Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: An Almost Perfect Smartphone
An almost perfect smartphone? Yes, when I came up with the title of this review it surprised me that I would say such a thing about the S9+. Why so much praise for a device that really isn’t much different from the Galaxy S8 & S8+? I’ll explain further why I came to that conclusion, but before I do, I want to set the expectations for this review. If you’re reading this review you most likely have read others and already know plenty about the S9+.
With that being the case it must mean that either one, you are really interested in this phone, or two, you are still on the fence about it and are searching for more feedback. If you fall into either of these categories then you might want to continue reading. I’m going to talk about the things I liked and didn’t like without spitting out specs like its a rap. Unbiased, simple, straightforward, and hopefully a fresh perspective for some.
6.2″ AMOLED Display
1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 aspect ratio
IP68 Water Resistance
Dual 12MP Rear Cameras, 8MP Front
3500 mAh battery
Android 8.0 Oreo
Iris & Fingerprint Scanner
64 GB|128GB*|256GB* of Storage W/ microSD, up to 400 GB
* 128GB| 256GB Models Coming May 18th
Design & Build
I’ve always appreciated a well-built smartphone, and with the S9+ I get exactly what I want. This phone doesn’t disappoint with its beautiful glass back and near bezel-less AMOLED infinity display. Though I had the near same build with the S8 I was quickly reminded how good Samsung is at producing some killer hardware. The model I was provided came in lilac purple, which at first I didn’t like but after a bit, it really grew on me. I know I’m weird like that but props to Samsung for taking risks with different colors. Continuing on with the design I was happy to experience being able to reach the fingerprint sensor without hitting my camera all the time. Thank you, Samsung for listening to users complaints from the S8 and moving the sensor to under the camera. Another change to hardware that I want to praise Samsung for was adding front-facing speakers to the S9+. Listening to audio and consuming content has become more enjoyable on a Samsung device.
Let’s be honest here, Samsung phones have more features than Facebook has privacy issues. It’s too many to keep up with. Here are a few features I used, hated, and liked.
If this was in the dictionary it would say something like “Painful to look at” or “Why”? Yes, AR Emoji is an absolute hot mess. While I can see how Samsung wanted to make it fun and interesting they, unfortunately, missed the mark by a lot. Maybe there are a few people out there who love and if that’s the case more power to them.
I can’t give much feedback here but in the three times that I tried to use it Bixby never fully understood the commands or just gave me the wrong results. Though many reviewers have noticed improvements I would say that any improvements made haven’t made it a game changer.
Yes, at this point I consider it a feature. It’s rare to find a phone that has one and I’m glad that Samsung has kept it around with the S9+. I’m able to use my headphones without having to carry an adapter which has actually felt odd but one that I am welcome too.
I am no professional photographer so don’t take my feedback here completely to the bank. While Samsung says it has the best smartphone camera I still struggle to see it. Yes, the S9+ takes great photos and it has the best camera on any Samsung phone but I still believe that the Pixel 2 XL has a slight edge on overall photo processing and quality. One area I was very impressed with though was the S9+’s ability to handle low light photos. I got some great shots and was happy with the overall performance. Keeping it straight and simple, it has a great camera and most people will be very happy with it.
Unfortunately in this area, I feel like Samsung could have done a bit better. Though the S9+ has a 3,500 mAH battery I still found myself charging my phone in the evening time and sometimes by late afternoon. Keep in mind that I am a heavy daily user and with this being the case, I have tested other devices that have provided me with better battery life.
No issues here. The S9+ has 6GB of RAM and handled everything I threw its way like a champ. Even after a few weeks of usage, I have not had any performance issues with gameplay or media consumption. On some occasions, I have experienced some freezes but that’s always expected when using a Samsung device.
Pros and Cons
Gorgeous Design & Screen
Decent Battery Life
Bixby (Including Bixby Button)
Why do I call this a near perfect smartphone? Here are my reasonings. It’s a full package and with the S9+ you get great features such as:
- Beautiful design and display
- Wireless charging
- Water resistance
- Headphone jack
- Front facing speakers
When you really look at everything on paper it’s a phone with features that most people want and desire to have on their smartphones. All of this is put together into one phone that looks really good. What else could you ask for? Well, personally I would’ve like to have had better battery life and a better software experience. I’m not a fan of TouchWiz and I don’t think I ever will be. Either way, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a great smartphone and it’s one that I would recommend to anyone looking for a feature-packed phone.
Would I recommend that S8/S8+ users upgrade? No, this phone isn’t worth the upgrade. The improvements from the S8 are only minor and not worth upgrading to. However, if you own an S7 or another Android device then the S9+ is definitely worth looking into. You can get it in three different colors which are Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, and Coral Blue starting at $839.99. Also, a quick thank you to Verizon Wireless for providing us with this unit. Want to be the tech reviewer? Use the stars below and rate the S9 + for yourself! Also, comment below with the things you like and don’t like about the phone.