Support Team
Support Team

Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Hi All,

We are excited to be launching the first Device Insider for 2018. If your new to the Device Insider, we have two members from our Brains Trust program who will be getting their hands on the new  Samsung Galaxy S9 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9+, who over the coming weeks will be posting in-depth reviews of each device as they have a chance to use them in their day to day lives.

 

This time around we have given the devices to @ForensicsGuru and @cf4 to review. 

Watch this space for imminent un-boxing and updates on the ins and outs of both phones. 

Please post below if you'd like the reviewer to keep anything particular in mind when they're writing about their first impressions or anything else you may be wondering about the devices. 

You can find out more about the  Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+ on our website. 

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Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

OK, let's start the journey...

 

First, an addition to my standard disclaimer (see bottom of my post): "I have been given Samsung Galaxy S9 by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed here reflect my user experience and my personal opinion." It has not arrived yet, but I am excited enough to make the first post...

 

I have been an iPhone user since iPhone 4... It was not my own choice, it was choice of my employer at that time... Since then, I progressed to iPhone 8+ which is my own device now... Why? I have purchased many applications through all those years, and whenever I was thinking about jumping the ship, I realised it would cost me some extra money... Personally, I was never fan of anything with the (half eaten) Apple logo... But that's another story, and BTW, I cannot complain about the iPhone 8+ at all...

 

So, stay tuned for the next installment - unpacking the new toy... Since I received the news about being selected to review this device, I have read all the available reviews (both the good and the bad!), and I am really looking forward to forming my own opinion about this... I'll be looking not only at the device itself, but I will try to evaluate how hard it would be to move from iOS (Apple) to Android (Google)...

 

FG

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

DISCLAIMER: I have been given a Samsung Galaxy S9 by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.

 

My previous phone was a Lumia 950 XL. My last Android phone was the Nexus 4 so it will be interesting to see how far Android has advanced in the last 5 years.

 

Unboxing

On opening the box I was delighted to discover that among the accessories was a USB C to USB A adaptor for connecting USB drives to phone. There was also a USB C Male to USB A male cable for connecting phone to PC and connecting phone to USB Charger.

The phone was protected in the box with a soft protective caser which can be use as a  protective case. A case is essential as the shiny body attracts finger prints and scratches.

 

 This is the full list of items in the box.

  1. USB Charger
  2. SIM / Micro SD tray ejection pin
  3. USB C male to USB A female
  4. Wired earphones
  5. USB C male to USB A male cable (Charging and connection to PC)
  6. 4 spare ear buds
  7. Soft phone case (Part of phone packaging)
  8. Quick Start Guide
  9. Warranty Card
  10. How to transfer content to your new Galaxy Phone leaflet.
  11. Galaxy S9 Phone

Below are Pictures of the Packaging included accessories and documentation.

Box.jpg

Accessories.jpgDocuments.jpgQuick_Start_Guide_1.jpgQuick Start Guide page 1 and 2Quick_Start_Guide_2.jpgQuick Start Guide page 3 and 4

Setup

Setup is fairly easy

I installed a Nano SIM and Micro SD card first. I found it very fiddly getting the SIM and Micro SD card to sit in the tray.

Next charging battery took 50 minutes to charge the phone from 69% to full charge.

Connecting to WiFi Network, signing into Google and restoring backup Apps and Data from another device took about an hour including updating pre-installed apps.

 

While apps were being installed and apps updated I was taken to the “Protect your phone” screen. See image below. All the selections are self-explanatory except for Intelligent Scan.

Intelligent Scan is a combination of Face recognition and Iris Scanner. It first scans your face. If that fails to unlock the phone, the device then checks your irises. If both fail, Intelligent Scan will try to authenticate your identity using a combination of the two.

 I elected to set up “Finger Print Scanner” which was easy to do using the online instructions.

Protect_your_phone.jpg

A Pattern Pin or password must also be set up.

If you need to change protection mode go to Setting menu and then go to Lock screen and security

After setting up protection there is a prompt to set up a Samsung account which I skipped.

Everything went smoothly apart from the time zone setting which although set to auto was set to a time zone in the US. This was rectified by going to Settings > General management > Date and time.

Home_Screenjpg.jpg

Shortly after setting up the phone I was prompted to download and install a 500 Mbyte system update this only took 20 minutes compared to an hour on the Windows phone. Most of this time was still able to use phone.

 

In my next post I will be reviewing the camera. I will either examining the camera interface and settings and posting a few sample pictures of photos taken using the Galaxy S9 and as a comparison using my Lumia 950XL. With S9 wide aperture F1.5 and variable aperture I am expecting to see some great pictures especially in low light conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

I picked my S9+ up from the Telstra Shop in Traralgon today (Thanks guys, great customer service). So, yes, this is not a Telstra sponsored post, it is my personal phone and purely my personal opinion.


Upgraded after my 12 months was up on my Galaxy S8 purely because of the camera on my daughter's S9. Haven't taken too many shots yet as I'm still setting up my apps and getting connected to all my other devices, but if they come out like this one (had to crop it because the filesize is too large for Crowdsupport), then I'm going to have lots of fun with this.

bee.jpgLooks like it's going to be a clear night tonight down our way, so I'm getting the tripod with selfie stick attached and I'm chasing the Milky Way.

