The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are official

Earlier today, in conjunction with the opening of MWC 2018, Samsung held a special event to officially announce the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, this year’s iteration of their flagship smartphone devices. As expected based on everything we have seen over the last few months, exterior changes are minimal with most of the upgrades and differences from last year’s Galaxy S8 devices being on the inside.

In terms of the design of the new phones, the big change is in the back where camera lenses for a dual camera setup and a repositioned fingerprint sensor are located. Last year the location of the fingerprint sensor turned into a big knock on the Galaxy S8, so Samsung definitely took the opportunity this year to try something new and hopefully make that sensor a bit easier to use. Otherwise, the devices still retain the curved edges, near bezel-less display design and lack of any buttons on the front that has become the hallmark of Samsung smartphones.

Probably the biggest changes for the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is in terms of the cameras. Samsung really focused on this area of the devices in hopes of setting themselves apart from the competition and helping give consumers a reason to upgrade.

The cameras come with a “Super Speed Dual Pixel” sensor that Samsung says is capable of combining 12 frames into a single, high-quality image. The cameras also get the physical variable aperture that should help with low-light situations. Samsung also equipped the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with a Super Slow-mo capability for video and in response to market demand, AR-powered emoji are present.

Some of the other improvements include stereo speakers tuned for Dolby Atmos surround sound by AKG. Samsung says the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will come loaded with their new SmartThings app that was announced a CES 2018. They have also made more improvements to Bixby, Samsung’s version of an AI powered assistant.

The table below shows some more specs for the devices:

 Galaxy S9Galaxy S9+
Operating SystemAndroid 8 OreoAndroid 8 Oreo
Display5.8-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED, 18.5:9 (529ppi)6.2-inch Quad HD, Super AMOLED, 18.5:9, (570ppi)
Dimensions147.7mm x 68.7mm x 8.5mm, 163g158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm, 189g
Water/Dust resistanceIP68IP68
Rear CameraSuper Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF, OIS, F1.5/F2.4Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF, OIS, F1.5/F2.4
Front Camera8MP, F1.78MP, F1.7
Storage64/128/256GB plus up to 400GB microSD64/128/256GB plus up to 400GB microSD
Battery3,000 mAh
fast charge QC 2.0
3,500 mAh
fast charge QC 2.0
SensorsIris, Pressure, Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, HR, Proximity, RGB LightIris, Pressure, Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, HR, Proximity, RGB Light
Speakers/soundStereo speakers, AKG tune, Dolby Atmos technologyStereo speakers, AKG tune, Dolby Atmos technology

Check back later for more information on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ including availability and pricing along with more coverage from MWC 2018.

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.