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Samsung Galaxy S9 review notes: We’ve been using the Galaxy S9 Plus on Vodafone’s network in Barcelona, Spain for roughly a week and a half. Our review unit is running Android 8.0 Oreo, Samsung Experience version 9.0, and build number R16NW.G965U1UEU1ARB7 on the February 1, 2023 security patch. We’re holding off on adding review scores until we can put both the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus through our full suite of tests, the results of which will be coming in a deep dive review in the near future.
If you’re not careful, you might mistake the Galaxy S9 for an S8, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were two of the prettiest phones to launch in 2023 (or, dare I say, ever), and the S9 refines the design even further. Both the S9 and S9 Plus feature Samsung’s now-signature curved glass panels on the front and back, separated by an aluminum frame. Those curved pieces of glass make the devices feel extremely comfortable to hold, almost like they cradle right into your palm.
The curved edges on the front panel are less intense than on the Galaxy S8, which makes swiping in from the edges of the screen a bit easier.
The one big change in this year’s design is the location of the fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy S8 and Note 8‘s fingerprint sensors were in the worst place imaginable — to the right of the camera sensor. It was awkward and not at all well thought out. The sensor’s now where it should be, right under the camera in the middle, where your finger naturally falls when holding it.
All the buttons, ports, and slots are in the same places as the S8. The SIM tray is on the top, the power button is on the right, and the left side houses the volume key and dedicated Bixby button. On the bottom, you’ll find the USB Type-C port, 3.5 mm headphone jack (yes!), and a slightly redesigned bottom-firing speaker grille (more on the speakers later).
Best Samsung Galaxy S9 cases
Best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases
Best Samsung Galaxy S9 Screen protectors
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are slightly smaller overall than their predecessors. This is because Samsung shrunk the top and bottom bezels, making the S9 1.2 mm shorter than the S8, and the S9 Plus 1.4 mm shorter than the S8 Plus. Both new models are heavier though — the Galaxy S9 weighs 163 grams compared to the S8’s 155 grams. and the S9 Plus weighs in at 189 grams compared to the S8 Plus’ 173 grams. The differences in weight are actually pretty noticeable.
Samsung gave us the Midnight Black model for review, but the S9 and S9 Plus also come in Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, and the all-new Lilac Purple, which has been a favorite of ours ever since Samsung announced these phones.
Whichever color you choose, be prepared for the Galaxy S9 to be an absolute fingerprint magnet, which is common with all-glass phones.
Fingerprints aren’t the only things you need to worry about. These phones are fragile. It didn’t take long for our review unit to get some scuffs on the display. The top layer of Gorilla Glass 5 is already wearing away, which is easy to see when the screen is off. This has happened to a few other of our other glass-on-glass Samsung devices in the past, too. As premium as they might be, they aren’t perfect.
These phones are fragile
The design may not be durable, but at least these phones are IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. This means they’ll be able to survive a dunk in fresh water at 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.
Samsung has had the best smartphone displays on the market for years, and the Galaxy S9 lineup is no exception
Samsung has had the best smartphone displays on the market for years, and the Galaxy S9 lineup is no exception. Both Super AMOLED panels offer deep blacks, vibrant colors, and superb viewing angles. Seriously — these displays are a joy to look at day in and day out, no matter what you’re doing.
Though the Infinity Display is a recurring feature of all Samsung flagships, the immersion aspect is a little dialed back because the left and right sides no longer bleed all the way to the edge. This minimizes the number of accidental palm presses users experience when reaching to the opposite edge of the phone’s screen.
The displays also get 15 percent brighter than those on the Galaxy S8 line. They’re so bright, in fact, that turning the brightness all the way up is way too intense for anything but outdoor viewing. Fortunately, they get very dim too, which makes them great for reading on your phone before bed.
The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch, 18.5:9 aspect ratio display. The Galaxy S9 Plus comes with a bigger 6.2-inch screen. Both displays have a maximum resolution of Quad HD+ (2,960 x 1,440), though they are set at Full HD+ out of the box. They can also be downscaled to HD+ if you’d like to save some battery life.
Samsung’s wonderful always-on display makes a return this time, too. This continues to be one of the more useful always-on display implementations out there. You can display the current time and home time if you’re traveling, as well as battery percentage, and all your notifications. Double-tapping a notification quickly opens it up too.
AR Emoji vs Animoji: The differences explained
Let’s start with the fun stuff — AR Emoji. Samsung’s take on the Apple Animoji is a self-customized avatar that can either be a caricature of oneself or a completely different thing altogether.
AR Emoji are easy enough to make, no matter which camera is being used — let the camera detect the face and it will give you a starting template. The facial recognition is not perfect, but it probably was never meant to be. All AR Emoji face shapes are about the same so not everyone is going to get a picture-perfect version of themselves. Skin tone, hair style, and clothing can all be customized and the end result is saved in the camera app. Users can take pictures with their AR Emoji or even record video of the avatar’s face moving along with their own. Only the face is tracked, but it tries to move even the eyebrows correctly for more accurate expressions.