 

If anyone wants to have a look at the originals that I have taken, go to http://reviews.bakerweb.id.au/gallery and take a squiz.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

For those of us who live in weak signal areas and those of us who have hearing issues, It would be very appreciated and very useful if the tests included the phones reception in strong and weak signal areas.
As you don't have access to a shielded room, a biscuit tin can be sufficient, or a concrete stairway in a muti storey building.
Also, how you hear it and how the other side also does. How loud is the ringer in noisy environments?
Is the reception in poor areas affected by where you hold the phone eg over the antenna. Many of us have hearing deficits.
Do the diversions work as does the ability to both use call waiting and do a status check as whether call waiting is active. eg *43# on, #43# off and status *#43#.
Is there somewhere to connect a Lanyard? Do all the menu functions work correctly.
How does it work to your ear, how does it work on speaker, and with the cable earpiece/mic provided.
As it's primarily a phone, and many of us have to use our phones in weak signal areas, such tests would be most appreciated.
Many thanks indeed

A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+


@ProfessorPhone wrote:

For those of us who live in weak signal areas and those of us who have hearing issues, It would be very appreciated and very useful if the tests included the phones reception in strong and weak signal areas.
As you don't have access to a shielded room, a biscuit tin can be sufficient, or a concrete stairway in a muti storey building.
Also, how you hear it and how the other side also does. How loud is the ringer in noisy environments?
Is the reception in poor areas affected by where you hold the phone eg over the antenna. Many of us have hearing deficits.
Do the diversions work as does the ability to both use call waiting and do a status check as whether call waiting is active. eg *43# on, #43# off and status *#43#.
Is there somewhere to connect a Lanyard? Do all the menu functions work correctly.
How does it work to your ear, how does it work on speaker, and with the cable earpiece/mic provided.
As it's primarily a phone, and many of us have to use our phones in weak signal areas, such tests would be most appreciated.
Many thanks indeed


I am evaluating S9+... But I am afraid I won't be able to do most of what you are asking for because:

  1. it is subjective - many of the questions you're asking are not simple - my hearing is good, so I do not have any issues etc...
  2. this beast is definitely NOT a "primarily a phone" - with all due respect, I am not going to buy device that costs close to 1.5K AUD to be a "primarily a phone"...
  3. unfortunately, all the areas I frequent, have good coverage... Including the building I work in which is a multi storey building... Good signal everywhere... 
  4. "Is there somewhere to connect a Lanyard?" - not sure what do you mean... Do you want to hook this expensive beast to something that hangs around your neck? 🙄
DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

@ForensicsGuru, I'll assist with the coverage aspect (assuming I get an unupgraded train) over the next couple of days.

@ProfessorPhone, as far as a lanyard attachment goes, you'd need to get a case for that. If you wanted it on a lanyard, you'd probably want a case anyway.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

You're right Jupiter. On my s8+ it's hooked around the flash/lens opening in the case. I thought there might be a chance on the s9 for something specically designed on the phone. Bedt wishes

A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

A quick report on reception. I am posting this from an area where I've never had reception on a phone, so my initial view is that it's very good on that front.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

An update on the reception. Just completed my daily trek from Morwell to Melbourne via VLine train and I only lost reception for 30 seconds of the entire journey (through a cutting in the Haunted Hills where everybody loses reception).

 

That puts the S9+'s performance as better than the S8+ and on par with the HTC U11.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Thank you very much indeed Jupiter
Kind regards
A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Thank you again Jupiter
I hope there isn't much variation in manufacture. Very much appreciated as I'm both in a hilly area of Balwyn and in the intersection of 2 cells and no dominant server...and if that's not enough... an intermittent intermodulation product from the very moment 700MHz was activated. My smart antenna is ineffective as rubbish in means rubbish out.
Thanks again
A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

In this post I will review the phones camera and review the rest of the phone in my next post. I did this because a lot of people will be buying the phone based on the camera alone although it does have a lot of good features.

 

Camera Interface

                 

Rear Camera has the following operating modes.

  • Food: In this mode the vivid colours of the food is emphasized.
  • Selective Focus: In this mode the focus point can be selected by tapping on the area in the image,
  • Panorama: This mode is used for taking wide landscape photos.
  • Pro: In this mode all the camera settings can be adjusted manually
  • Auto: This is the default mode for the camera, all camera settings are set to auto.
  • Super Slow Mo: In this mode a 0.2 second clip is taken at 960 fps when motion is detected.
  • Aremogi mode: This mode is for making a customized Emoji’ using a photo of your face as a starting point
  • Hyperlapse: When in this mode pressing the camera button takes a series of rapid photos until the Camera button is pressed a second time. These pictures are converted into mp4 video which will play back at either x4, 8, 16 or 32 times the original speed
  • Slow Motion: FHD video at 240 fps which plays back in slow motion.
  • Sports: Mode for taking photos were there is a lot of movement.

