Galaxy S9 and S9+: What to Know About Samsung’s New Flagships

Megan Ellis 26-02-2018

Samsung announced its latest flagship devices—the Galaxy S9 and S9+—at a global event on February 25 in Barcelona, ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC).


The devices are among the most hotly anticipated for the year, and will be among those to beat by other premium smartphone makers trying to take the top spot.

But with so much information floating around, what are the most important aspects to know about the new Galaxy devices? We’ve selected a few of the notable features and major takeaways from Samsung’s event. Here’s all you need to know about the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

1. Connecting the Samsung Smart Device Ecosystem


Samsung has been working for years to create a huge smart device ecosystem. From smart washing machines to the SmartThings hub, the company has developed a solid base.

But with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung promises that this smart ecosystem is going to come together and be much more accessible. The phones will include the new SmartThings app — making them the only devices to support the software so far.


This allows the phones to work with all of Samsung’s smart devices, as well as a number of third-party devices The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The SmartThings hub connects wirelessly with hundreds of compatible smart devices, allowing you to monitor, control, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. Read More .

2. The Cameras


Before the announcement, Samsung hinted heavily that the S9 and S9+ would boast a revolutionary camera. So what did the mobile giant reveal at its event?

The Galaxy S9 comes with a 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with dedicated processing power and memory. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S9+ will be more like the Galaxy Note 8 5 Amazing Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 Features You Need to Try If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8, you need to try these hidden features. Read More : coming with a dual 12MP rear camera with a telephoto and wide-angle lens. However, its wide-angle lens will also be equipped with the Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor seen in the S9 camera.


As with the Note 8 predecessor, the S9+ will have Optic Image Stabilization (OIS) featured in both rear cameras.

Samsung says that due to the dedicated processing power and memory dedicated to the S9 camera, it will be able to process four times as much image data as previous Samsung devices. An interesting feature of the cameras is super slow-motion, a mode that will capture slow-motion video 11 Unbelievable Super Slow-Mo Videos (And How to Record Your Own) With slow motion footage, we can witness never-before-seen details in events that we usually take for granted. Here's how to make such videos yourself. Read More at 960 frames per second.

The cameras are also equipped with better light sensitivity. According to Samsung, the new cameras in the S9 and S9+ will include Samsung’s Dual Aperture (f/1.5 to f/2.4) technology. This means your camera automatically adjusts when exposed to more or less light. Samsung says that this mimics the human eye and will result in fewer photos that are over or under-exposed.

3. AR Emoji

While this isn’t a feature that will be that important to hardcore tech enthusiasts, the AR Emoji function shows that Samsung wants to keep up with Apple’s popular gimmicks.


AR Emoji, much like Apple’s Animoji How to Send and Save Animoji on the iPhone X If you have an iPhone X, you can send Animoji to all of your friends. Here's how. Read More , will allow users to create animated emojis with their facial expressions. The software uses the phone’s facial recognition technology to reflect your expressions.

It’s not exactly a selling point for those who care mostly about hardware and performance, but it’s one less feature that the iPhone X (our review) has that Samsung phones don’t. Plus, they will also work with third-party apps like Whatsapp.

In another quirky addition, you can create emojis that look like you using the Make My Emoji app. If only this had been around when you were creating your Mii character for Miitomo Nintendo Kills Miitomo, its First Smartphone App Miitomo was Nintendo's first foray into mobile gaming beyond its own platforms. However, after just two years Nintendo has decided to pull the plug. Read More .

4. That Pesky Fingerprint Scanner



After complaints from fans over the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8, Samsung adjusted the placement slightly on the Note 8. It was placed further away from the camera lens (which users would often mix up with the sensor). However, we were still not quite satisfied.

With the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, unfortunately, we still don’t have the home screen fingerprint scanner that many of us would have preferred.

However, rather than next to the camera lens, the S9’s fingerprint scanner is located below it. This makes it easier to reach and is more in line with other smartphone makers’ placement of fingerprint scanners. You also won’t smudge your camera lens nearly as often when reaching to unlock your device.

5. Bixby Vision Got Much Better

samsung galaxy s9 plus what to know

Those who have had hands-on experience with Bixby know the smart assistant just doesn’t quite beat out its competitors Google Assistant vs. Bixby: Does Samsung Have Any Hope? Samsung has introduced their own voice-controlled competitor to Google Assistant -- but is it enough? Read More . Bixby Vision is one feature where Samsung has an edge, however.

