Galaxy S9 Gets Incredibles AR Emoji in Time for Some Movie

Samsung is hoping that a little dash of superpowers will bolster the appeal of the AR Emoji feature built into its Galaxy S9 and S9+. Thanks to an update, you'll be able to create and share avatars of yourself as characters from Pixar's The Incredibles.

Credit: Samsung

(Image credit: Samsung)

The update, released today (May 23) for the Galaxy S9 and S9+, adds Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack and Frozone to the AR Emoji mix. They join fellow Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse as part of the S9's animated avatar feature.

The arrival of The Incredibles is hardly a surprise. Back when Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their AR Emoji debuts in March, Samsung promised that The Incredibles would be among the Disney-owner properties added in future updates. With The Incredibles 2 due to hit theaters June 15, the timing also seems right to generate interest in the upcoming movie.

MORE: AR Emoji vs. Animoji: It's Not Even Close

But will The Incredibles in AR Emoji form help generate interest in one of the S9's marquee additions? Samsung has touted AR Emoji as a potential rival to the iPhone X's Animoji, but Samsung's take on the feature hasn't generated much buzz.

With AR Emoji, you can send customized messages to friends and family, using the S9's front camera to create a stylized avatar of yourself. AR Emoji creates different sticker versions of your cartoonish face as animated GIFs. You can record messages using these avatars, with AR Emoji mimicking your facial features.

In our testing, AR Emoji certainly provides more customization options, and it's easy to share your avatars. But the final output doesn't quite match what the iPhone X's Animoji are capable of — the AR Emoji avatars don't really look all that accurate and the animations aren't as sophisticated. Maybe that doesn't entirely explain why Samsung's turning to Disney characters to improve AR Emoji, but it helps that the avatars here look like characters from The Incredibles.

Still, for all those criticisms, Galaxy S9 owners aren't ignoring AR Emoji. Samsung says that more than 6 billion messages are being sent daily. That's a lot of GIFs of Mickey Mouse reminding you it's your turn to handle school drop-off and pickup.

To add these new Incredible emoji, go to the AR Emoji mode in the Galaxy S9's camera, tap the plus (+) icon on the right-hand side, and select the Incredibles AR Emoji pack to download.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.