If you closely follow what's going on in the mobile tech realm, you know every February-March is right around the time of year Samsung are the first out the gate to unveil their newest market impacting flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S series. Well it seems Samsung has stuck to script when they unveiled their new Galaxy S9 and S9-Plus a few weeks. Now If you're the current owner of the Galaxy S8 series you may feel compelled to upgrade to the next gen iteration, but should you?
Not everyone feels the need purchase a smartphone every 12 months. With smartphones now crossing the $1,000 price tag barrier (Ahh Apple, yes you), it's safe to say the average consumer would rather extend the smartphones life cycle that goes beyond year.
For the sake of this post, lets assume at this moment you're the current owner of the Samsung Galaxy S8-Plus, which by the way is still an impressive smartphone, but will the new features and hardware upgrade entice you to purchase the new Galaxy S9+? Maybe outlining the smartphones design, hardware and features might impact your decision. Read along.
About that Design
It seems as though Samsung has made incremental changes to Galaxy S9-Plus design, those changes are still noticeable to the naked eye. If you turn the device around, the rear is quite similar to the Galaxy S8-Plus. As far as the fingerprint sensor goes, which by the way did draw some controversy, it seems as though Samsung listened to consumer outcry's as it is now correctly centered directly under the camera, making it easily accessible.
The Galaxy S9-Plus entire structure is somewhat different from the last generation device. The glass portion of the device is said to be 20% thicker, and metallic casing is made from 7000 series aluminum, making it more structurally sound, still, I'd advise you purchase a smartphone case, you just never know when disaster will unfold.
In terms of overall dimensions, the both S9-Plus is a tad short and narrower than last year's model, with the height being reduced by 1.2mm and a half millimeter thick. If you really take a keen examination of the bezel, it is also reduced by about 0.48 mm, with the bottom bezel being reduced by about 1mm. All and all, with the S9-Plus you have a more compact smartphone.
Then there's the hardware
When it comes to the Galaxy S9-Plus hardware, I'd say the biggest upgrade is the processor. It's powered by Qualcom's newest SnapDragon 845 processor (US and China) other market participates will receive the Exynos 9810 processor. The processor upgrade of course means you should overall have increased performance. Unfortunately the only real upgrade is the processor, there is still 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage (SD Card slot expansion up to 400GB).
Big changes to the camera
Probably the biggest changes to Galaxy S9-Plus and even the S9 is the camera. Seriously, the camera alone can make a good case to upgrade to next generation device as the image capturing technology is impressive. In examining the specs in depth, the primary rear camera features a fast Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with industry standard optical image stabilization (OIS). The camera also features dedicated image processing engine that can actually combine 12 images into one high quality image which should improve noise reduction.
With all the camera specs and features I just mentioned, probably the most standout is Samsung's own Dual Aperture f/ 1.5 - f/ 2.4 lens that's featured not only on the S9-Plus, but also on the S9. How this feature operate, instead of having a fixed aperture, which is found on just about every smartphone on the market, the Dual Aperture setup can automatically adjust to allow more light through the lens when shooting images in dimly lit areas, or less light when there's too much light or over exposure. This all ensures that users capture sharp crisp images.
Adding to what's already stacked with impressive features, Samsung introduces the new Super Slow-mo capture mode to its camera, enabling users to record footage as high as 960 fps. The automatic Motion Detection feature that's present can a setup shot that's already captured by the user and then automatically begin to record.
The Display is still best in the business
If there's one thing Samsung have the edge in this competitive world of mobile gadgetry is it's display. Quite honestly I don't know any smartphone manufacturer that comes even close. The iPhone X beautifully bright display believe it or not is courtesy of Samsung. The Super AMOLED Infinity display on Galaxy S9-Plus still retains its 2960 x 1440 screen resolution, which by the way is a good thing.
Well the bottom, should you upgrade to the Galaxy S9 Plus?
If you currently own the Galaxy S7 or other branded smartphones that's much older, upgrading to the Galaxy S9-Plus makes a lot of sense, the smartphone brings a ton a features to the table that includes Dual apertures, which if I'm not mistaken it is an industry first, a much faster and new Snapdragon 845 processor and a fingerprint sensor that's placed right below the camera where it should have been all along. But if you're the casual consumer who's currently rocking the Galaxy S8-Plus or even the Note 8-Plus as your daily driver, features on the S9-Plus in comparison don't really standout as much, for me I basically view it as minor improvements.
Are the features and hardware upgrade (processor and camera) enough to make the immediate purchase of the Galaxy S9-Plus ? Tell me what you think, your comments are welcome in the box below or via social media.