With the S9 and S9+, Bixby Vision will take on more advanced features to make it more than a gimmick. This includes the ability to translate text in a photo to your preferred language or to identify the item the text is referring to. So if there’s something foreign on a restaurant menu that you don’t understand, you can use Bixby Vision to find out what it is.

This is an incredibly useful feature. Furthermore, unlike previous Bixby features, the new Bixby Vision updates will not be limited to South Korea at launch. Rather, the features will be available in South Korea, Canada, the United States, and China when the S9 and S9+ launch.

If Bixby can sort out its voice recognition problems 5 Things Bixby Voice Can Do (and One Thing It Can't) Bixby is Samsung's voice-activated virtual personal assistant, and while it does a lot of things right, it isn't perfect. Read More , it may make a comeback in the smart assistant game.

6. Samsung DeX Pad

The Samsung DeX is a smartphone dock that Samsung phone owners can use to connect their device to a PC screen. This allows you to use the phone as a computer How to Turn Your Phone Into a PC: 7 Ways Need to do work but your laptop is nowhere nearby? Here's how to turn your phone into a laptop so you can work on the go. Read More . But in order to use the device as a PC, you previously needed to connect a keyboard and mouse too.

Now, with the S9 and S9+, Samsung has introduced the Samsung DeX Pad. The pad acts as a DeX dock, but also allows you to use your phone as a touchpad. This means you don’t have to lug along as many extra accessories with you.

7. The Speakers

Unlike previous years, Samsung seems to have prioritized audio technology in this year’s addition to the Galaxy S series.

This time around, Samsung’s devices come equipped with AKG-tuned stereo speakers in both the bottom and earpiece of the device. An exciting addition to this is the fact that the speakers will have the Dolby Atmos effect, a premium surround sound feature.

The new hardware makes the S9 and the S9+ the loudest of Samsung Galaxy S devices. However, the company promises that the quality of the speakers means that the extra volume comes with balanced, smooth audio. We’ll have to wait and see whether this is true in a practical, everyday setting.

8. The Price

The Galaxy S9 is listed at a price of $719.99, while the Galaxy S9+ will sell for $839.99.

If owners of older Samsung phones want to save some money, they can trade in their device to save up to $350. However, how much money you’ll save depends on the device, its condition, and whether it qualifies.

9. How the S9 Compares to the S8

Now that Samsung has announced its latest flagship, we know exactly how it compares to its predecessor. In many categories, the hardware of the S8 and S8+ is similar to that of the S9 and S9+. In fact, the battery capacity, front-facing cameras, display resolution, and phone size are identical when compared to last year’s handsets.

The main differences are the camera technology, audio technology, and pre-loaded operating system How Android Differs Depending on the Hardware Manufacturer Not all Android devices are created equal. See how yours stands out from the crowd with our comprehensive guide. Read More . Samsung has also made a few tweaks to the design of the S8, so the S9 has slightly smaller bezels and a darker screen that will blend in with the bezels more cleanly when the phone is asleep.

Some other differences include higher RAM in the S9+ (6GB), a slightly thicker handset, and more advanced software which introduces new features.

10. Galaxy S9 and S9+ Specs

Samsung has revealed what’s under the hood of the new phones as well. As you’d expect, the S9+ has more powerful components in some cases.

Galaxy S9:

  • Display: 5.8-inch Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED
  • Screen Resolution: 18.5:9 (570ppi)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Camera (Rear): Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor with OIS (f/1.5 to f/2.4)
  • Camera (Front): 8MP AF (f/1.7)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)

Galaxy S9+:

  • Display: 6.2-inch Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED
  • Screen Resolution: 18.5:9 (529ppi)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Camera (Rear): Dual Camera with Dual OIS
    -Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor (f/1.5 to f/2.4)
    -Telephoto: 12MP AF sensor (f/2.4)
  • Camera (Front): 8MP AF (f/1.7)
  • Battery: 3500mAh
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)

10. The Launch Date

Finally, the question on the mind of anyone who is excited for the S9 and S9+: when will the phones launch?

The global launch date will be March 16, but pre-orders for the device have opened already.

Is the S9 What You Hoped For?

Now that the phones have officially been unveiled, tech enthusiasts and smartphone fans will be able to weigh in on whether they think the device is up to scratch.

With only a year since the S8’s launch The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one. Read More , there are some welcome changes, but nothing completely revolutionary. Whether these changes are enough to please fans will decide the device’s popularity.

Related topics: Android, Samsung.

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