Samsung's Galaxy S flagships are typically some of the most hotly anticipated phones of the year, and now the latest model is officially official.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were announced today in Barcelona ahead of MWC 2018. As expected, the two phones look largely similar to last year's Galaxy S8 and S8+, but there are some changes that make the S9 and S9+ worthy upgrades.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ each feature a main 12MP rear camera with an adjustable aperture that can go from f/1.5 in low light to collect as much light as possible to f/2.4 in more ideal lighting conditions. Also included is super slow motion video capture a 960fps. The Galaxy S9+ features a second 12MP telephoto rear camera, as well, which is one of the handful of features that make the S9+ different from the S9.
Also on the back of the S9 and S9+ is a fingerprint reader. Rather than being on the right of the rear camera like on the S8 and S8+, though, the S9 and S9+'s fingerprint reader is below the camera, which ought to make it easier to reach and distinguish from the rear camera.
Another upgrade found on the S9 and S9+ is their stereo speakers. These speakers are tuned by AKG and should improve the entertainment experience of Samsung's flagship phones.
Samsung has also upgraded the processor in the Galaxy S9 and S9+, packing in a Snapdragon 845 in the US and a Samsung Exynos chipset in other countries. Also inside the Galaxy S9 is 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 3,000mAh battery. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S9+ is packing 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 3,500mAh battery.
Both phones feature an 8MP front-facing camera, IP68 water and dust resistance, a 3.5mm headphone jack, andan Intelligent Scan feature that uses iris scanning and face unlock to give you added security. When it comes to the display, the Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch 2960x1440 Super AMOLED screen while the S9+ has a 6.2-inch 2960x1440 Super AMOLED display.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ come preloaded with Android 8.0 Oreo and Samsung's custom user experience. That includes AR Emoji, Samsung's answer to Apple's Animoji that analyzes a 2D image of your face and maps out a 3D model with more than 100 facial features. Also included is the Bixby digital assistant, and as with the Galaxy S8, there's a dedicated button on the S9 and S9+ to call up Bixby no matter what you're doing with the phone.
Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be available for pre-order in the US starting March 2 and will launch on March 16. In addition to being available from carriers, the S9 and S9+ will be sold unlocked from Samsung for $719.99 and $839.99, respectively.
When it comes to color options, you'll be able to choose between Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, and Coral Blue.
While full-screen smartphone designs with slim bezels have become all the rage in the mobile world, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are still some of the best-looking phones on the market. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ keep that design alive while making some significant changes, like an easier-to-reach fingerprint reader and stereo speakers. Considering those upgrades and the other features of the S9 and S9+, these look like solid options for anyone in the market for a new Android smartphone in 2018.