Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: iPhone X rival is flawless however expensive

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Samsung’s Galaxy Word 9 was an inevitability. Following the Word 8’s glowing success final yr, the Korean agency’s eighth plus-sized cellphone was at all times going to make a classy look in some unspecified time in the future in 2018, and this new phablet is already tipped to construct on the Galaxy S9’s award-winning prowess.

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The Word 9, although, fairly disappointingly, didn’t obtain the shock announcement Samsung hoped for. It was extensively reported that the Word 9’s launch was imminent and Samsung struggled to maintain all the main points beneath wraps, that means little or no was left to shock anybody when the curtains had been lastly pulled again.

Now that the brand new Word is out within the wild, nevertheless, I’ve spent some time with Samsung’s flashy flagship and might lastly ship my verdict. Little or no has modified, nevertheless it’s all about refinement fairly than revolution this yr, and the Word 9 nonetheless has the potential to be the perfect smartphone but.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: What it’s good to know

Very similar to final yr’s Galaxy Word 8, the Word 9 is a top-end, plus-sized Android phablet, which comes geared up with Samsung’s personal S Pen stylus for on-the-go word taking. It could look largely much like final yr’s cellphone, nevertheless it’s the core specs which might be notably intriguing.

Inside, you’ll discover Samsung’s personal Exynos 9810 operating the present, together with both 6- or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 512GB of expandable storage, relying on how a lot money you must spare. The rear digital camera module is much like the Galaxy S9’s setup, with a pair of 12-megapixel sensors full with a variable aperture – extra on how this works, in a while.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Value and competitors

We had been all bowled over by how a lot the Word 8 value final yr; £869 was a sizeable shock to the pockets. Sadly, the Word 9 continues this expensive development. When the Word 9 launches, you’ll have the ability to decide one up for £899 with 128GB of onboard storage or a whopping £1,099 with an enormous 512GB of storage.

That’s some huge cash, but when Apple can attempt to justify a four-figure sum for its personal flagship, I suppose there’s little cause why Samsung can’t pull off the identical wallet-damaging trick. The iPhone X, clearly, is the Word 9’s greatest competitor but when iOS isn’t your factor, then Samsung’s Android phablet additionally has to cope with Huawei’s P20 Professional, the Pixel 2 XL and Samsung’s personal Galaxy S9 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Design and options

The Galaxy Word 9, fairly unsurprisingly, seems to be remarkably much like its predecessor, which is somewhat underwhelming should you had been hoping for a extra noticeable improve. Once more, the plus-sized display wraps across the sides of the system – now a Samsung design staple – with barely slimmer bezels bordering the highest and backside of the show.

A horizontal dual-camera association is fitted on the again, with an oblong fingerprint reader positioned beneath. On the appropriate facet of the cellphone you’ll discover a energy button, with the amount rocker and devoted Bixby button on the left; the final may be disabled. The three.5mm headphone jack returns on the backside of the handset, full with a solitary speaker grille and a USB-C charging port.

It’s a tad disappointing that the Korean big has shed plans for a Vivo Nex S-like in-screen fingerprint reader, and I had excessive hopes for a elaborate foldable system, too. The latter could also be little greater than the climax of a futurist’s moist dream, nevertheless it’s abundantly clear that smartphone design is changing into fairly stale.

In the meantime, a brand new and improved S Pen stylus slides into the underside proper of the cellphone. Samsung’s pen now comes with Bluetooth performance, so urgent the button on the facet of the pen may be assigned to sure actions, resembling taking selfies, pausing and taking part in video or presenting slideshow displays.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Show

The Word 9 is fitted with an edge-to-edge 6.4in Tremendous AMOLED display, at a decision of two,960 x 1,440. That is notably particular, and whereas the show decision is similar as final yr’s cellphone, the display is ever-so-slightly bigger and it’s simply as beautiful – particularly with HDR 10 help.

The truth is, in keeping with our X-Ceremony ColorMunki show colorimeter, the Word 9’s display is able to producing 100% of the sRGB color gamut, with an successfully excellent distinction ratio of Infinity:1. No surprises there, after all – Samsung’s Tremendous AMOLED cellphone shows have been top-notch for years – nevertheless it’s good that the Word 9 isn’t an exception.

Colors are nice, too – if somewhat punchy and oversaturated for my tastes – and the cellphone’s most display brightness reaches an eye-blinding 950cd/m2 with the auto-brightness setting engaged. That’s perfect should you’re busy chasing Fortnite’s elusive Victory Royale whilst you’re exterior within the superb British sunshine.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Efficiency and battery life

Powering the cellphone is Qualcomm’s latest-generation flagship processor, the two.8GHz Snapdragon 845, or Samsung’s personal Exynos 9810 equal should you reside exterior of the US. Elsewhere, you’ll discover 6GB of RAM contained in the 128GB mannequin (similar to final yr) and 8GB of RAM with the 512GB mannequin. Each variants help microSD enlargement which suggests, successfully, your Word 9 may be fitted with as much as 1TB of storage.

