Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 announcements this year might have introduced the company’s most powerful handsets to date, but they didn’t really show us anything new. That honour seems to have been reserved for the company’s Galaxy A-series announcement today that detailed the Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9.
Though it’s not exactly a surprise, we got our first proper look at the Galaxy A7 (which was announced last month after a few felines escaped their sacks), Samsung’s first triple-camera smartphone, and the Galaxy A9, anyone’s first quad-camera handset. Looks like Huawei will have to add another sensor next year to keep up with the pace.
Small Galaxy Exploration
There were really no surprises in the Galaxy A7 announcement, just confirmation of what we already knew. Samsung’s made this their first triple-camera system, probably as a trial run for the S-series next year, so we’re looking at a 24MP standard lens, an 8MP 120° ultra-wide lens, and then a 5MP depth camera — for added bokeh (because everybody loves bokeh). The only real bit of news on this side is that Samsung’s Galaxy A7 launches today, starting in Europe and Asia. The bigger surprises are reserved for the Galaxy A9.
The Samsung Galaxy A9 also wasn’t especially shocking, as rumours have been swirling around that Samsung would be introducing their first quad-camera in the handset. At the same time, the company has made a mid-range phone that wouldn’t look out of place with the front-runners — it’s using a 6.3in 1,080 x 2,220 version of Samsung’s Infinity display. There’s an octa-core processor inside the glass-backed anodised metal frame and it looks like there will be two versions of the phone — one with 6GB of RAM and another with 8GB.
Whichever option we get, the A9 ships standard with 128GB of storage and support for up to 512GB of microSD extras. The rear fingerprint scanner and face unlock features from the S9 lineup have made it here, as has a 3,800mAh battery and fast charge.
Sign of Four
It’s the camera arrangement that’s really of interest here, though. The A9 incorporates one 24MP front lens, and then four different sensors for the rear. There’s a main 24MP rear sensor, along with 8MP 120° ultrawide and 10MP telephoto lenses. The fourth is a 5MP depth camera sensor.
The new addition here, if you’ve been paying attention, is the telephoto lens. The A7 matches the A9 in terms of camera specs, the (we assume) pricier handset just gets a little closer to your subject. Samsung’s fiddling with a new bit of pixel technology, attempting to improve camera performance even further.
Have they pulled it off, though, or is this just a way to add something different to the packaging? The only way that we’re going to know whether Samsung’s A9 quad-camera setup is more genius than gimmick is to actually get our hands on one and test it out in the real world. Thankfully that won’t take too long.
The Samsung Galaxy A9 will be launching in November, for “select markets”. The company hasn’t mentioned which markets those are yet, but we’re hoping to be included on the guest list.