The Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ were officially unveiled on February 25 at Mobile World Congress 2018. At that time, Samsung detailed pricing and availability for the two devices in multiple regions, but India was left out as the company opted to hold a dedicated launch event for the flagship phones in the country. At an event in New Delhi on Tuesday, Samsung officially launched its 2018 flagship smartphones in India, with prices starting from Rs. 57,900 ($893) and going all the way to Rs. 72,900. The phones will go on sale on March 16.
Pricing and availability
Samsung has launched the 64GB and 256GB storage variants of the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ in India. The Galaxy S9’s pricing starts at Rs. 57,900 ($893) for the 64GB variant, and goes up to Rs. 65,900 ($1017) for the 256GB variant. On the other hand, the Galaxy S9+’s pricing starts at Rs. 64,900 ($1001) for the 256GB variant and goes up to Rs. 72,900 ($1125) for the 256GB variant. The company hasn’t launched the 128GB storage variant of these phones in India.
It’s worth noting that the prices for the 64GB variants of the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ are exactly the same as the launch prices of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ in India. This means that the official prices still remain higher than US prices.
Pre-orders for the phones are now live on Flipkart, retail outlets, and from Samsung Shop. They will be available on March 16 at select retail stores and will be online exclusives on Samsung Shop and Flipkart. They will come in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple.
The Galaxy S9 and the S9+ will come with many launch offers. Users will get Rs. 6000 cashback if they use the ‘No Cost EMI’ for HDFC bank debit and credit card users, or if they pay the entire amount using HDFC credit cards. The other launch offers include a Rs. 6000 cashback in Paytm Mall on purchases made online and offline, and mobile data offers from Airtel, Jio and Vodafone. Also, Samsung is offering a Rs 6000 in exchange for an old eligible Samsung smartphone.
It’s important to note that the Indian variants of the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ will come with the Exynos 9810 system-on-chip. This makes them different from the US variants, which will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The differences between the two SoCs are pronounced, with the Snapdragon 845 relying on semi-custom Kryo 385 “Performance” and Kryo 385 “Efficiency” cores, while the Exynos 9810 has fully custom Exynos M3 performance cores and ARM Cortex-A55 efficiency cores. The Exynos 9810’s eight CPU cores are paired with the Mali-G72MP18 GPU.
The rest of the specifications and the software features of the phones have been detailed in our launch article and in our hands-on article respectively. The Galaxy S9 has 4GB of RAM, whereas the Galaxy S9+ has 6GB of RAM. The differences also extend to the camera, as the Galaxy S9 has a single rear camera, while the Galaxy S9+ has dual rear cameras with a 12MP primary camera and a 12MP secondary camera with a telephoto lens. Both phones’ primary cameras have dual apertures and “Super slow-motion” recording.
The Galaxy S9 and the S9+ have been launched in India at a time when Samsung is facing increased competition in the Indian smartphone market. It’s no longer the top smartphone vendor in the country, and even in the premium segment, it’s facing competition from the likes of Apple and OnePlus.
It remains to be seen how well the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ perform in India. Their predecessors were hugely popular phones, and if they manage to follow in their footsteps, Samsung India will be on its way to recapturing the top spot of the market.