Samsung has launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ in India. These new flagship devices are refinements over last year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, and are priced from Rs 57,900. They will go on sale starting March 16 via Flipkart, Samsung Shop and other offline retail channels.
In terms of features, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ see little improvements in design, and get a major upgrades under the hood. The smartphones are powered by Exynos 9810 SoC based on new 10nm process, which should lead to at least 15 percent improvement in raw performance and 30 percent improvement in graphics performance. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature a 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display with taller 18:9 aspect ratio. The Galaxy S9 comes with 4GB RAM while Galaxy S9+ gets 6GB RAM and both the models are available with either 64GB or 256GB storage. However, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are mainly about their cameras, the first on any smartphone to allow users to change aperture.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature a new 12-megapixel primary sensor with ability to switch from wide f/1.5 to narrower f/2.4 aperture. The image sensor also includes a DRAM for capturing 960fps super slow-mo videos at 720 pixel resolution. The Galaxy S9+ is, in fact, better than the Galaxy S9 with an additional 12-megapixel sensor that acts as telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and works similar to Galaxy Note 8.
However, the new Galaxy phones are not going to be available for at least another 10 days. They are also far from perfect, and are not guaranteed to get timely software updates. In case you are not impressed with Galaxy S9, here are five alternatives worth taking a look at.
HTC U11+ is almost identical to Google Pixel 2 XL, and it again has one of the best smartphone cameras. It trades the P-OLED display on Pixel 2 XL for a 6-inch SuperLCD6 display with Quad HD+ resolution of 2880x1440 pixels, and 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 4GB or 6GB RAM, and 64GB or 128GB internal storage. The metal and glass smartphone has a 12-megapixel primary camera with f/1.7 aperture, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. HTC U11+ is priced at Rs 56,900 for the 6GB RAM variant.
LG V30+ is the South Korean challenger to the Galaxy S9 until the company debuts its V30 ThinQ variant in India. The V30 also bears similarities to Pixel 2 XL with both the devices sharing the same 6-inch P-OLED display. The V30 is also powered by Snapdragon 835 SoC from Qualcomm and comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. It features a dual-rear camera setup with primary 16-megapixel f/1.6 sensor and seconday 13-megapixel f/1.9 sensor. It uses a 5-megapixel selfie shooter and comes with elaborate tools to shoot pro-video. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX, and is backed by a 3,300mAh battery. The smartphone is priced at Rs 44,990, which makes it a great deal for the price.
Last but not the least, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is almost identical to the Galaxy S9+ with large 6.3-inch display, and similar metal and glass sandwich design. It is powered by last year's Exynos 8895 chipset and comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. It lacks the variable aperture camera on Galaxy S9, but still has an excellent 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture and additional 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.4 aperture that acts as telephoto lens. The Galaxy Note 8's biggest advantage is the S-PEN, which allows users to take notes or translate on the fly and the whole package is supported by a 3,300mAh battery. The Galaxy Note 8 retails at Rs 67,900, and comes with additional cashback of Rs 8,000 via Paytm Mall.
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