Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: Fantastic And Fast With A Killer Camera

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: A Lesson In Delivering Great Features And Performance

Galaxy S9 Plus Front in hand with box
One of the biggest unveils at this year's Mobile World Congress was the new and highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which we were lucky enough to get some hands-on preview time with for you here late last month. Samsung's Galaxy S9 series doesn't look a whole lot different than the previous generation Galaxy S8 and 8+ line. And though the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are ever so slightly smaller than their older siblings, with slightly thinner top and bottom bezels, these new Galaxy S devices have been upgraded and re-engineered in a number of ways with some impressive new features and promised performance.

Today marks the official embargo lift on full reviews of Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S9 dynamic duo, and on the pages ahead we've prepared a deep-dive analysis specifically of the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S9+, with its 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 on board. This is Samsung's biggest and boldest Galaxy S9 device we have on the test bench today. But first, take a quick gander at our short guided tour of both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ here, then we'll get up close and personal with the 6.2-inch Samsung bad boy that's full loaded... 

Update, 3/15/2018:
We recently posted another look at Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera performance versus the mighty Google Pixel 2 XL. Check it out... 

Samsung Galaxy S9 And Galaxy S9+
Specifications & Features

Galaxy S9+ Versus Galaxy S9 - What's the diff?

Breaking down the difference between a Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is pretty straight-forward. Above, you're looking at specs for both devices. The Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-Inch QHD+ Curved Super AMOLED display, 6GB of RAM, two rear Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP cameras (one of which is strapped with a wide angle lens), and a 3500 mAh battery. The Galaxy S9 has very similar specs, with the exceptions of having a single rear Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP camera, 4GB of RAM, a smaller 5.8-inch Curved Super AMOLED display (with a proportionally scaled-down chassis of course), and a 3000 mAh battery. Incidentally, both standard aspect cameras on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are also dual aperture designs, with both an f1.5 and f2.4 aperture capability. This allows for much better low light capture (f1.5) and sharper high brightness captures (f2.4), for better overall image fidelity under variously lighting conditions.

For the purposes of this review, we have the full-featured, big Daddy Galaxy S9+ on tap, but you can expect certain aspects of general performance and camera performance to be similar. In fact, with respect to standard auto-shot camera performance, results should be identical.

Galaxy S9 Plus Lilac Purple
Samsung Galaxy S9+ In Lilac Purple

Color choices between the two devices are the same, with Samsung offering Cobalt Blue, Lilac Purple and Midnight Black. Curiously, we have no silver options this time with these phones, though I will say Lilac Purple, in my humble opinion, looks kind of cool, especially for the ladies. The blue and purple color units don't show fingerprints nearly as prominently as the Midnight Black unit we're reviewing here today. Here's a look at the results of our eager unboxing of the Galaxy S9+, and you can expect an identical bundle with the Galaxy S9 as well... 

Galaxy S9 Plus kit
Samsung Galaxy S9+ What's In The Box

Look Ma, no dongle. That's a relief. We're all for innovation, and there's no question wireless audio is the way of the future. However, we're all about maintaining options too and the 3.5mm headphone jack is too ubiquitous and functional to eliminate just yet. And look at that, Samsung even includes a set of wired AKG earbuds. Unfortunately, they sound way too tinny for our ears. Also included is a requisite AC adapter brick and USB-C to USB Type-A synch/charge cable, as well a SIM tray key tool, a USB-C to USB-A converter, and a Quick Start Guide with the usual warranty info.

Let's check out Samsung's Galaxy S9+ hardware and software in more detail, next...

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