After months of anticipation and many leaks which have spilled the beans on basically everything, Samsung has finally unveiled their new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Prior leaks have unveiled the design, hardware specifications, and most of the new software features, but today, Samsung finally confirmed everything during its Samsung Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. We also know when the phones will be available, what models there will be, what accessories they will come with, and finally how much they will cost.
In a nutshell, these devices are pretty similar to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ besides some minor hardware upgrades and a major camera upgrade. With the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810, you can expect around 30% faster performance compared to last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895. With the new variable f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture camera, the camera will take great shots in both good and poor lighting conditions. Launching with Android 8.0 Oreo, the phone will offer the best of Google’s new software features such as picture-in-picture mode, support for the Autofill API, notification channels and snoozing, stricter background apps and service limitations for better battery life and memory usage, and much more. In addition, Samsung Experience 9.0 brings an overhauled keyboard app, new Edge Lighting effects, more lock screen customization, and a few new features unique to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ Specifications
|Galaxy S9||Galaxy S9+|
|Display Size||5.8” QHD+ (2960×1440) sAMOLED 18.5:9||6.2” QHD+ (2960×1440) sAMOLED 18.5:9|
|Glass Type||Gorilla Glass 5||Gorilla Glass 5|
|Display Color Palette||HDR10||HDR10|
|System-on-chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810|
|Storage Capacity||64GB/128GB/256GB + Micro SD Card slot (up to 400GB)||64GB/128GB/256GB + Micro SD Card slot (up to 400GB)|
|Speaker System||AKG Tuned stereo speakers||AKG Tuned stereo speakers|
|Headphone Jack||Yes, 3.5mm||Yes, 3.5mm|
|Front Camera||8MP front camera with auto focus||8MP front camera with auto focus|
|Rear Camera||12MP with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable aperture||12MP with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable aperture + 12MP zoom lens f/2.4|
|Battery Capacity||3,000 mAh battery||3,500 mAh battery|
|Fast Charging||Yes, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging||Yes, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging|
|Biometrics||Iris, Facial, and fingerprint recognition||Iris, Facial, and fingerprint recognition|
|Water and Dust Resistance||IP68||IP68|
|Software||Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0||Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0|
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ Camera Upgrades
Samsung has been putting all of their focus on the camera, and the upgrades they’ve presented are proof of that. The Galaxy S9 is using Samsung’s new variable aperture technology that will allow the camera to intelligently switch between an aperture better for day time shots, f/2.4, and an aperture better for low light and night time shots, f/1.5. Doing so also helps reduce noise in low light pictures which is currently a problem with many smartphone cameras. The Galaxy S9’s bigger brother, the Galaxy S9+, has the same variable aperture camera but also adds a 12MP zoom lens. The second lens can be used for Samsung’s live focus mode which is just normal portrait mode that allows you to adjust the background blur after you take the picture.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus house support for Google’s Project Treble—the system expected to help OEMs deliver faster updates—according to a recent report. SamMobile broke the news earlier today, only a short time after we learned that the Oreo update on the Galaxy S8 would not support the new initiative.
Project Treble aims to help manufacturers roll out updates in a quicker fashion by providing a way for component makers and Android manufacturers to work on parts of the system independently, meaning less time and resources spent ensuring compatibility. It should work on any device running Android Oreo out of the box, though companies can also implement support on devices that are upgraded to Oreo from a previous version.
Samsung sometimes takes half a year or more to update its flagship phones following a new Android version. With Project Treble in place, the company should be much faster to get the S9 and S9 Plus up and running with Android P when it launches later this year.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ Pricing, Colors, and Availability
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are coming in 2 new colors: Lilac Purple and Titanium Gray. That is in addition to the two colors that existed for the Galaxy S8, Midnight Black and Coral Blue, making a total of 4 color variants. The Coral Blue color seems a little bit darker than the baby blue color that was used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S8.
In the United States, pre-orders will begin on March 2nd, 2018. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Xfinity Mobile will be carrying the devices in stores starting March 16th as will Best Buy retail and online, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart. Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will only carry the device in Midnight Black, whereas the others will carry it in Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, and Coral Blue.
The device will also be available direct from Samsung for $719.99 for $30/month for 24 months (Galaxy S9) or for $839.99 for $35/month for 24 months financing (Galaxy S9+). Trade-ins will begin on March 2nd, and those who pre-order can save up to $350 with a qualifying trade-in.
Here’s the pricing by carrier:
|Carrier||Galaxy S9||Galaxy S9+|
|AT&T||$790.20 or $26.34 per month for 30 months ($790.20)||$915 or $30.50 per month for 30 months ($915)|
|Verizon||$800 or $33.33 per month for 24 months ($800)||$930 or $38.74 per month for 24 months ($930)|
|T-Mobile||$720 or $30 per month for 24 months ($720)||$840 or $30 per month for 24 months with a $120 down payment ($840)|
|Sprint||$792 or $33 per month for 24 months ($792)||$912 or $38 per month for 24 months ($912)|