Samsung Galaxy S9

8.7/10 AVG.
RATING



8.7/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S9 currently has an Informr score of 8.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 51 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Unless you already own the Samsung Galaxy S8, the S9 offers an experience you won’t find with many other phones on the market. Whether you’re looking to play games, take pictures, or simply have a phone that will last all day without worrying about charging, the Samsung has you covered… albeit for a premium price.

What's good

  • Blazing performance
  • Sleek design
  • IP68 waterproofing
  • Great low-light camera performance
  • All-day battery life
  • Rapid charging
  • microSD card support
  • Front-facing stereo speakers

What's bad

  • Bloatware
  • Glass front and back means you’ll want a case
  • Price
  • Not a significant upgrade over the S8 unless you want a better camera

While much of the competition is rethinking their designs or touting new features, Samsung’s latest release in their flagship series -- the Galaxy S9 -- is more of a refinement on their proven Galaxy S series formula than a whole new experience.

In fact, apart from Samsung placing the fingerprint scanner in a better spot just below the camera, most reviewers had trouble telling the S8 and S9 apart.

The phone features an aluminum frame wrapped in gorilla glass 5. It also has an IP68 rating while still keeping a 3.5mm headphone jack.

In all, it’s a slick looking device with tiny bezels, smooth curves and plenty of grip. However, you’ll want to use the case included with the phone -- or pick one up -- as all that glass means there’s shattering risks should you drop the phone.

Around front, the phone features a 5.8-inch 2560-by-1440 pixel Super AMOLED display flanked by stereo speakers. As is typical with Samsung’s displays, there were no complaints. Plenty of contrast and inky blacks from the AMOLED and tons of detail thanks to the resolution. There was also no problem with sunlight visibility.

With Dolby Atmos support and custom tuning, the audio also impressed. If you’re looking to stream movies or play games, the Galaxy S9 has you covered.

Depending on your region, the phone uses an Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 processor. Paired with 4GB of RAM, the phone offers the power to multitask or play the latest games with no issues. 

You’ll find 64GB of storage. However, if you need more, microSD support for cards up to 400GB makes adding more room for your apps and media fast and affordable.

The phone ships with Android 8.0. While this is behind the current Android 8.1, the software includes the latest security updates at the time of writing. Reviewers also predict that it will see an update to Android P.

Software was one of the few complaints about the phone. While changes to the interface itself are minimal, Samsung includes copies of their own apps for a range of redundant functions. Worse still, most are difficult to disable and eat up resources in the background even if you don’t use them.

As one of the first obvious improvements you’ll see from the previous generation, the 12MP rear camera features a market-first -- a variable f/1.5 aperture to improve low-light performance. It also has optical image stabilization and Super Speed Dual Pixel technology. The later adds dedicated memory to the camera to speed up capture times and improve performance.

So how does all this fancy marketing speak add up? Reviewers universally raved about the camera -- especially in low light. It captures images near instantly. Details come out crisp with accurate colors and excellent depth of field. In low-light, you get noise-free shots with excellent contrast. Many reviewers call it the smartphone camera to beat so far for the year.

The 8MP front-facing lens was well-received too. Though, the 3D emoji feature on the phone didn’t fare. Still, this is a niche use. The camera is plenty capable for a quick video chat or selfie session.

A 3,000mAh battery provides enough juice to last a day with no problems -- even with heavy use. You’ll also find top offs convenient with the USB Type-C fast charging adapter included in the box. For added flexibility, the phone also supports Qi wireless charging.

Overall, the S9 appears to be yet another example why Samsung is one of the biggest names in smartphones. Ausdroid says, “I have little hesitation in saying this is the best phone you can buy in 2018 and might be for some time.” Recombu says, “If you already own last year’s S8, we’d say take a pass… However, if you’re tempted by a Galaxy and you have money to burn, we’d say go right ahead. The Galaxy S9 is a sexy, lovable bundle of seriously premium tech, and it should certainly stand the test of time.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.8 GHz
Screen Size
5.8"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Android Central

Three months after I first reviewed it, the Galaxy S9+ feels now exactly as it did back then. Its strengths remain, and its initial shortcomings still have the propensity to annoy.

- Andrew Martonik, Android Central
Reviewed

The newest Samsung Galaxy phones are among the best the industry has to offer at the moment. They aced all of our performance tests, offer a top-of-the-line camera experience, and play the part of a premium phone perfectly when it comes to the look-and-feel factor.

- Michael Desjardin, Reviewed
ZDNet

For me, the Galaxy S9 does a lot of things right. Considering the display, the camera, overall performance, and flexibility of Android the Galaxy S9 is a top-notch phone. But poor battery life left me with frustration, and on one occasion, without a phone for an entire evening in a completely differ...

- Jason Cipriani, ZDNet
Digit

All things combined, the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes across more of an iteration of last year’s innovation than a step forward towards the future.It’s futuristic design will surely catch the eyes of onlookers but more often than not, it will be mistaken for the older Galaxy S8.

- Subhrojit Mallick, Digit
T3

Viewed in snapshot, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is simply a refined version of last year's S8, with an almost identical hardware suite packed into that lush slab of metal and glass. However, look closer and you see that the Samsung S9 not only delivers a standout, party-piece camera system, but also a sel...

- Robert Jones, T3


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy S9 on March 16, 2018.


