There’s no doubt that Samsung is the king of the smartphone market. You can say what you want, but Samsung S series is the series that’s been evolving through all these years and now reached its apex. Samsung Galaxy S8 took the market by storm with its stunning performance and S9 promises to do much, much more. As much as it’s identical to its older brother, S9 comes with the newest Snapdragon 845 chipset and Android 8.0 which makes it an interesting buy. So, is it really great as it sounds? Let’s kick this review off!
Design and Build Quality
When it comes to the design, Galaxy S9 sports a modern bezel-less look with metal and glass body. If you already owned Galaxy S8, you can skip this part of our review. If not… well, we can’t say it’s a bad design. The only downside is that they didn’t include anything new here and the fingerprint sensor is still just a millimeter below the camera, which I don’t like. On the other side, the volume rocker and power button are clunky and responsive.
One thing that may disappoint you is the lack of the second camera sensor on the back. Yes, this flagship phone has a SINGLE camera sensor. If you want two of them, you need to pay a bit more for S9+. On the front side, we have a huge AMOLED display that takes a majority of space in this compartment. As we said, Samsung Galaxy S9 sports a very sleek and beautiful design. Being a metal phone with a touch of glass, we also found this phone very durable. That being said, the build quality is on the top level.
When we mention the display on a smartphone, we immediately know which company does it best. Of course, it’s Samsung! Now, this is what I call a proper AMOLED display. With its 5.8 inches, it’s not the biggest display out there, but you better watch out your fingers – it’s sharp as a knife! The great thing about it is that Samsung ditched old 1080p resolution in favor of a razor-sharp 1440x2960p resolution. This works wonders, though. The color accuracy is amazing, the brightness is stronger than ever and the viewing angles are admirable.
One thing you’ll notice here is that the colors can get a bit saturated here and there. However, I like more punchy colors that we get on AMOLED displays, especially when going out on a sunlight. On top of all that, Galaxy S9 comes with an always-on display and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for added protection. Thanks to this protection, your car keys, and coins will have a hard time scratching your S9’s display. Overall, a very good job from Samsung.
Moving on to the camera, Samsung Galaxy S9 shows its true potential but also some weaknesses. The first weakness is the absence of the second sensor. In 2018, we’re still stuck with a single 12MP sensor… on a flagship phone? Oh yeah…oh, no! But, I can’t lie and say this is a bad one, though. It’s capable of recording 4K videos at 60 fps and even 720p videos at 960 fps, for some nice slow motion. The quality of the pictures is great, which we also need to mention. While S9 shines in normal lighting conditions, it shows its true quality in low-light areas. The photos are blistering with details and low noise levels.
The video quality is also great. We often see many phones that can record 4K and it’s nothing impressive. Well, Galaxy S9 doesn’t do that. Instead, the 4K video quality is more than decent. We get a nice optical stabilization which prevents the video from getting shaky or blurry. Plus, it can record it at 60 fps. The front 8MP camera does a great job of delivering Insta-worthy selfies.
Samsung finally decided to up their game and introduce Android 8.0 in their flagship phones. Needless to say, the interface looks amazing and it’s snappier than ever. This is due to the newest Snapdragon 845 chipset which rocks Adreno 630 graphics for supreme gaming. Speaking of gaming, this phone doesn’t have its limitations. You can play some of the most demanding games at very high fps. If you like a buttery-smooth gaming experience, S9 will give you that.
Some say that 4GB of RAM isn’t that big anymore. Well… it depends. I found that Samsung S9 has a solid memory management which allows it to run multiple apps at the same time. So, the multitasking is really possible and enjoyable on this phone. I agree that 6GB would be better, but this one is also nice. When it comes to the memory, Samsung S9 comes with 64/128GB variants and we have a MicroSD slot for further expansion. And yes – there is a 3.5mm port.
Battery and Speaker
Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with a Li-Ion battery that packs 3000 mAh of power. Since Samsung raised its standards in the past few years, I’m quite surprised to see this modest battery here. To be honest, this battery isn’t impressive at all. As this is the most powerful Android phone at the moment, this part is simply bottlenecking it hard. For heavy users, I highly doubt that the battery will last the whole day. Luckily, we have a fast charging feature which works well.
The speaker on Galaxy S9 is vastly improved in both quality and loudness. Samsung struggled with their speakers these years and it’s nice to see they’re back on the track with Galaxy S9.
Samsung Galaxy S9 has a reputation that not many phones can neglect or even surpass. This phone is one of the most powerful phones on the market, packing Snapdragon 845 chipset that simply crushes everything under its feet. With this beastly hardware, solid camera, and premium design, Galaxy S9 is an expensive piece of hardware, costing around $1000. As much as it’s powerful, we simply can’t agree that it’s sometimes worth its price. Samsung will still need to reduce the price a little bit to make this phone affordable to a majority of buyers.