Consumer Reports impressed by Galaxy S9 and S9+ durability, speed, and sound
Samsung’s efforts to make the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ faster and more durable and equipping them with fantastic stereo speakers seem to have paid off, at least when it comes to Consumer Reports’ smartphone rankings. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ sit at the top of the ratings at Consumer Reports thanks to their impressive performance in the durability, speed, and sound categories. Not surprising, given these are the segments in which Samsung’s latest flagships offer the most substantial upgrades, in addition to the primary camera.
Galaxy S9 and S9+ are stronger, faster, and sound better
For the durability test, Consumer Reports puts phones through 100 drops in a tumbler, and the Galaxy S9 was able to make it through the entire test with only minor scratches. The Galaxy S9+ didn’t fare so well, getting through the first 50 drops but cracking in the next 50. Still, both the S9 and S9+ did better than the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the displays on which “were badly broken and not functional” after 50 drops. The stronger metal and thicker glass on Samsung’s latest flagships are clearly working their magic as far as durability is concerned, although we’d still recommend slapping a case on your Galaxy S9 or S9+, or at least a screen protector.
In the speed and sound categories, the new Snapdragon 845 processor (the variant tested) and the Dolby Atmos-equipped stereo speakers allowed the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to take the lead over all other smartphones. However, battery life was found to be lower than the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The Exynos variant has already been criticized for having poorer battery life than the Snapdragon version, but it looks like the latter didn’t do better than Samsung’s first phones with an Infinity display, either, despite the official battery life figures suggesting otherwise.
Consumer Reports also “penalized the phones for oversharpening photos,” though the publication agrees the S9 and S9+ take better low-light photos than their predecessors, even if the improvement isn’t easily noticed until pictures are compared side by side (and we have plenty of those in our Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S8 camera comparison, so don’t forget to take a look). All in all, the publication thinks that while the Galaxy S9 and S9+ aren’t a giant leap forward for Samsung’s flagship lineup, these phones are still worth a look for anyone shopping for a top-end phone.