The Galaxy S9 price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Samsung Galaxy S9 prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S9 user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy S9 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy S9 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.8"

The Samsung Galaxy S9's screen size is 5.8 inches with 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 845 Octa core 2.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/128/256 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 400 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1860 minutes, 480 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S9 Specs

Overview
Release date March 16, 2018
Regions available USA, Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1700/1900 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/850 /2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 845 Octa core 2.8 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/128/ 256 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.63 W/kg
Body: 0.96 W/kg
Languages English, Spanish
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 1020 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 480 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 720 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1860 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 13.6 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Sunrise Gold, Burgundy Red
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 6.9 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.7 x 0.3 in)
Weight 163 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 67
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels
Pixel density 570 pixels
Size 5.8 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Infinity Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 400 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.5 - 2.4
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Smile detection, White balance, HDR, Slow motion recording, Time lapse
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Auto focus, f/1.7
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, OGG, WMA
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SM-G960

Also available in dual SIM variant.

Additional Sensors: Heart Rate Sensor, Barometer, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S9
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Critic Reviews


Android Central

Holding the high standard

from Android Central

Three months after I first reviewed it, the Galaxy S9+ feels now exactly as it did back then. Its strengths remain, and its initial shortcomings still have the propensity to annoy.

Read full review

Three months after I first reviewed it, the Galaxy S9+ feels now exactly as it did back then. Its strengths remain, and its initial shortcomings still have the propensity to annoy.

Read full review

Less

Reviewed

Tip-top hardware and predictably zippy performance

from Reviewed

The newest Samsung Galaxy phones are among the best the industry has to offer at the moment. They aced all of our performance tests, offer a top-of-the-line camera experience, and play the part of a premium phone perfectly when it comes to the look-and-feel factor.

Read full review

The newest Samsung Galaxy phones are among the best the industry has to offer at the moment. They aced all of our performance tests, offer a top-of-the-line camera experience, and play the part of a premium phone perfectly when it comes to the look-and-feel factor.

Read full review

Less

ZDNet

Not perfect, but still a stellar phone

from ZDNet

For me, the Galaxy S9 does a lot of things right. Considering the display, the camera, overall performance, and flexibility of Android the Galaxy S9 is a top-notch phone. But poor battery life left me with frustration, and on one occasion, without a phone for an entire evening in a completely different city.

Read full review

For me, the Galaxy S9 does a lot of things right. Considering the display, the camera, overall performance, and flexibility of Android the Galaxy S9 is a top-notch phone. But poor battery life left me with frustration, and on one occasion, without a phone for an entire evening in a completely different city.

Read full review

Less

Digit

Both powerful and ergonomic

from Digit

All things combined, the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes across more of an iteration of last year’s innovation than a step forward towards the future.It’s futuristic design will surely catch the eyes of onlookers but more often than not, it will be mistaken for the older Galaxy S8.

Read full review

All things combined, the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes across more of an iteration of last year’s innovation than a step forward towards the future.It’s futuristic design will surely catch the eyes of onlookers but more often than not, it will be mistaken for the older Galaxy S8.

Read full review

Less

T3

A refined Android flagship with show-stealing camera

from T3

Viewed in snapshot, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is simply a refined version of last year's S8, with an almost identical hardware suite packed into that lush slab of metal and glass. However, look closer and you see that the Samsung S9 not only delivers a standout, party-piece camera system, but also a...More

Viewed in snapshot, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is simply a refined version of last year's S8, with an almost identical hardware suite packed into that lush slab of metal and glass. However, look closer and you see that the Samsung S9 not only delivers a standout, party-piece camera system, but also a selection of innovative features and software that point towards a maturing of Samsung's approach to delivering a flagship Android experience.

Read full review

Less

BGR

Sheer technological superiority

from BGR

There are a couple of really good reasons to buy the Samsung Galaxy S9, the biggest of which is its size. The compact dimensions, comfortable form factor and overall quality of the package make a lot of sense.

Read full review

There are a couple of really good reasons to buy the Samsung Galaxy S9, the biggest of which is its size. The compact dimensions, comfortable form factor and overall quality of the package make a lot of sense.

Read full review

Less

Photography Blog

Very good, but there’s better available on the market

from Photography Blog

The S9’s native camera app is well-featured, with lots of different shooting modes, including the Pro mode to choose from. In an ideal world, we’d like to see raw format shooting available, especially given that the phone is aimed towards enthusiast photographers - but the same is true for the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2.

Read full review

The S9’s native camera app is well-featured, with lots of different shooting modes, including the Pro mode to choose from. In an ideal world, we’d like to see raw format shooting available, especially given that the phone is aimed towards enthusiast photographers - but the same is true for the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2.

Read full review

Less

Know Your Mobile

An amazing phone with plenty of power

from Know Your Mobile

All in all, the Galaxy S9 has one of the best photographic setups money can buy right now, but it's not quite as groundbreaking as Samsung would have you believe.

Read full review

All in all, the Galaxy S9 has one of the best photographic setups money can buy right now, but it's not quite as groundbreaking as Samsung would have you believe.

Read full review

Less

WhistleOut

Packed to the gills with tools and features

from WhistleOut

Samsung's latest Galaxy is probably its best, even if it's just a minor update on the winning formula we saw last year in the Galaxy S8. Which makes you wonder whether you should save a few bucks and buy last year's phone instead?

Read full review

Samsung's latest Galaxy is probably its best, even if it's just a minor update on the winning formula we saw last year in the Galaxy S8. Which makes you wonder whether you should save a few bucks and buy last year's phone instead?

Read full review

Less

Android Central

A battery short of perfection

from Android Central

Despite its less-than-stellar endurance, the Galaxy S9 reminds us why Samsung remains a staple in the Android lineup every year. It refines all of the Galaxy S8's accomplishments and improves on its flaws, fitting almost every headline feature imaginable into a phone that's readily available acro...More

Despite its less-than-stellar endurance, the Galaxy S9 reminds us why Samsung remains a staple in the Android lineup every year. It refines all of the Galaxy S8's accomplishments and improves on its flaws, fitting almost every headline feature imaginable into a phone that's readily available across all carriers without costing an arm and a leg compared to similar alternatives.

Read full review

Less



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