 

The last two modes are not available by default. To enable these modes go to Camera settings > Edit camera modes > Shooting Modes > Rear Camera >

 

To launch the Camera App tap the Camera app icon or quickly double press the power button

By default the camera will open in Auto Mode (See image below)

Camera_Manual_Exposure.jpg 

In auto mode taking a picture or recording video is just matter of aiming the camera and pressing the capture or record button. There was virtually no delay between aiming the camera, pressing the  button and the camera taking the picture or starting to record.

The only setting available in Auto Mode is exposure which can be set by swiping left or right at the bottom of image in portrait mode and right hand side of the image in landscape mode.

A continuous burst of images can be taken by pressing and holding the camera button These images are saved as a series of individual photos or a motion GIF.

 

Image of Camera in Pro Mode Iso Control selected

Camera_Manual_Iso.jpg

 

In Pro Mode you have full control over the camera.

These are the settings available in Pro Mode

  • 50 – 800
  • Shutter speed 1/2400 - 10 seconds
  • Tone (Colour Temperature, Tint, Contrast, Saturation, Highlights and Shadows)
  • Manual Focus
  • White Balance
  • Exposure -2 - +2

In practice I found it almost impossible to use pro mode due to the short period of time that the activated control was displayed and also over sensitivity of the selfie vertical swipe gesture, The slightest vertical movement of the finger on the screen and the camera switches from the rear to the front camera.

 

Image of of camera app in Super Slow Mo mode

Camera_Super_Slow_Mo.jpg 

In Super Slow Mode has two modes auto and manual. In auto just aim the camera and press the record button. Normal 720P video at 30 fps  is recorded until motion is detected the camera then records at 960 fps for 0.2 second after 0.2 seconds the camera continues recording at 30 fps until motion is detected and then records another clip of Super Slow Mo video.. The camera will continue to do this until the stop button is pressed. In manual mode tapping the Record button captures a short Super Slow Mode Clip.

 

Image of the Super Slow Mo Video Editor.

Super_Slow_Mo_Video.jpg

 

 

Below are the settings for the camera app. These settings are divided into Rear Camera, Front Camera and Common settings.

Camera_Settings.jpg

Rear Camera Video resolutions and Photo sizes supported

Rear_Camera_Size.jpg

 

Front Camera Picture sizes and Video resolutions supported

Front_Camera_Size.jpg

Camera Samples

All the pictures have been taken without the assistance of tripod. The full size images have been reduced in size. Could not post full sized images due to limitations of this site.

 

The following photos have been taken at night.

Vietnam_Memorial_S9_Reduced.jpgGalaxy S9

Vietnam_Memorial_950XL_Reduced.jpgLumia 950 XL

Vietnam_Memorial_S9._Cropped.jpgGalaxy S9 Cropped

Vietnam_Memorial_950XL_Cropped.jpgLumia 950 XL Cropped

Bonython_Halll_S9_Reduced.jpgGalaxy S9Bonython_Halll_950X_Reduced.jpgLumia 950 XLBonython_Halll_S9_Cropped.jpgGalaxy S9 CroppedBonython_Halll_950X_CroppedL.jpgLumia 950 XL Cropped

Following photos were taken on sunny day

 

North_Adelade_S9_Reduced.jpgGalaxy S9North_Adelade_950X_ReducedL.jpgLumia 950 XLNorth_Adelade_Cropped_S9.jpgGalaxy S9 CroppedNorth_Adelade_Cropped.950XL.jpgLumia 950 XL Cropped

Peter_McKay_Reserve_Flower_S9_Reduced.jpgGalaxy S9Peter_McKay_Reserve_Flower_950XL_Reduced.jpgLumia 950 XLPeter_McKay_Reserve_Flower_S9_Cropped.jpgGalaxy S9 CroppedPeter_McKay_Reserve_Flower_950XL_Cropped.jpgLumia 950 XL Cropped

The following picture was taken at night using flash

Flower_Peter_Mckay_Reserve_Dusk_Flash_Reduced.jpgGalaxy S9Flower_Peter_Mckay_Reserve_Dusk_Flash_Cropped.jpgGalaxy S9 Cropped

Below is a Super Slow Mo clip sample.

(view in My Videos)

 


 

Camera Conclusion

If you are looking for phone with a good camera this is the phone to get

.

The only criticisms I have with the camera are:

  • The camera's user interface could be improved by reducing the sensitivity of the swipe up gesture and also increasing the time that settings are displayed on the screen.
  • Video shot in UHD tended to stutter when panning.

 

The camera takes very good photos in both low light and normal sunshine. The pictures are sharp with few artifacts and have a high dynamic range. In low light conditions there was a huge difference in the quality of the Galaxy S9 and those taken by the 950XL

 

In the next post I will review the rest of the phone

 

 

 

Support Team
Support Team

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Really nice detail and information there @cf4 Smiley Happy

 

-Chris 

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Get help with any Tech at Home with Telstra Platinum || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

I second that. Excellent
A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

OMG!!! @cf4, how am I going to match this??? Your review is so detailed...

And to all, my apologies... Something brownish hit the fan at work, and I have been working 24/7 to fix it... Playing with my S9+, but unable to write it down at the moment...

And as a spoiler - there is love and hate relationship already... Many things that I love compared to my iPhone 8+ and at the same moment many things I hate compared to it... Looks like my ideal solution right now would be to have both at the same moment...

