Samsung A9 smartphone review, specifications and price in Bangladesh
12:00 AM, January 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:17 PM, May 13, 2019

Hands-on Review

Samsung A9 introduces quad cameras

The A9 is Samsung's upper mid-tier device trying to show the big boys what's to come. Usually the A series gets all the toned down and handed down goodies from the flagship S series. This time, it is role reversal. Samsung is debuting features via the A series before showing them off on the flagships. Most notably the four camera units and the shockingly bright colours.

Pink?

Yes. This particular shade known as Bubblegum Pink is a strangely attractive gradient along with a blue/yellow version called Lemonade Blue. This seems to be Samsung's attempt at keeping up with the trends. Colour is right now very in once again since the phone wars of the early 2000s. Of course, if you want to blend in with the crowd, go with black.

Are we heading to a camera filled back?

It seems that way. The A9 is the first Samsung device to hit the number 4 in the race for more is better. The Upcoming S10 is rumored to have six. You get the picture, quite literally.

The four cameras are arranged vertically on one corner. From top to bottom, the cameras include an ultra-wide angle 8MP, f/2.4 unit offering 120-degree view. Then there is a 10MP, f/2.4 telephoto unit with 2x optical zoom. There is the 24MP, f/1.7 main camera unit that will be taking the majority of your shots. And finally there is the 5MP unit used specifically for depth sensing and creating craftily highlighted portrait shots.

Why so many cameras though?

There is good reason to have all four. Typically, two camera setups include one main camera and the secondary being either a wide-angle lens or a depth sensor unit. With four separate units, you get an option to choose the correct option lens for the type of photo you want to shoot. It is like being at a buffet and having meat, dessert, fish and even a vegan option.

Does that mean you have different, interchangeable lenses to choose from like in a DSLR?

Almost. But not quite. YOU do get different types of shots of the same scene while standing at the same spot. Naturally, the wide-angle will create barrel distortion at the edges where the corners squeeze inwards to accommodate more of the peripheral scene. It is also grainier than the main camera images due to the smaller f/2.4 aperture.

Can you win contests with the pictures?

The camera has little lag between focusing and snapping. The quick response is appreciated when you need to shoot things quickly. Such as the dog in my sample shots who refuses to sit still (all sample photos are online). Pictures are sharp with mostly neutral colours. In case of the dog, the fur shows up well although there is plenty of software sharpening going on that result in slightly blown out details. The hardware of the camera units sound promising but the software is over enthusiastic when processing the images. I was hoping image clarity would match up to at least Samsungs S8 considering the price bracket of the A9. The shots are very good for your usual social media applications though. Just don't expect much clarity of detail when zoomed in.

The front camera is a 24MP f/2.0 unit with fixed focus that does take decent pictures but can get grainy and jittery when the lighting is low. You need to hold it very, very still. In good light though, there is a soothing, softening effect that is good for creating dreamy selfies.

What about the usual stuff?

The display is a 6.3 Super AMOLED screen with 1080x2220 resolution. Beautiful screen that has adamantly held off from adopting another trend: the notch. There is none but then there are thick slabs of bezel on top and bottom when these days it is all about minimizing bezels. The screen gives you ample control allowing you to set and adjust individual colour profiles and temperatures to suit your needs. And that always on display featuring the clock and chosen information is a nice touch taken from the flagships.

Power comes from a Snapdragon 660 supported by 6GB of RAM and giving you  64GB of storage space. Eight CPU cores and the Adreno 512 GPU provide hiccup-free performance. It is the era of PUBG and the game performs flawlessly. That happens to be the questions a lot of new smartphone buyers ask me: can they kill each other online without hardware lag?

The phone survived an entire day's worth of heavy usage so no surprises there. Although you PUBG warriors may want to juice up once more before surviving the evening despite the 3800 mAh battery.

 

Specs

Display: 6.3 inches, Full HD+ Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2220 pixels

OS: Android 8.0

CPU: Octa-Core (4x2.2GHz + 4x1.8GHz), Snapdragon 660

GPU: Adreno 512

RAM: 6 GB

ROM: 64 GB

Camera: Back- 24 MP, f/1.7 (wide), 8 MP, f/2.4 (ultrawide), 10 MP f/2.4 (telephoto), 5 MP, f/2.2 (wide), & Front- 24 MP, f/2.0 (wide)

Features: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Battery: 3800 mAh

Price: Tk. 49,990/-

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