Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
- The design has been updated and has been modern, attractive and well built.
- Bringing to the mid-range the four cameras, the USB type C and the 6 GB of RAM is a decision as fair as it is praiseworthy.
- It does not heat up no matter how much we use it, even after playing a good time or during loading.
- With so much rear camera we expected a higher quality photograph, and the results are somewhat below expectations.
- There continue to be occasional "lags" and other signs that the software could be further optimized.
- Avoiding accidental touches, correcting the automatic brightness and opting for a panel with fewer reflections, the experience with the screen would improve a lot.
Each time it takes less to get the innovations to the ranges that are below the high, and Samsung seems to be betting strongly with this. One of his cards, perhaps his ace up his sleeve, is a smartphone with four rear cameras, twice as many as his flagships, and we show him in this analysis of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018).
PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT: 162.5 x 77 x 7.8 mm, 183 grams
SCREEN Super AMOLED: 6.3 inches
RESOLUTION: Full HD + (1.080 x 2.220 px)
Octa Core PROCESSOR: (2.2GHz Quad + 1.8GHz Quad)
RAM 6/8 GB
MEMORY 128 (microSD up to 512 GB)
SOFTWARE VERSION: Android 8.0
CONNECTIVITY: LTE Cat.9, WiFi AC, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, ANT +, USB-C
REAR CAMERAS Main camera 24MP AF, f / 1.7 +
10MP AF telephoto, 2X, f / 2.4 +
Ultra Wide 8MP, 120º, f / 2.4 +
Depth of 5MP, f / 2.2
FRONT CHAMBER 24 MP, AF, f / 2.0
BATTERY: 3,720 mAh
OTHER: Fingerprint reader
PRICE: From 500 dollars on Amazon
Design: a gradient so striking that it makes you forget the camera traffic light
As we saw with the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018), this year’s iteration is a significant update in terms of aesthetics and construction. Also at the level of interaction, since that button-reader of front tracks goes to the back in the case of the A9 (to the side in the Galaxy A7, like the Samsung Galaxy J6 +), and in this way it says goodbye to a front that moved us to what in the high range of the manufacturer already corresponded to a bygone era.
Bigger screen in larger surface but with smaller frames in proportion. The front of the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is literally 2018, with an 80.5% screen and without adding to the current of the notches. Vertical and horizontal symmetry for this mobile, which places the speaker on the lower edge together with the audio minijack and, this time, the USB type C.
This also differentiates it from that A7 (2018) in which we still see microUSB, and in which all the elements of this edge are aligned to the center. An edge that presents an acute angle with respect to the frontal to close with the back part, drawing a slight curvature.
The back breaks with the edge to not assume a continuity, but a change to go from a uniform tone (although with brightness) on the edge to a gradient on the entire back surface, darkening as you get off the cameras and the reader of footprints to the base. In blue it is quite striking for that metallic shine, although if we like this the gradient is applied with pleasure and is pretty good, playing with blue and green unlike the game with the purple we saw in the Huawei P20 Pro and others.
The Galaxy A9 (2018) has the Bixby button, located on the opposite side of the volume and on / lock as we saw in the previous Galaxy S and Note. The tray for the SIM is at the top edge, although not aligned with the microphone.
it is well constructed and gives the feeling that the materials are of quality and that they do not scratch easily. It does not attract attention because it is thin, but it is comfortable in the hand both when held with one hand and two.
The problems are almost genetic, because the glass is usually a dirt magnet and the A9 does not escape either. It is true that it seems to have a finish somewhat more resistant to fingerprints than the A7 (2018), but the oleophobic layer is not enough against the grease left by the hands and the traces are quite noticeable.
At least it is not slippery, so there is no need to add a cover with respect to this and thus be able to play to see its thousand and one blue-green reflections. In addition, the projection of the cameras is also very discreet, so it does not “limp” or bother when using it resting on a surface.
