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Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich, 👁 Daniel Schmidt (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 12/22/2018

Connect four? The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)'s unique selling point is certainly its back camera with a grand total of four lenses. Nevertheless, the mid-range smartphone surprised us in other disciplines in our tests, keeping pace with other Samsung S series phones.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Samsung advertises the newest family member in the Galaxy A series as the first smartphone in the world with a main quad-camera. We are not aware of any competing product with more rear-facing cameras—with the exceptions of the multi-camera concepts for the Nokia 9 and the Light Phone, which at this point are no more than rumors. 

With the Galaxy A9 (2018), the Korean manufacturer is offering users one primary thing: Maximum flexibility when taking photos and videos. The Samsung smartphone provides a plethora of camera options with its four camera lenses and three different focal lengths—not to mention its intelligent photo-editing and scene optimization, enabling the camera to identify different subjects. 

The 6.3-inch phone's internal specs are more appropriate to a mid-range smartphone than Samsung's projected recommended retail price of around 600 Euros (~$680). The Galaxy A9 (2018) runs on one of last year's 600-series Snapdragon CPUs, not one of Qualcomm's current high-performance chips. The Snapdragon 660 is accompanied by 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. Users who desire more space for photos, music or videos can expand the internal storage via microSD card by up to 512 GB.

In addition to Samsung's own organic Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2220x1080 pixels, the Galaxy A9 (2018) offers a 3800 mAh battery and modern connectivity standards such as Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. A visual highlight of the Samsung smartphone is its glass back, which is accentuated by a striking color gradient (similar to Huawei's "twilight" finish). 

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018), available in Germany since November, is currently selling at a street price of around 480 Euros (~$550; international version ~$525). Competition is especially intense in the mid-range price bracket (~350-500 Euros), leaving us with a very long list of potential competitors. Ultimately, we chose the following as our devices for comparison: the Nokia 7 PlusXiaomi Pocophone F1BQ Aquaris X2 Pro and the OnePlus 6T. In terms of price, the Samsung smartphone is situated somewhat below the elite smartphones introduced at the beginning of 2018: the Huawei P20 and Samsung Galaxy S9 (256 GB version).    

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Galaxy Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6.3 inch 18.5:9, 2220 x 1080 pixel 392 PPI, capacitive, Super AMOLED, OLED, glossy: yes
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, , 109 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm jack, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 512 GB (FAT, FAT32, exFAT), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, compass, USB Type-C, Miracast, OTG
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM bands GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, DCS 1800 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz; UMTS bands B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B8 (900); LTE bands B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B3 (1800), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B12 (700), B13 (700), B17 (700), B20 (800), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.8 x 162.5 x 77 ( = 0.31 x 6.4 x 3.03 in)
Battery
3800 mAh Lithium-Polymer, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 23 h
Operating System
Android 8.0 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 24 MPix Quad-camera: 24MP (f/1.7) + 8MP (f/2.4, 12mm) + 10MP (f/2.4,2x optical zoom) + 5MP (f/2.2)
Secondary Camera: 24 MPix f/2.0
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, modular power supply, USB cable, in-ear headphones, Experience UI 9.0, 24 Months Warranty, SAR value head : 0.351 W/Kg, SAR value body: 1.587 W/Kg , fanless
Weight
183 g ( = 6.46 oz / 0.4 pounds), Power Supply: 48 g ( = 1.69 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
600 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Case - Back side of Samsung phone with attractive color gradient

Color options Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Color options Samsung Galaxy A9 2018

The outer appearance of the Galaxy A9 (2018) is very similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) we recently reviewed. The front side of the case consists of scratch-resistant 2.5D display glass, which has a slight curvature and protrudes minimally from the 8 millimeter-wide metal frame. The 6.3-inch OLED panel's bezel is very narrow on the sides—not so above and below the display. As a result, the proportion of the display size compared to the front of the device is only around 79%. For comparison, the almost bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 manages a ratio of over 85%. 

The case's good manufacturing quality is an attractive feature. The Galaxy A9 (2018) offers no specified protection against dust or water. The curving edges on the phone's glass back and its slim build make the Samsung smartphone feel very good in your hand. On our test device, however, there is a small transition space between the glass and the frame that feels somewhat sharp-edged. The quad-camera on the back protrudes minimally. The fingerprint reader is also located on the back, adjacent to the camera element. The reader does not sit perfectly in the case and jiggles a little when pressed hard.

The color gradient is aesthetically pleasing, flowing smoothly from a dark tone on the lower third of the case into successively lighter colors. The color options include Lemonade Blue (a blue-green) and Bubblegum Pink. For those who prefer a more discreet look, the Galaxy A9 (2018) is also available in Caviar Black. 

The card slot on the top of the case sits flush with the frame and is made of plastic. This slot can house up to two nano-SIM cards, as well as an additional microSD card. The physical keys are also made of plastic, are well-manufactured and they are well-situated. As is typical for a Samsung device, the left side of the case houses an AI button for the Bixby virtual assistant. This cannot be customized in the settings menu.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Size Comparison

162.5 mm / 6.4 inch 77 mm / 3.03 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 183 g0.4034 lbs158.4 mm / 6.24 inch 75.64 mm / 2.98 inch 9.55 mm / 0.376 inch 186 g0.4101 lbs157.5 mm / 6.2 inch 74.8 mm / 2.94 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 185 g0.4079 lbs155.5 mm / 6.12 inch 75.2 mm / 2.96 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 182 g0.4012 lbs153.2 mm / 6.03 inch 71.9 mm / 2.83 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs150.7 mm / 5.93 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 8.35 mm / 0.3287 inch 168 g0.3704 lbs149.1 mm / 5.87 inch 70.8 mm / 2.79 inch 7.65 mm / 0.3012 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs147.7 mm / 5.81 inch 68.7 mm / 2.7 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 163 g0.3594 lbs

Connectivity - 128 GB UFS storage on board the Galaxy A9

Connectivity features of the Samsung smartphone include a USB Type-C 2.0 port, a compass, a 3.5 mm jack and an Always On display. The latter can display the date, weather, time and incoming messages. In addition, the Galaxy A9 (2018) has a fingerprint reader and is equipped with face-recognition technology for unlocking the device. 

The phone also supports wireless transfer of display content to an external monitor via Miracast. In our test with a Sony Android TV, this feature functioned well. An MHL port for the transfer of high-resolution audio and video material to an external display is not on board. 

The internal UFS storage in our test device has a capacity of 128 GB, though the user is only left with 109 GB of free space in factory default. Users who need more space can expand the storage with a microSD card, though it cannot be formatted to internal storage. The exFAT file system is supported. According to the manufacturer's specs, the microSD card slot supports storage media up to 512 GB in size. Even with expanded storage, users of the Galaxy A9 (2018) can still use two SIM cards simultaneously. With an OTG adapter, peripheral equipment like USB sticks can be connected to the phone via the USB port.

