The Korean brand surprised us last year with another of those terminals that “cause a sensation”. Although the company has a wide market in the premium range through the Samsung Galaxy S10 that competes with iPhone XR and XS, with the Xiaomi Mi 9, or with the Huawei mate 20, the company also manages good terminals in the medium-high range. On other occasions, we have been able to test devices from this price range such as the Bq Aquaris X2 PRO, or the Xiaomi Mi A2. Those last with Android One. Today the device that we bring you is a phone that will not leave anyone indifferent. We have tested for a month, the Samsung Galaxy A9.
With an official price of € 499, the terminal offers us 4 cameras, dual-color chassis, fast charge, fingerprint sensor, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and Snapdragon 660 processor (all discussed in detail below). All this on a large phone, as we are going to explain.
BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE COLOR DESIGN.
Just take the terminal out of its box, we are surprised by its careful design with double color. In our case a light blue tone in the upper part of the terminal, which becomes darker in its lower part. The aesthetic is impressive, its 4 cameras attract a lot of attention. The mobile that becomes large in one hand, surprises with its impeccable and aesthetic finish. The rounded lines and its “almost” all-screen in the front, let you see a Smartphone that does not go unnoticed.
This double color rear part that we also see in terminals such as OPPO RX 17 Neo and Pro, supports decently the marks of use and wear.
SCREEN WITH SAMSUNG QUALITY.
With 6.3 inches and a screen ratio of more than 80%, this Super AMOLED panel with FHD + resolution has a good level of color and contrasts. We know that the Korean manufacturer has one of the best panel technologies in the market and just start the terminal, it shows. The colors when viewing online content or playing video games are exceptional. The screen does not completely cover the front and is that it is a terminal without a notch. This has a bezel, although it is a large panel. The resolution is 2220 X 1080 px. The consumption with such a screen is not excessive and we have the option Always On Display. We can say that on the outside the screen works correctly, not being affected much by the flashes of sunlight. The brand of our fingers with the user will appear, without this being a disaster.
UNLOCK THROUGH FACE SENSOR AND FACIAL RECOGNITION.
On the back of the device and above the company logo, the terminal has the fingerprint sensor. This sensor is correct, being fast in unlocking the terminal and not presenting many problems. As in most terminals, you have a problem if your hands are wet or a drop of rain has fallen. The placement in the back does not obey the implementation that many companies are taking to integrate it into the screen. As in previous terminals of the brand the sensor will allow you to unlock the phone, start applications and programs with that extra security.
The Galaxy A9, also has face recognition, having this option to unlock the terminal. By this means it takes just a few seconds to access the device. All the above as always depends on factors such as light, the shape of the face, and accessories such as caps or glasses that make unlocking almost impossible. To unlock it by this means the screen has to be active.
PERFORMANCE OF SMARTPHONE.
We have a Snapdragon 660 octa-core with an Adreno 512 GPU. While it is a great processor for the mid-range, it is a somewhat short model perhaps for this Smartphone. We check how the device moves multimedia content such as videos and apps without further demands. It also behaves correctly with demanding games like Asphalt 9. Maybe this processor has become a bit short for the terminal we are talking about. In contrast, its 6 GB of RAM, is enough to give the mobile freedom. The storage of 128 GB, gives us enough capacity. the latter is expandable using Micro SD Card (up to 512 GB) which will make the capacity not a problem in this device.
Directly related to performance, we have the OS This Galaxy A9 fits Android 8.0 (now upgradeable to Android Pie ) with the Samsung Experience customization layer that will be replaced by One UI as soon as we update the device. A system is somewhat different from Android One that also incorporates Bixby(the assistant of Samsung), which can be accessed with one of the side buttons of the mobile. At the time of testing the device, we could not use this assistant in Spanish. It is noteworthy that although many people do not like the layers of personalization, the possibility of including an assistant and the aesthetics that this one will not find in an Android plus Stock. The usability of the OS has become great during this month, not having large cuts or interruptions, despite having “suffered” in our tests.
CONNECTIVITY OF THE TELEPHONE
As expected the A9 has the standard connections of the mid-range. We have Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, double Nano-SIM (4G connectivity and bay for micro-SD card), WIFI Dual Band (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac 2.4G + 5GHz, VHT80 MIMO), ANT +. All this is complemented by the USB port of type C and the increasingly less common (and successful by our experience) 3.5mm stereo headphone port.
GPS POSITIONING SYSTEM.
The positioning systems that the Galaxy A9 brings are GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo (remember that the latter is the European project that introduced the Bq Aquaris X5 Plus). All this guarantees a geo-positioning in real-time. At the time of testing (in the city of Malaga, Spain), was fully successful, being very fast to position ourselves in the Google Maps app. When it comes to locating between buildings and in the middle of the city, it costs a few seconds just to the device.
We arrived here for the most outstanding point in the Galaxy A9. Here come into play its 4 optics, being the first device on the market to incorporate them. The top-down cameras are an 8MP ultra-wide-angle with an aperture of f 2.4 and 120º, the second is a 10MP telephoto lens with aperture f 2.4 and 2x optical zoom, the third is its main camera with 24MP and aperture of f 1.7, finally, we have a depth camera with 5MP f2.2 and dynamic focus. The front optics is also 24MP with an aperture of f 2.0. From this compendium of cameras, you can make a very complete picture of the environment with a function that mixes the image to get the best shot in that way.
Nothing less than 19 modes to take pictures has the Samsung Galaxy A9. This makes it possible to optimize almost all kinds of scenes. Of course, highlights the HDR mode, allows photography can be done in manual mode as if it were a reflex camera, being able to change from ISO to color. Using AI, the photograph can be improved in the A9 is another point in favor of the terminal. We have found your blurry mode very good, which allows you to take splendid close-ups. By contrast, the user of a reflex camera will notice that in night mode quality is lost, with some noise even appearing. The terminal macro is also very good being an aspect of those that will like.
The video recording on the Galaxy A9 is correct. Captures frames in 4k at 30 fps. Perhaps it would improve a better optical stabilization in this section. All of the above is susceptible to improvement with the use of supports and tripods.
We have here the first phone with 4 cameras on the market, without a doubt the photographic section will be a great attraction. We have also seen a terminal with a powerful screen, that although it is not all screen, it is a perfect phablet to enjoy multimedia content. The design of the terminal to double color is very elegant giving it a very premium look.
By contrast, the processor has fallen short for the price range in which this device is handled. Perhaps it is the biggest fault we find the Samsung Galaxy A9. Very positive has been the price drop that has had and that puts it closer to the competition, here we have it on the official website.
In short, lovers of photography who are looking for a powerful phone will be identified with this phone.