Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

Samsung has suddenly been a lot more adventurous since late. Launching has taken a lot of interest in the past few months, and it seems that the Korean giants are holding the fact that they need to make new changes and jump with trends as they are.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

We generally start new top-end features with the flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, and then have a mid-level A-Series and youth-centric J-Series. For example, Samsung was one of the first to feature a long, narrow infinity display screen, but it took ages to show low-level offerings for this well-received feature.

The competitors quickly caught up, and started selling low-cost phones, which looked much more modern and sleek than Samsung's own.



  • The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has dedicated zoom and wide-angle cameras
  • It uses the Snapdragon 660 SoC usually found in lower priced phones
  • The 6.3-inch display is bright and vibrant, and battery life is good

Now, with the Galaxy A9 (2018), Samsung is showing that it can estimate trends - or at least works with other companies. It is quite surprising that Samsung's first quad-camera phone is an A-Series model, which makes the current flagship a bit out of date with the recently launched Galaxy Note 9 (review). 

We are eager to see if Samsung can excite the buyers once again with this title-grabbing new feature. Read our Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) review to find out.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) design

There are some striking design touches in the Galaxy A9 (2018), which show that Samsung is now ready to wait for the next Galaxy S flagship instead of leading it with its existing models.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

It comes in three different looks, one of which is just plain and black, while the other two are unexpected for Samsung. Multicolor Gradient is clearly the latest design trend, in which Huawei, Oppo, and recently working on OnePlus Action. 
Our Galaxy A9 (2018) review unit is the Lemonade Blue Edition, in which there is a rich, green green color on the top in a rich, dark blue color. The last option is Bubblegum Pink, which is a very dark pinkish light blush. One of these will be sure to attract a lot of attention, so we are pleased that Samsung is offering a simple black option for those who have a subtle taste.

It's not just jewel-tone color which is over - the finish is very bright and it has a grim granular texture that gives it depth and keeps the light on moving the phone. The Galaxy A9 (2018) quad-camera module and fingerprint sensor are outlined in bright blue color.

The metal frame of the phone is also blue, and it matches the bottom of the shield but stands fast against yellow-green at the top. On the contrary, it is very noticeable how the back side of this phone is curved to meet the sides.

The front of this phone is not half as easy as its back. Samsung clearly does not think much about the ideas of the present day - we have to wait a bit longer to come up with camera holes.

Infinity display does not curve on the screen sides and there are relatively chunky limitations above it and below. We do not think there is anything wrong in this, but in some of the Galaxy A9 (2018) it is not as modern as some of its competition.

Four cameras are arranged in a narrow vertical bar, as we saw for the first time triple-camera Galaxy A7 (review). Up from top to bottom, we have an ultra-wide 8-megapixel camera with a 120 degree area; A 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 2x zoom lens.

The 24-megapixel main camera, which has a f / 1.7 aperture, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor with focus and portrait shots. Unfortunately, to keep this phone horizontally, we often had to adjust our grip to avoid covering the ultra-wide lens.

For Bixby Voice Assistant, Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has a dedicated physical button on the left, and it can not be reprogrammed - at least without a third-party app. Power and volume buttons are on the right, and the larger size of this phone means they will not always be within reach.

There is a tray on top, and thankfully it can accommodate two nano-sim as well as a MicroSD card. A single speaker, USB Type-C port, and 3.5mm audio socket fill the lower part of this phone.

With a 6.3 inch screen, no one denies that this is a huge phone. We found it weird in our pocket, especially with the case of plastered plastic made it even thicker. Its weight is 183g * and it is weak in day-to-day use. The bright rear is not very slippery, but you will definitely need two hands for most tasks.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) specifications and software

Rather than using one of its homegrown Exynos processors, Samsung has gone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 for this phone. Approximately, in Samsung fashion, this is usually a processor found on the phone, which is very low - almost half of the Galaxy A9 (2018), in fact.

This can not be as good as the Snapdragon 845 used by OnePlus 6T, 37,999 (review), but we think that if the camera of this phone is very good it can be a proper tradeoff. Snapdragon 660 is not a slatch. With eight CPU cores and integrated Adreno 512 graphics, it can provide a parallel premium experience that had flags taken some years back.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

Samsung has decided to sell two variants of this phone, but with curiosity, the only difference is that one has 6GB of RAM while the other has 8GB RAM. Price difference between the two is Rs. 3,000, so you can decide whether you want to save a little money or something else is ready for the future.