Left side of case
Left side of case
Right side of case
Right side of case
Bottom side of case
Bottom side of case
Top side of case
Top side of case

Software - Galaxy A9 with Android 8.0

As of the publish date of this review, the Galaxy A9 (2018) comes with Google's Android 8.0 Oreo. The security update is dated from October 2018. The Korean manufacturer chose to overlay the Google user interface with its proprietary Experience UI version 9.0.   

The Samsung user interface is greatly modified compared to Android Vanilla and has little in common with the pure Google version. In addition to having a very different look, the system software offers numerous customization options. The OS comes with bloatware that cannot be uninstalled. 

It is very likely that the software will be updated to the current version of Android (9.0), but users will probably have to wait until the middle of next year. Whether the operating system upgrade will include the upcoming One UI user interface also remains to be seen. So far, no official statements have been made.   

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Communication and GPS - Samsung smartphone with NFC

Thanks to LTE Cat. 9, the Samsung smartphone can access the Internet with download speeds of up to 450 Mb/s. In total, the Galaxy A9 (2018) supports 17 LTE bands, five UMTS frequencies and quad-band GSM. As a result, the built-in wireless modem covers all the LTE frequencies that are relevant for Germany—including LTE band 28, which will be increasingly important in the future. 

In terms of communication modules, Samsung selected Bluetooth 5.0, the current version. An NFC chip is also available for near-field communication, enabling users of the mid-range smartphone to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores via Google Pay. 

The Galaxy A9 (2018)'s integrated WLAN module supports the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac and transmits not only on the 2.4 GHz band but also in the 5 GHz frequency range. In everyday use, the WLAN module's reception is good and the signal is stable. In the immediate vicinity of the router (Telekom Speedport, W921V), we measured a signal attenuation of -37 dBm.

The WLAN module's support for MIMO antenna technology enables the smartphone to achieve high and constant data transfer rates on home networks—at least when it comes to reception. Together with our Linksys EA8500 reference router, the Samsung phone reached transfer rates of 584 Mb/s. At an average of 285 Mb/s, the send rates drop off significantly. 

The dual SIM device offers space for two nano-SIM cards. Neither of the two card slots is limited in terms of supported frequencies. Even when two SIM cards are in use, a microSD card can be inserted for memory expansion.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
675 (min: 630, max: 704) MBit/s ∼100% +16%
LG G7 ThinQ
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
656 MBit/s ∼97% +12%
Samsung Galaxy S9
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
652 MBit/s ∼97% +12%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
637 MBit/s ∼94% +9%
OnePlus 6T
Adreno 630, 845, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
629 (min: 621, max: 638) MBit/s ∼93% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
584 (min: 557, max: 605) MBit/s ∼87%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
281 MBit/s ∼42% -52%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
247 MBit/s ∼37% -58%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=462)
230 MBit/s ∼34% -61%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG G7 ThinQ
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
651 MBit/s ∼100% +128%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
647 (min: 598, max: 665) MBit/s ∼99% +127%
Samsung Galaxy S9
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
519 MBit/s ∼80% +82%
OnePlus 6T
Adreno 630, 845, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
474 (min: 241, max: 497) MBit/s ∼73% +66%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
397 MBit/s ∼61% +39%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
346 MBit/s ∼53% +21%
Nokia 7 Plus
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
307 MBit/s ∼47% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Adreno 512, 660, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
285 (min: 249, max: 304) MBit/s ∼44%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=462)
219 MBit/s ∼34% -23%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø583 (557-605)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø285 (249-304)
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Location services function by means of the main satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and the SBAS satellite-based augmentation system. The first satellite fix outdoors occurs quickly, and the smartphone ascertains its position with an accuracy of around three meters (~10 feet). Even indoors, the Galaxy A9 (2018) positions itself quite quickly, though only with an accuracy of four meters.

In order to determine the location accuracy of our test device in everyday use, we take it on a bike ride with a Garmin Edge 500 GPS bike navigation system and compare the results. At the end of our 9 kilometer-long route (~5.6 miles), the paths recorded by the Samsung phone and the professional navigation device differ by around 140 meters (~460 feet). 

The GPS module in the Galaxy A9 (2018) only diverges slightly from that of the Garmin Edge, and considering the details of the route recorded by the GPS, the mid-range smartphone's location accuracy is good enough to qualify the phone for use as a car navigation system.

GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Garmin Edge500
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
GPS Samsung Galaxy A9 2018

Phone Function and Speech Quality - VoLTE and WLAN calls on board

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

The Samsung smartphone supports modern standards, such as VoLTE and WLAN calls. The call quality is good. We did not experience any dropped calls or other reception problems with the Galaxy A9 (2018) in our tests. The voice of the person on the other end is rendered clearly, and our conversation partner characterized our voice as cleanly transmitted as well. In a video call with the Skype app we installed, the built-in microphones provided good speech quality.

Alongside a speed-dial function, the telephone app offers direct access to call lists, saved contacts and nearby venues.

Cameras - Quad-cam & good selfie camera

Front camera shot taken in low light
Front camera shot taken in low light

The Samsung phone's back camera is equipped with four lenses. The main camera module has a resolution of 24 MP with a fast lens speed of f/1.7. This lens is joined by a 120 ° ultra wide-angle camera with an aperture of f/2.4 and 8 MP designed to capture faraway objects, as well as a 10 MP telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.4 for lossless 2x zoom. Thanks to the fourth lens, which has a resolution of 5 MP and an f/2.2 aperture, the level of background blur can be manipulated in photos taken by the smartphone. The Galaxy A9 (2018)'s live focus function makes it possible to blur a subject's background. The intensity of the background blur can be changed while taking a photo and after it has already been shot. The quality of the Samsung phone's bokeh effect is fairly impressive. Artifacts do show up in the images, but for the most part the blur transitions are quite well-executed. 

Photos captured by the 24 MP main camera in daylight offer a high level of detail and good color reproduction, but the high recommended retail price of the mid-range smartphone is in no way reflected in the photo quality. Compared to photos taken with a Google Pixel 3—or, with some limitations, a OnePlus 6T—the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s shots are substantially inferior in the realms of sharpness and dynamics. In low light, the pictures are plagued by clearly visible image noise and the level of blurriness rises. The level of brightness captured in the photos, on the other hand, is very good. The Galaxy A9 (2018) score points here, thanks to the main camera's fast lens.

Moving away from the center of the photo, the 120 ° lens has the typical curvature of ultra wide-angle cameras. It captures less light and fewer details. Especially in dark environments, the photo quality compared to the main camera is visibly inferior.

The 24 MP front camera captures very good selfies. With an aperture of f/2.0, this lens is slower than the main camera, but this is only noticeable to a limited extent in poor lighting conditions. Even in increasingly dark environments, photos appear well-lit and sharp. As is very common for front cameras, the Samsung phone's shots tend to be overexposed. The front camera records videos in FHD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) at up to 30 frames per second. The main camera on the back side captures moving pictures in a maximum of UHD resolution (3840x2160 pixels) at 30 fps.

