Hands On: Samsung's new phones have better cameras, augmented reality emojis, higher cost

- Samsung Unpacked their latest phones Sunday morning and we've already had some hands on time with them! At their annual event they unveiled their latest phones in the Galaxy line… the S9 and S9 Plus. Its way too early to tell if they're going to be worth trading in your current phone to upgrade but we DO have your first look at the new features. 

First up… Super slo-mo.

The new super slo-mo quadruples the latest iPhone’s tech by recording video at 960 frames per second. Currently the iPhone X records at 240 frames per second. Our producer, Candace tested it out with a deck of cards and a party popper, and it looked pretty sharp. Samsung says they’ve also improved the way the cameras work in low light with their Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor. They say that it combines up to 12 distinct images into one  to produce super high quality photos.

And while taking great low light photos may be important, we know that for many people, it’s all about the “fun stuff.” Samsung has taken the Animoji we first saw on the iPhone 10 and one upped it with My Emoji. Your face is actually captured and you become the emoji. You can then customize its hair and clothing to make it more personal. You’ll even be able to be a Disney character like Mickey Mouse, if you want.

And if you find yourself at Disneyland, Paris, you might find this feature helpful. Real-time text translation. Using Bixby, you can translate signs, menus and more, in real-time, into your native language. The real-time translation we demo’d looked pretty good. From our experience though, you’ll be highly dependent on how solid your internet connection is for this to work properly. Speaking of, Samsung has finally put some proper stereo speakers on their Galaxy phones. THis year you get  AKG tuned speakers which support Dolby Atmos surround sound. We have to admit that we dont have high expectations for immersive surround sound out of speakers that small but we’ll settle for stereo for now. And last up for this first look… for those of you into the smarthome movement who’ve also purchased Samsung and SmartThings compatible home automation products, this year’s Galaxy phones will be the first to get the new SmartThings app.

The phones this year look very similar to last year’s S8 and S8+ and share similar specs as well, including the size of the battery, the display, amount of storage, and RAM. For many people who already own those phones, these will be only incremental upgrades but those coming from older Galaxy phones who’ve been holding out for the latest and greatest, or just waiting for the old phone to die, they may see larger improvements. You can pre-order beginning March 2nd and get them in stores March 16th. Samsung allows carriers to set their own pricing, but Samsung’s own pricing for the unlocked versions of the phones is $719.99 or $30/month for 24 months financing for the S9, and the larger Unlocked Galaxy S9+ will cost you $839.99 or $35/month for 24 months financing.

So, it looks like the only thing left to ask is do YOU think any of this sounds worth the upgrade?

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