The cellphone additionally runs Android 8.1 Oreo. Whereas this isn’t the most recent model of Google’s ever-popular cell working system, an replace to Android 9 Pie is predicted within the very close to future.

As for comparable benchmarks, the Word 9 is a really succesful performer. Storming by means of Geekbench 4’s single- and multi-core CPU exams, the Word 9 affords an enormous 37% enchancment over the processing energy of final yr’s Word 8, and it’s simply as speedy in operation as the remainder of 2018’s fleet of four-figured flagships.

Gaming efficiency, too, is phenomenal. Whereas the cellphone’s most WQHD+ decision is somewhat demanding for almost all of cell video games, dipping the decision all the way down to Full HD+ produces silky-smooth body charges, even when operating essentially the most GPU-heavy titles resembling PUBG: Cellular and Asphalt 9.

Because of a barely bigger, non-removable 4,000mAh battery, the Word 9’s stamina is way improved, too. Reaching 19hrs 35mins in our steady video playback check on the cellphone’s default FHD+ display decision, the Word 9 affords a staggering 19% enchancment over final yr’s Word 8. In observe, you may simply hit a day-and-a-half of use on a single cost.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Fortnite

It is price mentioning one last factor earlier than we proceed. One of many Word 9’s greatest attracts is not the stylus, the large bezel-less show, neither is it the up to date internals. Oh no – the primary cause you may need a Galaxy Word 9 is to play Fortnite on the go.

Let me clarify. Fortnite, the favored looter shooter that is taken the world by storm, performed a giant half through the Samsung Galaxy Word 9’s launch announcement. Positive, the sport can already be downloaded on iOS units and current video games consoles, however the Galaxy Word 9 is – in keeping with Samsung not less than – the perfect place to play Fortnite if Android is your cell working system of alternative. You additionally get an unique in-game pores and skin at no cost should you play a few video games in your new Word 9. Neat.

I am positive you’d agree that it is a fairly weird focus for a cellphone that is concentrating on the high-end enterprise consumer’s pockets, though maybe the boardroom does, in reality, have a spot for the odd recreation of Fortnite in-between quarterly fiscal outcomes conferences.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Digital camera

The cellphone’s digital camera specs haven’t modified an excessive amount of. The Word 9, like final yr, options one other dual-camera setup on the rear. The primary is a wide-angle 12-megapixel f/1.5 digital camera, whereas the second has an f/2.4 telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. Each are geared up with optical picture stabilisation (OIS) for tremendous regular photographs.

What’s new is a f/1.5 aperture that’s considerably wider than final yr’s digital camera. This enables way more gentle in – brightening up photographs and capturing crisper particulars. And also you needn’t do something to reap the advantages: the digital camera routinely widens the aperture as soon as the lighting circumstances drop beneath 100 lux, and narrows to f/2.4 for brighter scenes – similar to the Galaxy S9’s snapper.

As you would possibly count on, the outcomes are fairly acquainted. In our low-light nonetheless life check, particularly, the picture is crisp and detailed, with completely captured colors, whereas the HDR system does a powerful job of lighting up darkish, shadowy areas outside. Intricate wispy cloud layers, a notoriously difficult check for any smartphone digital camera, are captured exceptionally effectively, and are much better outlined on than another cellphone digital camera I’ve beforehand examined.

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 evaluation: Verdict

Samsung’s Galaxy Word 9 reaffirms the notion that, sadly, smartphone design is plateauing. Even with the introduction of fancy bezel-less 18:9 screens and dual-aperture cameras, telephones in 2018 are prosaic, and neither minor digital camera enhancements nor processor upgrades supply fairly sufficient to divert our disappointment.

And that’s an actual disgrace, as a result of the Word 9 is a wonderful smartphone. Outfitted with all of the flagship bells and whistles you’d come to count on from a dear, top-end handset, the Word 9 is undeniably high of its class. It does most issues fairly effectively and a handful spectacularly so. There’s simply the one factor holding it again; that, at this early stage, there’s so little cause to improve from any one in all 2017’s greatest high-end fashions – particularly with that price ticket connected.

{Hardware}
Processor Octa-core 2.9GHz Samsung Exynos 9810
RAM 6GB or 8GB
Display screen measurement 6.4in
Display screen decision 2,960 x 1,440
Display screen sort Tremendous AMOLED
Entrance digital camera 8-megapixel
Rear digital camera Twin 12-megapixel
Flash LED
GPS Sure
Compass Sure
Storage (free) 128GB or 512GB
Reminiscence card slot (equipped) microSD
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC Sure
Wi-fi information 4G
Dimensions 162 x 76 x 9mm
Weight 205g
Options
Working system Android 8.1
Battery measurement 4,000mAh

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