Original topic:

Happy S Year! Looking back to the R year

(Topic created on: 12-31-2018 08:27 PM)
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Because that's how Samsung count years, happy S year! The R year was rocky (Oreo woes, such as the CRAP version in Europe being buggy, S7 Oreo being delayed every single day, no S9 update for months and only picking up the pace after the camera ARF7 update) and one of the messiest hardware-wise.

2018 (oh sorry, "R") brought us Android Oreo à la Experience 9.x, improving upon Nougat/UX8.x, enhanced the notifications system (but as a side effect, stripped off the custom contacts notifications from Messages, probably the biggest problem in Oreo) and bringing stock PiP.

Also this year, we have welcomed Good Lock for a second time, a bit better than before and a bit worse too (GL^2016 was more powerful and allowed deeper customization but lacked automation). It is still a very powerful customization tool, though it should be expanded to system-wide customization.

Android 8.1 (Oh sorry, Experience 9.5) isn't a major update either. Smoother operations, slight UI tweaks, an icin changed here and there... Even on stock, 8.1 wasn't a big upgrade. If it wasn't for the notifications now being themable with Good Lock, you couldn't tell the difference.

And since it is out elsewhere in the world, Android 9 Pie (oh sorry, Experience 10. No wait, it's not it's name. Hold on, HOLD ON. 
Ok it's OneUI) is the latest version available. This is the huge groundbreaking UI change we were expecting. With more rounded corners around, this UI was made for tall devices. It's now easier to operate your phone single-handedly, even if you have a Note9. Also, welcome Dark Mode (oh sorry, Night Mode).


And now, for the hardware. Not that the lineup is an issue here. This year in Canada, you could choose between last year models and the J3 2018, the A8 2018, the S9/+ and the Note9. And tablets of course. And everything was reasonably priced. 
J3-200$
A5-375$
A8-500$
S8-700$
S8+-800$
S9-900$
S9+-1100$
N9-1300(!!!)$
This lineup is comprehensive and a good all-rounder (though the J3 2018 is underwhelming).

But if you look globally, we had a lot of J and A phones. Too much actually. And the lineup was inconsistent. With the A9 having poorer quality materials (no IP68, 5W charger, plastic frame) and poorer updates (quarterly) than the regular A8. Needless to mention the J phones...

Notable novelties include the first and second Android Go phones (no, not Android One), the J2 Core and the J4 Core, the first ever ODM (not made by Samsung) Galaxy A6s, the first ever tri-camera Galaxy A7 and the world first quad camera Galaxy A9, and finally the world's first Infinity-O (there's a hole in the screen) and IPS LCD (big downgrade) Galaxy A8s.

Also we could see a working foldable phone by Samsung. A nameless prototype, but still a huge novelty.

And then, what to expect from the S year? See you in a minute for the part 2.
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