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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus' killer weapon is not its dual-cameras; it is the stereo speakers

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 5 April 2018, 15:56 IST
(Sahil Bhalla/Catch News)

Samsung's red-hot new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ flagship smartphones were unleashed upon the world in the month of March. During the launch and the eventual release to the public, the marketing was focused on the camera. "We didn’t just update the camera. We rethought the entire camera experience," the company said (https://news.samsung.com/global/the-camera-reimagined) in a blog post.

Now that it has been a few weeks since the launch, one can safely say that these are the best Android smartphones on the market today. The smartphones are iterative, and not revolutionary, as I wrote in my Galaxy S9+ review on 3 April. It is these small iterations that make the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ the complete all-rounded Android smartphones.

With all the focus on the camera, most reviewers upon receiving their review devices went straight to testing out the camera and its low-light performance. With camera garnering this much attention, it is easy for most people, to overlook some of the smaller additions to the Galaxy S9 and S9+. For the first time in the history of a Samsung flagship smartphone is the inclusion of stereo speakers.

This is not something that should be easily overlooked. The camera may genuinely impress some people, and the Infinity Display will wow others, but it is these stereo speakers that turn the Galaxy S9 into a complete smartphone.

 

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It wasn't until the final days before my review that I turned on the switch and was genuinely taken aback by how good the speakers turned out to be. Go into settings and further into the 'sound and vibration' section. Scroll to the bottom and hit 'sound quality and effects'. It is in here that you need to flick the switch. Turn on Dolby Atmos and prepare to be mesmerised.

The stereo speaker system has been specially tuned by AKG, the acoustics specialists. In the few days after I turned on the switch, I found the sound to be louder and even more crisp than it already was. This made watching videos a joyful experience.

The combination of that fantastic Infinity Display (can be cranked up to WQHD+ (2960x1440) and a high-quality speaker system, make the Galaxy S9 and S9+, the first smartphones from Samsung that are truly complete. Previous generations were always missing a feature or two. Not anymore.

The benefits of Dolby Atmos come over a pair of earphone, the enhancements they bring to the dual speaker setup cannot be discounted. It's an all-around upgrade from the below average mono speakers Samsung has had on their flagship S and Note smartphones for generations. Sound doesn't just come out of the single-bottom firing speaker anymore. It comes out of the earpiece as well.

This isn't new to smartphones but is definitely new to Samsung's flagship smartphones. Samsung has stepped up its game with the addition of virtual surround sound via Dolby Atmos and this is a gamechanger. Filling the room with sound from the Galaxy S9 isn't a problem like it used to be. If you're just a couple of people hanging out for an evening, you might not even need to turn on the Bluetooth speaker.

It will not outdo a Bluetooth speaker in the amount of bass, but the range of sound and crispiness have gone beyond what most smartphones have been able to produce. That is a testament to just how good the stereo speakers are on the Galaxy S9.

Samsung was late to the game with dual-cameras, but it took its time to perfect its implementation. The same is the case with the stereo speakers. It isn't the first company, by a mile, to have stereo speakers in its smartphone, but it manages to outdo most, if not all, in terms of sound quality.

With stereo speakers, one can safely call the Samsung Galaxy S9+ a complete smartphone.

First published: 5 April 2018, 15:56 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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