From The Editor | February 26, 2018

Is The Samsung Galaxy S9 Your Workforce's Next Smartphone?

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Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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Samsung S9

On Sunday, February 25th at Mobile World Congress in Spain, Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. Preorders for the devices have begun and general sale starts March 16th. The S9 features a 5.9-inch display; the 9+ 6.2 inch. Key features include dual lens 12-megapixel front camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera, improved features for Samsung's smart assistant Bixby, speakers that give a surround sound-like experience, and wireless charging.

While the S9 is reported to look very similar to the Galaxy S8, the device may be appealing for users of older versions. According to HIS, the most common Samsung Galaxy models in use are 2016’s S7 and S7 Edge, followed by the S6 from 2016 and then the S5. This install base may find the upgrade to the S9 or S9+ appealing.

According to this post on Samsung Insights, here are “9 Reasons to Make the Galaxy S9 Your Next Work Phone:”

  1. Infinity Display - edge-to-edge screens that provide maximum viewable display but the phones are still comfortable to hold and use with one hand.
  2. App Pair – instead of having to toggle back and forth between apps, App Pair lets you set two apps to launch at once in a multi-window view.
  3. Knox Security – the Samsung Knox platform offers defense-grade protection with security built in at the time of manufacture and integrates closely with all the major enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions.
  4. Advanced Biometrics - the Galaxy S9 and S9+ feature iris scanning, which provides high levels of protection to meet the requirements of even the most security-conscious organizations.
  5. Secure Folder - Secure Folder enables you to keep your personal and work data separated and safe. For enterprise IT, Knox Workspace provides a defense-grade data separation solution to protect company data and apps.
  6. A Mobile-Powered Desktop Experience – with Samsung DeX (accessory purchased separately) you add a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to your Galaxy S9 or S9+ to create a desktop computing experience.
  7. Fast Wireless Charging – simply place your phone on a fast wireless charging pad (accessory purchased separately) to quickly charge.
  8. Brilliant Low Light Camera - the Galaxy S9 and S9+ feature dual aperture f1.5-f2.4 lens to let in more light when needed so you can capture brilliant photos, day or night. The phones also feature super slow-mo, up to 960 frames per second, to allow you to capture a moment in slow motion so you can better analyze it.
  9. Smart Switch - Samsung Smart Switch enables a seamless transfer of contacts, photos, messages, and other data from your old work phone. Whether you’re on an older Samsung device, another Android device, an iOS device, or a BlackBerry, you can choose from one of three easy ways to transfer your data: wirelessly, with a USB cable, or from a PC or Mac to your new device.

While these features sound appealing, David McQueen, research director at ABI Research explains that Samsung’s success with the device will come down to the usability of these features. “For Samsung to keep competing with Apple and other rivals, it needs to keep differentiating its core features and services and closely integrating hardware, software, and services — but this is getting harder and harder to achieve in the smartphone market. New features at the high end, such as edge-to-edge displays, biometrics, and AI are all being used by its competitors, so it is now about how well these can be seamlessly integrated into the user experience and how users can best interact with them. While Apple has managed to integrate a facial recognition solution into its offering without creating any sort of user learning curve, this will be a fundamental requirement for Samsung and one it must emulate and achieve with features like ‘Intelligent scan’ if it is to stay competitive,” he says. “Samsung also needs to decide what it wants to do about Bixby, as it’s nowhere close to being the best voice assistant on Android, let alone the market. The company has got to improve it drastically, and quickly — or consider ditching it altogether.”