AR Emoji are far from a polished product
This mode, while fun, is far from a polished product — plus, they’re pretty creepy if you ask me. You can also make yourself the character, but the face tracking is a little buggy and can lead to some odd twitches here and there.
We’re sure there will be more options for customization eventually — perhaps sponsored by clothing companies or beauty brands. For now, it’s an easy way to make 18 GIFs of various emotions that can be shared easily with friends on any platform.
Since we’re on the topic of personal expression, let’s talk about the front-facing camera. An 8 MP camera with autofocus is up front and it should be familiar to any recent Samsung user. The selfies from this camera are good, but may not be as good as results from the Google Pixel 2’s machine-learning shooter.
A type of portrait mode is now available in the form of Selfie Focus, which tries to find the cutout of the subject and pleasantly blur the background. The results are hit and miss, even ignoring how soft the photos are to begin with. Regardless, selfie lovers will have plenty to enjoy with the Galaxy S9 front-facing camera, even with its quirks.
If there is one thing we really wish the front-facing camera had, it’s the multi-frame processing of the main camera module. Whereas the Google Pixel 2 applies its machine learning to either camera, it seems Samsung gave this new processing power to only the rear camera — and only the main lens, at that.
The pictures coming from the main shooter all look pretty great, even in low light. This is due in part to the f/1.5 aperture which helps flood in an incredible amount of light for a smartphone. The S9 manages to pull a good photo out of a less-than-ideal situation better than any Galaxy device before it, using the large aperture in concert with multi-frame processing and optical image stabilization to minimize blur from the lowered shutter speed.
If you want every camera tool possible, the S9 Plus is definitely the one to look at — the question is just if you really need it. The telephoto lens does not seem to get the same multi-frame processing treatment as the main sensor, which makes sense because the main sensor is developed with the smaller S9 in mind. The telephoto lens is an extra on the bigger model. However, having a zoom lens affords the S9 Plus a proper portrait mode in Live Focus, instead of the software-driven Selective Focus of the S9. We got to test the differences between these two and the zoom lens combo clearly yielded better cutouts and overall better portraits. Selective Focus on the regular S9 is as hit or miss as the Selfie Focus on the front-facing camera. You’ll have to decide for yourself how important zoom and portrait mode are to you — and whether you’re willing to pay the extra to get them.
Galaxy S9 Selective Focus (left) vs Galaxy S9 Plus Live Focus (right). Image 1 credit: Chay Lazaro/GadgetMatch
Samsung went with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality with the Galaxy S9, leaving basically all aspects of its Samsung Experience launcher unchanged from the S8. That’s not a bad thing — the Galaxy S8’s software was a huge step up from Samsung’s previous phones, and we’re happy to see a very similar software experience here. We just wish it ran the latest version of Android.
One thing that hasn’t changed between generations is the number of duplicate applications Samsung includes in its software package. For some reason, the company still finds it necessary to include its own apps when Google’s apps are perfectly acceptable. Some of Samsung’s apps offer extra features which might not be available in Google’s ecosystem, but the fact remains the app drawer is pretty stuffed out of the box.
Read Next: 8 Common Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 problems and how to solve them
For what it’s worth, Samsung’s stock Gallery app comes with a few unique features of its own. The GIF creator feature is a really fun way to extract up to six seconds of an existing video and makes it easy to share on just about any platform. If you put a little bit of extra thought into it, you can get a fun looping GIF like one of the few presented below.
One of the smaller changes to Samsung’s launcher is that both the app drawer and home screen can now be used in landscape orientation. This may not be the flashiest feature on the Galaxy S9, but it’s certainly going to make some users happy.
The company isn’t giving up on its virtual assistant anytime soon, either. Bixby returns on the S9 line, bringing only a handful of minor improvements, which likely won’t change the way you feel about it. If you used it before you’ll likely continue to, but if you didn’t, there’s no major reason to start.
Samsung has added a few augmented reality features to Bixby Vision, including the ability to live translate text from other languages. Just point the camera at some text, tap the Bixby button, and it will (try to) translate the text in real time. The text appears as an AR overlay.
Live translation has not been accurate in our testing, but it could be just good enough to help if you’re lost in translation.
Bixby also has the ability to summon nutritional information for food it recognizes. In theory, you should be able to point your camera at a donut, press the Bixby button, and receive nutrition facts about the donut in just a few seconds. This doesn’t work extremely well, either — it’s been pretty hit or miss at best.
There’s also a new mode in Bixby that lets you overlay makeup from Sephora, Cover Girl, and more, allowing you to see how it looks on your face before you buy it. We’ll just leave this here:
You can still access Bixby Home by swiping over to the left-most home screen. This remains a worthy landing page for anyone who doesn’t already use the Google Feed. Pressing the dedicated Bixby button will also bring you to Bixby Home, but you can disable the button if you don’t want to use it.
