Samsung Galaxy S9+: High-end Android Smartphone Released in 2018
First unveiled in March 2018, the Galaxy S9+ was launched at the same time as the S9 as one of the most advanced Android smartphones on the market. A direct relation to the popular S8 model, the S9+ includes an improved camera and a more convenient fingerprint scanner, as well as numerous smaller features that take it beyond the predecessor.
This buyers guide will introduce the major features of Samsung's baby, and place it alongside the S9, S8 and Apple's rival phones, helping smartphone buyers pick the perfect model for their needs. So read on to find out whether the S9+ delivers everything you want from an Android phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Family
First off, it's helpful to put the S9+ in perspective by looking at the Galaxy family in general. If you haven't owned a Galaxy before, you probably know someone who has. The family of phones has become the world's most famous series of Android devices since being introduced in 2010, and the Korean corporation now sells over 200 million phones every year.
It all started with the Samsung Galaxy S, back in 2010. With its graphical processing power, responsive touchscreen and all-round good looks, the Galaxy S was a revolutionary phone at the time, and it was soon joined by the Samsung Galaxy Note, a “phablet” style cousin of the Galaxy S with a larger screen.
Since then, the Galaxy series has seen new arrivals every year (which is why we're now on the 9th generation). Nowadays, you can purchase S series Galaxy phones, as well as new versions of the Note and even cheaper A class Galaxies. And from the Galaxy 7 onwards, older generations of the phone continue to have their fans.
Super-slow motion video playback – In keeping with customers' desire to play around with their video content, Samsung have added a new super-slow mo function which makes it easy to create short slowed down videos to share online.
Adaptable low-light photography – The new dynamic aperture on the camera of the S9+ can be adjusted to f/1.5 or f/2.4, which enables users to capture even better shots in gloomy conditions, while still being adapted for midday sunshine.
The exceptional dual lens camera – The most significant new addition to the S9+'s batch of features is its dual lens camera. The dual lens camera delivers brilliant wide angle shots, a 2x optical zoom and incredible focus, feeding the desire of serious photographers for a smartphone they can rely on.
Extra security from Intelligent Scan – Security is key with modern phones, and this time around Samsung have changed the Galaxy's access systems. Along with facial recognition, iris scans and fingerprint scanning, the S9+ includes “Intelligent Scan” which combines multiple recognition systems, offering a fail-safe against theft or identity fraud.
A clever new fingerprint scanner – Another handy security feature is the new fingerprint scanner, which has been moved from alongside to underneath the camera. This small adjustment delivers big benefits, making it much harder to smudge the lens as you unlock your device.
Emoji fun – Samsung realised that modern smartphone users love emojis and selfies, so they've blended the two. Now, you can turn an avatar of your own face into an animated emoji – a neat way to personalise your phone.
Even better assistance from Bixby – Samsung's personal assistant Bixby has experienced an overhaul and can now translate text on signs just by pointing the S9+'s camera in the right direction. You'll also find other handy additions like calorie counting and cosmetic application apps. Small things for many people, they can be life savers in some cases.
Improved stereo sound – Smartphone users expect great audio from their devices these days, and the S9+ doesn't let them down, with a pair of potent AKG speakers on the top and bottom of the phone. Dolby Atmos comes as part of the package, delivering remarkable music and speech for a handheld phone.
New functionality via the DeX Pad – The DeX pad offered tantalising potential for S8 users to convert their phone into a fully-functional laptop, but the new S9+ and updated DeX pad go further. Optimised for gaming and office work, this docking station can be a godsend for remote working and capitalises on the S9+'s beefed up processor.
Aesthetic developments for style-conscious smartphone fans – Colour isn't always a deal breaker for smartphone users, but buyers with an eye for style will love the new blues and lilacs that Samsung have chosen for the S9+.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: The Camera. Reimagined.
How Does the Galaxy S9+ Differ From the Galaxy S9 or the S8+?
Buyers should be aware that the S9+ has been released alongside the S9, so you may need to choose between the two. As usual, the S9+ is a slightly larger version of the S9, which is Samsung's trademark style. So there's a major difference in display size, from 5.8-inches on the S9 to 6.2-inches with the S9+. You'll notice that when streaming Netflix shows, but equally the larger size can make the S9+ less portable.
The S9+ needs a bit more juice, so it has a larger battery capacity (3,500mAh compared to 3,000mAh), and there's a gap in the RAM department too (6GB for the S9+ vs 4GB for the S9).
Both models come with the nifty super-slow mo feature, both come with microSD compatibility if you need to expand, and they both increase the stakes in processing, going well beyond the S8 and S8+.
That doesn't instantly make the S8+ a bad phone. Both the S9+ and S8+ have similar designs, with the same water and dust-resistant screens and frames, and the S9+ is actually a little heavier (189g vs 173g). But the S8+ lacks the camera features of the S9+, and it's pretty clear that the S9 generation is a better bet for regular snappers.
Then again, when you place the S9+ vs S8+ phones, you still have a pair of excellent smartphones – and there may be bargain deals for the older S8+ as well.
What Have the Smartphone Critics Thought About the Samsung Galaxy S9+?
Then again, it hasn't been an unqualified barrage of praise. Most commentators have mentioned how similar the S9+ is to the S8+, and questioned whether upgrades are strictly necessary. Some like Techspot feel that the current Galaxy range is a little too fragile compared with Apple devices, while the Exynos processor inside the S9+ has come in for criticism, performing poorly in benchmarks against devices like the Google Pixel.
What Versions of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ Can You Purchase?
As ever, the Galaxy S9+ doesn't have a one size fits all template, and you'll find a variety of different buying options. The major variation is storage size, with 128GB and 256GB versions available. So let's look at what they offer and whether you need the extra space.
