The day has finally arrived — Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Apart from minor upgrades, the two might not appear to be much different from last year's S8 and S8+, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. One feature that hasn't changed is the Galaxy's IP68 water-resistance rating. That's a great score, but it begs the question — what does that number really mean?
One of the biggest improvements with the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is the redesigned camera, with the latter scoring an impressive 99 overall on DxOMark. But with an abundance of features and enhancements, tweaking the camera's settings for optimal performance can be a little confusing.
Smartphones are like high tech buckets that collect our personal information through constant use. This has some obvious benefits, like getting a more personalized experience with our devices. On the other hand, this data is a tempting target for bad actors looking to make a buck at the expense of your privacy.
From veteran modders to casual tinkerers, booting into either recovery mode or download mode is something every Galaxy S9 owner should know about. These two pre-boot menus serve a very important purpose — recovery mode is the go-to solution for soft bricks, while download mode allows you to flash firmware files using utilities like Odin and Smart Switch, which can truly be a lifesaver.
Many Samsung fans were excited when the Galaxy S9 kept the 3.5 mm headphone jack. While this is a rare delight in 2018, you also have the option for high quality audio playback over Bluetooth. When used with compatible headphones, the S9's new Bluetooth audio codecs can greatly improve audio quality.
As informative as they can be, the new app icon badges and unread counts on the Galaxy S9's home screen are a little redundant since Android already has a notification center. If you'd rather not have these little dots overlaid on your home screen icons, there's an easy way to disable and hide them.
Samsung's Galaxy S9 is officially on sale, so we ran through its best software features and even took a look at a few hidden things you might not know about. A new phone is always exciting, but there are a few annoying issues with any device. One such issue is the new persistent Android System notifications in Android Oreo on the Galaxy S9.
Samsung reintroduced its well regarded Good Lock app, so now you can tweak parts of your Galaxy's interface without the need for root or other labor-intensive mods. Thanks to an awesome add-on, you can even tidy up you phone's status bar — so if you've always wanted to get rid of that pesky NFC "N" icon or any other indicator at the top of your display, you're now just a few taps away.
After years of user complaints, Samsung is finally letting us remap the Bixby button without the need of a third-party app. The new feature requires One UI a simple app update to Bixby, but there's one major downside: Samsung won't let you remap the button to open other digital assistants like Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. Luckily, there's an easy workaround.
The Android 9 Pie update brought a lot of visual changes, some of which are a little too reminiscent of iOS. There's the new gesture controls, which are okay, but then there are things like a left-justified clock and the fact that the recent apps menu now scrolls horizontally instead of vertically. Luckily, Samsung has given us a way to bring back the classic Android style.
Many of us rely on our smartphones for all our media needs. Now more than ever, we're using Bluetooth connections to play audio over speakers, headphones, car sound systems — the list goes on. If you own a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S9, there are a number of Bluetooth tweaks and hidden tricks that can maximize your audio experience.
With much of the hype centered around its powerful cameras, it's easy to overlook the equally impressive audio capabilities of the Galaxy S9. After all, the S9 and S9+ are the first Samsung flagships to feature AKG-tuned stereo speakers, and that's not even mentioning all the software enhancements that help deliver rich, immersive sound in several different listening situations.
One of the best features on the Galaxy S9 is the ability to quickly apply new themes from the Samsung theme store. A number of the available themes are available at no cost. If you pick the right dark theme, you might even be able to save some battery life over the course of your day. Unfortunately, not every theme is worth your time, so we curated list of dark themes worth downloading.
The Galaxy S9 is now available worldwide. We ran through several Android P features already on the Galaxy S9 and even took a look at a few hidden things you might not know about. While you're likely loving your new phone, there are a few concerns with any new device. One possible issue is the new persistent Android System notifications on the Galaxy S9.
We recently ran down several hidden features on the Galaxy S9 — items that are buried deep within the settings menu that can be tricky to find. One thing that many users cannot find is the option for a black navigation bar. Unfortunately, this option does not exist in Samsung's stock settings. But this is Android, so with a bit of developer magic, we can easily regain the black navigation bar in no time.
Random vibrations, ghost buzzing — whatever you call it, when your phone goes off for seemingly no reason, it's pretty frustrating. Finding the source of a phantom vibration can be almost impossible if there's no associated notification, especially given the myriad apps and system processes that run on your Galaxy device.
Putting your Galaxy S9 in Immersive Mode lets you truly enjoy the gorgeous display that Samsung is so famous for. You can't have it set on at all times, however, so you'll still have to deal with the status and navigation bars that cut the phone's aspect ratio down to that of a standard phone. But if you're willing to dig a little deeper, there are ways to go full Immersive Mode on your S9 for good.
Unless you own an Exynos model, there won't be much development on the custom ROM front for the Galaxy S9. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with all of the UI quirks from Samsung Experience (née TouchWiz). With a little work, you can give your S9 a stock Android makeover, even without root.
By default, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ only have 15 media volume steps — in other words, there are only 15 increments between silent and full volume. That's usually fine if you're using your phone's speakers, but if you're wearing headphones, more fine-tuned controls would be helpful.
Customizing the lock screen, status bar, and other aspects of your Galaxy's UI usually requires root. Thankfully, Samsung has reintroduced a well-regarded app that gives you the freedom to tailor parts of your Galaxy's interface in just a few simple steps.