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

The first impression

First, please see my signature for the disclaimer. Just for the clarity. I have received Samsung S9+ for free from Telstra to review and the opinions expressed below are my own.

I am bit late due to work commitments…

I am going to piggyback on @cf4 “Unboxing” post (https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Device-Insider-Product-Reviews/Mobile-Insider-Samsung-Galaxy-...) here.

I have found the packaging very similar to what I have got from Apple iPhone 8+ (contracted from Telstra personally, although, I have been on company paid contracts between 2001 and 20014) that I am currently using. Due to all sorts of circumstances, I have never ever used Android based mobile phone before and was always using Apple iOS based phones (I had a short experience with Microsoft Windows 10 based mobile phone, but that was so short it is nearly not worth mentioning). Because I need to be on call and depend heavily on what is working on my current iPhone, I decided to test based on a new user and got new prepaid SIM card for this. So, in my review, I will not be transferring anything from the existing phone to the new one.

Out of the box, everything was clear, except the headphones… Without “Googling” I was not able to ascertain, which earbud was right, and which one was left… At my age of 57, my eyesight was not good enough to see L & R on them… Neither was my wife who still has 20/20 vision… I think the marking should be better. iPhone headphones are white and use black characters on white earphones – using black indented characters on black earphones did not work for me… Sorry… Additionally, I really hate earphones, that require soft attachments. In my opinion, if I was going to rate, it would be:

  • Apple round earphones (pre-iPhone 7?)
  • Apple earphones iPhone 7/8 and further
  • The earphones I received with this baby…

But hey, at least there is a separate connector to connect the earphones, unlike the iPhone 8+.

Being IT professional, I did what they always do – tried to set up without ever reading any manual etc… It was sort of straightforward, though, convoluted… Why do I need to set up Google and Samsung accounts? OK, I already had a google account, so that was simple… Anyway… After initial setup, I reset to factory and tried to avoid all the “suckers” … Didn’t sign for either Google not Samsung… Guess what – you don’t get much… Updates do not work etc… Guess what again – it is the same with Apple… To get a full functionality, you have to give away your precious personal details (did I mention before I work in the field of forensic computing?) …

I have to admit, that I am impressed with this phone so far…

The initial set up was fairly similar to what @cf4 experienced. Fairly straightforward, eating good chunk of data allowance from the new prepaid account etc.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

What I like and do not like…

First, please see my signature for the disclaimer. Just for the clarity. I have received Samsung S9+ for free from Telstra to review and the opinions expressed below are my own.

So, this post is about things that I instantly like and do not like.

Let’s go for likes first:

  • Silicone protection sleeve included…
  • Clarity of the screen and the resolution – very impressive
  • Separate jack for the headphones…
  • Samsung Health App…
  • Being Android (read Google) based, I was surprised that there were Microsoft Apps available – not fully preinstalled, but available… Would expect Google Docs etc being pushed on me…
  • Some reviews that I read beforehand suggested lots of bloatware… Well, not too much in my opinion – have you ever got HP or DELL laptop? That’s what I call device full of bloatware…

Unfortunately, there are some dislikes too:

  • Location of fingerprint sensor – while I applaud the 1) above, I prefer hard cases and although I did not invest in one yet, I am positive that it would make use of the fingerprint sensor awkward…
  • Location of the Bixby button – every time I pick the phone, I manage to press it long enough to activate it… Yes, I can disable it, but out of the box, for the average user… Don’t like it…
  • Too many notifications enabled by default – took me lots of time to disable many of them…
  • Some apps (e.g. Tumblr) have things to touch too close to the edge of the screen making them difficult to touch…
  • The biggest one is the virtual buttons… I know, Apple user… And yes, I would get used to them… But this is supposed to be a review… So here it is – nearly two weeks into the review, I am still confused by them a bit… I miss double tap on the home button…

Well, I thought there will be more dislikes than likes initially, but after all, it looks there are more likes…Although this is not exhaustible – I am yet to go and try to do things like managing my VMware farm, do SSH connections through “jump hosts” using key only authentication (yes, I know this depends on quality of apps) and some other things I do on my iPhone (or iPad) currently…

There are also things that I am not sure if I like or dislike – many apps that I do use have slightly different user interface on iOS and Android… I am not sure which one I like more… Microsoft Office Apps for example, I am leaning towards Android way as it looks more like the desktop…

Stay tuned for the next instalment…

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

@ForensicsGuru
Isn't one tap on the recent apps button easier than pressing home button twice?

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

@ForensicsGuru,

I found the fingerprint sensor location on the S8+ (to the side of the camera) was a much better location than the S9+. On the S8+, my finger was naturally in that position as it is where your finger tends to sit (off centre) to support the phone. The sensor below the camera is just awkward for me.

 

I think you'll find that the hard case will actually make it easier to find the fingerprint sensor as you get a bit of a guide from the case (at least that's what I've found with my daughter's S9 and Otterbox Defender case combination - great case btw, I'm very happy with it). I haven't got a case for my S9+ yet, I really should order it.

 

The Samsung Health app is great, I've been using it for a few years to keep track of my blood sugar and blood pressure. It also acts as a pretty good pedometer, so you can keep an eye on how much walking (or how lazy you've been) you have been doing.

