Opinion

10 years of Samsung Galaxy S flagships: Looking back at the Galaxy S9!

Welcome to part nine of our 10 years of Samsung Galaxy S flagship series, in which we here at SamMobile talk about our experiences and memories of each of the nine Galaxy S flagships that have come before the Galaxy S10. Today, we look back at the Galaxy S9. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were improvements over the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, and the biggest improvement they brought was the location of the fingerprint sensor, which was relocated below the rear camera. We also got stereo speakers on a Galaxy flagship for the first time, and Samsung also implemented Dolby Atmos support for enhanced surround sound.

But the Galaxy S9 lineup also introduced a divide between the specs of the regular and Plus variants that hadn’t existed before. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 had a smaller screen and battery as expected, but it also missed out on a dual rear camera and had only 4GB of RAM. However, the Galaxy S9 did get all the main upgrades for the rear camera, such as Super Slow-mo video recording and the ability to switch between different apertures. It also got AR Emoji, a take on Apple’s Animoji that didn’t really work well enough.

On the software front, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ became the first Samsung phones with Project Treble support, which is standard on all devices that launch with Android Oreo or higher. That certainly helped Samsung bring the Pie update to the S9 duo considerably fast, so much so that some markets received Android Pie around Christmas despite the company having set January as the time frame for the final Pie update.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ didn’t do that great in the market, unfortunately, despite being excellent phones overall (the S9+ in particular). We loved them here at SamMobile, and today we talk about our experience with the S9 and S9+. We’d like to hear your thoughts and opinion on these phones as well, so don’t forget to leave a comment!

Abhijeet Mishra

I loved the Galaxy S9+ purely for the fact that the fingerprint reader was finally easier to use, as I didn’t like iris recognition because it’s a slower unlock process compared to fingerprint recognition. The S9+’ camera was great as well, and I liked how Samsung had used that Dual Aperture technology conservatively to improve pictures only when really needed. And it was nice to finally have stereo speakers, good ones at that. Samsung took its sweet time to bring stereo speakers to its flagships, but thankfully the implementation was worth the wait.

Adnan Farooqui

The Galaxy S9 didn’t bring any major changes in the design department. It wasn’t expected to in the first place as Samsung would evidently save the exciting stuff for its 10th anniversary flagship. However, it did make some meaningful changes under the hood. The Galaxy S9 got a fancy variable aperture rear camera and stereo speakers.

I still wasn’t convinced even though the camera had me reaching for my wallet. Since these improvements would be coming to the Galaxy Note 9, I decided to wait it out and opt for that instead. That’s exactly what I did and couldn’t be happier with the Galaxy Note 9. Upgrading from the Galaxy S8+ to the Galaxy Note 9 made more sense to me personally than just getting the Galaxy S9+. That being said, I would have probably ended up getting the Galaxy S9+ if I was upgrading from the Galaxy S7 edge.

Martin Reinders

Like Abhijeet, I loved the fact that the fingerprint sensor got positioned below the camera on the Galaxy S9. It’s in the perfect place and I use it all the time. I also liked the smaller bezels. Not a big change over the S8, and the competition is already ahead in this department, but it didn’t bother me.


Don’t forget: We want to hear about your fond memories and experience with the Galaxy S9 or S9+, so go ahead and get a discussion going in the comments!

  • Model: SM-G960F
  • Dimensions: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
  • Display: 5.8” (146.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9810
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS OIS (F1.5/F2.4)
  • Model: SM-G965F
  • Dimensions: 157.7 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm
  • Display: 6.2” (158.1mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9810
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS Dual OIS (F1.5/F2.4) & Telephoto: 12MP AF F2.4)

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taziraheem
taziraheem

Currently using this beautiful beast. I wanted to buy a Titanium grey colour but it wasn’t available where I live. hence opted for Black colour. this phone is great for my everyday usage. I watch movies, play games and more. One UI is great and makes the user experience more enjoyable. not planning to buy the next version of S series for the next couple of years.

tiljes
tiljes

It’s only 9 years. Gaöaxy S came out 2010. Now is 2019. 2019-2010=9.

torrellclement
torrellclement

The Galaxy SIII was my first Samsung phone. Then I got a Note3 in 2013. 2015 upgraded to S6 and then in 2016 I got the S7 edge. I was super impressed with the S7 edge until the S9 series debuted. I gotta say, I opted for the Galaxy S9+ shortly after release. It was the best innovation Samsung had to offer. Underwhelmed as some people think, but they probably own a Galaxy S8 or equivalent. I absolutely love the S9+ and with One UI, I’m dead for words. Majority of my family and friends own iPhones and they just… Read more »

marija
marija

Before I became a proud owner of a smaller of the 9th iteration of Galaxy flagships, I was suspicious and not satisfied enough with the amount of improvements after the great S8 knocked out the whole world of flagships with it’s specifications, looks and performance. I too thought it looks the same, some small upgrade camera wise and some stupid AR pictures that noone really cares about flooded 2/3 of Samsung’s presentation. Nah… Then I got a great deal from a carrier and took S9 for a really low price last November. And wow, it was worth it! Owning both… Read more »

djcbs
djcbs

S9 is a very nice phone. Definitely the prettier from Samsung’s line so far. Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned, it suffers from 3 major defects:
– Oversized
– Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
– Not really a huge jump in innovation from the S7.

Which is why I ditched it. And had Samsung done one of the S10 phones in line with the S9 but fixing only these 3 things, I would be certainly pre-ordering an S10 tomorrow.
Unfortunately, they missed that opportunity. Maybe with the S11, who knows…

Messibarca92
Messibarca92

Best phone ever okay until I see a better one….

locarno
locarno

“Don’t forget: We want to hear about your fond memories and experience with the Galaxy S8 or S8+, so go ahead and get a discussion going in the comments!”

Mistake. S9 or S9+ should be.

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

Was majorly disappointed with the s9. The smaller version should have been given the 6gb ram and dual camera.

Overall there were no reason for people to really pick the s9 over s8. Especially with the price difference

ZeneticX
ZeneticX

most underwhelming update of all S series I would say

GS7edge
GS7edge

Yeah and also an underrated phone but at least it is still the most beautiful phone out there where other OEMs already adopted notch+chin design