64GB – The cheapest way to get hold of an S9+, the 64GB version offers limited storage space, which could be a problem for social media users, movie fans and gamers. But it's not a disaster if you just need a phone for surfing the web, using WhatsApp or downloading the odd app.
128GB – The 128GB model features 6GB of RAM, the dual lens camera and all of the features we talked about earlier, and 128 gigabytes of storage should be plenty for ordinary smartphone users. Check the size of your existing music, photos, apps and video library before you buy though, as it's never good to be close to the limit. But 128 gigs is a lot of content, and far more than most of us will need.
2565GB – On the other hand, there are some good reasons to max out on storage capacity if you can afford it. The 256 gigabyte version is a little more expensive, but you may need the extra capacity and if you intend to sell the phone later, more space leads to higher resell prices. And if you're intending to be a heavy creator/consumer of video, 256 gigs will simply be essential. You may also want to stock up on microSD capacity as well.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+: Key Specifications
Whether you opt for the 64, 128 or 256 gigabyte version of the Samsung Galaxy 9 Plus, it helps to be aware of the phone's specifications when comparing it to the competition, so here they are:
Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm
CPU: Exynos 9810 Octa core processor with 4x2.7GHz Mongoose M3 and 4x1.8GHz Cortex-A55 cores.
GPU: Mali-G72 MP18
Memory: 6GB RAM
Storage: Either 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
Display Size: 6.2-inches (157mm)
Display Resolution: 1440 x 2960 Super AMOLED
Cameras: Dual lens 12MP rear camera with f1.5-2.4 adjustable aperture, phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom and an LED flash.
Video: 720p HD p to 960fps, 1080p FHD up to 240fps and 2160p up to 60fps
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with Bluetooth 5.0
Battery: Non-removable 3,500mAh lithium ion
How Does the Galaxy S9+ Stack up vs iPhone X Smartphones?
For many buyers, the question is whether to upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy S9+ or Apple's iPhone X. Both are top of the range phones, and both come with a big price tag, so it makes sense to choose wisely if you're committed to splashing out.
If you're into photography and video, the S9+ is tough to beat, with its dual lens camera, excellent low light capabilities and (though it's more of a novelty), the super-slow motion feature. So if you regularly share images and video with friends or really value crisp pictures from holidays, the S9+ is probably a slightly better bet than the iPhone X. And the S9+ also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack – something which Apple have famously done away with. So if you're keen to plug in older headphones, the Galaxy phone is the way to go.
On the other hand, the iPhone X scores highly in a number of areas. The display is generally thought to be superior, delivering clearer video streams (a big plus for Netflix fans), and the colour saturation is definitely a step up on Samsung's latest phone. And the iPhone X also beats the S9+ in processing terms. When using memory heavy apps and multitasking, you may well notice a significant speed gap between the two, which is worth bearing in mind.
Then there's the age-old Android vs iOS debate. By now, most smartphone users have decided where they stand on this, so if you're more comfortable with Android, go for the S9+, and if you're an iOS fan, the iPhone X is the phone to choose.
But in reality, both phones operate at a very high level, and there's not a huge amount to choose between them.
How Does the S9+ Compare vs Note 8 Devices?
There's one more comparison that smartphone buyers might need to consider: how the S9+ stacks up against the Samsung Note 8. The Note series is more of a phablet-style phone, with larger screen size and weight. So if you value bigger displays and more room to arrange your web surfing, app-using and video watching, Note phones are usually a better option.
But this has been becoming less clear in recent years, as the standard Galaxy phones have converged with Note phones in terms of size and capabilities. For instance, the S9+ is fractionally smaller than the Note 8 and also slightly lighter. But it comes with the dual lens camera and speed improvements we've already mentioned.
On the other hand, the Note is equipped with Samsung's S Pen – a stylus accessory which gives the Note series extra features (generally related to business uses). It's a small bonus for everyday users, but might make a difference for professionals.
Finally, it always pays to remember that Samsung stagger the release of their phones. So you may want to wait until the next Note arrives later in 2018, and buy around Black Friday (which you might want to do anyway to save some cash). Until then, the Note 8 is a fine phablet device, but the 9+ matches it in most regards.
Tips on Buying a Samsung Galaxy S9+
Whether you choose to buy the 128 gigabyte or 256 gigabyte Samsung 9+, it's always important to find the best possible price. We're talking about phones at the high end of the price range, so saving money really matters.
As with all phones, there's the question of pay monthly vs pay as you go deals. You may find a great handset only deal for the S9+, but some contracts offer generous replacement terms (handy when the S10 inevitably surfaces).
Whatever option you go for, hotukdeals is the place to look. Our listings cover all of the UK's biggest smartphone retailers, with merchants including Amazon, mobiles.co.uk, Virgin Mobile, Toby Deals and Chitter Chatter. From high street retailers to new online sellers, our members constantly post the latest deals, allowing you to highlight the cheapest Samsung 9+ deals and take advantage of them when they appear.
But it might not be the best idea to make a purchase straight away. By all means do so if a great deal arises, but you could hold off until Amazon Prime Day (in mid Summer) or Black Friday (in November) when prices can fall dramatically.
Latest Samsung Galaxy S9+ Offers at hotukdeals
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a high end smartphone with one of the finest cameras on a digital device. Beautifully constructed, powerful, and full of features that make it secure, accessible and fun to use, the S9+ builds on what has made the Galaxy series a worldwide phenomenon. If you want to find out what the fuss is about, get hold of a phone for the lowest possible price at the Samsung Galaxy S9+ hotukdeals listings.
Posted 10th Jun 2020Posted 10th Jun 2020
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