24 MP camera
24 MP camera
2x zoom
2x zoom
8 MP ultra wide-angle camera
8 MP ultra wide-angle camera
24 MP camera
24 MP camera
2x zoom
2x zoom
8 MP ultra wide-angle camera
8 MP ultra wide-angle camera
Automatic mode
Automatic mode
Live focus
Live focus
Automatic mode
Automatic mode
Live focus
Live focus
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker Passport
ColorChecker Passport

We examined the Galaxy A smartphone's color reproduction in a controlled lighting environment. Compared to the actual reference hues, the mid-range phone's colors are somewhat lighter but otherwise well-matched. The 24 MP main camera's shots of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport (without post-processing, ex. manual white balance) reveal good color accuracy. White tones are somewhat too warm. 

In order to judge the sharpness of the shots, we photograph our test chart in a controlled lighting environment as well. The image sharpness of the photos is very good. Even along the edges of the shots, the blurriness is not excessive. 

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Accessories and Warranty - Samsung phone without many surprises

15-watt charging device
15-watt charging device

The Galaxy A9 (2018)'s box contents include a modular 15-watt power supply (9V, 1.67 A), a USB cable and in-ear headphones. 

The Samsung smartphone's manufacturer's warranty lasts 24 months from the date of purchase. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties article for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Operation - Galaxy A9 with Face Unlock function

The phone can be operated either via the Android on-screen "back", "multitasking" and "home" keys, or via gestures. The capacitive touchscreen is very sensitive and can be operated with precision even in the corners, and it has a smooth surface that fingers easily glide across. 

An active fingerprint reader is located on the back. This reader is not one of the fastest sensors on the market, but it unlocks the mid-range smartphone reliably. The phone also offers biometric identification via face recognition. The Face Unlock function through the front camera also reliably unlocks the Galaxy A9 (2018) in poor lighting conditions, though not particularly quickly.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Display - Attractive OLED panel in the Samsung smartphone

Subpixels
Subpixels

The Galaxy A9 (2018) is equipped with a 6.3-inch (15.95 cm) AMOLED display in 18.5:9 format with a resolution of 2220x1080 pixels. The resulting pixel density of somewhat less than 400 PPI is perfectly adequate in everyday use, even if some of the competitors' QHD displays offer substantially higher image sharpness.  

In terms of brightness, the mid-range smartphone has a lot to offer. In automatic mode and with the ambient light sensor activated, with a pure white background we measured a maximum of 560 cd/m² in the center of the display. In our more realistic APL50 measurement, which simulates everyday conditions with evenly distributed light and dark areas in all portions of the screen, the result was 716 cd/m². If the brightness sensor is deactivated, the Galaxy A9 (2018) reaches just 347 cd/m².

Since organic light-emitting diodes almost never glow at their theoretical maximum brightness, the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s light density is also reduced. This task is covered by pulse width modulation, or PWM for short. PWM regulates brightness in the Samsung phone at a frequency of 250 Hz. Subjectively, we did not discover any bothersome flickering, but PWM can cause problems like headaches or dizziness for sensitive users—especially at low frequencies such as that of the Samsung phone. 

552
cd/m²
554
cd/m²
555
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
553
cd/m²
555
cd/m²
548
cd/m²
557
cd/m²
560
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Super AMOLED
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 560 cd/m² Average: 552.6 cd/m² Minimum: 2.12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 553 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.2 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 1.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
97% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.06
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
OLED, 2220x1080, 6.3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
IPS, 2246x1080, 6.18
OnePlus 6T
Optic AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.41
Samsung Galaxy S9
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
Huawei P20
LTPS, 2240x1080, 5.8
LG G7 ThinQ
IPS, 3120x1440, 6.1
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
LTPS, 2160x1080, 5.65
Nokia 7 Plus
IPS, 2160x1080, 6
Screen
-50%
-8%
9%
28%
-57%
-84%
-57%
Brightness middle
553
489
-12%
437
-21%
529
-4%
753
36%
974
76%
675
22%
458
-17%
Brightness
553
486
-12%
442
-20%
527
-5%
748
35%
975
76%
650
18%
463
-16%
Brightness Distribution
96
93
-3%
95
-1%
96
0%
96
0%
96
0%
92
-4%
92
-4%
Black Level *
0.34
0.37
0.49
0.46
0.22
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.2
3.8
-73%
2.21
-0%
1.4
36%
1.3
41%
5.4
-145%
5.9
-168%
4
-82%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.1
7.1
-39%
4.27
16%
4
22%
2.3
55%
13.1
-157%
9.5
-86%
7.4
-45%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.7
4.4
-159%
2.1
-24%
1.6
6%
1.7
-0%
5
-194%
6.6
-288%
4.7
-176%
Gamma
2.06 107%
2.22 99%
2.307 95%
2.16 102%
2.18 101%
2.31 95%
2.36 93%
2.19 100%
CCT
6434 101%
7213 90%
6353 102%
6358 102%
66.76 9736%
7480 87%
7846 83%
7425 88%
Contrast
1438
2035
1988
1467
2082

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 250 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9331 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Compared to the IPS competition, the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s OLED panel has one substantial advantage: Even in a completely dark room with the phone set to maximum brightness, the organic panel can display an absolute black. As a result, the contrast ratio can theoretically tend toward infinite. Due to the technology utilized in IPS displays, even high-caliber IPS panels glow at around one-half of one-thousandth of the light density of the LED backlight when displaying black image content.

Our analysis with a photospectrometer and CalMAN software resulted in DeltaE values of 2.2 for colors and 1.7 for the grayscale in the sRGB color space. The ideal range is less than 3. The color temperature continues in the same vein: 6434 K is only minimally lower than the ideal value of 6500 K. The sRGB and P3 color spaces are almost completely covered by the OLED panel. We could not distinguish a cast of any particular color on the organic display.

CalMAN color accuracy (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN color space (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN color space (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN grayscale (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN grayscale (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN color saturation (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMAN color saturation (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: customizable
CalMan color accuracy (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMan color accuracy (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color space (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color space (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color grayscale (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color grayscale (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color saturation (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color saturation (target color space sRGB), profile: simple
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color space (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color space (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN grayscale (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN grayscale (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color saturation (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color saturation (target color space P3), profile: cinema
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN color space (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN color space (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN grayscale (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN grayscale (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN color saturation (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo
CalMAN color saturation (target color space AdobeRGB), profile: photo

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 2 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
4.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2.4 ms rise
↘ 2.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 2 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

Outdoors, the Galaxy A9 (2018) can be used anywhere—so long as the phone is set to automatic mode with the ambient light sensor activated. In direct sunlight, especially in the summer months, it may be noticeable that the display's brightness is somewhat lower when the brightness sensor is deactivated. 

Readability...
Readability...
...on a cloudy day
...on a cloudy day

The OLED panel's viewing-angle stability is very good. Even from very flat angles, the screen content looks vivid and the colors are not inverted. When the screen is very flatly tilted, however, the display is covered by a faint blue shimmer.  

