Samsung Galaxy S9 full review
Smartphone season 2018 is well underway with several announcements from MWC over the past few days. Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9, was one of the bigger announcements at the show and is set to be one of the biggest phones of the year.
The S9 really looks like more of an S8.5, rather than a new phone. There have been some design tweaks, but the average consumer would probably struggle to tell the two apart when looking at them separately. We considered the S8 the best phone of last year, so it’s going to be hard to improve on it without a major evolution in design.
The OnePlus 5T offers fantastic value for money, punching far above it’s weight for it’s relatively conservative price tag, comparing very favourably with top tier phones.
Let’s do some comparing.
This difference in price here can’t be ignored as it is substantial. The OnePlus 5T has always had fantastic value for money, as it offers top tier smartphone features for something closer to a mid-range price.
With the S9 you really are paying for quality, and considering how good the S8 was, it’s almost certainly going to be money well spent.
The display on the S9 hasn’t changed from the S8 at all, so it remains 5.8in on the regular model, jumping up to 6.2in on the S9+. The display also remains the curved infinity display that was at home on the S8.
The aspect ratio is still Samsung’s favourite of 18.5:9, Quad HD+ resolution and Super AMOLED technology. It’s still going to be one of the best screens on the market, without question.
In comparison, the OnePlus 5T uses a 6.01in Optic AMOLED panel with a 1080x2160 resolution to create a 18:9 aspect ratio.
While the 5T’s display is nothing to be sniffed it, it can’t quite keep up with the S9 in terms of quality.
Processor, memory and storage
With a new flagship phone, comes a brand new processor. The S9 is fitted with the Exynos 8910 chip, which is an octa-core chip with four cores at 1.7Ghz, and the faster four now sitting at 2.7Ghz.
Just as with the S8, the S9 will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The OnePlus 5T houses the Snapdragon 835 processor that we’ll be seeing on some Android phones this year but the 845 is the latest model. It also features 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space.
Realistically, both of these phones are more than capable of handling anything you throw at them. Their specifications aren’t that far away from desktop PCs, so for browsing Instagram and listening to music you’re going to be fine on these phones.
However the 5T does win out here considering the huge gap in price, it offers very similar hardware to the S9.
The biggest change between the S8 and the S9 is infact the upgrade in camera technology.
Sadly you’ll have to get the S9+ to get the dual-camera setup, but the S9’s camera still takes a leap forward. It’s still a 12Mp with 1.4m pixels and OIS, but now comes with adjustable aperture that can switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5 depending on the conditions, which makes in the fastest of any phone currently on the market.
The camera on the S9 has a whole lot of additional features that you can check out in our hands on here, but it’s safe to say that it’s the phone to get if camera quality is important to you.
The 5T’s camera, unlike it’s hardware and performance, lets it down slightly here. It contains two sensors, the main being a 16Mp with f/1.7 aperture and a secondary with 20Mp and f/1.7 aperture. The phone functions very well in low light conditions, but sadly struggled to keep up with other phones from the last generation – which suggests that the imrpovements found in the S9 should put further behind still.
Regardless, the camera in the 5T is far from poor, and you can read more about it in our hands on here.
The battery life between the two phones is respectable, as you would expect. The S9 holds the same battery as the S8, and offers fast charging via the USB-C port along with wireless charging.
The OnePlus 5T’s battery certainly holds it’s own as well, and the Dash Charge feature remains a great addition even if it only works with the supplier cable and brick.
Both of them put in a solid performance on the battery power side.
Samsung Galaxy S9: Specs
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 5.8in Quad HD+ (2960x1440) 18.5:9 SuperAMOLED Infinity Display
- Exynos 9810 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- microSD card slot (up to 400GB)
- 12Mp rear-facing camera with OIS and f/1.5
- 8Mp front camera
- Pressure sensitive home button
- Fingerprint scanner (rear mounted)
- Heart rate monitor
- 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX
- 4G LTE Cat 16
- Headphone jack
- 3000mAh non-removable battery
- Wireless charging
- IP68 dust & waterproof rating