How should Samsung differentiate the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+?

Samsung Galaxy S8

Word on the street is that Samsung is planning on giving a little sneak peek of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January next year. But the company still plans on hosting a big unveiling event in March, so while next year's flagship might get a few photo shoots, it sounds like Samsung still wants to save most of the gory details for its own event.

And while that's interesting in its own right, the real heart of the story is that Samsung might be changing things up next year.

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will apparently be pretty similar to one another in most cases, like the overall design, but it also sounds like Samsung might be taking another cue from Apple when it comes to its own flagships in 2018. Specifically, a few key differences when comparing the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which haven't really been the case in previous models.

Like Google with its Pixel lineup, Samsung has made it so in recent years that its flagship Galaxy S smartphones are the same devices, specs wise, excluding the size of the displays. That was the only differentiator. The Galaxy S8 has a smaller display than the Galaxy S8+, but they have the same display technology and resolution. They have the same camera system up front and around back. Same RAM. You get the idea.

A leaked report from last week suggests that the Galaxy S9 will have more differentiating factors in place. The smaller phone will apparently have 4GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S9+ will have 6GB of RAM. They'll both have 64GB of built-in storage, at least.

Another key change will be the camera systems. Based on that report's information, the Galaxy S9+ will have a dual camera system installed on the back, similar to what's in place with the Galaxy Note 8. But the Galaxy S9 will just have a single camera on the back. This is basically the same tactic that Apple takes with the iPhone 8/8 Plus. If you don't want a larger display, you're also missing out on some key specification changes which you might otherwise want.

One of the biggest strengths, in my opinion, of both Google and Samsung has been that their flagships have been similar in broad strokes. What's more, I give even more credit to Samsung, because they make sure that their displays are the same, save for size, while Google puts the high-end display in the bigger smartphone.

If the rumor is true, I think this is a step backwards for Samsung. But obviously Samsung feels like they can make something happen if they implement these differences. And one has to wonder how much of a price difference the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will see due to the changes.

What do you think of the idea? Should Samsung be differentiating their flagship Galaxy S smartphones like Apple differentiates its own handsets? Or do you prefer the way things are handled now? Let me know!

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