Samsung is celebrating some big wins from this year’s Mobile World Congress. The plus-sized version of Samsung’s new flagship phone, the Galaxy S9+, was awarded “Best New Connected Device” in MWC’s Global Mobile Awards, or, as they’re colloquially known, the GLOMOs.
In a statement, Samsung pointed out that in addition to this award, the Galaxy S9+ also “received recognition” from mobile industry publications including Alphr, Android Authority, PC Mag, and Tech Radar; and that the device “was awarded by organizations such as PhoneArena, Android Central, Expert Reviews, Android Police, T3 and Ubergizmo.”
And yet, the Glomo Award for “Best Smartphone 2017” went to Samsung’s rival Apple, for its iPhone X. It’s clear that the Galaxy S9+ is a great smartphone, taking much of the spotlight itself, but the device’s failure to beat the iPhone X in this key category may point to a certain underwhelming quality in Samsung’s offering. The device retains much the same design as last year’s Galaxy S8, and doesn’t really offer any groundbreaking or novel new features, a shortcoming that is particularly obvious in the area of biometrics. While Apple was able to make a big splash with its use of infrared, 3D face scanning in the iPhone X, Samsung missed an opportunity to pioneer in-display fingerprint scanning, and relied instead on an upgraded biometric authentication system combining effective facial recognition with its iris scanning technology — a sophisticated system, to be sure, but not one that offers the novelty that Face ID brought to the market last autumn.
Of course, the Galaxy S9+ does have one glaring advantage over the iPhone X — it’s over $150 cheaper than the iPhone X. There’s no industry award for that, but consumers might prove to be very appreciative.