Both options have 128GB of storage. MicroSD capacity support goes up to 512GB. Our review unit is priced lower with 6GB of RAM, and we did not find any reduction in it.

Galaxy A9 (2018) has a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen resolution of 1080x2220. It is very lively, and if you look great from any angle and any kind of light, you can control the reflections. Not only can you tweak the color profile and temperature, but you can also adjust the red, green and blue levels in the settings app individually.

Whenever the phone is in standby (or according to your liking), this panel always supports an on mode, which shows you the time, date, battery level and essential information icon. Now-on display style is now a component of Samsung's UI theme, allowing you to download many more styles, including full-color ones.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) packs a 3800mAh battery, which is surprisingly low in looking at the bulk of this phone. Both SIMs have Bluetooth 5, Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, GPS and GLONASS and of course 4G LTE is present.

This phone has a geomagnetic sensor that works with the compass as well as gyroscope, hall sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and accelerometer.

Our review unit was running the Samsung Experience UI version 9.0 with Android 8.0 as a built-in base. While they are a bit behind the curve, we received an update which included the November 2018 Android security patches within one day of using this phone.

There are loads of Samsung apps, many of which duplicate or replace Google's apps. As always, you will also find the Microsoft Office application and some third-parties.

Samsung had a clear period when he lost most of his TouchWiz UI and created a Samsung Experience UI. Although the experience is not slack, and many adaptations are helpful, the annoyance has returned. It is mostly in the form of spam alerts.

We got consistent barrage from Samsung's own browser, device maintenance app, My Galaxy, My Galaxy Widget, Samsung Cloud and Samsung Themes. There were regular "offers" and superb advertisements for third-party media and services, which we found

On the positive side, the UI on Galaxy A9 (2018) is very visually polished and has an endless endless list of useful settings. You can flip the order of the on-screen Android navigation buttons, choose whether they auto-hide or not, or dig them to swipe gestures completely.

There is a game mode and one-hand mode. You can run some apps as floating windows and there are two examples of supported messaging apps. A very clear touch is that if you take a screenshot, the name of the running app is added to its filename.

There is also a load of shortcuts and accessibility options. You can also think the system at a very granular level and tweak the audio quality settings. 

The Samsung Pay Mini UPi is available for cash transfers, but there is no full paid salary for point-of-sale transactions, which is disappointing as a premium device. S-bike mode and various other Samsung features can be added via My Galaxy Store, but are not available by default on the Galaxy A9 (2018).

Bixby requires a Samsung account, but it has not yet been proven for any killer feature. This camera displaces Google lenses in the app. To sign in to your Samsung account, you must agree to dozens of third parties' privacy and service agreement, without seeing them.

If you activate Bixby Voice, there are more permissions and disclaimers. At least Bixby Home warns you that it can send you marketing spam regardless of your privacy settings, and you can get out, but there is also some promotional material in the Bixby Home screen.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) cameras

Of course everyone wants to know what the quad-camera module is on the rear. Samsung claims that the Galaxy A9 (2018) is the world's first phone with four cameras on the rear and it may look like a gimmick, but the argument of having four cameras is very solid. Never has been a standard for dual-camera phones.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

Usually there is a normal primary camera, but the second may have a zoom or wide-angle lens, a special low-light sensor or just a depth sensor. We always have to choose among those phones which offer one of these capabilities, and now Samsung is offering many in one device.

The Camera app shows a set of three icons right above the shutter release. Switching between wide, standard and zoom cameras takes one or two seconds. The camera switcher is available only in Auto and Sean Optimizer mode - we can understand Live Focus, AR emoji and Panorama mode as a problem, but it is frustrating to not use the Pro mode.

While shooting a video, you can start with any of the active three cameras, but it is warned that if the zoom camera is selected and you tap on the record button, then you actually have 2x digital zoom Together with the standard camera will start recording.

It lets you switch between standard and zoom-in views instantly during recording, but icons do not change at all. There is no indication that the actual zoom camera is not being used. On the other hand, you can start recording with a wide-angle camera, but then you can not switch to any other while recording.

