Samsung unpacked the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ flagship duo in Barcelona MWC meet recently. The new devices are helming Samsung’s 2018 smartphone portfolio with new hardware but old looks. Both S9 and S9+ retain the familiar glass-sandwich design with water-proofing, aluminum frame, curved Gorilla glasses, and everything. Samsung has trimmed the screen bezels a bit and thus both phones have smaller footprints than their respective predecessors. The minor changes in the design include a well-hidden iris scanner, a properly placed fingerprint reader, and a changed grille for the bottom speaker.
The specifications of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 plus
The Infinity Super AMOLED screens are here to stay, both with Quad HD resolution. The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8″ big screen, while the Galaxy S9+ opts for a 6.2″ unit – just like last year. Samsung promises even deeper blacks than before, whatever that means for an OLED screen.
Both the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will run on the latest Exynos 9810 everywhere but North America and China. The new SoC has an octa-core processor with a quartet of third-gen Mongoose cores at 2.8GHz and a quartet of Cortex-A55 at 1.7GHz. There is an 18-core Mali-G72 GPU and 4GB (S9) or 6GB (S9+) of RAM.
The latest Qualcomm chipset – Snapdragon 845 – will power the duo in North America in China. It has an octa-core Kryo 385 processor, Adreno 630 GPU, and the same RAM – 4 gigs for the S9 and 6 gigs on the S9+.
Camera specs in both the smartphones
The camera is where the new Galaxies have seen the biggest lift. The 12MP main camera on both phones is now capable of variable aperture – you can choose between f/1.5 and f/2.4. There is optical stabilization, and dual pixel phase-detect autofocus. Unfortunately, the LED flash is staying single for another year. The selfie shooter is borrowed straight from the S8 – an 8MP one with f/1.7 lens and autofocus. The Galaxy S9+ is exclusively getting a secondary telephoto camera – the same as on the Note8. It’s a 12MP sensor with f/2.4 lens, OIS, and dual-pixel AF.
Both smartphones support 4K at 60fps capturing in the new HEVC format, as well as 720p slow-mo recording at 960 fps – just like the most recent Sonys Xperia XZ2 phones. One major difference between the Xperias and the Galaxy S9 smartphones is the automatic event detection and with the slow-mo has a quicker cool down time. Also Samsung offers easy editing of those clips, including one-click gif export.
Both Galaxy S9 and S9+ come with a premium AKG by Harman stereo speaker setup with Dolby Atmos support. Samsung says those are 40% louder than the S8’s speaker.
The S9 duo runs on Android Oreo with the latest Grace UX. There is new support of AR Emojis, improved KNOX, and Intelligent Scan security making use of the iris scanner and face unlock at the same time. The batteries of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the same as on the S8 and S8+, no updates here.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ launched in March 2018comes in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, and Lilac Purple.
Prices and carriers of Samsung Galaxy new smartphones
Interestingly, the S9 and S9+ are cheaper at launch in Canada than their predecessors were last year, when the S8 went for CAD 1,035 and the S8+ commanded a price of CAD 1,115. The Canadian versions use the Snapdragon 845 chipset like those intended for the US, and not Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 which can be found in devices sold elsewhere. The color versions available in Canada are Lilac Purple and Titanium Gray.
You can pre-order the unlocked S9 for CAD 959.99 or the S9+ for CAD 1,099.99 from the likes of Best Buy or Samsung’s own online store. Those are the official prices for the country, by the way. Until April 8, if you trade in your old phone at Samsung’s store, you can get a minimum of CAD 100 off in addition to the trade-in value.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 plus at Rogers
The only carriers right now offering these smartphones are Rogers and Fido. Rogers will ask you for CAD 249 for the S9 on a two-year Premium+ Tab plan, and CAD 379 for the S9+ on the same contract. That plan’s lowest option ranges from CAD 87 to CAD 130 depending on data and province. You can also pay more upfront if you select another plan, which will be cheaper each month.
Rogers will give you up to CAD 150 off with a qualifying trade-in (the minimum value is CAD 25). You also get a free wireless charger if you get the phone with a plan. All the plans were as at the time of writing and can be subject to change so visit the carrier website to check the latest prices and plans.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 plus at Fido
Fido will sell you the S9 for CAD 999 without a contract, and the S9+ for CAD 1,129 in the same arrangement. If you’d rather have a two-year agreement on a Large plan, then the S9 is CAD 449 upfront, while the S9+ will set you back CAD 579. Here too if you opt for a cheaper monthly plan (like Medium or Small) you pay more upfront – up to CAD 669 for the S9 and CAD 799 for the S9+. If you trade-in an old phone before April 9, you can get CAD 150 off from Fido. All the plans were as at the time of writing and can be subject to change so visit the carrier website to check the latest prices and plans.