Apple's biggest competitor did that thing today where it streamed its big Samsung Galaxy S9 event and let every tech site on the 'net simultaneously release their first look videos and write-ups, thus ensuring I'd spend the afternoon zipping from browser window to browser window, TV to laptop, like squirrel on espresso. And, you know, snark-tweeting. A lot.
But buried in Samsung's typically hyper-fun if slightly awkward unveiling were a few features I absolutely found interesting enough to hope Apple includes versions of them in iPhone 9 — or iPhone XI — or whatever Apple calls the next-generation iPhone this fall.
1. Purple. And blue.
Make fun of me all you want, but colored phones are cool. Customers will often be as happy with a new color as they are with a new design. Gold. Rose Gold. Product Red.
Samsung has the Galaxy S9 coming in both blue and purple. And just the thought of what the color wizard on Apple's Industrial Design team could do with either of those shades has me giddy.
2. Ultra slow-mo
The Samsung Galaxy S9 can take 0.2 seconds of 960 fps slow motion at 720p. Yes, that's a short time frame and low resolution in the age of 4K, but it's still a cool effect.
iPhone can shoot unlimited amounts of 240 fps at 1080p... but a little ultra slow would be nice for those few shots where it would really stand out.
3. f/1.5 aperture
I'm not sold on this one, to be honest. We've seen other high aperture smartphone cameras fizzle out in the past (sorry, HTC). But the idea that the tiny piece of glass could ramp down to f/1.5, even under very specific low-light conditions, holds a lot of appeal.
Yes, it will depend entirely on how much distortion the lack of big glass and the limits of physics impose on it, but if Samsung can even begin to handle dynamic mechanical aperture, and that concept spreads, I'd love to see what Apple's camera team could do with it.
Split view on picture-in-picture on iPhone XI Plus would be great, but that's more an Android to iOS — or iPad to iPhone — feature. Dex is interesting but not far enough along that I'd like to see it from iPhone yet. AR Emoji makes me think Snap didn't properly trademark Bitmoji. SD cards are the floppy drives of phones and for data integrity reasons alone, we need to accelerate towards a better nearline future.
Apple is unusually conservative when it comes to radio technology, so we'll see how much it goes in on 5G and 5G-related technologies. And, yeah, if Apple switched from Lightning to USB-C — rather than some future microUSB-C standard — there's be rioting in the dongle streets.
5. See 4.
Lots more coverage to come from Android Central on the Samsung Galaxy S9 — and, of course, from iMore on iPhone 9 / iPhone XI. So keep it locked right here!
- Samsung Galaxy S9: Everything you need to know
- iPhone 9 / iPhone XI: Release date rumors, spec speculation, and more
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.