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - Snapdragon 660 & 6 GB of RAM

The Galaxy A9 (2018) is equipped with a 600-series Qualcomm chip. The Snapdragon 660 is fitted with eight Kryo 260 cores that reach a clock frequency of up to 2.2 GHz (four performance cores) or 1.8 GHz (four energy-saving cores). Because it was produced using 28 nm process technology, this chip is less energy-efficient than the top models manufactured by the American chip producer. For comparison, the Snapdragon 835 and 845 are produced using 10 nm technology. An Adreno 512 graphics card is integrated into the SoC as its GPU. This card offers support for modern APIs, such as Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.1. 

The Galaxy A9 (2018)'s system performance is on par with that of the Snapdragon 660 competition, but the phone's default animations are very prominent and markedly reduce the operating speed. In everyday use, the system generally runs fluidly, though time and again we experienced short lags and micro-stutters—especially when multitasking.

In the benchmarks, the Samsung phone performs solidly and achieves results similar to those of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 in the BQ Aquaris X2 Pro. The differences between the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s benchmark results and those of a Xiaomi Pocophone F1 with a Snapdragon 845 and a Qualcomm Adreno 630 are enormous. Especially when it comes to the graphics-heavy GFX Bench benchmark, the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s SoC cannot keep pace with a Samsung Galaxy S9 or the competitors equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. 

Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
5542 Points ∼39%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
14369 Points ∼100% +159%
OnePlus 6T
13341 Points ∼93% +141%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6219 Points ∼43% +12%
LG G7 ThinQ
13497 Points ∼94% +144%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
5688 Points ∼40% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (4983 - 5811, n=9)
5524 Points ∼38% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=328)
4681 Points ∼33% -16%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
5826 Points ∼63%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
9182 Points ∼100% +58%
OnePlus 6T
8995 Points ∼98% +54%
Samsung Galaxy S9
8786 Points ∼96% +51%
Huawei P20
6557 Points ∼71% +13%
LG G7 ThinQ
9029 Points ∼98% +55%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
5856 Points ∼64% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
5867 Points ∼64% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (4895 - 5913, n=11)
5694 Points ∼62% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=387)
4727 Points ∼51% -19%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1601 Points ∼43%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2468 Points ∼67% +54%
OnePlus 6T
2384 Points ∼65% +49%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3688 Points ∼100% +130%
Huawei P20
1886 Points ∼51% +18%
LG G7 ThinQ
2448 Points ∼66% +53%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1579 Points ∼43% -1%
Nokia 7 Plus
1646 Points ∼45% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1431 - 1646, n=11)
1598 Points ∼43% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (390 - 4824, n=387)
1429 Points ∼39% -11%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
5789 Points ∼68%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
8101 Points ∼95% +40%
OnePlus 6T
8487 Points ∼100% +47%
Samsung Galaxy S9
5291 Points ∼62% -9%
Huawei P20
7002 Points ∼83% +21%
LG G7 ThinQ
7717 Points ∼91% +33%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
5965 Points ∼70% +3%
Nokia 7 Plus
6077 Points ∼72% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (5789 - 6187, n=11)
6012 Points ∼71% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (2630 - 11690, n=399)
5379 Points ∼63% -7%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
6338 Points ∼60%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
9664 Points ∼91% +52%
OnePlus 6T
10590 Points ∼100% +67%
Samsung Galaxy S9
5736 Points ∼54% -9%
Huawei P20
8700 Points ∼82% +37%
LG G7 ThinQ
9503 Points ∼90% +50%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
6332 Points ∼60% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
6825 Points ∼64% +8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (6274 - 7026, n=10)
6654 Points ∼63% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (1077 - 15193, n=566)
5844 Points ∼55% -8%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2774 Points ∼75%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2257 Points ∼61% -19%
OnePlus 6T
3681 Points ∼100% +33%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2590 Points ∼70% -7%
Huawei P20
2762 Points ∼75% 0%
LG G7 ThinQ
3416 Points ∼93% +23%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2615 Points ∼71% -6%
Nokia 7 Plus
2789 Points ∼76% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (2121 - 2797, n=11)
2658 Points ∼72% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (573 - 5576, n=406)
2002 Points ∼54% -28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1268 Points ∼22%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4468 Points ∼76% +252%
OnePlus 6T
5877 Points ∼100% +363%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3697 Points ∼63% +192%
Huawei P20
2597 Points ∼44% +105%
LG G7 ThinQ
5322 Points ∼91% +320%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1268 Points ∼22% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
1239 Points ∼21% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1134 - 1268, n=11)
1237 Points ∼21% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (75 - 8374, n=406)
1824 Points ∼31% +44%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1433 Points ∼28%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3669 Points ∼71% +156%
OnePlus 6T
5189 Points ∼100% +262%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3376 Points ∼65% +136%
Huawei P20
2632 Points ∼51% +84%
LG G7 ThinQ
4735 Points ∼91% +230%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1432 Points ∼28% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
1441 Points ∼28% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1270 - 1442, n=11)
1405 Points ∼27% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (93 - 6916, n=407)
1693 Points ∼33% +18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2645 Points ∼78%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2832 Points ∼84% +7%
OnePlus 6T
3374 Points ∼100% +28%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2650 Points ∼79% 0%
Huawei P20
2896 Points ∼86% +9%
LG G7 ThinQ
3109 Points ∼92% +18%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2756 Points ∼82% +4%
Nokia 7 Plus
2768 Points ∼82% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (2238 - 2815, n=11)
2695 Points ∼80% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (375 - 5133, n=435)
1910 Points ∼57% -28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1757 Points ∼21%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
6898 Points ∼82% +293%
OnePlus 6T
8397 Points ∼100% +378%
Samsung Galaxy S9
4843 Points ∼58% +176%
Huawei P20
3683 Points ∼44% +110%
LG G7 ThinQ
7882 Points ∼94% +349%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2024 Points ∼24% +15%
Nokia 7 Plus
1980 Points ∼24% +13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1734 - 2033, n=11)
1940 Points ∼23% +10%
Average of class Smartphone (70 - 20154, n=435)
2432 Points ∼29% +38%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1898 Points ∼30%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
5230 Points ∼83% +176%
OnePlus 6T
6310 Points ∼100% +232%
Samsung Galaxy S9
4091 Points ∼65% +116%
Huawei P20
3463 Points ∼55% +82%
LG G7 ThinQ
5877 Points ∼93% +210%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2151 Points ∼34% +13%
Nokia 7 Plus
2114 Points ∼34% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1887 - 2151, n=11)
2061 Points ∼33% +9%
Average of class Smartphone (88 - 10427, n=435)
2040 Points ∼32% +7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2073 Points ∼59%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2528 Points ∼71% +22%
OnePlus 6T
3537 Points ∼100% +71%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2486 Points ∼70% +20%
Huawei P20
2795 Points ∼79% +35%
LG G7 ThinQ
3255 Points ∼92% +57%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2628 Points ∼74% +27%
Nokia 7 Plus
2749 Points ∼78% +33%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1883 - 2759, n=11)
2579 Points ∼73% +24%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4909, n=486)
1907 Points ∼54% -8%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1185 Points ∼23%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4746 Points ∼91% +301%
OnePlus 6T
5241 Points ∼100% +342%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3553 Points ∼68% +200%
Huawei P20
3040 Points ∼58% +157%
LG G7 ThinQ
5006 Points ∼96% +322%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1196 Points ∼23% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
1161 Points ∼22% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1061 - 1201, n=11)
1174 Points ∼22% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (53 - 7150, n=486)
1510 Points ∼29% +27%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1354 Points ∼29%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3972 Points ∼84% +193%
OnePlus 6T
4734 Points ∼100% +250%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3244 Points ∼69% +140%
Huawei P20
2982 Points ∼63% +120%
LG G7 ThinQ
4471 Points ∼94% +230%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1361 Points ∼29% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
1332 Points ∼28% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1175 - 1372, n=12)
1339 Points ∼28% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 6319, n=487)
1453 Points ∼31% +7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2741 Points ∼79%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2720 Points ∼78% -1%
OnePlus 6T
3483 Points ∼100% +27%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2600 Points ∼75% -5%
Huawei P20
2811 Points ∼81% +3%
LG G7 ThinQ
3150 Points ∼90% +15%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2638 Points ∼76% -4%
Nokia 7 Plus
2734 Points ∼78% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (2383 - 2834, n=11)
2693 Points ∼77% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (293 - 4900, n=527)
1770 Points ∼51% -35%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1918 Points ∼23%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
8261 Points ∼100% +331%
OnePlus 6T
8272 Points ∼100% +331%
Samsung Galaxy S9
4569 Points ∼55% +138%
Huawei P20
3550 Points ∼43% +85%
LG G7 ThinQ
7633 Points ∼92% +298%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1938 Points ∼23% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
1895 Points ∼23% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1711 - 1938, n=11)
1893 Points ∼23% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 11302, n=526)
1982 Points ∼24% +3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2054 Points ∼32%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
5687 Points ∼90% +177%
OnePlus 6T
6336 Points ∼100% +208%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3911 Points ∼62% +90%
Huawei P20
3354 Points ∼53% +63%
LG G7 ThinQ
5799 Points ∼92% +182%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2059 Points ∼32% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
2035 Points ∼32% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1825 - 2073, n=11)
2026 Points ∼32% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 8338, n=529)
1708 Points ∼27% -17%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
18523 Points ∼53%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
34928 Points ∼100% +89%
OnePlus 6T
35022 Points ∼100% +89%
Samsung Galaxy S9
26851 Points ∼77% +45%
Huawei P20
23046 Points ∼66% +24%
LG G7 ThinQ
27817 Points ∼79% +50%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
19050 Points ∼54% +3%
Nokia 7 Plus
20085 Points ∼57% +8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (15088 - 21016, n=11)
19242 Points ∼55% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 45072, n=687)
14357 Points ∼41% -22%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
29065 Points ∼34%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
82125 Points ∼97% +183%
OnePlus 6T
84998 Points ∼100% +192%
Samsung Galaxy S9
48433 Points ∼57% +67%
Huawei P20
34146 Points ∼40% +17%
LG G7 ThinQ
80534 Points ∼95% +177%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
29306 Points ∼34% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
29333 Points ∼35% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (25561 - 29496, n=11)
28596 Points ∼34% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (536 - 209204, n=685)
22559 Points ∼27% -22%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
25783 Points ∼40%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
63159 Points ∼98% +145%
OnePlus 6T
64534 Points ∼100% +150%
Samsung Galaxy S9
41093 Points ∼64% +59%
Huawei P20
30845 Points ∼48% +20%
LG G7 ThinQ
56669 Points ∼88% +120%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
26175 Points ∼41% +2%
Nokia 7 Plus
26610 Points ∼41% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (22145 - 26731, n=11)
25782 Points ∼40% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (662 - 97276, n=685)
18200 Points ∼28% -29%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
46 fps ∼30%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
150 fps ∼99% +226%
OnePlus 6T
152 fps ∼100% +230%
Samsung Galaxy S9
144 fps ∼95% +213%
Huawei P20
125 fps ∼82% +172%
LG G7 ThinQ
144 fps ∼95% +213%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
46 fps ∼30% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
50 fps ∼33% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (43 - 51, n=11)
48.4 fps ∼32% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (0.5 - 322, n=705)
38.5 fps ∼25% -16%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
50 fps ∼83%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
60 fps ∼100% +20%
OnePlus 6T
60 fps ∼100% +20%
Samsung Galaxy S9
60 fps ∼100% +20%
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼98% +18%
LG G7 ThinQ
60 fps ∼100% +20%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
51 fps ∼85% +2%
Nokia 7 Plus
48 fps ∼80% -4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (42 - 52, n=11)
47.6 fps ∼79% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 120, n=714)
28.3 fps ∼47% -43%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
23 fps ∼32%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
71 fps ∼97% +209%
OnePlus 6T
59 fps ∼81% +157%
Samsung Galaxy S9
73 fps ∼100% +217%
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼81% +157%
LG G7 ThinQ
63 fps ∼86% +174%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
23 fps ∼32% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
23 fps ∼32% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (20 - 23, n=11)
22.4 fps ∼31% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (0.8 - 175, n=610)
22.3 fps ∼31% -3%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
21 fps ∼36%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
58 fps ∼98% +176%
OnePlus 6T
59 fps ∼100% +181%
Samsung Galaxy S9
45 fps ∼76% +114%
Huawei P20
56 fps ∼95% +167%
LG G7 ThinQ
41 fps ∼69% +95%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
22 fps ∼37% +5%
Nokia 7 Plus
22 fps ∼37% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (19 - 23, n=11)
21.3 fps ∼36% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 115, n=619)
19.6 fps ∼33% -7%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
15 fps ∼25%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
35 fps ∼59% +133%
OnePlus 6T
59 fps ∼100% +293%
Samsung Galaxy S9
46 fps ∼78% +207%
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼66% +160%
LG G7 ThinQ
51 fps ∼86% +240%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
15 fps ∼25% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
14 fps ∼24% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (13 - 15, n=11)
14.5 fps ∼25% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (0.87 - 117, n=475)
18.2 fps ∼31% +21%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
14 fps ∼26%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
54 fps ∼100% +286%
OnePlus 6T
53 fps ∼98% +279%
Samsung Galaxy S9
24 fps ∼44% +71%
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼72% +179%
LG G7 ThinQ
26 fps ∼48% +86%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
14 fps ∼26% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
15 fps ∼28% +7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (12 - 15, n=12)
13.7 fps ∼25% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 110, n=477)
17 fps ∼31% +21%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
3 fps ∼14%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
22 fps ∼100% +633%
OnePlus 6T
22 fps ∼100% +633%
LG G7 ThinQ
13 fps ∼59% +333%
Nokia 7 Plus
5.2 fps ∼24% +73%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (3 - 6.3, n=6)
4.88 fps ∼22% +63%
Average of class Smartphone (0.61 - 60, n=198)
10.2 fps ∼46% +240%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
4.8 fps ∼34%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
14 fps ∼100% +192%
OnePlus 6T
14 fps ∼100% +192%
LG G7 ThinQ
14 fps ∼100% +192%
Nokia 7 Plus
3.2 fps ∼23% -33%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (3.2 - 4.8, n=6)
3.47 fps ∼25% -28%
Average of class Smartphone (0.21 - 33, n=197)
7.08 fps ∼51% +48%
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
7.5 fps ∼22%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
31 fps ∼91% +313%
OnePlus 6T
34 fps ∼100% +353%
LG G7 ThinQ
20 fps ∼59% +167%
Nokia 7 Plus
8.2 fps ∼24% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (7.5 - 9.7, n=6)
8.13 fps ∼24% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (1.4 - 60, n=202)
15 fps ∼44% +100%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
8.6 fps ∼23%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
32 fps ∼86% +272%
OnePlus 6T
37 fps ∼100% +330%
LG G7 ThinQ
37 fps ∼100% +330%
Nokia 7 Plus
8.6 fps ∼23% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (8.5 - 8.7, n=6)
8.62 fps ∼23% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0.6 - 87, n=202)
16.8 fps ∼45% +95%
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
9.1 fps ∼26%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
35 fps ∼100% +285%
OnePlus 6T
35 fps ∼100% +285%
Samsung Galaxy S9
28 fps ∼80% +208%
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼66% +153%
LG G7 ThinQ
33 fps ∼94% +263%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
9.1 fps ∼26% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
8.3 fps ∼24% -9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (8.1 - 9.1, n=11)
8.89 fps ∼25% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (0.6 - 73, n=400)
12.4 fps ∼35% +36%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
8.3 fps ∼25%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
33 fps ∼100% +298%
OnePlus 6T
31 fps ∼94% +273%
Samsung Galaxy S9
14 fps ∼42% +69%
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼70% +177%
LG G7 ThinQ
17 fps ∼52% +105%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
8.6 fps ∼26% +4%
Nokia 7 Plus
9.1 fps ∼28% +10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (7.5 - 9.8, n=12)
8.55 fps ∼26% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (1.1 - 60, n=404)
11.1 fps ∼34% +34%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
140878 Points ∼48%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
263165 Points ∼89% +87%
OnePlus 6T
294488 Points ∼100% +109%
Samsung Galaxy S9
243861 Points ∼83% +73%
Huawei P20
200756 Points ∼68% +43%
LG G7 ThinQ
256276 Points ∼87% +82%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
140875 Points ∼48% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
141701 Points ∼48% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (116346 - 143551, n=10)
137699 Points ∼47% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 462516, n=296)
143005 Points ∼49% +2%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
116969 Points ∼51%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
227026 Points ∼99% +94%
OnePlus 6T
228939 Points ∼100% +96%
Samsung Galaxy S9
217950 Points ∼95% +86%
Huawei P20
179393 Points ∼78% +53%
LG G7 ThinQ
223464 Points ∼98% +91%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
115834 Points ∼51% -1%
Nokia 7 Plus
117165 Points ∼51% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (105973 - 120479, n=11)
116194 Points ∼51% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (5600 - 293444, n=490)
87858 Points ∼38% -25%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
1105 Points ∼79%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
1296 Points ∼93% +17%
OnePlus 6T
1398 Points ∼100% +27%
Samsung Galaxy S9
1099 Points ∼79% -1%
Huawei P20
1313 Points ∼94% +19%
LG G7 ThinQ
1374 Points ∼98% +24%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
1146 Points ∼82% +4%
Nokia 7 Plus
1101 Points ∼79% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1027 - 1146, n=10)
1092 Points ∼78% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1745, n=643)
765 Points ∼55% -31%
Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2332 Points ∼29%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
7945 Points ∼100% +241%
OnePlus 6T
7969 Points ∼100% +242%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6373 Points ∼80% +173%
Huawei P20
3697 Points ∼46% +59%
LG G7 ThinQ
7906 Points ∼99% +239%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2279 Points ∼29% -2%
Nokia 7 Plus
2298 Points ∼29% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1970 - 2332, n=10)
2257 Points ∼28% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 16996, n=643)
2116 Points ∼27% -9%
Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2393 Points ∼55%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3239 Points ∼75% +35%
OnePlus 6T
4344 Points ∼100% +82%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2669 Points ∼61% +12%
Huawei P20
4154 Points ∼96% +74%
LG G7 ThinQ
3744 Points ∼86% +56%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2494 Points ∼57% +4%
Nokia 7 Plus
2503 Points ∼58% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1737 - 2799, n=10)
2360 Points ∼54% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 7500, n=643)
1558 Points ∼36% -35%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
5063 Points ∼62%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
6506 Points ∼80% +29%
OnePlus 6T
8156 Points ∼100% +61%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6234 Points ∼76% +23%
Huawei P20
5797 Points ∼71% +14%
LG G7 ThinQ
8070 Points ∼99% +59%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
5048 Points ∼62% 0%
Nokia 7 Plus
4976 Points ∼61% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (3745 - 5282, n=10)
4957 Points ∼61% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 14189, n=643)
3039 Points ∼37% -40%
Overall (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
2364 Points ∼53%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3838 Points ∼86% +62%
OnePlus 6T
4458 Points ∼100% +89%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3285 Points ∼74% +39%
Huawei P20
3288 Points ∼74% +39%
LG G7 ThinQ
4257 Points ∼95% +80%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
2394 Points ∼54% +1%
Nokia 7 Plus
2369 Points ∼53% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (1905 - 2428, n=11)
2314 Points ∼52% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 6097, n=643)
1526 Points ∼34% -35%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
OnePlus 6T Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Exynos 9810, ARM Mali-G72 MP18, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P20 HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
LG G7 ThinQ Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 7 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash

