Samsung’s new flagship comes with real-world performance improvements and several interesting features, including great improvements in the camera department. But also with a heavy price tag. But, is it worth an upgrade? Read further to know more about the Samsung’s latest and great phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great phone in many ways. Best right now? Yes maybe. It depends, of course, on what you value in a mobile phone but with an abundance of smart features, the best display available on a smartphone, heavy performance, and good battery life combined with cool and slim design, there’s a lot to speak for it and its larger brother, the Galaxy S9 Plus . But there are very little improvements over the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in the design department.
Is it worth the money to upgrade if you already have a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus? And if not, is it time to find a Galaxy S8 instead of buying a new expensive flagship? We look into the main differences.
S8 vs S9 – design, dimensions, and weight
Samsung’s new flagship has got a slightly more square design and is actually both thicker and heavier than last year. Galaxy S8 weighs 155 grams and Galaxy S8 Plus 173 grams, against 163 grams for Galaxy S9 and 189 grams for Galaxy S9 Plus. The new models are also both half a millimeter thicker. There are, in fact, reasons for this, when they are said to be more durable than last year’s flagship, but most people who buy such a delicate phone also buy a protective case.
Another reason for choosing a Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus may be that it is available in new, Lilac purple color if you think the black or blue is too boring. The Galaxy S8 is available in even more colors, including an equally pale pink.
The major change in the Samsung Galaxy S9 design is that the fingerprint reader is now sitting in a smaller below the camera which is a welcome addition. Last year, the fingerprint position on the Samsung Galaxy S8 was widely criticized.
The display sizes of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are the same i.e. 5.8 and 6.2, respectively. We get Samsung’s own AMOLED panel, with 1440×2960 pixels, 18.5: 9 image format, HDR support, and real-world brightness. This made them the best mobile screens ever when they arrived.
In this year’s models, Samsung has further enhanced its features. The maximum brightness is higher and the color accuracy close enough to the clock.
If the screen improvements are hard to notice, then the improvements in sound department are easier to hear. Samsung has gone from single bottom to stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. The earpiece doubles as a secondary speaker to create a stereo sound just like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It gives a whole different feeling if you want to check out some sections of your favorite series on Netflix, for movies with real Atmos Audio (which is rare but it is there), and for surround enhancement of standard stereo audio.
However, if you plug in headphones, the experience is more or less unchanged. Galaxy S9_ retains the headphone jack. Samsung also ships really good in-ear handsfree signed AKG. The Atmos effects are also available with the handsfree as an additional choice in the sound settings.
Samsung’s Exynos processors have long delivered top-class performance and this time it’s no different. The Galaxy S9+ is by far the most powerful Android phone right now. We don’t know if it might be able to hold its place against other Android phones coming in the future with Snapdragon 845. But there is no doubt that it’s a big boost compared to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. It goes between 34 percent and 44 percent faster depending on the benchmark method.
Does this mean it’s time to throw your Galaxy S8 into the dustbin? Not at all. It’s still a really fast mobile. It is mainly for heavy games and special applications like the desktop interface in Dex and new camera features that utilize the processor’s maximum performance.
Just the camera is perhaps the one that most attracts a new purchase. Most obviously, the Galaxy S9+ has finally got dual cameras at the back with an extra telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom, better digital zoom and better 3D viewing for bokeh shooting. It is the same feature as in Galaxy Note 8, which was Samsung’s first dual camera.
The biggest new feature in the camera is an adjustable aperture that can switch between a f /1.5 that absorbs light but at the expense of wide depth of field, and f/2.4 for better sharpening properties when it’s bright.
Systems and Apps
The new Galaxy models, of course, come with Android 8 Oreo, but it has not yet been featured on last year’s models. It would have rolled out an update to Oreo in February, but Samsung pulled it into the emergency brake after it woke up causing problems to some users.
Even Samsung’s own applications and features are enhanced. Digital assistant Bixby has received a new chat-like interface. The most profound new feature in Bixby is its ability to instantly translate anything you aim your camera at. It can save many wild tourists. Then we have Samsung’s own Animojis, or AR-emojis as they are called. More fun than useful if you ask us.
The AR-emojis and the all the Bixby functionalities might come to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ via a software update in the near future. So right now we should wait to upgrade just for the sake of the function.
Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S9 – Conclusion
Despite several interesting news, it’s hard to motivate a purchase if you already have the 2017 edition of Samsung’s flagship, whether it’s a Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or Note 8. Even if you are such a type of gadget enthusiast that always wants the latest, it means a lot of money for only half-sized upgrades. Or even minor upgrades if you have a Galaxy Note 8, which also has half of the new camera hardware already.
If you have a Galaxy S7 and want to continue with Samsung, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are the right choices. And if you have any other smartphone that has more than one and a half years on your neck you should definitely consider the Galaxy S9+.