Samsung Galaxy A9 gets snap happy with four rear cameras


The Samsung Galaxy A9 makes its official appearance in Malaysia.

Aloysius Low/CNET

More is better — at least, that’s what Samsung believes. 

The Galaxy A9 is the Korean giant’s latest midrange phone, unveiled today in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. It has four rear cameras, as well as one at the front, making a total of five. 

Sounds crazy? Maybe not. Huawei upped the imaging ante with its triple-camera P20 Pro ($730 at Amazon), after all. So while Samsung’s own Note 9 only came with two rear cameras, the new A9 could be a hint of what to expect for the upcoming Galaxy S10.

Each of the four rear cameras performs a different function. The main 24-megapixel f1.7 camera is the primary shooter, assisted by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide 120-degree camera for group or landscape shots. If you need to zoom in, the 10-megapixel telephoto will offer 2x optical zoom, while the 5-megapixel camera serves as a depth sensor that will let you adjust your background blur in real time. For low-light shots, Samsung uses the 24-megapixel camera, and combines four pixels into one for clearer images.

But it’s not just the cameras that reminded me of Huawei’s phones — the colorful A9 comes with a choice of shimmery gradients like the ones we’ve seen on the Huawei P20 ($526 at Amazon) and P20 Pro.


The Galaxy A9 shimmers in Lemonade Blue.

Aloysius Low/CNET

The A9 has a 6.38-inch Super AMOLED display powered by an octa-core processor. It will have a fingerprint sensor at the back. But there’s no underscreen fingerprint sensor like the one you’d find in the new Oppo R17 ($0.23 at Amazon) and Vivo V11.

There’s also fast charging, courtesy of the A9’s 3,800-mAh battery. And if the default 128GB of storage isn’t enough, you can also pop in a microSD card for another 512GB of space.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 will go on sale globally in November. Prices have not yet been revealed. 

Quick specs

  • Processor: 2.2GHz octa-core
  • Display: 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display, 2,200×1,080 pixels resolution
  • Memory: 6GB or 8GB RAM, 128GB onboard storage with microSD card slot
  • Operating system: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Fingerprint sensor: Rear

Meet the triple camera Samsung Galaxy A7.


Samsung also showed off its Galaxy A7 at the event, despite having unveiled the device in India last month. Unlike the quad-camera A9, the A7 has three rear cameras: There’s the same 24-megapixel main, a wide-angle 120-degree 8-megapixel camera and the 5-megapixel depth sensor. This means there’s no optical zoom, but you can use digital zoom if you really need it, terrible as that may be.

The A7 comes with a smaller 6-inch Super AMOLED display. It’s powered by Samsung’s Exynos 7880 octa-core processor, and is water and dust-resistant up to IP68, which means it can stay up to 1.5m underwater for 30 minutes. It will have Dolby Atmos sound and Bixby Assistant.

Unlike the A9 though, the A7’s fingerprint sensor is located at its side on the power button. This keeps the rear of the phone looking clean.

The A7 will go on sale now in most markets. Pricing is not yet available.

Quick specs

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 7880 octa-core 
  • DIsplay: 6-inch Super AMOLED
  • Camera: 24-megapixel front and rear, 8-megapixel wide-angle rear, 5-megapixel rear depth sensor
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage

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