Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S9 Plus: These Are the Differences


In Barcelona, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus have been announced with a lot of spectacles and Augmented Reality. These devices will probably carry the title ‘best Android smartphone’ for a while. Do they also deserve that entitlement?

Samsung is one of the biggest names in the smartphone industry and that is why it is a good idea to pay close attention when the Korean manufacturer announces new toppers. On the eve of the MWC it was then that far; Unpacked 2018 joined. During the Unpacked events, Samsung usually comes with jumpers that clearly distinguish themselves from the competition. Although we had to rub our eyes a few times this year.


We can be brief about the design of both the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus. But we will not do that. If you put the Samsung Galaxy S8 next to the new S9 you can only see a few details about which device you have for you. The same applies for the S9 Plus. We find the biggest difference in the design of the smartphones at the back. With both the S8 and the S8 Plus, it was the case that the fingerprint scanner was next to the lens.

If you look at the back of the smartphones then the lens and the fingerprint scanner can be perfectly separated, but of course, you should n, t turn the device around to figure this out. To avoid the tactile confusion this time, the fingerprint scanner on the S9 and S9 Plus is under the camera. The back of both devices is equipped with a shiny glass plate that must ensure that the device does not crack. We certainly believe that it is capable of that, but that the back attracts fingerprints, we know for sure.

If you do not feel like walking around the whole day with a microfibre cloth or using a case, we recommend the black version of the devices. This is where the fingerprints fell the least. The Infinity Display at the front looks unchanged. Above the screen is still a whole battery of sensors and cameras to unlock the device with your face, and to take selfies of course. However, you only see these trousers when a direct light comes up. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus certainly look good, but they are very similar to the predecessors.

Screen Size

The Galaxy S9 has a screen of 5.8 inches and dimensions of 147.7X68.7X8.5mm, while the Galaxy S8 Plus has a 6.2-inch screen with dimensions of 158.1X73.8X8.5mm. The Galaxy S9 Plus is the largest and heaviest ( 189 vs. 163 grams ) of the two, but both have the same thickness. This makes the Galaxy S9 easier to use with one hand, to put in your pocket or suitcase and to hold longer.


The camera in the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus differs. That is why we first discuss the sensor that both devices have, the 12-megapixel sensor with a variable diaphragm. This sensor is also equipped with its own flash memory, which not only improves the photo quality but also enables a special slow-motion mode that we saw earlier in the Sony Xperia series.

First of all the adjustable aperture; that varies from 1.5 to 2.4 With a diaphragm of 1.5 you can capture much more light than a normal smartphone camera could. If you use the phone in automatic mode, it will automatically use this aperture when it deems it necessary. It can also be activated manually, in Pro camera mode. There are so many other things to choose from, that the average camera fanatic can use it.

As far as photo quality is concerned, we do not dare to make very firm statements at this time. At first glance, the photos looked good, but the conditions were not really varied enough to be able to make a sound judgment. What we saw, however, was not bad. Given the reputation Samsung has to uphold in this area, we do not expect to be really disappointed. With the newly adjustable aperture one of the last pitfalls of mobile photography is tackled, so that certainly offers hope.

We can be brief about the slow-motion function. We know them from the Sony Xperia series and it worked very nice, with a few small pitfalls. Unfortunately, Samsung does not know how to circumvent it, so in that respect the proverb ‘better well smacked than badly conceived’ does not really stand up. For example, it is still very difficult to choose the right moment in the relatively short timeframe that you can film super slow motion. Often you are a bit too early or too late, so you miss that perfect shot. Also, the resolution of this mode is not the best ever, and the light should be really good if you want to record a good slow motion movie. Improvements in relation to Sony, such as stretching the period from 0.2 seconds to, for example, a second, had made the mode much better.

AR Emoji

However, Samsung did not just look carefully at Sony for the Galaxy S9. It also took a look at Apple, and especially in the area of Animoji. A similar concept returns to Samsung in the form of AR Emoji. It actually works pretty handy and is also more extensive than at Apple. It all starts with scanning your face with the Galaxy S9. When that short process is complete, the real fun really starts.

You get a kind of Wii-like doll that shows some resemblance to the net scanned face. This is provided with a whole range of emotions as standard, which you can then send to your friends at the right time. Are you sad? Send the sad digitized head of yourself. Do you have to cry from laughing? Thanks to Samsung, you can now share that in a truly personal way. It is also possible, instead of your own head, to have a very cool-looking rabbit convey your emotions or a wide variety of other farm animals. Long live 2018.

Hardware and sound

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are both equipped with an Exynos 9810 chipset, which guarantees lightning fast performance. We could only play with it for a short while, but there was no sign of any hitch or delay in the short period that we used the device. Of course, that is also not possible with a device in this price category. As far as the hardware is concerned, there were hardly any surprises. The only thing really worth mentioning was the support for all kinds of new network techniques, which will be of added value, especially in the future. At the moment, these types of networks are not yet available for consumers in NL.

What we noticed further was the sound. Whereas speakers in smartphones generally do not win the top prize when it comes to volume or sound quality, the speakers on the S9 and S9 Plus still sounded pretty good at maximum volume. That maximum volume was also quite high. Nice of course if you want to show a video with sound in a noisy pub, or to confront everyone in a city bus with your obscure music taste.

Look for the differences

As is already clear, the game ‘find the differences’ for these two devices is a bit trickier than in the newspaper on Saturday. The fingerprint scanner is just in a slightly different place, the camera of the S9 now has a variable diaphragm, the same with the S9 Plus, although it also has a lens. Both devices are faster than the S8 and S8 Plus, but they could not be tracked either. AR Emoji has also been added to the aircraft, or that offers enough added value, we do not dare to say.

We still encounter the biggest differences with the S8 and S8 Plus in the cameras. The cameras of those devices were already good but those of the S9 and S9 Plus are a bit better. Something less visible, but it does make a difference is that these devices are equipped with Dolby Atmos software. This means that even when you connect your wired headset or Bluetooth headset you get a music experience that you say to you. Especially when viewing series and films, this improves the viewing experience.

Conclusion and purchase advice for comparison: Galaxy S9 Vs. Galaxy S9 Plus

It’s not like last year: Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are no longer the same as one another’s. Rather, it is so that Samsung introduces the S9 a slim flagship that will accommodate the classic contract customer benevolent in his mobile phone contract. He is by no means wrong. In everyday life, the S9 will almost never let him down – at least if at least one to two hours a day is a power outlet nearby.

If you are more into the subject and want to really have the power of a plus ultra what Samsung has to offer, the Galaxy S9 + will grab. The larger model is technically a little bit more mature. In fact, the combination of the dual camera with variable aperture and 6GB of RAM is hard to beat. So even those here without hesitation, who otherwise wanted to wait for the note 9 in late summer. Limitation: S Pen support does not offer the Galaxy S9 Plus. The differences described let Samsung proudly cost $123. At launch, the Galaxy S9 costs $1045.22 and the Galaxy S9 Plus $1168.33. This refers to the 64 GB version.

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