The Galaxy A9 (2018) completed the browser tests with Google's Chrome app. In the web-based benchmarks, the Samsung smartphone once again landed in the lower third among our list of comparison devices. Subjectively, for a mid-range smartphone, the performance level is attractive. Load times for sites with graphics-heavy content are fairly short.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
88.081 Points ∼100% +70%
OnePlus 6T (Chrome 70)
86.123 Points ∼98% +66%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
75.959 Points ∼86% +47%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
67.721 Points ∼77% +31%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
56.188 Points ∼64% +9%
Nokia 7 Plus (Chrome 60)
53.89 Points ∼61% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (45.3 - 55.5, n=10)
52.4 Points ∼59% +1%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Chrome 70)
51.786 Points ∼59%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (Chrome 67)
49.396 Points ∼56% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 302, n=540)
42.5 Points ∼48% -18%
Octane V2 - Total Score
OnePlus 6T (Chrome 70)
16824 Points ∼100% +66%
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
16720 Points ∼99% +65%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
15233 Points ∼91% +50%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
14514 Points ∼86% +43%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
11468 Points ∼68% +13%
Nokia 7 Plus (Chrome 60)
10945 Points ∼65% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Chrome 70)
10145 Points ∼60%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (8463 - 10945, n=11)
10080 Points ∼60% -1%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (Chrome 67)
9582 Points ∼57% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (894 - 49388, n=701)
6908 Points ∼41% -32%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (571 - 59466, n=726)
10451 ms * ∼100% -172%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (Chrome 67)
4093.5 ms * ∼39% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (3796 - 4769, n=10)
4057 ms * ∼39% -6%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
3978.9 ms * ∼38% -4%
Nokia 7 Plus (Chrome 60)
3937.3 ms * ∼38% -2%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Chrome 70)
3841.8 (min: 1) ms * ∼37%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
2713.6 ms * ∼26% +29%
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
2484.1 ms * ∼24% +35%
OnePlus 6T (Chrome 70)
2281.6 ms * ∼22% +41%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
2077.8 ms * ∼20% +46%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
97 Points ∼100% +64%
Huawei P20
69 Points ∼71% +17%
Average of class Smartphone (19 - 184, n=173)
67.4 Points ∼69% +14%
Samsung Galaxy S9
63 Points ∼65% +7%
Nokia 7 Plus (Chrome 60)
63 Points ∼65% +7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (58 - 63, n=6)
60.7 Points ∼63% +3%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Chrome 70)
59 Points ∼61%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (Chrome 67)
58 Points ∼60% -2%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
OnePlus 6T (Chrome 70)
260 Points ∼100% +56%
LG G7 ThinQ (Chrome 66)
252 Points ∼97% +51%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
223 Points ∼86% +34%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
182 Points ∼70% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (159 - 182, n=8)
171 Points ∼66% +2%
Nokia 7 Plus (Chrome 60)
168 Points ∼65% +1%
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (Chrome 70)
167 Points ∼64%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
163 Points ∼63% -2%
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro (Chrome 67)
159 Points ∼61% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=333)
122 Points ∼47% -27%

