Samsung had launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones that have some awesome features, but the two seemingly similarly featured phones have some important differences you should be aware of when choosing to buy. Many reviewers were surprised to find out about these differences the hard way, and many were left disappointed in the end.
First of all, after Samsung decided to decrease the prices in the US, what came to be was the single biggest disregard for smartphone pricing as BGR has spotted almost all major US carriers are marking up the cost of these phones to a disgusting degree:
- Samsung (direct, unlocked) – Galaxy S9 ($720); Galaxy S9 Plus ($840)
- AT&T – Galaxy S9 ($790); Galaxy S9 Plus ($915)
- Sprint – Galaxy S9 ($792); Galaxy S9 Plus ($912)
- T-Mobile – Galaxy S9 ($720); Galaxy S9 Plus ($840)
- Verizon – Galaxy S9 ($800); Galaxy S9 Plus ($930)
Secondly, for the first time, Samsung has differentiated the photographic skills of the larger Galaxy S9 Plus from the Galaxy S9 by exclusively giving it a dual rear camera.
One new cool thing is the mechanical aperture that adjusts automatically according to the light you’re shooting in. The smaller aperture, better for brighter days, clocks in at f/2.4, a good all-round value.
But the wider aperture, f/1.7, kicks in when the ambient light is 100 Lux or below. That value is about the light you can expect to see on overcast day.
So if you’re a photographer or camera geek who is looking for a phone that can deliver, the S9 and S9 Plus are certainly worth consideration. Again, for those who aren’t paying attention to camera specs or who already rely on a DSLR for their photos, the S9 and S9 Plus’ cameras may not be a major draw.
Samsung still doesn’t allow users to repurpose the Bixby button, which is conveniently where the thumb might naturally rest. And that’s a real shame as Bixby was one of the least favored features they could come up with.
The glass back easily collects fingerprints so it can start looking dirty. If you have a phone case, that would solve this problem, but if you prefer to use the phone in its birthday suit, especially now that there are some new, unique color options, the S9 is looking to be oil-prone on the front and back.
Most phones with fast wireless charging usually have glass backs, but a glass back also makes the phone easier to break, with a higher repair cost and that’s definitely something to keep in mind when paying so much for a phone.
Mind your use-case scenarios and be prudent about whether you actually need this kind of phone.