Standard, zoom and wide-angle cameras do not even match equally. The primary has 24-megapixel sensor and f / 1.7 archers, which is good for low light. The zoom camera has a 10-megapixel f / 2.4 sensor, and ultra-wide camera has only an 8-megapixel sensor with the same f / 2.4 aperture.

You should not think that ultimately you have the equivalent of the interchangeable lens on the smartphone. In practice, there is a huge difference in quality in the photo, which we shoot while standing in the exact same location, in which all three cameras were involved.

Comprehensive shots are grainy, with immediate noticeable barrel distortion. The zoom-in photos are really cool, but some of our samples look a bit faster. When you switch the camera to the zoom in the dark, the Galaxy A9 will activate it first, but then switch back to the standard camera in an instant and will show you a digitally zoomed frame.

For the first time you can clearly see a dark frame on the screen, which then suddenly shines. It is also sometimes in the day, under the bright sun. Like a video, keeping a finger on each lens physically it confirms which camera is active.

This conviction can be misleading to users. We forced the Galaxy A9 (2018) to take the same shot with its zoom camera and digital zoom on the primary camera, and it was clear to see the difference in quality. Manually checked what camera was activated soon.

Ultimately, we did not get much use at night with wide-angle or zoom cameras, and we felt a slight change. We feel that there are times when every person can come into work, and they can be good for the novelty value right now and, but the users most of the time feel better to be with the primary camera.

Other features of the camera app have a depth mode that works well, a beautification mode and a AR emoji sticker. For videos, there are slo-motion, superslow-motion and hyperlap options.

You do not get optical image stabilization, but there is electronic stabilization in addition to shooting at 4K, Wide HD (2224x1080) or 1: 1 (1440x1440). Bixby Vision lets you identify landscapes, food, wine bottle labels and text. You can run a web search or try to buy something for which you take photos.

Do not forget the front camera of this phone. It is a 24-megapixel, f / 2.0 unit with a fixed focus. The shots are good for the phone at this price, but not absolutely fantastic. Full-HD videos looked good, but a little focus was a victim.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) performance and battery life

Considering its price, Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) will compete with Snapdragon 845 or equivalent flagship-class processor on many phones. In particular, OnePlus 6T (review), Asus ZenFone 5Z (review), and LG G7 + ThinQ in 40,000 (review) come to mind.

The good news is that day-to-day performance is completely flawless and you have to work hard to identify any situation in which this phone is not as smooth or responsive as its counterparts. Apps load quickly, and multitasking is easy.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Review

The benchmark of the course reveals the difference in the raw power of these two processors. Galaxy A9 (2018) made 140,275 points in AnTuTu, and single-core and multi-core trials of Geek gave us 1,608 and 5779 respectively. The GFXBench T-rex gaming benchmark scene went on 47fps and the heavy Manhattan 3.1 footage ran at 14fps.

The screen is very well suited to watch videos and play games. Everything looks lively, and the speed is very smooth. The built-in speaker is loud and very clear, but we really like the appropriate stereo sound.

We got through a whole day, started at 9 in the morning and ended almost midnight, without the need to reach the charger. During this time, we played some games for about an hour, streamed a full-length movie, browsed through apps and websites, and checking our messages. When the HD video loop stopped running, the phone lasted 12 hours, 57 minutes.


Samsung has definitely made a noise, and with the next big feature, showing all the Chinese competitors in the market, showing a creative new side. It found a place that was just waiting to be tapped, and located on the right side.

Others are not far behind, but we hope that this is the beginning of a strong new phase of innovation. If this is what looks like mid-range A-series, then it is certain to be forced to re-add the next S-Series flagship.

Along with that, we will say that the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) four cameras do not have enough money - you will get a little versatility and they can work occasionally, but we will not call it for photographers. For an urgent need.

On the one hand, this camera is a capable phone that provides strong performance and it feels good to do it. If you are looking for a big, bold style statement, then you got one.

What comes down to all this, though, is the price. If this phone costs Rs. 30,000, but Samsung is trying to take OnePlus 6T, and does not work quite well in its favor.

If you do not care about raw performance and really want to show off, then you will be happy with the Galaxy A9 

(2018). Those who like the all rounder have a better option.

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