* ... smaller is better

The memory speed of the 128 GB internal UFS 2.1 storage medium is not exactly superb, considering the storage type. Other media achieve substantially faster access rates. Especially in the realm of reading data blocks, the performance is not exactly impressive.

Things look different when it comes to the speed of the microSD card reader. Here, the transfer rates are satisfactory, though not better than the competition. The Samsung phone does not fully utilize the capabilities of our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference memory card (max. read: 270 MB/s, write: 150 MB/s).

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018Xiaomi Pocophone F1OnePlus 6TSamsung Galaxy S9Huawei P20LG G7 ThinQBQ Aquaris X2 ProNokia 7 PlusAverage 128 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
8%
27%
25%
209%
15%
-15%
-11%
75%
-25%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
59.66 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
65.58 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
10%
67.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
13%
62.67 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
61.13 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
2%
62.31
4%
59.2 (25.5 - 72.4, n=21)
-1%
49.5 (1.7 - 87.1, n=438)
-17%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
73.66 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
85.3 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
16%
79.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
8%
84.72 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
15%
83.35 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
13%
82.21
12%
74 (28.2 - 88.2, n=21)
0%
67.8 (8.1 - 96.5, n=438)
-8%
Random Write 4KB
19.79
17.81
-10%
22
11%
23.07
17%
161.49
716%
23.26
18%
15.43
-22%
19.62
-1%
87.9 (18.2 - 250, n=43)
344%
23.1 (0.14 - 259, n=762)
17%
Random Read 4KB
116.76
101.01
-13%
138.5
19%
131
12%
147.04
26%
110.46
-5%
51.25
-56%
54.65
-53%
140 (98.9 - 161, n=43)
20%
48.5 (1.59 - 226, n=762)
-58%
Sequential Write 256KB
194.65
155.57
-20%
204.4
5%
206.94
6%
193.56
-1%
176.45
-9%
204.83
5%
211.6
9%
212 (182 - 503, n=43)
9%
99.5 (2.99 - 590, n=762)
-49%
Sequential Read 256KB
426.63
705.38
65%
735.3
72%
815.43
91%
826.76
94%
695.15
63%
280.78
-34%
283.12
-34%
747 (427 - 912, n=43)
75%
280 (12.1 - 1781, n=762)
-34%

Games - Good 3D performance on the Galaxy A9 (2018)

The relatively high-performance Adreno 512 graphics card makes it possible to play even the more graphics-heavy 3D games in the Android Play Store without the game stuttering. With the GameBench app, we took a closer look at a few of the more graphics-heavy games from the Play Store, helping us to assess the Galaxy A9 (2018)'s 3D performance.   

Current games, such as the Asphalt 9 Legends racing game and the PUBG Mobile shooter game, are rendered at a relatively constant 28 fps and 30 fps at high graphics settings. However, sporadic drops in the frame rate (24 fps) still show up on occasion.

The controls through the touchscreen and the position sensor both reacted quickly and precisely in our tests.

Asphalt 9 Legends
Asphalt 9 Legends
PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile
PUBG Molbile
010203040Tooltip
: Ø29.8 (25-31)
Asphalt 9 Legends
0102030Tooltip
: Ø27.7 (24-30)

Emissions - Galaxy A9 hardly warms up at all

Temperature

Even under load, the case hardly warms up at all. At a maximum of 33.8 °C (92.8 °F), the front side of the phone only gets comparatively warm—which is entirely unproblematic in everyday use.

Due to the low heat development, we were interested to see whether or not the SoC's performance throttles somewhat under load. We find the answer to that question by running the GFXBench benchmark's battery test on the Samsung smartphone. Here, the same sequence of OpenGL ES 3.1's graphics-heavy Manhattan test is run 30 times. 

The results reveal a fluctuating frame rate. However, with losses of less than 10%, the fluctuations are not particularly pronounced. Even so, the results do not rule out the possibility that the performance throttles minimally under load.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Max. Load
 33.8 °C
93 F
32.8 °C
91 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
32.1 °C
90 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
 32.8 °C
91 F
32.6 °C
91 F
29.5 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Average: 31.8 °C = 89 F
28.6 °C
83 F
30.7 °C
87 F
32 °C
90 F
29 °C
84 F
29.5 °C
85 F
33.4 °C
92 F
28 °C
82 F
30.4 °C
87 F
33 °C
91 F
Maximum: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Average: 30.5 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.7 °C = 85 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.8 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.8 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.2 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

Speaker

Speaker test: pink noise
Speaker test: pink noise

The Galaxy A9 (2018) only has one speaker, located on the bottom edge of the device. At a maximum of 88 dB(A), the speaker is very loud and powerful. The sound quality is very good for a mid-range smartphone and more than adequate for watching short videos. 

As expected, however, the sound does not include any bass. The sound tends to be dominated by mid tones, which are not reproduced in a particularly linear fashion. In addition, starting at around 10 kHz, super high tones exhibit recognizable dips in the pink noise diagram. 

