Samsung Galaxy A9’s hardware cuts through most of the day-to-day chores without blinking an eyelid, but don’t expect it to be as fast as the OnePlus 6T.
Cameras have become the key selling point for smartphones today. While the likes of Google have been turning to software to get the most out of a single camera, more hardware oriented companies like Samsung and Huawei are betting on phones with multiple sensors and lenses. Huawei’s P20 Pro was the first smartphone with triple cameras, while Samsung’s Galaxy A9 (starts at Rs 36,990) takes it a step further, and is the first phone with four cameras.
The four cameras are arranged in a vertical line on the top left corner and they have been laid out almost flush with the back. As a result, the phone doesn’t wobble when you put it down on a table or other flat surfaces.
At the top of the camera module is the 24MP shooter with an RGB sensor, followed by a 10MP camera with 2x optical zoom. Then there is an 8MP wide-angle camera with 120 degree field-of-view and at the bottom is a 5MP camera that captures depth information.
These cameras can work both individually and in tandem, depending on the user’s requirements. There are plenty of camera modes and options for users to fiddle with, for which people usually rely on third party apps.
While you can do a lot with the phone and its many cameras, don’t expect to be bowled over by it. In fact, the OnePlus 6T’s dual cameras captured colours a lot better than this device — both indoors and outdoor.
With a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen with resolution of 2,220×1,080p, the Galaxy A9 is as roomy and sharp as the 6.4 inch screen of the OnePlus 6T. However, the colours pop out a bit more on this one during video playback, when we put them side by side.
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI running on top of Android 8 lets you tinker with the look and feel of the interface a bit more than Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 6T. Though the phone retains an app drawer, it’s different in many ways from stock interface or even Oxygen OS. For instance, swiping left to right opens Bixby and swiping up opens Samsung Pay.
This is one of the few Samsung smartphones which do not run their proprietary Exynos chipset. Purring inside it is Qualcomm’s mid-segment Snapdragon 660 chipset coupled with 6GB of RAM in the base variant and 8GB RAM in the other. For your photos, music and offline movies, there is 128GB of onboard storage and 512GB of expandable storage. The hardware cuts through most of the day-to-day chores without blinking an eyelid, but don’t expect it to be as fast as the OnePlus 6T. It feels a bit underpowered for gaming.
Battery backup is on par with the OnePlus 6T and on modest use, the Galaxy A9 can see you through an entire work-day on each charge.
Samsung was one of the first to offer the thin bezel design and screens that curved, but the company has been reluctant to embrace new design elements like the notch and teardrop. It’s mid range phones like the Galaxy A9 are still saddled with bezels that are reminiscent of phones from 2017.
The phone has an eye catching dual tone finish, and is available in lemonade blue and bubblegum pink colours. It has a tall but narrow form-factor, which makes it easy to manage with one hand and at 183g, weighs as much as it.
The Galaxy A9 has a lot going for it, but the key among them is the eye catching variants. The many cameras and modes, dependable battery and impressive display make it worth consideration, though we wouldn’t recommend buying this over the OnePlus 6T if you want more value for your money.