Galaxy S9 update does not fix the biggest problems with this phone

Galaxy S9 update does not fix the biggest problems with this phone

- in Technology

Galaxy S9 was certainly an iterative upgrade from the S8 (Image: Samsung)

Galaxy S9 released at the start of last year and was certainly an iterative improvement over the Galaxy S8 rather than a substantial overhaul thanks to its similar design and feature set.

This was surely part of the reason the phone failed to meet sales expectations.

In fact, last year a number of analysts were keen to insist the Galaxy S9 struggled to present Android fans with enough substantial features to upgrade.

Roberta Cozza, an analyst for technology consultancy firm Gartner, told the BBC: “It’s an exceptional phone but I don’t think there was enough differentiation.

“Differentiation today comes from creating compelling experiences and I don’t think Samsung has done enough in that area yet.

“Bixby, for example, hasn’t been the success it had been hoping for.”

Meanwhile, another analyst, Ben Stanton, pointed to increased competition overall as a reason for the Galaxy S9’s limited successes.

Speaking back in July, he told the outlet: “What’s changed in the last 18 months is that the rate of commoditisation has become much faster, in terms of the speed with which specifications and design characteristics can be copied from one brand to the next.

“When the Galaxy S8 launched in 2017, it was a pioneering product and nothing looked like it.

“But now there is a flood of devices that are very similar and sometimes better priced.”

Samsung’s  One UI appears to be a way for the South Korean OEM to differentiate its products further.

However, believes the new software has not presented fans with enough new features or caught up with its competition to make it appealing.

Here is our collated list of everything One UI is lacking:

Camera improvements

Smartphone photography is as much about great camera software as it is about the hardware itself.

Such a claim is demonstrated by the successes of the Google Pixel 3 for instance that takes advantage of the firm’s clever machine learning technologies to deliver incredible shots.

Moreover, the software on the handset allows for features such as Night Sight that are not only innovative, but truly revolutionary.

Night Sight and modes similar are present on phones from Google, Huawei, OPPO, OnePlus, Xiaomi and more.

Samsung Galaxy S9 update believes One UI did not present Samsung fans with enough new features (Image: Samsung)

However, Samsung’s line of smartphones are currently without any such technology.

While One UI changed the look and feel of the camera application on the Galaxy S9, it ultimately failed to introduce any substantial new features, such as a mode for taking better quality photos in low-light conditions.

Last year it was rumoured Samsung was working on a Night Sight rival dubbed “Bright Night” that is expected to debut on the Galaxy S10.

However, such software being included in One UI could have dramatically improved the Galaxy S9’s camera ability in low-light conditions, an area in which it simply cannot compete with offerings from Google and Huawei.

Samsung Galaxy S9 update

Samsung’s line of smartphones are still without a night mode for their cameras (Image: Express Newspapers)

The same software problems remain

While One UI does bring a contemporary redesign of both icons and applications themselves, it does not solve two of the biggest problems with Samsung phones; the distinct lack of a traditional app drawer and the litany of duplicate applications present.

One of Android’s best features is its signature app drawer that allows fans to easily find software thanks to its alphabetical arrangement.

However, One UI still only allows users to place their icons across a multitude of different home screens.

This means unless you have memorised the order of apps it can be difficult to find something quickly.

In contrast, devices from the likes of Honor and Huawei provide Android enthusiasts an app drawer with an alphabet list on the right-hand side, allowing for speedy navigation.

Samsung Galaxy S9 update

One UI does bring a contemporary redesign of icons and apps (Image: Samsung)

Samsung’s iterative hardware cannot change

While One UI does improve the Samsung user experience overall, it does not change the fact the Galaxy S9 is certainly an iterative piece of hardware that lacks many features present on more contemporary flagships.

Since its debut, the Galaxy S9 has been surpassed by the likes of the Huawei P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and more in the camera department and has been matched by cheaper flagships on a pure performance front that also offer more intuitive software such as the OnePlus 6T.

It is worth noting Samsung does seem intent on bringing a number of appealing features to its forthcoming S10 flagship that is due to be revealed on February 20.

Rumours and leaks have suggested the standard and “+” versions of the hardware will flaunt three cameras on their rear, have all-screen designs with a hole punch-style notch and deliver faster performance for fans.

However, official details of the device will not be announced until later this month and will surely not improve the unexciting hardware present on the S9.

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