Users of the Samsung smartphone will not have to go without a 3.5 mm audio jack. As soon as headphones or external speakers are connected to the Galaxy A9 (2018), the mid-range phone supports Dolby Atmos, which offers 3D surround sound. The sound output is clean and essentially noise-free.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.8392524.328.53118.619.94024.330.15033.835.26321.223.48024.82310018.525.212516.436.616017.144.520017.941.825016.850.731514.953.940015.158.750014.262.963013.966.580014.868100014.269.4125014.771.2160014.473.4200014.372.325001475.3315013.880.2400014.881500014.475.663001573.7800014.773.61000014.870.51250014.860.81600014.755SPL26.787.5N0.865.9median 14.8median 68Delta0.610.435.430.133.236.823.730.131.933.139.738.830.233.925.221.521.923.822.326.419.338.316.646.916.347.916.552.41858.715.463.715.663.114.269.614.876.314.672.614.468.414.575.214.870.814.674.114.871.614.871.115.266.614.663.815.162.114.654.415.344.927.183.40.954median 15.1median 63.71.211.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSamsung Galaxy A9 2018Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 67% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 50% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 42% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 40% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 63% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life - Samsung phone with good battery life

Energy Consumption

The Samsung smartphone has a 3800 mAh battery that can be fully charged from zero in around 1.5 hours, thanks to quick-charge technology. Wireless charging, on the other hand, is not supported. According to Samsung, the charging device's energy consumption ("no load" mode) amounts to a maximum of just 0.02 watts. In our measurements, we calculated an energy usage of just 0.007 watts.

The Galaxy A9 (2018)'s power draw is not especially efficient—especially under load; the comparison devices with Snapdragon 660s utilize somewhat less energy than the Samsung phone.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.28 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.06 / 1.94 / 1.98 Watt
Load midlight 3.56 / 7.49 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
3800 mAh
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4000 mAh
OnePlus 6T
3700 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S9
3000 mAh
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
LG G7 ThinQ
3000 mAh
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
3100 mAh
Nokia 7 Plus
3800 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-1%
8%
30%
-11%
-11%
-2%
2%
-4%
6%
Idle Minimum *
1.06
0.65
39%
0.7
34%
0.65
39%
0.67
37%
1.16
-9%
0.63
41%
0.65
39%
0.741 (0.56 - 1.2, n=11)
30%
0.882 (0.2 - 3.4, n=792)
17%
Idle Average *
1.94
1.97
-2%
1.1
43%
0.81
58%
2.05
-6%
1.98
-2%
2.16
-11%
1.76
9%
1.941 (1.4 - 2.32, n=11)
-0%
1.741 (0.6 - 6.2, n=791)
10%
Idle Maximum *
1.98
2.01
-2%
2.1
-6%
0.92
54%
2.11
-7%
2.07
-5%
2.18
-10%
1.78
10%
2.22 (1.54 - 4.1, n=11)
-12%
2.03 (0.74 - 6.6, n=792)
-3%
Load Average *
3.56
4.29
-21%
4.2
-18%
4.76
-34%
6.15
-73%
4.51
-27%
4.48
-26%
4.47
-26%
4.59 (3.47 - 8.2, n=11)
-29%
4.07 (0.8 - 10.8, n=786)
-14%
Load Maximum *
7.49
9.05
-21%
8.3
-11%
5.16
31%
8.09
-8%
8.3
-11%
7.87
-5%
9.13
-22%
8.27 (5.93 - 12.2, n=11)
-10%
5.94 (1.2 - 14.2, n=786)
21%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The poor energy management is reflected in the battery life under maximum load. Under load, the Galaxy A9 (2018) reached around just 3.5 hours—a OnePlus 6T chugs along for almost an hour longer. More significant, however, are the tests at an adjusted brightness level (150 cd/m²). In the "Surfing over WLAN" and video playback tests, the Samsung phone reaches good runtimes of 11.5 and almost 17 hours, respectively.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
29h 40min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 29min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
16h 45min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 25min
Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
3800 mAh
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4000 mAh
OnePlus 6T
3700 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S9
3000 mAh
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
LG G7 ThinQ
3000 mAh
BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
3100 mAh
Nokia 7 Plus
3800 mAh
Battery Runtime
9%
13%
-31%
13%
-1%
-25%
-15%
Reader / Idle
1780
2088
17%
1936
9%
1182
-34%
1888
6%
1662
-7%
1374
-23%
1703
-4%
H.264
1005
936
-7%
903
-10%
609
-39%
810
-19%
908
-10%
658
-35%
706
-30%
WiFi v1.3
689
808
17%
865
26%
474
-31%
818
19%
591
-14%
605
-12%
672
-2%
Load
205
220
7%
261
27%
164
-20%
295
44%
260
27%
145
-29%
158
-23%

Pros

+ attractive OLED panel
+ high brightness
+ 128 GB UFS storage
+ design
+ good selfie camera
+ quad-camera...

Cons

- ...with no better than average image quality
- high recommended retail price
- SoC from 2017
- performance
- storage speed

Verdict - Mid-range, very attractive look

In review: Samsung Galaxy A9 2018. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.
In review: Samsung Galaxy A9 2018. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.

With its striking glass back, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)'s outward appearance is a real highlight. Its manufacturing quality is also quite good, even if our particular test device has a few minor flaws. As the Korean manufacturer seems to be doing more often than not, Samsung chose to equip its newest family member in the Galaxy A series with a very good OLED panel. In terms of color reproduction and brightness, the Galaxy A9 (2018) competes at the top of its league. The same cannot be said, however, of the system performance in factory default. Due to its preinstalled animations, the mid-range smartphone feels somewhat slow—the only remedy here is to get rid of these in the developer options menu.

The built-in chip also leaves room for criticism. Of course, not all higher-end smartphones need to be compared with the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, but the Chinese manufacturer did manage to equip its mid-range device with Qualcomm's current high-end chip. As a result, at a recommended retail price of 600 Euros (~$680), Samsung could have at least fitted the Galaxy A9 (2018) with last year's highest performance chip—considering that the company reached for an SoC from 2017 in the first place.     

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is a good and very attractive mid-range smartphone—but at its current street price of around 480 Euros (~$550; international version ~$525), there are better alternatives on the market.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)'s unique selling point—the quad-camera on the back—can be used for a wide range of applications, thanks to its four different lenses. It combines all the usual advantages of multi-cameras (bokeh effect, ultra wide-angle, optical zoom) in one device. However, no conclusions should be drawn on the basis of the recommended retail price when it comes to the quality of the main camera. The camera is very fast, but in terms of image quality, it performs no better than average for a mid-range smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 - 12/22/2018 v6(old)
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 90%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
47 / 60 → 79%
Weight
90%
Battery
96%
Display
90%
Games Performance
54 / 63 → 85%
Application Performance
61 / 70 → 87%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
74%
Average
79%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2018-12-22 (Update: 2019-02-23)