Yesterday, February 15th 2018, Samsung officially announced the highly leaked and speculated Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. These are the companies 2018 flagship devices. These two phones are available March 19th and up for preorder today! Samsung for years has had their flagship galaxy S release date schedules for Q1 based on Mobile World Congress (MWC). This is where they used to announce their new flagship devices each year. However, since 2014 Samsung, and every major OEM, has opted to have their own exclusive launch event. An event that highlights their soon to be released flagship devices. Samsung this year has also sent out demo units to the press and tech reviewers prior to launch, to get their posts and videos up as soon as Samsung lifted their news embargo.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 plus are an iteration to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus that were released last year in 2017. This continues to follow the trend that we have seen year after year. A trend of small spec bumps and minor improvements (S6 to S7), followed by a large design change every two years (S7 to S8). This is the same approach that Apple takes with their devices. Lunching their S line (6 to 6s) in-between large design changes (5 to 6), that only offers internal upgrades.
The S9 and S9 Plus saw a jump in performance with the new Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB/6GB of ram, and 64GB of base storage with the ability to expand up to 400GB! Samsung has slightly improved the speakers, adding in 'Dolby Atmos Surround Sound' and a forward firing speaker in the earpiece. A small speaker improvement, and still nothing that compares to the Razor Phones duel front facing speakers. Samsung has also added in their iris scanning and other biometric authentication features over from the Galaxy Note line into these two devices. Alongside the fingerprint scanner, of course. The fingerprint scanner has been moved from its widely disparaged placement next to the camera on the Galaxy S8, to directly below the camera in the S9 and S9+. A great move, in my opinion. Creating a more natural experience when using the fingerprint scanner.
However, the biggest improvement and what everyone is buzzing about is the new camera system. The S9 Plus has added in a duel camera system, while the S9 keeps its single camera. But, this isn't what all of the talk is about. Samsung has done something crazy. They were able to add in a variable aperture lens. This is compared to every other phone system that has a fixed aperture lens system. The easiest way to visualize and understand what this means is by comparing it to your eyes. Your pupils dilate and constrict based on the lighting conditions, to either let in more light when its dark or to let in less light when its bright. Samsung has created a system that dynamically changes based on its surroundings to hopefully give you a better crisper picture! This is revolutionary and I cant wait to see where software updates and iterations take this new technology! Samsung also upgraded the video experience, adding in 960fps slowmo video at 720p.
Should You Upgrade?
Well...that depends on a couple factors. I would not suggest for anyone who currently owns a Galaxy S8/S8+ to upgrade. That is because the S9/S9+ upgrades are so incremental and negligible compared to the device that you already own. And shelling out another $719.99 for the base unlocked Galaxy S9 or $839.99 for the base unlocked Galaxy S9+ just wouldn't make sense. However, I do think that if you were on the fringe of upgrading from an older android device or still own the Galaxy S7 this would be an exciting upgrade for you.