Samsung has finally launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the two premium flagship smartphones for the first half of 2018. The newly launched Galaxy S9 and S9+ are totally in line with all the leaked information that hit the internet months ahead of today’s launch. The smartphones bring refinement across the board to Samsung’s already excellent flagship smartphones.
The launch of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ come right at the time when Samsung’s mobile business seems to be struggling. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Samsung announced that its mobile business saw a 3 percent decline in profits. This was mainly due to the lacklustre demand for premium smartphones globally and its sales declining in key markets like China and India. Another factor that makes the Galaxy S9 launch important is the reception of iPhone X, which many analysts predict is seeing lower demand than expected and if consumers don’t like iPhone then their best second choice is the Galaxy flagship from Samsung.
With Galaxy S9 duo, Samsung is not going after big changes and it is trying to stick to basics by offering what consumers already like and adding new features that will become mainstream in the next few years. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can stake claim for being the fastest Android smartphones right now thanks to the latest hardware. Aesthetically speaking, the Galaxy S9 does not differ from its predecessor but the same is not necessarily true for the larger Galaxy S9+. If viewed properly, the Galaxy S9+ is a true upgrade over the Galaxy S8+ in every possible way. So, here is a look at what has changed between the Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy S8+:
Design and Display
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are iterative updates to Samsung’s flagship smartphones and they are not meant to bring major cosmetic changes. If the Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy S8+ are placed face up side by side then it is virtually impossible to identify each model. However, Samsung has done some tweaks to the back side that clearly differentiates the S9+ from its predecessor.
The most notable change is the vertically stacked dual rear camera setup, which I can say looks like the dual camera setup of Galaxy Note 8 turned 90 degrees down. It is precisely how the camera setup should been at the first place. Samsung is known for learning from its faults and fixing them with next iteration of its device. The South Korean company did it with the Galaxy S7 by making it easier to lift from the table when the device is placed face down. It is doing the same with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ by placing the fingerprint sensor right below the camera module. It seems funny that Samsung took a year to understand the right location of the fingerprint sensor.
Apart from these two changes, the Galaxy S9+ is near identical to last year’s Galaxy S8+. It still features the same 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display up front with a Quad HD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and taller 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone still features the front iris scanner alongside the selfie camera and this year, Samsung is even throwing stereo speaker setup. The decision to drop headphone jack is user hostile and Samsung is not doing that like its peers. The Galaxy S9+ features the 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with AKG tuned earbuds for superior audio. While it doesn’t boast of the edge-to-edge display like the iPhone X, it also doesn’t a weird notch and continues to remain one of the best designed smartphone in the market.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy S9+ simply leapfrogs over its predecessor. In the US and China, the smartphone comes with latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The new chipset promises around 15 percent improvement in raw performance and nearly 30 percent improvement in graphics processing. The chipset also brings the new AI capabilities and a secure subsystem called secure processing unit to store sensitive information like biometrics. In Asia and Europe, Samsung plans to ship the Galaxy S9+ with its own Exynos 9810 SoC.
The chipset is also based on second-generation 10nm process like the Snapdragon 845 and leaks suggest that it will be more powerful than Qualcomm’s flagship processor. Samsung is promising 30 percent performance improvement and the focus is on security, advanced image processing, graphics rendering and artificial intelligence. The Galaxy S9+ also differs from Galaxy S8+ in fundamentals with base model getting 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
The Galaxy S9+ also runs Android 8.0 Oreo so you will get PIP mode out of the box and Google’s aggressive Doze on the go feature for battery management. The Galaxy S9+ continues to remain IP68 water and dust resistant and we can’t help but mention that there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. One area where Samsung is staying conservative is in the battery department. The Galaxy S9+, like its predecessor, has the same 3,500mAh battery, which should be good enough for a day of heavy use.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are all about their cameras. They feature new image system whch supports dual aperture, a first for any smartphone. The primary sensor can shoot from wider f/1.5 in low-light condition to narrower f/2.4 in bright conditions. The camera is also tweaked to include a dedicated DRAM chip that enables faster image processing.
The most important addition is the support for super slow-motion videos. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can record videos at 960fps, which is four times slower than 240fps supported by most phones. The Galaxy S9+ is in fact better with dual rear camera, with secondary camera supporting 2x optical zoom. Samsung is however sticking to the same 8-megapixel front camera for selfies.
The Galaxy S9+ is a significant update over Galaxy S8+ but the bottom line will be the price. Samsung is not revealing the price just yet but it is expected to be expensive. The smartphone goes on sale from March 16 and the Galaxy S9+ is the one to get especially for its dual rear camera system and improved hardware.
You Might be Interested