The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has four rear cameras. Yes, you read that right, four. It’s a world’s first, and while it may seem excessive Samsung believes the additional hardware makes for better photos.
“The world’s first quad camera smartphone”. It does have a ring to it, doesn’t it? Depending on how you tally up the snappers, that statement is true and unquestionably so, if you only consider the rear camera setup. Frankly, we can’t exactly say we are too surprised. It was more or less a matter of time. But, if we had to place some predictions, our money would have definitely been on a more obscure manufacturer finally polling out the quad camera card, rather than Samsung.
Still, it does make a lot of sense. Hot on the heels of the Galaxy A7 (2018) and its triple camera setup, the A9 (2018) now adds a telephoto camera to the mix, bringing the total tally up to that all-important four. Or at least, until HMD finally comes through with a new multi-camera PureView handset, likely to be dubbed the Nokia 9, if rumors are to be believed.
Now, we all know that Korean giant Samsung is no stranger to pushing the envelope in the smartphone realm. Recently the brand unveiled the Samsung Galaxy A9, which is the world’s first smartphone to ship with four cameras on the back. I managed to get my hands on a unit and in this review, let’s see if it delivers on the hype.
Specs at a glance
|Resolution||1080 x 2220 pixels|
|CPU||Quad core, 2.2 GHz + Quad core, 1.8 GHz, Snapdragon 660|
|Internal memory||128 GB|
|External memory||Up to 512 GB|
|Capacity||3800 mAH, Li-ion, Non-removable|
|Talktime||Up to 23 Hours (3G)|
|Primary camera||24 MP|
|Secondary camera||24 MP|
|Network support||Dual SIM 4G|
|Other options||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS|
|Operating system||Android 8.0 Oreo|
Design and Display
The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) packs a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Full HD+ display which is bright, clear and colorful.
While the 1080 x 2220 resolution isn’t as impressive as the QHD panels on the Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and Note 9, for its price point it’s hard to knock the Full HD+ offering on the Galaxy A9.
You can see the design language of Samsung’s flagship infinity display spilling over to the Galaxy A9, but it’s not quite as edge-to-edge here, with slightly thicker borders all the way around the device.
That’s to be expected considering the Samsung Galaxy A9’s price point, and there’s still plenty of screens to enjoy here – and no notch, which may please some users.
Performance, Software, and Battery
In predictable Samsung fashion, the company’s Galaxy A9 is powered by silicon which is usually found in devices costing significantly less. The handset is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chip which works alongside either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. My review unit shipped with 6GB of memory, which has been paired with 128GB of built-in, user-expandable storage. Understandably, the Samsung Galaxy A9 is not going to rival the likes of OnePlus 6T in terms of raw compute prowess, but it gets the job done.
Android does run smoothly on the Galaxy A9, and we experienced slick performance and fast app load times during our time with the handset.
There’s good news in terms of storage, with the Samsung Galaxy A9 coming with a sizable 128GB of space built-in. If that’s not enough space (although for most it will be) there’s also a microSD slot which supports cards up to 512GB in size.
The Samsung Galaxy A9 also fits in a 3,800mAh battery which is bigger than the power packs squeezed into the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
The hope is the Galaxy A9 will offer up some impressive battery life, but you’ll have to wait for our full review to find out just how well it performs.
There isn’t any wireless charging included here, but the Samsung Galaxy A9 does support fast charging, allowing you to quickly top up the battery if you are running low.
Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? The Samsung Galaxy A9 is truly the world’s first smartphone with four rear-facing cameras, which is no small feat. Going from top to bottom, the handset comes equipped with an 8MP, f/2.4, 120-degree wide-angle lens, a 10MP, f/2.4 telephoto lens, a 24MP, f/1.7 main camera and lastly, a 5MP, f/2.2 depth sensor. On paper, the Galaxy A9 hopes to replace your camera bag full of lenses, but in practice, the shots I took with the smartphone leave something to be desired.