Mobile World Congress 2018 is taking place in Barcelona this week, where some of the biggest phones, tablets, and laptops of the year are being announced. The biggest announcement of all is usually Samsung’s latest and greatest, and that was once again the case this year. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are coming next month, and Samsung just detailed all the new camera tricks and design tweaks we can look forward to when that happens.
High-end smartphones have largely plateaued, but there are still two big areas for improvement — camera quality and battery life. The battery capacities on both the S9 and the S9 Plus are unchanged from last year, but there have definitely been some changes made to the camera. The S9 has a single camera with a 12 MP autofocus sensor, OIS, and an f/1.5 / f/2.4 lens, while the S9 Plus has a dual camera — the same one on the S9 and another 12 MP autofocus sensor paired with an f/2.4 telephoto lens, both of which have OIS.
The big eyebrow raiser here is that the S9 camera and the S9 Plus primary camera have two aperture settings, f/1.5 and f/2.4. The aperture setting determines how much light the camera takes in — that extra wide f/1.5 aperture will be great for taking in more light for night pictures, but in daylight, there’s the risk of overexposure. With the S9 and S9 Plus, you’ll be able to switch between the two depending on lighting conditions, but it’s an either/or adjustment, not a sliding scale.
Oh, and there’s super slow motion video now! You can record video at 960 frames per second at 720p resolution, meaning you can get some pretty clear video and slow down playback dramatically. If there’s any possibility for a water balloon fight in your life later this year, slow motion this good is basically a must!