Display: FullHD + in 6.3 inches of pure Super AMOLED without notch
The front of the phones is enjoying much of the innovation we see in the industry and the screen is therefore part of it, but in the case of the A9 first had to inherit the most recent genes in the offshoots of the home. Thus, as we have said before, the pattern repeats itself and we see the same thing as in the evolution of the A7: greater diagonal and smaller proportion of frames.
The A9 (2018) integrates a 6.3-inch super AMOLED screen with 1,080 x 2,220 pixels resolution, also resolution than the previous model. A resolution that gives enough detail to have a good experience with reading and viewing any content, and that requires less consumption than older ones.
Maximum brightness goes well, being sufficient in the most illuminated environments. There are no problems when viewing the content when there is a higher incidence in the light, unless the automatic brightness adjustment makes its own and the panel darkens while we are using it, for example when taking a picture. What usually happens is that in medium light (outside or inside) is below what is necessary and we have to adjust it manually by raising it a bit, so here there is enough to correct for some future update.
The screen comes a little cold from the factory, but we can adjust the temperature and the color shade with the options that are in the screen section of the general settings. It is missing a progressive adjustment and not have to stay at one of the points set in the sliders, and presets that are not the Adaptive Display are too warm, but at least we put the panel something more to our liking of temperature and saturation (in our case we are left with Adaptive Display and slightly higher temperature).
Regarding angles of vision, there is no impoverishment of the viewing in terms of contrast and definition, although we will see the usual bluish-greenish tint that the AMOLED usually suffer when tilting or tilting the panel a bit. But it does not become annoying at all according to how we are accustomed to this characteristic and / or our tolerance, since they are not habitual angles.
As for tactile sensitivity, all is correct, in fact it is quite easy to give accidental touches when holding the mobile phone horizontally (with the thumb that is holding the mobile phone from below). What could have greater sensitivity (or a greater sensitive area) are the widgets of the ambient screen (Always On), which is still quite sparse in options as we discussed in the previous Galaxy that we have analyzed this year.
In general it is not a screen that stands out in a remarkable way with respect to others, but it gives a good overall experience. Something impoverished by that irregular automatic brightness, but this should have software solution if the sensor works well.
Performance: RAM of the future in a processor of the past
Samsung works the ambiguity as to what processor to install, whether own or Qualcomm, and in this case the international version has one of the second. Thus, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) incorporates a Snapdragon 660 with 6 GB of RAM, a processor from last year that we saw in other phones such as the Xiaomi Mi A2, but even with it is comparable (and even somewhat superior in some aspects) to the Exynos that integrates the A7 (2018) and definitely more memory.
Is this a leap in experience? The same software combination itself, since we found fewer lags, being much more punctual than in the A7 (2018). Something that keeps in common is that it dissipates the heat very well, and we will not notice the corners, the back, or any other point of the hot terminal after a while playing with it or using it intensively as after a photo session.
Multitasking starts normally and there are no annoying or significant lags if we play or watch multimedia content. The load when recovering an app for the first plane or the opening of heavy years like Spotify does experience a slight delay, but considering that the execution of heavy tasks such as the pre-loads of games is going well, it may be due rather to something related to the software (now we will talk in depth about it and about some anomalous behaviors that we have perceived).
What gives us the Samsung Galaxy A9? A fairly complete experience and a breeze of “luxury” in what can be considered the medium-high range of Samsung, Galaxy S aspirational rather than Galaxy A with pretensions. A screen that by size gives us good experience in viewing content of any kind, a decent autonomy, a good construction and a good dose of RAM (although with a processor from the previous season).
Samsung Experience here satisfies us more than in the A7, perhaps for a somewhat different hardware or to incorporate Bixby, but after the days with her and her extra ration of personalization options we are left with that bittersweet feeling that is, at the same time, a déjà vu. That “almost but not” that ultimately remains on the palate for the occasional lags and personalization opportunities that still remain in South Korean pockets.