First look at the Galaxy A9: Samsung strives to woo Instagram generation

First look at the Galaxy A9: Samsung strives to woo Instagram generation

KUALA LUMPUR: With not two, not three but four rear cameras and colours with names like Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink, Samsung Electronics is making a bid for the millennial market, touting its new phone as optimised for an “Instagram generation”.

The tech giant is betting on smartphone users’ increasing love of capturing and sharing photos by announcing the industry’s first four rear camera smartphone with its Samsung Galaxy A9.

Channel NewsAsia was able to get a brief first look at the new device after it was unveiled in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (Oct 11).

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The Samsung Galaxy A9 is the first smartphone with four cameras on its back. (Photo: Nicole Chang)

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(Photo: Nicole Chang)

LENSES FOR MULTIPLE SITUATIONS

Predictably, the four lenses on the Galaxy A9’s back cater to different picture-taking scenarios.

Firstly there is the main lens, which is a 24-megapixel lens able to adjust to the time of day or lighting levels in which the user is shooting.

In low-light situations this main sensor “merges four pixels into one” which “soaks in the light and creates brighter images”, according to Samsung’s Roy Min, who is part of the company’s marketing relations team.

Adding to that, there is also a 2x optical zoom telephoto lens, which uses optical zoom, unlike the digital zoom normally found on smartphones (which does not use an actual lens adjustment but crops the image itself to “zoom” in).

In addition, a 120-degree wide-angle lens is geared towards taking panoramas as well as things like wide group shots and tall landmarks.

And finally the 5-megapixel “depth lens” allows the user to manage the picture’s depth of field, allowing a subject to stand out.

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Live Focus mode allows the user to create a bokeh (blurred background) effect, with the option to adjust the level of background blur after taking the photo. (Photo: Nicole Chang)

Live Focus mode allows the user to create a bokeh (blurred background) effect, with the option to adjust the level of background blur after taking the photo.

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Switch between normal, wide-angle (centre) and zoom (right) modes. (Photos: Nicole Chang)

Users can tap through various options fairly easily, for example when switching from wide-angle mode to the zoom function.

For selfie-lovers, the phone also comes with a 24-megapixel front camera, which shoots impressively sharp self portraits.

Like Samsung’s flagship Note 9, the Galaxy A9 also comes with features to further enhance user’s picture-taking skills, such as the AI-based Scene Optimiser feature which automatically detects the type of scene a user is shooting and adjusts settings accordingly, as well as Flaw Detection which can correct for things like blinking and blur.

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The phone also comes with the Scene Optimiser feature, which recognises what sort of photo the user is shooting and tweaks settings accordingly. (Photo: Nicole Chang)

CAVIAR BLACK, LEMONADE BLUE, BUBBLEGUM PINK

In a further bid to appeal to millennials, the Galaxy A9 comes in three colours: Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink.

These colours were chosen to embody the “youthful energy” of millennials, according to Samsung principal product designer Sang Il Park.

The Galaxy A series designer told reporters that the A9 design team started its design process by asking: “What do millennials actually want?”

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The phone also comes in Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink options. (Photo: Nicole Chang)

Millenials are broadly categorised as people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.

Samsung employees interviewed millennials from across the world, before incorporating this research into their design process.

“They want to express their own stories in various ways,” said Park of the millennials interviewed. “Also they’re not hesitant to try out new things”.

In this vein, each of the colours comes with its own “meaning”. Caviar Black represents a “neat and sophisticated concept”, Lemonade Blue evokes “vividness and energetic feeling” and Bubblegum Pink “reminds you of the happy moments glowing in pink”, said the product designer.

In addition, the phone’s four rear camera setup posed additional challenges for designers.

One of the key design aspects, said Mr Park, was that that the quad camera be “naturally” integrated into the phone’s design rather than “artificially exposed”.

The team considered laying out the four cameras horizontally as well as in a square set-up, before eventually deciding on the current vertical layout, which Mr Park said the team believed was “most beneficial for users”.

They aimed for a “natural look”, with rounded corners and minimal protrusion of the cameras.

AMPLE STORAGE, BATTERY CAPACITY

In keeping with the camera-heavy emphasis, the Galaxy A9 comes with a generous 128GB of storage as standard, with users able to increase this to 512GB; larger than the flagship Galaxy S9+ which starts off with 64GB internal storage.

The phone should also be able to keep up with heavy all-day usage with its 3,800 mAh battery, a larger capacity than the flagship Samsung Galaxy S9+ (3,500 mAh) – as well as fast charging capability.

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The phone has a rear fingerprint sensor. (Photo: Nicole Chang)

Elsewhere, the phone has a rear fingerprint sensor as well as facial recognition, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 6.3-inch, Super AMOLED Full HD+ display.

The Galaxy A9 will be released next month in select markets. Pricing for Singapore is not available yet.

Channel NewsAsia was in Kuala Lumpur at the invitation of Samsung.

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