 

I have had Bixby for just over a year and I still don't use it. I'm still an "OK Google" person. I'm sure Bixby will mature into something useful eventually, but for now it's more of a hinderance.

 

And finally, a tip on the camera on the S9+. With the 2 cameras on the back, to switch between the 2, you will notice a number 1 (or 2) on the screen. If you tap it, it switches between the 2 lenses. Not intuitive at first glance (took me about 90 seconds to figure it out), but quite a simple control. Defintely give PRO mode a go. If you want great looking photos without having to do editing on a computer, try it out. Also, the Live Focus feature works very well (see below). They are the same shot taken at the same time with different lenses.

tree blur.jpgCloseuptree sharp.jpgWide Angle

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+


@cf4 wrote:

@ForensicsGuru
Isn't one tap on the recent apps button easier than pressing home button twice?


It absolutely is, but the habit is too strong - I always go for the middle and double tap before realizing there is another one to use 😁

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

@Jupiter
Does the phone actually measure blood pressure and sugar level or do you just use the app to record blood pressure and sugar levels?
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Just use it to record blood sugar and blood pressure (can be connected to compatible devices to automatically upload readings).

 

It does measure heart rate and Oxygen Saturation though.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Highlighted
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Mobile and WiFi data performance

First, please see my signature for the disclaimer. Just for the clarity. I have received Samsung S9+ for free from Telstra to review and the opinions expressed below are my own.

So, this post is about some data performance. Being IT professional, I realise that unless I test against specially set up test-bed, it is not going to be ever 100% reliable. For that reason, I have spent lots of time testing – at my home, at my workplace and in Hobart CBD (mobile only as yet). I have been using Ookla Speedtest and Telstra Dashboard for some of the testing. I tried testing against different targets and I did run both devices at the same moment as well as separately.

  • Mobile network (always at 4G coverage): unfortunately, I have to say, that iPhone 8+ outperformed Samsung Galaxy S9+ on all download tests by a little bit (2-5 Mbps) and significantly on upload speeds (few times a double!). The best I received was iPhone at my home office, little over 60Mbps down and 43Mbps up, while Samsung did 55.8 up and 23.4 down. Interestingly, Samsung had nearly always better ping time and I struggle to explain that technically…
  • WIFI network at my home office: overall throughput using Ookla was on average same, both on down and up. That would clearly suggest that my NBN connection was the limiting factor and slight variations should be caused by the load on NBN (I am on FTTN and I am currently getting around 18-20Mbps). So, I also had a look at how the two connected to my Frontier using Telstra Dashboard. iPhone was connecting to the modem with speeds around 1.45Gbps, while Samsung was giving only 526Mbps… That was bit surprising and I have re-run it few times… And yes, they both have been connected to 5GHz and been about 1 meter from the Frontier and no other devices were using WiFi at that moment.
    Just to be thorough, my desktop computer, connected to the Frontier using CAT6 ethernet cable was reporting same speed using Ookla Speedtest as the two mobiles.

Interestingly, I also found that https://speedtest.telstra.com/ gives slightly better results than http://www.speedtest.net/ against exactly same servers, particularly on upload… However, as I said before; these tests are highly susceptible to load variations etc.

Next, I am going to do some speed testing on my work network where I am often getting some “insane” speeds – I have access to AARNet backbone! Stay tuned!

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Camera

First, please see my signature for the disclaimer. Just for the clarity. I have received Samsung S9+ for free from Telstra to review and the opinions expressed below are my own.

Yes, the camera in this device is impressive and I would recommend and support most reviews that I found on-line. However, my household owns two high end Nikon DSLRs plus one high end big format film camera plus all the equipment to produce black and white prints. That’s what we use for our “serious” photography for which unfortunately we do not have enough time… Our mobiles are only seldomly used for selfies (being in our mid-fifties, we are not into it at all) and few quick holiday snapshots.

So, just a few generic points:

  • Megapixels are not everything – you need to know how to take a picture to produce something valuable…
  • I need to be able to grab and hold my camera steady… I can do it with my (rather heavy) Nikon D5, but I cannot do it with the mobile phone…
  • The Camera App always defaults to x2 unless I am completely stupid and missing something…

But to be honest, if I was not spoiled, I would probably rate the camera very high… The pictures I got out of it are brilliant and the range of features (see other posts) is incredible!!!

Then, to be fair – the fact that the Gallery App does not have a “trash bin” is so disappointing that I am not going into further evaluation… Just got burned myself – deleted picture that I wanted to keep… (And, yes, I do know about cloud backup etc – but I often travel overseas where I do not wish spend fortunes on mobile backup…).

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

 

DISCLAIMER: I have been given a Samsung Galaxy S9 by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.

 

In this post I will be reviewing the following on the Galaxy S9

  1. Call quality
  2. Cellular Performance.
  3. Display
  4. Phone Features
  5. User Interface
  6. Samsung Apps
  7. Connectivity
  8. Wifi
  9. Battery
  10. GPS
  11. Performance
  12. Summing Up

 

Call quality:

During calls the speech is loud and clear both when using the earphone and when using the speaker. Speech was still clear in noisy environments. The ringer is load and easily heard in a noisy environment.

