The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great phone, but one that hasn’t really kicked on from the Galaxy S8, bringing a very similar design and screen to 2017’s version. The improved biometrics were sorely needed, and the camera is a leap forward, but the amazing low light capabilities have resulted in sacrifices elsewhere. A top, top phone, but the S9 Plus outshines it.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the phone that’s supposed to lead the charge where the Galaxy S8, one of the best phones we’ve ever tested, left off – but it’s not as much of an upgrade, even though it’s our top pick for best camera phone.
Update: The Samsung Galaxy S9 now comes in the shimmering ‘sunrise gold’ color is now available in the US. But it also has even more competition with the arrival of the OnePlus 6, HTC U12 Plus and LG G7 ThinQ.
Well, that’s at first glance, because there is a raft of updates that some looking to buy the Galaxy S9 would find appealing. Yes, the design is identical to the Galaxy S8, and in reality this really should have been the ‘S’ variant of that model if Samsung ever wanted to ape Apple’s naming strategy.
But there’s also a new, high-power camera on the back that brings genuine innovation in the dual-aperture shutter, as well as a more robust frame and so, so much more power under the hood.
The screen is brighter and the dual speakers make this more of a media marvel – and the Galaxy S9 fixes one major flaw with the S8 by making it easy to unlock the phone with your face or finger, which 2017’s model failed at – and that’s why we’ve named it as one of our best smartphones around at the moment.
If this sounds like we’re talking up an uninspiring phone, that’s partly true – but we wanted to make sure you knew the big changes on the S9 if you were confused on why it looks so similar to last year’s model.