Toggling the front and back cameras is an intuitive swipe up or down on the screen, while triggering the selfie camera timer is an effortless open-hand gesture. The phone has the fastest way to launch its camera app: just double-press the physical sleep/wake button and you're ready to snap your next shot.
Ultimately, this phone comes out to be the new low light camera king and The camera phone to beat. Its adjustable aperture helps to take absolutely stunning photos, something no other phone is yet to achieve and it becomes my favorite camera phone setting up benchmarks for others to follow.