The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the latest generation of Samsung's flagship smartphone, and the company added some features that could make this device more prevalent in the workplace. The highlights of the newly released devices are a revamped camera and enhanced speakers, but Samsung also added security features, expanded DeX and introduced real-time Bixby Vision to make this device a competitive smartphone option for American workers.
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ goes on sale March 14 while eager customers can start the pre-order process March 2. The S9 is $719.99 and the S9 Plus is $839.99. There's also a monthly installment plan that will cost you $30 per month for 24 months for the S9 and $35 per month for the S9 Plus. A new program Samsung is introducing this year, however, is a trade-up program where customers can trade-in old smartphones and receive a credit up to $350 toward their new S9 or S9+.
While this may not be a marquee for-business feature, Samsung overhauled the camera on the S9 and S9+, introducing low-light capability, multi-frame noise reduction, and super slow motion video capture at 960 fps. It also features speakers that the company claims are 1.4 times louder than the S8 and S8+.
From a business standpoint, this phone has some improved features, but a big takeaway from this release is Samsung's efforts to slowly lay the foundation for more useful B2B features down the line.
Specs and durability
The S9 measures 5.8 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches and weighs 5.7 ounces, while the S9+ measures 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches and weighs 6.6 ounces. Both the S9 and the S9+ are roughly the same size as the S8 and S8+. They also feature the same 5.8- and 6.2-inch screens, although there is an improved bezel that offers sensors hidden in the darker areas at the top of the phone. These devices are available in three colors: midnight black, lilac purple and coral blue. Lilac purple is a new option compared to last year's offering.Credit: Samsung
The S9 mirrors the S8 in terms of durability as well. It's both water and dust resistant, making it a phone that can withstand the day-to-day jostle of a busy small business owner. The S9 and S9+ come with 64GB of storage and run Android 8 Oreo on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor. Extra storage can be added and expanded up to 400GB, making it ideal for business owners and employees who need to store a lot of photos, videos or other large files.
Bixby Vision in real-time
One major feature that can be used for business is Bixby Vision. Samsung's image-based identification system was introduced on the S8 and now functions in real time on the S9 – users don't even need to hit a button to translate and overlay text over their environment. Users can translate signs and menus, automatically convert currencies and find out important information about places using this feature. The real-time aspect of Bixby is ideal for business owners who travel frequently and need to get information quickly.
Besides the translation, conversion and identification features, Bixby can be used for shopping – aim your camera at a product, and Bixby can give you pricing information and a product description. Samsung partnered with Nordstrom and Sam's Club to bring this feature to its users, and this type of technology functions as the groundwork for future AR shopping capabilities on Samsung mobile devices.
Knox 3.1 and biometrics
Samsung updated its device security with Knox 3.1, which includes updated IT policy changes and other security improvements. The S9 and S9+ feature facial recognition, an iris scanner and a fingerprint scanner, which is on the back of the phone. An added security feature is Intelligent Scan, a feature that combines both iris scanning and facial recognition to promote security.
Lighting can often be an issue for iris scanning, so in situations with poor lighting, your S9 and S9+ will switch to facial recognition to unlock your phone. This feature is only for unlocking your phone – you will still need to use the iris scanner if you're doing something like accessing secure data, for example.
Expanded DeX features
DeX is a feature that allows your phone to be used as a computer – dock your phone and connect to any monitor with an HDMI cable. The S9 and S9+ are being released with an improved pad, which plugs directly into your Galaxy device, charges your phone while it lies flat, and doesn't block your headphone jack or muffle the phone's speakers. This allows your S9 or S9+ device to be used as a multi-touch pad on a desktop experience. It also can support a connected display resolution up to 2k, an added improvement over the former HD configuration.
Samsung is pushing for DeX as an all-in-one mobile and desktop solution. DeX is already compatible with for-business apps, like the Microsoft Office 365 suite, and IT professionals can configure devices with company apps and manage device security. This is solid groundwork for a device that could someday rival laptops. The last piece to this puzzle is, of course, keyboard capability, which Samsung says it's working on.
Samsung is releasing an enterprise edition of the S9, which will be available for purchase in Midnight Black on March 16. The enterprise edition allows for enhanced Knox configuration, so IT professionals can remotely configure devices, manage software updates and device security, and adjust device settings and permissions. One security perk is the S9 features regular security updates for up to four years after market availability. Only the S9 is available for the enterprise edition.
The S9 and S9+ have some other minor feature updates as well, like an integration with Samsung's smarter things app, which is used to connect all the smart devices in your home, and the ability to split two apps across a screen horizontally. The enhanced camera is the major feature change on this device, so if you're a business owner who relies heavily on your mobile phone for photos or video, this is the device for you. There are some good feature improvements overall, and the draw of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is that they can offer usability and support to busy workers.