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Samsung's S9 launches in Dubai with live AR demo

Find out when you can get hold of the hottest new smartphone on the market

  • A model holds new Samsung smartphones — the S9 and S9+ — during a product launch in Dubai on Wednesday night.Image Credit: Gulf News / Atiq ur Rehman
  • Samsung officially launched its new Galaxy S9 and S9+ in Dubai on Wednesday evening.Image Credit: Gulf News /Atiq ur Rehman
  • An attendee tests the front-facing camera of a Galaxy S9 smartphone during a Samsung Electronics Co. 'UnpaImage Credit: AP

Dubai: Following Samsung’s impressive stunt on Friday, in which it lit up one side of the Burj Khalifa with a projection of the S9, its latest phone, the South Korean giant officially launched its new model in Dubai on Wednesday evening.

Chung Lyong Lee, Samsung’s Gulf president, was on hand at the Sofitel hotel on The Palm, Jumeirah, to demonstrate the phone to an audience of company executives and members of the media, joined by Tarek Sabbagh, the company’s head of IT and mobile division.


After describing some of the specifications of the phone, which features a 5.8-inch Quad HD OLED ‘Infinity Display’ and a 12MP rear camera with a variable aperture (f/1.5-f/2.4), the pair proceeded to demonstrate the S9’s augmented reality (AR) capabilities.

The phone uses AR facilities in the camera to create a 3D image of the subject, and turns them into a customised emoji.

The app can create 18 different emojis of the person, according to Samsung, who did a live demo of the feature at the launch event.


On sale from March 16, the device will retail from Dh3,099 for the 64GB S9, up to Dh3,899 for the 256GB S9+ model — making it roughly on par with Apple’s iPhone X for price.

Samsung say that customers will be able to purchase the phone from major retailers across the UAE, and the company’s own website in Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and a new colour, Lilac Purple.

What we know about S9 and S9+

Samsung's new Galaxy flagships S9 and S9+, come with improvements from the preious version in hardware such as enhanced camera capabilities to differentiate itself from competition and to keep pace with Apple’s camera advancements.

Face-off: Samsung S9 vs iPhone X

Besides the 5.8-inch Quad HD OLED ‘Infinity Display’ with 4GB of RAM and 64/128/256GB (depending on the region) of storage capacity, it also has a fingerprint sensor moved from the side to below the single-lens camera.

The battery capacity is 3,000mAh.

The 12MP rear camera will have a variable aperture (f/1.5-f/2.4) with optical image stabilisation. The front camera is 8MP with f/1.6 aperture and supports super slow motion.

The 6.22-inch S9+ has a 6GB of RAM and 64/128/256GB of ROM (depending on the region).

It will have a new 12MPdual-lens camera setup (wide and telephoto) on the back and 8MP on the front. Battery capacity is 3,500mAh. The chipset is the same as S9.

The Galaxy S9 series has also added adjustable aperture in the camera, which allows for automatic switching from f/2.4 to f/1.5 for better low-light performance.

The phones can pass 28 per cent more light to the sensor than S8 and 30 per cent more noise reduction than S8.

The dual speakers are powered by AKG with 360-degree surround sound.

The voice assistant Bixby gets an update (translation, places and food calorie).

The secondary telephoto lens features a Live Focus mode for creating portrait mode or bokeh effect.

The major changes in terms of the camera include slow-motion video recording at 960 frames per second, similar to what Sony did with Xperia Premium , improved low-light photography and an iPhone X-like emoji feature.

In slow motion, the camera records 0.2 seconds of the clip and plays back in 0.6 seconds. It automatically detects the object in the frame of the camera and starts recording.   

A new version of the DeX docking station was also unveiled, to connect it to a monitor to have a PC-like experience.