The Galaxy S9 is officially here – and it’s not much different from last year’s Galaxy S8.
Samsung’s newest flagship phone was announced Sunday and will arrive in stores March 16.
The Galaxy S9 features some exciting upgrades – notably a powerful, innovative camera and a faster processor – but it’s not a major upgrade from last year’s model. In fact, the Galaxy S8 is still an excellent phone that may even be worth buying instead of the S9.
Here are six reasons to consider the Galaxy S8 over the newer Galaxy S9.
1. The Galaxy S9 Plus is more expensive.
It’s slightly cheaper to buy the new Galaxy S9 through Samsung compared with last year’s Galaxy S8. The S9 starts at $720, whereas the S8 starts at $725.
That said, if you want the larger “plus” model of the phone, it’s the other way around. The Galaxy S9 Plus starts at $840, while the S8 Plus starts at $825.
For that extra money, you’re getting an upgraded camera, increased RAM, and a slightly bigger battery (which should equate to more battery life, though we haven’t tested the device yet). It’s not a huge difference in price, but you can save a bit and get a nearly identical experience by going with last year’s model.
2. The Galaxy S9 has the same screen as the Galaxy S8 in terms of size and resolution.
When it comes to the screen on the Galaxy S9, you’re not getting an upgrade in size or resolution.
Just like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch Amoled display and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The Galaxy S9 Plus has a 6.2-inch Amoled display and an 18:9 aspect ratio, same as the S8 Plus.
Visually, you’ll experience no difference between these phones.
3. The Galaxy S9’s design is nearly identical to the Galaxy S8’s.
There aren’t many major design differences between the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9.
Both phones feature a reflective glass back, an aluminum strip along the edge, and a rear fingerprint sensor – though Samsung shifted the S9’s sensor to below the camera rather than next to it, which should be slightly more intuitive and comfortable.
There are, however, a few slight changes in size and weight. The Galaxy S9 is heavier than the Galaxy S8 (163 grams versus 155 grams) as well as a bit shorter and wider.
Otherwise, the two phones are almost exactly the same from the outside.
4. Both the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 support wireless charging and fast charging.
- Hollis Johnson
Both the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 support wireless charging and can handle fast charging with either wired or wireless chargers.
Wireless chargers don’t come with the phones, however. Samsung makes a few wireless-charging stands that work with any smartphone capable of wireless charging, not just Samsung devices.
The downside is that charging stands can cost anywhere from $40 to $70, which is an extra factor in choosing a device.
5. Both phones have incredible — and nearly identical — battery life.
- Hollis Johnson
The Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 have the same powerful battery capacity: 3,000 mAh for the standard models and 3,500 mAh for the plus models.
When it comes to battery life, there’s not a major difference. The standard Galaxy S8 offers 20 hours of talk time compared with the Galaxy S9’s 22 hours, and 44 hours of MP3 audio playback versus 48 hours.
In terms of video playback and WiFi use, the two phones are identical at 16 hours and 14 hours.
6. The Galaxy S8 comes in more color options than the Galaxy S9.
There are six color options for the Galaxy S8, though there are limits on which you can buy depending on where you live and what carrier you choose.
The Galaxy S9 comes in only three colors for now: lilac purple, midnight black, and coral blue.