Camera


The Galaxy A9 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical stabilization (OIS) and wide, f/1.9 aperture that allows more light in than your average smartphone. Up front, there’s a sizable 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

The camera experience is one of the best you can have on a smartphone in this class. The phone supports quick launch for the camera: just double click the home button from any place (even when the phone is locked) and the camera app starts right away. The camera interface is very convenient: it has separate video and photo capture buttons, and allows you to pause and resume a video recording. It is all well laid-out, but of course, the massive 6" display means using the Galaxy A9's camera will always feel a bit clumsy.

It’s worth noting that by default, the phone captures images in 16:9 aspect ratio and 9.6-megapixel resolution. You can switch that to capture in 4:3 aspect ratio and 13 megapixels.

Image Quality



Image quality with the A9 is satisfactory, but not great. Photos doesn't seem to come out defined enough, often being somewhat unclear, with details suffering as a result. Color balance tends to be on the colder side, overall making for images that don't seem particularly lively.

Indoors, the phone does a good job at limiting noise and preserving the scene, with the dual LED flash proving to be strong enough, at least for close-range objects. Indoor photos are quite vivid and lifelike.

Despite the front camera's 8 MP resolution, selfies aren't much more than decent. They are mostly blurry, lacking clarity and color. There's also quite a bit of "beautifying" effect turned on by default, so watch out for that.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 2.3
3.6
607
444
Samsung Galaxy A8 3
3.6
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 3
4
392
243
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 2.1
2.7
842
No data

Video recording quality is good: detail is not too plentiful, but still pretty decent, while overally the scene tends to be reproduced naturally. Auto-focus is a bit trippy at times and you can notice how the optical stabilization system does its job: in the center of the frame, videos are usually rock solid, but you can notice a wiggle towards the edges of the frame. Sadly, the audio facet of video recordings is below par.


Multimedia


In an era of YouTube and Facebook videos, as well as Spotify and Apple Music, the default music and video players are getting less and less use. Many people still use them, of course, but there is really nothing new to be said about the dedicated music and video apps on the Samsung Galaxy A9: they get the job done with support for most major formats and no issues with playback.

The music app auto-categorizes your songs, and it also has a useful folder view. Tap on the More button and go to SoundAlive to make quick adjustments to the bass/treble as well as instrument/vocal balance, or tap on details for a full-on equalizer. You can take a look at the screenshots below for an illustration of what the experience is like.

The photo gallery is still something that practically everyone uses on a daily basis. With the Galaxy A9, it’s the typical Samsung affair: you can resize your image thumbnails by pinching in and out – make them small to easily go back in time, or large to have a better preview. Some quick editing options like cropping and basic effects are also available.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 0.55
Samsung Galaxy A8 0.51
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 0.55
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 0.609
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 72
Samsung Galaxy A8 79
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 76
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 70.7


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42 Comments

1. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

I don't understand why an opinion such as "very, very big" should be listed as a con... ...on the other hand "massive screen" is listed in the pros.

4. redmd

Posts: 1935; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

True. Sometimes I don't know what PA has been taking lately.

13. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Typical PA

17. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

This phone is roughly 1/8" taller and wider than the iPhone 6S Plus. None of that terminology was used when describing the 6S Plus in its review. You're better than this, PA.

32. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

You can check my comment below. And please stop wishing PA is better than this. I stop doing this from 2012 :))

35. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No they aren't better than this. Anyway, screw them. We have a glimpse of the Note 6. You know these guys are bigots and hypocrites. As much as the iPhone 4/4s were fingerprint magnets, it was never said. As big and oversized the 6/6s Plus' are, this wasn't considered a con as you stated. iPhoneArena, is never gonna change. That's why John V left.

21. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

A scores I can tolerate with. No complaints here.

31. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

This show the subjective opinion from PA. Just see how they tell the Iphone have a sleek design with small bezels =DD Screen size is personal preference. I never understand why this could be a pros or a cons. It's just the fact. However, the phone with same 5.5 inches screen as the others but employs the biggest chassis is 100% the cons (and they don't mention it). Yes, I mean the fruit bigger phone =DDD.

2. aikoo

Posts: 129; Member since: Feb 27, 2016

- Very, very big But are those bezels?.. (The phones not for you.) - Screen colors could be more natural Bud, it's called AMOLED. - TouchWiz needs to be more fluid In what way?... Swipping your finger on the home screen doesn't do anything IF that was what you were doing. The thing has 3GB of RAM - Comes with Android 5.1, and not 6 But is the security patch up to date and is the OS stable?

16. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They review the accuracy in a mode that isn't designed for accuracy...... Which speaks levels about their bias

19. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Dude Android Marshmallow came out last October. No phone should be shipping with Lollipop at this point, regardless of security patches. If this was anyone but Samsung, everyone here would be on thier ass for taking so long to get 6.0 software on their devices.

23. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

I accept all your comment back except last one. Come on! No phone shall shipped with Android 5.1 now. it is time move over to Android 6. Android 6 is extremely stable. No issue there.

30. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

AMOLED has no relation with accuracy. S6, note 5 and s7 have more accurate screens than almost all the displays.

3. donrox

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Pro: Massive Screen Con: Very, very big Make up your mind. is the size a pro or a con for you? IMO it shouldn't be mentioned as either. the size of the device is what the manufacturer intended it to be based on the targeted audience. it isn't a criterion upon which a device rating should be given!

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

My thoughts exactly mate.

7. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

They try to be ultra liberal but at the end they piss off a lot of people :)

6. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

How can a9 get 10h 10m with 4000mh , and the a7 9h 57m with 3300 mah I cant understand you're battery tests anymore!

36. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

They don't either.

8. Shocky unregistered

Nobody understands them.

9. DechyX

Posts: 156; Member since: May 16, 2011

I have this phone and I think it's pretty awesome. A love larger screen phones because I have bigger hands so it's a good fit. I took this device on a trip to Ireland and it performed quite well. I used it all day taking photos, posting them to social media, searching for restaurants and attractions on Google and the battery took it all like a champ. Ending each night around 2/3am with 35-40% battery. Phone should get an 8/9. Biggest gripe is the OK camera, but it can be amazing with HDR, steady hand, and patience

10. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

This review is the most confusing one I've ever seen in this site's history. I don't see any deep cons at all for this to be given a 7.5

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

The biggest con is, its not an iPhone.

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

1. give low score on good phone 2. lots of people come to complaint in comment section 3. fanboy wars mean more traffic to this page 4. .... 5. profit

20. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Smartest comment here by far. +1

24. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Ray S. reviewed it. 7.5 = 9 with any other reviewer.

11. Shocky unregistered

Nice battery life, large average phone overall with a poor camera. Not sure the score is deserved, 6.5 would have been my score for this.

14. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

6.5? Camera is the only con. What other problems do you see?

28. Shocky unregistered

It's an overpriced mid ranger, why should it score higher?

15. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

I wouldn't say the camera is poor, even GSMArena says it's close to Note 5 in daylight scenes. Also, it has good performance from the Snapdragon 652. I don't really trust real-life situations performed by reviewers; smoothness is subjective. I would give it 8.

29. Shocky unregistered

8 or above should be for high end devices or exceptional mid rangers, this is neither.
Galaxy A9 (2016)
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh

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