Galaxy S9: Samsung reveals its answer to ‘Animoji’

The new AR Emoji feature scans your selfie to create a personalised, moving emoji.

The new AR Emoji feature scans your selfie to create a personalised, moving emoji. Photo: Samsung

Samsung has unveiled the newest model of its flagship Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones, which boasts improved entertainment functions, smarter Artificial Intelligence (AI), a more powerful camera and super slow-mo function – and animated emojis.

The Galaxy S9 phones were unveiled on Sunday in Barcelona, Spain, and will be available from March 16, in four colours: black, grey, blue and purple. Prices will range from $1199 (64GB) to $1499 (256GB).

The improvements to security appear to be a big leap forward, while many other changes are incremental.

samsung galaxy colours

Fans will have four colours to choose from. Photo: Samsung

Get animated

Samsung has replied to the release of Apple’s animated emoji messaging feature (Animoji) with the Galaxy S9’s newest feature, AR Emoji.

Using a series of sensors to create a 3D model of the user’s face, the smartphone will now create an animated emoji that imitates facial movements and records audio, enabling anyone to create a truly personal messaging experience.

Just hold the smartphone up to your face and record your message as one of various animated emojis.

These AR Emoji can be shared to social media, or used to create stickers to save and add to messages in the future.

Rich entertainment

Samsung has partnered with AKG to develop a stereo speaker system for the Galaxy S9 that offers a 360-degree audio experience.

The S9 also supports Dolby Atmos and the newest Infinity Display with Super AMOLED screen feature features ‘virtually no distracting notches’ – likely a dig at iPhone X’s top notch.

The fastest camera in the west

Packing a new dual-12MP camera design, the Galaxy S9 may well prove the best smartphone camera on the market … for now.

One camera features an impressive f1.5-stop lens – capturing almost twice as much light as the Apple iPhone X or Google Pixel 2 – meaning big improvements for low-light and high-speed photography.

Video capture has moved into superhuman realms with slow-motion video capable up to 960fps. With the addition of motion detection, GIF creation and music scoring, users can really lift their social media game.

Fort Knox security

samsung galaxy s9

A new feature is biometric authentication. Photo: Samsung

Samsung has tightened security on the S9 with a range of biometric readers that work together to create Samsung’s most secure device yet.

The Galaxy S9 now combines an improved iris scanner, facial scanner and fingerprint reader to create a comprehensive digital lock.

A further level of fingerprint security can be activated to secure sensitive documents and data.

Live a smart life

The Galaxy S9’s improved AI and Augmented Reality (AR) features are aimed at improving everyday life by simplifying tasks and connecting smart devices across the home.

Everything from live translation tools to interactive real-time object detection is now standard on Galaxy S9 devices. Simply hold up your smartphone to view the subject matter in question, and Samsung’s Bixby (AI) smart assistant will do the rest.

For example, this could be translating a street sign from one language to another, viewing animated instructions on how to change a car tyre or simply accessing further information like a train service timetable.

Of course, app developers will need to fully embrace this feature for users to experience the ultimate from the feature, but the potential is inspiring.

With connected smart devices around the home, users are able to control functions by voice alone.

Dock and go

samsung galaxy s9 dock

The updated dock can turn the S9 into a mini desktop computer. Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s updated DeX Pad smartphone dock appears more user friendly than ever, now doubling as a touch pad once activated.

To use the dock, a user only need insert their smartphone into the device to then access full-sized versions of apps on a connected monitor and full-size keyboard.

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