The included earphone produced loud and clear speech during voice calls.

The speech quality in the send direction is also good.

Both call diversions and call waiting work

 

 Cellular Network performance:

Cellular performance was good. Even in areas shown as 3G only on Telstra’s coverage map the phone still connected to 4G at speeds of 8.5 Mbps down and 5.6 Mbps up. The position of my hand on the phone had no effect on reception.

In my local area cellular data speed varied between 38 -87 Mbps down and 10 – 39 Mbps up.

 

Display

The Galaxy S9 has the best display I have come across. The colours just seem to pop out of the screen. The edges of the screen are curved which makes it possible to view the display from very low angles. There is only a slight de-saturation of the colours when the screen is viewed from very low angles. I did not notice any colour shift. The screen is bright and even in direct sunlight the display is clearly legible. There is good dynamic range the blacks appear black not grey.

 

Screen brightness can be manually adjusted to suit your needs. The screen will then automatically adjust to suit the lighting conditions. In my opinion the auto adjustment was too aggressive dimming the screen too much in dark conditions and increasing screen brightness too much in bright light conditions.

 

There is an option to filter out blue light either manually or using a timer

 

The screen native resolution is 2960 X 1140 (WQHD), this can be changed to 2220 X 1080 (FHD+) or 1440 X 720 (HD+). By default screen resolution is set to FHD+.  In practice I found no difference between WQHD and HD+ so I set the screen to HD+ to conserve battery. (Setting > Display > Screen Resolution).

 

Phone Features

  • Finger print scanner: On the back of the phone just below the camera is the finger print scanner. Once set up this can be used to unlock or wake the phone. In use I found it very reliable recognizing my finger every time. I would have preferred it be a bit further away from the camera to prevent the finger accidentally touching the camera lens.
  • Heart rate and oxygen sensor: To the left of the camera is the Heart Rate Sensor. In practice I found it a bit fiddly to use at first but found it easy to use after some practice.
    This sensor can also be used to capture selfies. Tapping the sensor when camera app is in selfie mode takes a picture.
  • Iris Scanner: To the right of the earphone/speaker is the iris scanner. In order for this to work the phone has to be held in the correct position. I found it easier to use facial recognition or the finger print scanner
  • Stereo Speakers: There is a bottom facing speaker at the bottom of the phone and the earphone at the top doubles as the second speaker. In practice these produced good sound quality.
  • Bixby Button: On the left of the phone is the Bixby button which when pressed opens the Bixby Home app. I found myself accidently pressing the button so I disabled button in the Bixby Home app.
  • Echo Cancelling Mike: There is an echo cancelling mike at the top of phone.

 

 

User Interface:

 The phone operating system is Android Version 8.0.0 with Samsung Experience version 9.0 installed on top of it. I found the user interface easy to navigate and a big improvement over earlier Android versions.

 

A couple of differences I have noticed are:

  • Navigation Keys. The recent apps button and the back button locations have been swapped. I prefer the standard Android layout so I changed position by going to Settings > Display > Navigation Bar > Button Layout.
  • All Apps Draw: On this version of Android there is no All Apps icon on the home screen. Swiping up from the bottom of the home screen reveals all the installed apps.
    Pressure Sensitive Virtual Home Button: When Navigation Bar is hidden, pressing on screen where home key is located when its visible brings up home screen even when the phone is in sleep mode.
  • Split Screen This phone supports split screen but doesn’t use the normal long tap on the recent app button.to turn split screen on.
    On the S9 to activate split screen press the recent apps button. Apps that support split screen will have an extra icon to the left off the close icon. Tap on this icon.

    Split_Screen_Button.jpg

    The screen is split in two with the app open in one of the windows. The other Window contains apps that support split screen mode.
    .
    Split_Screen_Select_Second_Aoo.jpg

    Select the second app you wish to open by tapping on it..

    Split_Screen_Mode.jpg

    The amount of space each app occupies can be adjusted by dragging the divider.

The normal Android long press of recent apps button to initiate split screen mode can be enabled by going to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Long press home button

 

Lock Screen

By default the lock screen is always on. I switched this off and halved the battery drain in sleep mode.

(Settings > Lock Screen and Security)

 Lock_Screen.jpg

Emergency phone calls can be made by dragging the phone icon towards center of screen and the camera app can be opened by dragging the camera icon towards the center of screen.

 

Samsung Apps

Samsung has preinstalled some of its own apps. There is even a Samsung store app. Some of the apps are duplicates of the Google preinstalled apps and some of the others require a Samsung account. A good thing about the Samsung apps compared to Google pre-installed apps is they can all be uninstalled except for the “Galaxy Apps” which is the Samsung store

 

Samsung_Apps.jpg

 

These are the apps I found most useful

  • Galaxy Apps: The Samsung App store. You Need a Samsung account to install apps from this store.
  • My Files: Phones file manager also has direct access to any cloud storage accounts that you have signed into on the phone. I found this app very useful for transferring files from my old phone. Using the supplied USB adaptor and a USB micro SD card reader.
  • Smart Switch: This app is for transferring data, contacts and text from your old phone. I was unable to use the app to transfer media files from my old Windows phone because the app failed to detect the media files.
  • Samsung Health: This app can be used to measure heart rate and oxygen level. It can also be used to keep track of your exercise routine. The app uses GPS to keep track of how far you traveled. I found the constant notifications from the tracking annoying so I disabled the notifications.
  • Voice Recorder:, Not only can this app be used for recording audio it can also be used to convert speech to text. I found it to be very accurate in converting my voice to text. The text can be copied to the clipboard and then pasted into a word processor app.

