The Samsung Galaxy S9 was just announced this past Mobile World Congress. The newly announced 2018 flagship brings together the best features that Samsung touted in last year’s flagship. It also improves on some of the most essential features which we’re looking forward to. However, the first 24 hours usually makes or breaks the experience we get from our brand new device. As such, we’re going to take you through our first 24 hours with the Galaxy S9. We’re not going to be covering much in terms of benchmarks and overall performance. That said, we’re going to be zooming in on first impressions and battery life.
Bigger First Impressions
First thing’s first, the Galaxy S9 makes a bigger first impression that its older brethren. It may be the new device factor, but the Samsung Galaxy S9 feels a lot sleeker and better built. It also has better balance in hand. While it feels that much smaller, the device somehow manages to feel more substantial and imposing when you hold it for the first time.
Of course, when it comes to colours, the Lilac Purple which we got definitely leaves an impression. The colour is one that will have a lot of people impressed. From my personal experience, the colour seems to change under different lighting and at different angles. It makes the S9 look that much more appealing and mysterious. That said, many people may say the Lilac Purple is more feminine colour, but it really isn’t. It’s got a je ne sais quois or that special something which allows the device to adapt seemlessly to the user.
Seamless Transitions & Setup
Setting up the Galaxy S9 was quick, painless and easy. It took about 20 to 30 minutes and about 20% battery. The first boot took a little while. But after about 5 minutes, you’re welcomed with the usual setup screen with Samsung’s UX flair. That said, all you had to do is log in to your Google account and you’r set. You pretty much don’t have to do much after that. The set up screen will prompt you to check if you want to setup the S9 as a new device or restore your apps from a previous device. That said, you can skip the Google version of it if you have a Samsung account. Logging in with it brings all your settings and personalisations over to the new device in a blink of an eye.
That said, you’ll also be prompted to set up device security. You get to choose from Intelligent scan, Iris Scanning, Fingerprint, PIN and Password. I set it up with a password and Intelligent scan. Of course, the normal typing and confirming password process applied. Scanning for facial recognition and Iris mapping was quicker than any other device so far. It was done in less than 5 minutes. Of course, subsequent unlocks became quicker and more efficient throughout the day.
If you’ve got a lot of data, Samsung’s Smartswitch allows you to get all the data over to the new S9 in a blink of an eye. Well, not literally, but with the dongle and wired connectivity, it’s a seamlessly quick process. However, if you’re jumping from an Android device or Samsung device, you’ll be able to do it wirelessly, though it can take anywhere between 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the amount of data.
Battery that Lasts; but Is it long enough?
The battery life in the first 24 hours is, of course, no gauge to the real capabilities of the battery over the course of ownership. However, it will leave an impression which can affect your overall opinion. We need to keep in mind that the first 24 hours is when any user uses the device most extensively due to setup and also what I like to call “New Phone Syndrome”.
So, battery life over the first 24 was good. I can’t say great, but good. I made sure to charge the Galaxy S9 to a 100% before starting anything on the device. Since it was a review device, I had to do a hard reset through recovery cause someone forgot to wipe their data. This process brought the battery down to about 85% when the phone entered the setup screen. So this would be an atypical use situation, other use cases would have about 98% at boot. I verified this by charging the phone up to 100% and leaving it plugged in while doing the reset process and unplugged it when it did the first boot.
Over the course of the day, battery life dropped relatively quickly. I was at about 60% by about 2pm. The setup process was started at 9am. But, it was about the battery life I expected considering Google Play was running in the background downloading all my apps and updating them for the better part of 2 hours. Yes, I have that many apps. This was compounded with the fact that I was using the device to shoot videos and photos for work throughout and also texting quite a lot.
Topping up ain’t a problem
By about 5pm, the battery had run flat. A respectable 8 hours which included the atypical setup. This was more than I was expecting to be frank. That said, after a 1.5 hour charge, without using a quick charge capable adapter, and I was at 96% of battery. This actually lasted me the rest of the night. The phone wasn’t charged over night. It was at 66% at about 12am and had 50% charge left at 7:15 a.m. which isn’t too bad. A quick 45 minutes on a quick charge adapter and I was at 100% from 46% when it was plugged in.
Best Impression from a Camera Ever
If there’s one thing that Samsung can be proud of, it’s the camera that they’ve included on the Galaxy S9. They’ve done quite well when it comes to the interface and also baking in features which make using the camera easy and painless for beginners. However, more experienced users also have options which will allow them deeper control of the camera.
The quality of images taken by the new camera is impressive – even under low light conditions. While I could go into greater detail, I have to leave something for the full review.
Overall, the Galaxy S9 makes a big impression for a device which sits very nicely in the palm of my hands. The biggest impression is actually the camera. The design and colour are familiar enough that you’ll feel like you’re right at home.
Also published on Medium.