Phones with dual camera arrangements are increasingly common, and even having three rear cameras is no longer uncharted territory—Samsung offers one in the Galaxy A7. Kicking things up a notch, Samsung's new Galaxy A9 is the first smartphone in the world to launch with four rear cameras, underscoring the emphasis on taking photos above all else.
The Galaxy A9 is not a flagship phone, though it's no slouch either. It wields a 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2220x1080) Super AMOLED display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, which is an octa-core part with four high power cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four lower battery saving cores clocked at 1.8GHz.
There are two models to choose from, one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, and another with 8GB with the same 128GB of storage on the inside. Both models sport a microSD card slot supporting up to 512GB of additional storage, should 128GB prove not to be enough. Everything else is pretty typical of any modern handset, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC support, USB-C connectivity, and so forth.
The Galaxy A9 is basically a mid-range phone with some higher end features. What separates it from other devices in its class is the camera arrangement. On the front, there is a 24-megapixel shooter (f/2.0) for taking selfies, which is bigger (in megapixel count) than most phones. On the rear, there are four cameras consisting of an 8MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.4), 10MP telephoto lens (f/2.4) with a 2X optical zoom and autofocus, a 5MP depth sensor (f/2.2), and a 24MP main camera (f/1.7) with autofocus.
"In an exciting and connected world where moments and memories, from the everyday to the once-in-a-lifetime, are captured and shared instantly, the smartphone has become so much more than just a phone to consumers. That’s why the Galaxy A9 is packed with Samsung’s best camera innovations, to enable all consumers to achieve more, experience more and unlock more possibilities every day," Samsung says.
Camera performance is supplement with software tricks and "AI Scene Recognition," which is supposed to intelligently adjust the the settings based on the subject. How well it works remains to be seen.
The Galaxy A9 will launch in November priced at £549 in the UK, which is about $726 in US currency. It's not clear what other "selected markets" will also see the Galaxy A9. It will come in three color options: Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue, and Bubblegum Pink.