 

Connectivity:

  • USB C: The USB C connector supports USB 3.1 Gen1 it also supports OTG. Among the phone accessories is a USB C Male to USB A female adapter. This enables USB peripherals such as USB drives, mice, keyboards and USB hubs to be connected to the phone:
  • Bluetooth: The phone has Bluetooth v5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps). My Bluetooth speakers and a Bluetooth track pad and keyboard connected to the phone and both worked with no problems.
  • WiFi:11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5GHz, VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024-QAM
  • WiFi Direct: Is a quick and easy way to transfer data from two WiFi Direct enabled devices. It took 40 seconds to Transfer a 1.2 Gigabyte file from phone to a tablet.
  • Earphone Jack: There is a 3.5 mm stereo earphone jack at the bottom of the phone.
  • NFC

 

Wifi

The range of the 2.4 GHz band is only average topping out at 30 meters.

 

The 5 GHz WiFi band had a range of about 20 meters.

 

I noticed the strength of the WiFi signal depended on orientation of the phone. There is a10 dB increase in WiFi signal when phone body is parallel to WiFi source compared to when phone is head on to the source.

 

 My internet connection tops out at 36/12 Mbps. Speed test using Home dashboard app returned bandwidth and speed results of 450, 36/12 (5GHz) and 116, 33/12 (2.4 GHz).

A speed test at the local library returned speeds of 180 Mbps down and 102 Mbps up using the 2.4 GHz WiFi band..

 

Battery

The battery is quick to charge. From 32% to 82% took only 44 minutes and it took another 30 minutes to fully charge the phone

.

I was initially disappointed with battery performance especially in sleep mode, fortunately there are plenty of settings that can be tweaked to conserve power. By tweaking these settings the phone lasted almost 48 hours without recharging.

 

Battery Settings.jpg

 

These are the settings I tweaked.

  • Turned always on display off (Settings > Lock Screen and Security).
  • Changed Screen resolution to HD+ (Setting > Display > Screen Resolution).
  • Added any app that did not need to run in background to the “Always Sleeping Apps” List. (Settings > Device Maintenance > Always Sleeping Apps > Add App)

 

These are the results the phone achieved doing the following tasks:

  • Sleep mode: In sleep mode with Bluetooth Off, WiFi, Location and Cellular data Enabled the battery was drained at 0.5% per hour
  • Browsing Internet: 1 hour of WEB Browsing at 33 % screen brightness drained battery by 10%.
  • Watching Video: 1 hour of WiFi streamed HD video at 45% screen brightness drained battery by 11%
  • Hot Spot: One hour using the phone as a hot spot drained battery by 7%
  • Bluetooth: An hour of music played back via Bluetooth drained the battery by 6%
  • Voice call: Battery drained at 7% per hour
  • Recording Video: Recording 5 minutes of UHD video drained battery by 3%. Extrapolating this gives a battery drain of 36% per hour.

 

GPS

The GPS is accurate and quick

The main problems I have with GPS are:

  1. Privacy: I don’t want Google and third party apps tracking my every move so I have set Location to “Phone Only”. Because of this Geo tagging in the camera app is not available and every time the phone connects to a WiFi network the message below pops up

    GPS_High_Accuracy.jpg

    In Phone Only mode Location services uses the inbuilt GPS of the phone which contrary to what Google tries to make you believe is far more accurate than either cellular triangulation or proximity to nearby WiFi networks.
  2. Data Connection required: A data connection is required to use the default Map app. Maps of small areas can be downloaded for use off line but these are limited in size and not all the functions of the Maps App is available in off line mode.
  3. Compass Calibration: I found calibrating the compass a difficult task. To calibrate the phone has to be moved through a figure eight with the top of the phone pointed in the direction of motion and the phone screen facing in towards the center of the circle but also gradually rotated vertically so that phone is horizontal at the junction off the two circles.
    On the Windows phone the phone just has to be moved through a horizontal figure 8. The orientation of the phone did not matter.

 

Items 1 and 2 are common problems with all Android devices and were one of the main reasons I switched from Android to Windows phones. There are third party apps such as “Here We Go” that allow the phone’s GPS to be used offline but there are still the annoying pop ups when connecting to WiFi.

 

If Location services are disabled by toggling the Location switch to off in the Quick Access settings Draw and an App is opened that requires location services there will be a pop up asking if you agree to enable Location services. If you agree the location services will be turned on and set to High Accuracy instead of the previous Phone only mode. Google only reveals this if the down arrow is tapped to reveal extra details.

 

 GPS_Pop_UP.jpg

 

Performance

I found the performance of the phone was very good.

The phone only took 5 seconds to power off and 50 seconds to power back on.

