Samsung's June security update update for the Galaxy S9 brings a dedicated Night mode to the phone's camera. When the company brought a dedicated camera Night mode to the Galaxy S10 lineup, we had wondered if it would bring the feature to older flagships, and now we have the answer. And this is not the first time Samsung is bringing camera features from a new flagship to an older device. Last year, we saw Galaxy S9 camera features like AR Emoji and Super Slow-mo make their way to multiple Galaxy phones in the budget, mid-range, and flagship segment.
As good as the Galaxy S10's Night mode
We tested the Night mode on the Galaxy S9 after installing the update, and we think it works as well as the Galaxy S10's Night mode, which isn't surprising as both phones have the same underlying camera hardware. It just seems to be a bit moody on the S9. In one instance, we saw only reduced noise compared to automatic Photo mode, while in another instance Night mode increased the scene's brightness but didn't do much to fix the noise levels. This may have been a result of our phone moving a bit between shots, though, so we'll need to test it out more to come to a proper conclusion.
Below is a photo taken in automatic mode compared with the same scene captured in Night mode (swipe left for the Night mode version):
And here's a comparison between the Night mode result on the Galaxy S9 and a Galaxy S10+ (swipe left for the S10+ version):
You might notice that the Galaxy S10+ seems to have taken a warmer, more saturated picture compared to the Galaxy S9. And frankly, we prefer the output on the Galaxy S9, although opinions on which one looks better will depend from person to person. Furthermore, the difference won't be a concern for anyone unless they're looking at pictures taken by the two phones side by side.
Galaxy Note 9 should also get the same update
In addition to the dedicated Night mode, the update also adds the option to adjust the level of background blur in Live Focus mode using the front camera. We will hopefully see a similar update making its way to the Galaxy Note 9 in the coming weeks — that such an update will come is guaranteed, but it remains to be seen how long it will take.
Galaxy S9 owners will also have to wait a bit before the June update arrives in their country. It's available in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines (for the Exynos variant) at the moment, and a wider rollout may take a few days to happen. You can check if the update is out for you by opening the Settings app on your S9 or S9+, selecting Software update, then tapping the Download updates manually option.