Arguably the more interesting of the duo, the Galaxy S9+ is helming the new PR invasion as it's packing all new features Samsung could come up for this season. Trimmed bezels, hidden iris scanner, dual-camera with variable aperture, more RAM, jam-packed software suit. Yes, we have a lot to talk about.
The Galaxy S9+ is as beautiful and as big as the S8+ from last year. There is a tiny difference in the footprint thanks to the reduced bezels, but the 6.2" Infinity AMOLED is here to stay. Samsung says it somehow made the blacks even blacker, which just doesn't make sense in OLED, but once the words were in the air we somehow believed them. We'll see about that soon in our tests.
Anyway, the front is all screen, the Home key is a pressure-sensitive area beneath the screen, and the iris scanner is now invisible - just like on the S9. With this new almost uninterrupted front Samsung surely made the S9+ design as seamless as possible and it looks great, even though it's now just one big black glass when the screen is off.
While the Galaxy S9+ looks a lot like the S8+, there is one subtle but very welcome and long overdue change - stereo speakers. And Samsung wend all-in with those - the setup boasts AKK by Harman tech and has Dolby Atmos surround support just like the Axon 7. The company promises 40% raw boost in the loudness, and for what we heard - they sure sound like the best in business.Galaxy S9+ next to the Galaxy S9
Another subtle and easily missable change is the frame finish. Sure, it looks the same, but grippier it is. Just like with the S9, now it's much easier to pick the S9+ from a flat surface and it feels more secure in hand. The power key on the S9+ grew bigger, contrary to S9's shrunken button.
The back is where the real star of the show is. A brand new 12MP OIS camera with variable aperture, enhanced noise reduction and new video capturing capabilities, accompanied by a secondary 12MP sensor with telephoto lens and OIS.
Around is also the fingerprint scanner finally placed where it should have been years ago. It's very comfortable and blazing fast but also features a new setup mechanism which requires just one swipe instead of multiple taps. One swipe and you are good to go. We tried that and indeed it works as advertised sparing you all the tapping hassle.
Back to the camera - it got a whole lot of new features. The regular wide-angle snapper, also available on the S9, has optical stabilization and dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus, supports new 4-frame noise reduction, and you can use either bright f/1.5 or darker f/2.4 apertures.
There are new video recording capabilities such as 4K at 60 fps or slow-mo capturing with 960 fps. The slow-mo recording can be done manually or automatically, something Sony should have come up for its 960fps-cabpable phones since the beginning. But more on that later.Galaxy S9+ next to the Galaxy S9
The telephoto camera on the Galaxy S9+ is the same as seen on the Note8 - a 12MP sensor behind f/2.4 lens, optically stabilized, and supports dual-pixel PDAF. We are yet to see if it's capable of the same video modes as the primary cam or not.
The selfie snapper remains unchanged - an 8MP shooter behind f/1.7 lens and capable of autofocus.
It's easier to pick the Galaxy S9+ from a lineup as opposed to the S9, for what's worth. Some will argue appearance matters, and we won't be the ones opposing it. Yet, Apple has a good track record of design recycling working very well, so who are we to say Samsung could have done better.Galaxy S9+ next to the Galaxy S9
Yes, we wanted to see a new design, but the futuristic shape and it charisma haven't totally worn yet from the Galaxies, so we won't be dwelling on what ifs. The Galaxy S9+ is here with a familiar shape, but have a whole lot more within to brag about.