Samsung has launched the first set of main-stream flagships for 2018 – the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The two phones bring forward several improvements and refinements, the most notable being the ‘reimagined camera’.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are high-end phones and meant to deliver a premium experience for the high-end price. Of the two, the Galaxy S9 is the more compact sibling, but the S9+ comes with a bigger battery, more RAM, and an extra camera sensor which kind of makes it superior to the Galaxy S9
The GS 9+ will basically be competing with 2017 big-guns like iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL. How well does it stack up? You will find out in our Galaxy S9 Plus review.
Key Specifications of Samsung Galaxy S9+:
|Model||Samsung Galaxy S9+|
|Display||6.2-inch QHD curved edge Super AMOLED Infinity display|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 9 Series 9810 processor|
|Camera||12 MP + 12MP rear and 8 MP front cameras|
|Battery||3500mAh, fast charging|
|Internal Memory||64GB / 256GB|
|Software||Android 8.0 Oreo OS|
|Dual SIM||Yes (Hybrid)|
|Price||64,900 INR / 72,900 INR|
Design and Build
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ remains largely same as the Galaxy S8 in terms of design. The phone has the same 18.5:9 infinity display dominating the front. The bezels at top and bottom have further been reduced ever so slightly. The curved side edges aren’t anything new but they still look gorgeous.
There is Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear and a metal side frame running along the edges. It’s still IP68 water and dust resistant. Samsung also bundles a good quality case in the box.
The most important design change is the fingerprint sensor placement. The reader is now placed right below the rear camera where it is easily accessible. The S9+ also has iris scanner and face unlock for convenient unlocking.
The handset has stereo speakers, one placed at the bottom and one placed behind the earpiece. Apart from the power button and volume rocker, the phone also has a dedicated Bixby key to summon Bixby voice assistant.
The S9 Plus exudes that premium feel you’d expect out of a flagship phone. It certainly looks and feels the part. It’s also very comfortable to hold and to carry around. It is still one the best-looking smartphone available in the market.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-inch 2K Super AMOLED display with curved side edges. It is one of the best display you can get on a phone today. The AMOLED screen is vivid, punchy, and awesome. Viewing angles are wide, sunlight visibility is excellent, and the minimum brightness is low enough for comfortable night time reading.
You can choose between different color modes to adjust colors and white balance to your liking. As always, Samsung also adds an Always On display that can show information like time, app notifications, etc. without waking up the device. S9+ has some added Always On display widgets and options as well.
The camera is the biggest Samsung Galaxy S9+ highlight. The talking points include new variable aperture lens, a stacked DRAM CMOS sensor for faster processing, AR emoji, 960fps slow-motion videos, 4K videos at 60fps, and a selfie camera with AF.
On the rear, the handset has a primary 1.255-inch 12 MP sensor with f/1.5-2.4 aperture and Dual Pixel PDAF and a secondary 12MP rear camera with f/2.4 aperture telephoto lens (2x Optical Zoom)and AF. Both rear cameras have OIS support.
The bottom line is, that the S9 has all the hardware support it needs for the best possible camera experience. The practical usage experience is also stunning.
The camera can capture awesome shots with wide dynamic range and accurate white balance in all sorts of lighting conditions. The aperture automatically switches to f/2.4 aperture outdoors and that results in sharp edges and better details. In lowlight smartphone photography, Samsung is still the king and can match up to Pixel 2 XL.
The Galaxy S9+ camera has the best DxOmark rating and can accurately understand a scene to adjust metering accordingly.
The 720p slow-motion videos are fun to play with and should prove to be an added bonus for content creators and people who shoot videos often. The AR emojis on the phone feel a bit overrated. They aren’t as lively as Apple’s emojis but they can be fun too.
The S9+ offers the best selfie camera that you could get on a flagship phone as of today.
Performance and software
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is powered by Exynos 9810 octa-core processor that include four custom Mongoose M3 cores clocked at 2.7GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores ticking at 1.8GHz. The chipset is paired with 6GB RAM and 64GB/256GB storage.
The phone feels extremely snappy and can handle all heavy lifting without breaking a sweat. The software running on the phone is Android 8.0 Oreo-based Experience 9.0 UI. The interface is quite intuitive and mature.
The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate. The iris scanner and Face Unlock are still inconsistent. The stereo speaker output is excellent. It’s loud and crystal clear. Samsung has also improved audio output via 3.5mm audio jack and bundles a good quality AKG headphone in the box.
Battery, Price, and Verdict
The 3500mAh battery on the phone for a day with moderate usage. The battery backup isn’t great but it is still better than what we usually see on high-end phones. The phone also supports fast charging and fast wireless charging.
In India, the Galaxy S9+ costs Rs. 64,900 for the 64GB storage option and Rs. 72,900 for the 256GB storage variant. Yes, it isn’t cheap but it isn’t supposed to be. For the price, the S9+ offers the class-leading camera, excellent design, awesome audio output, the best display and an interesting software experience. Overall, this is certainly an impressive all-rounder from Samsung.