My local Best Buy has the Galaxy S9 and S9+ on display. I walked by both phones not realizing that they were actually the S9 and the S9+. But I then, I heard a salesman talking about them to another customer. I had to check them out.
For this article, I’m going to talk mostly about the Galaxy S9+ since it’s the phone I spent about 10 minutes with. I can’t give a full review until after March 16, when the phone goes on sale. Perhaps Samsung will send me a review unit before that. For now, I can say that the phone is, in no way, a failure. It may be a boring upgrade, but it’s still a great smartphone.
The only difference I noticed right away between the S8+ is that the bezels are definitely smaller. I’m not sure that’s a great thing since it will be easier now to accidentally touch the screen. And the phone seems slightly heavier as well. But when you turn the phone around, you now see a dual-lens vertical camera with the fingerprint lens underneath it. One of the only criticisms of last year’s S8+ was that it was easy to accidentally touch the camera lens instead of the fingerprint reader, which was right next to it.
The actual screen on the S9+ is almost exactly like the screen on the S8+, except it does get a little brighter. It would be difficult to understand why one would want to turn the S9+ on full brightness; it’s blindingly bright. Some are upset that Samsung has continued to provide a Quad HD+ screen rather than a 4K screen, but the latter would be overkill and a battery life killer.
In my tests with the camera, the Galaxy S9+ was better than the Galaxy Note 8, which also has a dual-lens camera. I couldn’t take any pictures in low light since there was florescent lighting all over the place. The pictures looked great, but maybe not “iPhone X” great. But I can’t make a definite decision until I use the camera under different lighting levels. It’s important to experiment with all of the S9+ camera features as well.
Is the Galaxy S9+ worth upgrading to if you have the Galaxy S8+? If photos are important, I would say that it may be worth the upgrade if you have a little cash to spare. Is it worth upgrading to if you have the Galaxy Note 8? Definitely not! But the S9+ is certainly no “failure” and is not as boring as some made it out to be when it was announced last week. Much to the anger of Apple fanboys, the Galaxy S9+ will be a hit.