Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series phones get most of the attention, but in many parts of the world, it’s the A-series phones that people choose to buy. These phones cost a little less but still offer many of the same features as the high-end versions. In this case, the new Galaxy A9 is a little ahead of the curve. As everyone seems dead-set on increasing the number of cameras sensors on phones, Samsung has leapfrogged the competition by putting four cameras on the back of the A9.
Looking at the spec sheet, this phone takes a step down compared with the current Galaxy S phones, but it’s not using the bargain-basement entry-level hardware, either. The A9 runs on a Snapdragon 660, which is an octa-core ARM chip with four high-performance cores and four efficiency cores. The CPUs are a generation older and clocked slower than the Snapdragon 845’s CPUs. You also get a slower GPU and memory. Speaking of memory, this phone does still sport 6GB of it, and there’s 128GB of storage.
The A9 also has a Samsung OLED panel measuring 6.3-inches. That’s only a tenth of an inch smaller than the Note 9, but the resolution isn’t as high at 2220 x 1080. It’s an 18.5:9 panel, so it takes up almost all the available space on the front of the phone. There’s a single selfie camera on the front of the phone, too.
What you really want to hear about is that quad-camera array. Well, three of them provide specific usage modes in the camera, and the fourth is an ancillary sensor. There’s a 24MP standard camera, an 8MP wide-angle camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera with 2x zoom. You can switch between all three of those in the camera app. The last one is a 5MP depth-sensing camera that helps apply bokeh effects to portrait mode photos (Samsung calls it Live Focus).
All the photos are arrayed along the left edge of the rear panel — honestly, it looks weird. If Samsung hadn’t actually announced the phone, I would have assumed this was a bad Photoshop. It’s the same location Apple and Huawei use for their cameras, and the multicolor finish in Samsung’s press renders looks similar to Huawei’s P-series phones.
Samsung will start selling this phone in select markets in the coming weeks. The launch price is £549, which works out to $726. The Galaxy S phones sell for £150-250 more in Europe right now.
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