Cameras are key to better smartphones, Samsung executive says

Samsung's latest smartphone revolves around a revamped camera because public demand requires it, a company executive has said.

Conor Pierce, the technology giant's vice president of mobile and IT in the UK and Ireland, said the new Galaxy S9 and S9+ include upgraded cameras because smartphones are now used more for taking pictures than making calls.

Samsung phone
Samsung phone

The Korean firm revealed its two new devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the annual tech show attended by some of the industry's biggest brands.

The two phones include a unique dual aperture system that automatically switches settings between bright and dark conditions - similar to the contracting of the human iris - to take clearer photos.

No other current smartphone supports the same type of feature.

"I think the one thing Samsung has become really good at is asking ourselves the question, 'What do people want?'," Mr Pierce said.

"There's an old mantra of finding out what people want and giving it to them, and one of the things we've recognised is people just want a better camera.

"Not to say that previous devices haven't had strong innovations in the camera, but the S9 brings the camera to a different level altogether."

He added that particularly among top tier smartphone manufacturers, a superior camera was crucial as photography and video were now the most used features on phones.

"In the premium space, one of the top two criteria when people decide what smartphone to buy is camera - and that's because you've always got your phone with you and secondly because people have gotten so used to capturing that moment and then sharing it," he said.

"And when you capture it with the best camera on the market, you can share it proudly knowing that you got the best result. That's why we put so much effort into the camera on the S9 and S9+."

At Mobile World Congress, Samsung has also been demonstrating the new super-slow motion features on its cameras as well as its new personalised emoji software.

However, the company has faced a battle for attention from a surprise source - Nokia's relaunched 8110 - the so-called "banana phone" first launched in the 1990s.

Samsung phone
Samsung phone

The nostalgic device has drawn large crowds on the first day of the show and according to audience data firm Pulsar, has been among the most talked about devices at the show so far.

The company's Amir Jirbandey described the surprise contest between Samsung and Nokia as "nostalgia vs progression".

On progression, Mr Pierce also hinted at Samsung's plans for further into the future, pinpointing the rise of the smart home and Samsung's own wide range of appliances as an important area of growth.

"Ultimately, when you have a smart home, and think about the breadth of Samsung's portfolio - from cookers to vacuum cleaners - there's no other company that has that portfolio," he said.

"Right now about 76% of that portfolio is connected. By 2020 it'll all be connected.

"And what I see is this device - the smartphone - becoming your remote control, giving you control of that ecosystem. That's the opportunity for Samsung."