The Samsung Galaxy S9 is overlooked. Despite some ridiculous pricing scams from major carriers, it has significant redesigns from the Galaxy S8. That is apart from two nasty surprises. I have quite recently discovered…

‘Awesome Secret Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular segments exploring the best features/most serious issues holed up behind the headlines.

Let’s break them down:

  1. The Year-Old Camera

While Samsung has been quick to build up up the potentially groundbreaking dual aperture rear camera on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus (model feature comparison here), what the company didn’t reveal is it has not been so proactive with their forward-looking cameras. Speaking to Samsung’s legitimate PR group, it confirmed:

“The front-facing camera is 8MP, the same as latest Samsung device, so there haven’t been any changes in this respect.”

This is disappointing in light of the fact that the Galaxy S8 front-facing camera was already one of the worst performers compared to last year’s crop of flagship smartphones. Most quite the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s stellar selfie shooters left it in the dust.




  1. Missing Portrait Mode

Compounding the front-facing camera debacle, Samsung’s PR confirmed the Galaxy S9 has no Portrait Mode on either its front or back cameras as the company is still reliant on dual cameras to achieve this:

“Only the S9+ has live focus (essentially portrait mode), which utilizes the two rear cameras.”

This leaves Samsung at a significant disadvantage as not only is Portrait Mode arguably the most exciting addition to smartphone photography in recent years (it blurs the background of a picture, similar to a DSLR, to make the subject pop), but both Apple’s iPhone X and Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can shoot convincing selfie. Portrait Mode shots with only one camera.

Pixel 2 XL Portrait Mode with the front camera Thanks to Forbes

Surprisingly, while the Galaxy S9’s primary rear camera is omitted, Samsung does say the front-facing camera on both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus has a Portrait Mode stand-in called ‘Selfie Focus’.

Selfie Focus mode on the Galaxy S9 – image thanks to AndroidAuthority

Special Thanks To Forbes

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