If camera performance is your top priority when shopping a smartphone—and really, who the heck buys a smartphone to make actual calls these days? Pshaw!—the Galaxy S9+ is one that should be on your list of candidates. It's not the only phone with a decent camera, of course, but it did climb the ladder to earn the top ranking in DxOMark, an industry standard tool for evaluating camera and lens performance.
As you might imagine, Samsung is proud as a peacock to point out its DxOMark ranking with the Galaxy S9+, the company's newest flagship phone with a dual aperture lens designed to automatically adapt to scenes similar to the human eye. And with good reason—the Galaxy S9+ scored 99 points in DxOMark's combined photo and video evaluation, which is the highest ever, and 104 in the photo portion of the benchmark.
DxOMark had high praise for the Galaxy S9+ as well, saying it is "without any real weaknesses in the camera department" and delivers "consistently good photo and video image quality in all light and shooting situations," thus earning the benchmark's highest score to date.
"Add one of the best smartphone zooms and a capable bokeh simulation mode to the mix, and the Galaxy S9 Plus is difficult to ignore for any photo-minded smartphone user. With the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung is setting the pace for 2018," DxOMark said.
So what's not to like? DxOMark said it observed occasional exposure instabilities, along with slight color casting and noticeable ringing, color fringing, and loss of sharpness in the field. So it's not perfect, nor will it replace your digital SLR (DSLR) camera, if you own one. Overall, however, the Galaxy S9+ showed it was capable of snapping excellent photos in a variety of conditions, with an autofocus system that is "close to the best" that DxOMark has tested.
"Among all the exciting innovations, two technical innovations did more than any others to push the Galaxy S9+ to the top of the DxOMark rankings: the dual aperture and the super speed dual pixel sensor. They work together to help you take amazing photos in any lighting condition and capture everyday epic moments," Samsung said.
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ sport a super speed, dual pixel 12-megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization on the rear, along with a dedicated image processing engine that can combine to 12 images into a single high-quality photograph. They also feature a dual aperture f/1.5 - f/2.4 lens rather than a fixed aperture like almost every other smartphone on the market. In addition, the Galaxy S9+ adds a second 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (f/2.4) for wide angle shots.
Pricing starts at $720 for an unlocked Galaxy S9 and $840 for an unlocked Galaxy S9+. Wireless carriers are offering various promotions and trade-in offers, which we break down here. Preorders kick off tomorrow, March 2, followed by in-store availability and shipping on March 16.