Apps and Web pages opened quickly.

 

The only problem I noticed is when viewing videos in the Stan app and apps were being updated in the background. Every time an up was installed the video paused for a few seconds. This happens on all my android devices and only happens when viewing videos in the Stan app. It does not happen on the Windows Phone.

 

Summing Up

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is an excellent phone. There are only a few things I disliked about the phone but there are many excellent features that I liked about the phone

What I didn’t like

  • Googles insistence on tracking your every move (This is a fault with all Android devices running latest operating system)..
  • Non removable battery
  • Bixby button cannot be reprogrammed to something more useful.
  • Over sensitivity of the switch camera gesture in camera app.

 

What I liked

  • Terrific screen,
  • Good camera especially in low light conditions.
  • SD Card slot
  • 5 mm earphone socket.
  • Reliable and fast bio metric unlocking sensors.
  • Heart rate and blood oxygen sensor.
  • Included Accessories (USB C to USB A adapter, soft phone cover and AKG Earphone)

 

 

 

Level 21: Augmented

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

I wanted to make one more post before @TommyR does recap and closes this thread.

 

I would like to acknowledge that @cf4 did much better job than I did. It is amazing how thorough his review is and how much detail he posted here... I've seen other reviews at very reputable sites (and here too) and they should all learn from you, mate! Well done!!!

 

I have had one of the busiest periods ever at my work during this period, so I did not have as much time to play with it as I would like to. So I concentrated on "getting to know Android and Samsung" and finding out differences between that and Apple iOS.

 

So, I'll try to do quick re-cap in dot points, in no particular order of importance and mix of pluses and minuses:

  • I am still regularly disturbed by various notifications - still did not get them all the way I'd like it...
  • It has fast processor...
  • The camera is fantastic - not as good as my professional grade Nikons, but I would stop lugging them on family holidays, if I could get a proper grip... The phone is too small, too light and too sensitive on touch to do so... Also to operate the "Pro" option is not intuitive, even though I would admit it is not always intuitive on Nikons either...
  • Many applications behave slightly differently than on iOS, making transition from one to other more difficult... In same cases (Microsoft) for good, in some cases for worst...
  • Still don't fully understand the OS update methodology... 
  • Love Samsung Health! So much better than iOS Health...
  • But at the same moment hate that Samsung Health is so noisy - too many alerts and notifications from it that I did not manage to tame as yet - I am sure it is possible to customise all of them, but the learning curve seems to be so steep...
  • iPhone 8+ performs consistently significantly better both on WiFi and cellular... 
  • The fact that Gallery App does not have "rubbish bin" is just something I cannot understand. It is so easy to delete image accidentally...
  • Need to have two different accounts (Samsung and Google) to get full functionality as compared to one account to get full iOS functionality is on BIG minus...
  •  I was hoping to try to do some testing on "corporate level"... You know managing the device from the point of corporate policies etc... All Apple devices are known to be a pain in the proverbial... But I did not have a chance - partly because I am working at the organisation that prefers iOS (because they invested in the software to manage it???)…

So the jury is still deliberating... I have iPhone 8+ on lease until October 2019, with an option to replace it in October 2018. iPhone X lost fingerprint that I like and has only facial/retina recognition that I don't trust as yet (same for this Samsung - did not even test it). There are things telling me "move from Apple" and there are things telling me "stay with what you know"...

 

It is similar to my computers. I grew up on mid/mainframes. Then I moved to Novel Netware SysAdmin and was later forced to Windows AD. I also used to administer Sun Solaris and nowadays I am doing RHEL and Ubuntu (mostly on VMWare)... And, of course KALI!!! If you don't know that one, please look at it!

 

BTW, I think that W10 is best ever OS for desktops/laptops... (I am ready to be stoned for that...) I used to swear on MacAfee, I hate it now... Oh did I mention I am 57!!! and that I have been working with computers in various roles since 1985? Yes, that's me...

 

Anyway, it has been enjoyable time... I still have 7 more days on the prepaid I got for the review and then... Not sure... I'm tempted to sell it - my wife is lofi user and it would be overkill for her... I am on contract (see above)…

 

Finally, I would like to once again acknowledge that : "I have been given this Samsung Galaxy S9+ by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed here reflect my user experience and my personal opinion." I would like to thank Telstra and BrainTrust for this opportunity and I hope I will be able to contribute to this fantastic community in the future. I am aware that I am sometimes "straightforward" and "blunt" in my responses (being recently reprimanded for one post), but that's me - always honest and fair to the point where it can offend... You cannot teach this dog new tricks!!! 

 

Cheers

 

FG

 

PS: I am happy to answer any questions - just PM me!!!

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Since my last post there has been a system update.

 

"Build Number : G960FXXS1ARD1
Android version : Oreo(Android 8.0.0)
Release Date : 2018-05-02"

 

After this update the annoying  pop ups requesting "Location Settings" be change to high accuracy that popped up every time the phone connects to WiFi have disappeared.

 

Still can't use Geo tagging in camera app and Google still tries to change "Location Settings"  to high accuracy.

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Mobile Insider - Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Thanks very much for answering many of the RF type questions that were relevant to my needs in a marginal network area.
A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".

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