Galaxy S9 mostly aces our real-world testsWe take the Galaxy S9 out of the lab and in to Barcelona.
[MUSIC] Barcelona, a city steeped in rich history, iconic architecture, and unforgettable food. Today we'll visit some of the city's most famous sites with the S9 as our constant companion. From the front, the Galaxy S9 and larger S9 Plus look virtually unchanged from last year's phones. But from the back, the fingerprint reader moves beneath the camera module. And the S9 plus picks up a second lens. The S9's 5.8 inch screen and the S9 Plus' 6.2 inch screen are full and bright and take up almost the entire phone face. The button on the let opens up Bixby voice Samsung's very own voice app. Unfortunately, you can't reprogram it to open any other app, but you can keep the Bixby home screen from opening when you press the button. Well, at least there's still Google assistant. [MUSIC] Our day starts at the Boqueria Market, a glorious wonderland of Catalonian gastronomical delight. I don't know where to go. I think we need to go find some ham. This way. Yeah. The Bokaria is a feast for the senses and also the sensors. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the first phones with dual aperture lenses. The 12 megapixel camera senses your lighting conditions and swaps apertures to make low light shots brighter, with less digital noise. You can also switch into pro-mode, and toggle apertures manually. The Galaxy S9 Plus we have here includes a 12 megapixel telephoto lens on the back, in addition to the main camera. That means you can take depth of field portrait photos that blur the background and make your scenes pop. You can adjust the blur level and keep both those wide angle and portrait pics. The Galaxy S9's eight megapixel front facing camera picks up a new trick too. Selfie focus brings some of that background blurring magic to your self portrait. This tool uses software and not a second lens. So your photos aren't quite as good, and you may wind up blurring parts of yourself that shouldn't be blurred. Throughout the day I've been unlocking my phone with my fingerprint and my iris. Which are both secure biometric methods for getting into the phone. I love not having to reach across the camera anymore to hit that fingerprint reader. But I feel other phones still do this better by dishing out the fingerprint target and making it easier to find without a case. What I don't like is Intelligent Scan, which Samsung added as a convenient way to open the device without error. It combines face unlock, which is not secure, and iris scanning, which is. That means nothing about this feature is secure, so why even include it in the first place? [MUSIC] The S9 Phones run on Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 chip, which boasts performance improvements for silky task processing and slightly longer battery life. Some S9s will get Samsung's own [UNKNOWN] chip instead. Hey, what's that? Are those wires sticking out of our ears? Yes, it's true. There is a headset jack. Many top phones ditched theirs long ago. But Samsung actually throws in a pair of AKG earbuds into the box. They retail for about $100 US. And the audio quality is quite good. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's ambitious masterpiece of the Catholic church that was first started in 1882 and is still unfinished. This is the perfect place to see if the Galaxy S9 can capture the magical moments in photo and video. We've really been impressed with the S9's image quality overall, and there are tons of settings to choose from. Not every camera tool is absolutely perfect. The new super slow-mo video we took at this popular skater spot records at a lower 720p resolution It works better outdoors than inside. You want to use manual controls for the best results. Back at the hotel we cool our heels in hold cocktail hour by playing with Samsung new 3D advent house called the air merging. We asked a bunch of CNET outdoors to build their own elms, here is what they thought. I don't know why the air merging gave me a man burn. I actually don't have one. Lord have mercy. Yeah it has some real nerve problems. It's kind of horrifying but I cant take my eyes away from it. The S 9 plus's battery lasted a full day of sightseeing. But we did want to give it a top up before going out for a late night dinner and drinks. You can charge the phones wirelessley through the fast charging cable that comes in the box. [MUSIC] Are the Galaxy S9 and S9+ worth the sky high price? Well if you've already got an S8, they're too fundamentally close to rush out for an upgrade. But if you're overdue for a new phone anyway, these fulfil almost every requirement for day-to-day use. Really nice design, battery life that takes you through the day, pleasing photos with lots of tweaking options. As long as those core features stay the course, and by and large they do, I can look past Samsung's bungled gimmicks, and see the Galaxy S9 phones for the sum of their parts. These are two strong devices that earn a place in your pocket. [MUSIC]