For those prices though you get two of the most beautiful, feature-packed smartphones ever made. These phones deliver in all the areas we expected. The displays are top-notch (and notch-less). They sacrifice nothing under the hood. Both boast solid camera performance. These are probably the best Android phones for most users, and I’d have no problem recommending them to almost anyone.
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When we reviewed the Samsung S9 back in March we said that it was ‘an amazing smartphone that will be hard to beat in 2023’. This remains true, but with its cheaper price we think the OnePlus 6 just has the edge. A OnePlus 6 might not have the waterproofing, expandable storage, or photographic heritage of the S9, but it does a lot of the same things for about £250 less. If you want the best, and don’t mind paying for the privilege, then the S9 is the one to buy. Those seeking a great Android experience, but wanting to save a decent wedge of cash, will find the OnePlus 6 very hard to resist.Best Prices Today: OnePlus 6
OnePlus is now selling its latest handset, the OnePlus 6, which continues the company’s trend of high-quality components and reasonable prices. So, does the new addition have what it takes to tempt Android users away from the current king of the hill? We compare the OnePlus 6 with the all conquering Samsung Galaxy S9.
Price and Availability
Samsung released the S9 and its larger sibling the S9+ back in March, with respective list prices of £739/ $719 and £869/ $839.
These are widely available from retailers and mobile providers, and it’s worth keeping an eye on them as they pop up with discounts from time to time.
Be sure to regularly check our Best Samsung S9 & S9+ deals guide for any bargains.
The OnePlus was announced at an event in London on 16 May and went on general release on 22 May.
There are three variants available, each of which combine different allotments of RAM and storage. Here is the list of options;
You can order an unlocked OnePlus 6 directly from OnePlus or on a contract from O2, who have an exclusive UK deal for the phone.
Read our Where to buy the OnePlus 6 feature for more details.
Design and Build
Android phones have taken on a taller, skinnier design in recent years. The reason for this is simple, as it allows displays to be larger without making the devices impossible to hold.
Samsung and OnePlus adopt this approach with the former installing displays with 18:5:9 aspect ratios, while the OnePlus is marginally larger with its 19:9 panel.
Size-wise the OnePlus 6 sits between the two Samsung devices, being wider and also thinner than both.
OnePlus 6: 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.75mm; 177g
Samsung Galaxy S9: 148mm x 69mm x 8.5mm; 163g
Samsung Galaxy S9+: 158mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm; 189g
Construction sees another shared ethos, with the metal chassis’ adorned with glass backs and curved edges. In the Samsung devices this permits wireless charging, but sadly that feature is missing from the OnePlus 6.
Both the Samsung models feature an IP68 rating, which means that they are waterproof. OnePlus doesn’t include one of these but states that the unit will be fine in light rain showers.
One immediately obvious difference is found when you turn the displays on. Samsung has resolutely stuck to its thin bezels and straight edge across the top layout. OnePlus eschews this in favour of the current Apple-led trend of inserting a notch into the top of the display, where a facial recognition camera is housed.
Flipping the units over reveals fingerprint sensors positioned under the single camera on the S9 and dual-camera units on the S9+ and OnePlus 6. There is also the simple pleasure of finding headphone jacks at the base of all the handsets. Yay!
It’s easy to see that these are attractive, premium-looking devices that are certain to catch the eye, as well as quite a few fingerprints.
Samsung make some of the best displays currently available, and this is borne out by the panels in both the S9 and S9+.
The former features 5.8in Quad HD+ SuperAMOLED Infinity display that runs at a resolution of 2960×1440, while the lager unit is the same except for its 6.2in size.
They are both capable of being very bright indeed, which is good is you’re going to be spending time outside in the sun, and render vivid, rich colours. As we said, these are great screens.
OnePlus doesn’t skimp on this area either, offering a 6.28in AMOLED panel running at a 2280×1080 resolution, which is a just little lower than that on the Samsungs.
The notch along the top will be a matter of personal taste. It seems that most Android manufacturers have opted to include one this year, and opinions on this are definitely mixed.
Should you find the feature annoying, then there is a software setting that will black out either side of the notch, returning you to an OCD-satisfying straight line.
Processor, Memory, and Storage
As these are premium devices it’s no great surprise to find that the components inside are top of the line.
Samsung combines its own Exynos 9810 octa-core SoC, with 4GB of RAM on the S9 and 6GB on the S9+. These are bolstered, respectively, by 64GB and 128GB of storage, all of which can be expanded up to 400GB via microSD.
OnePlus opts for the comparable Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, with options for either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. You’ll need to decide how much space you’re going to use for the duration of the device’s life though, as there is no option to add a microSD card.
For a more detailed look at the technical specifications of the devices, here’s a full breakdown;
SpecificationSamsung Galaxy S9Samsung Galaxy S9+OnePlus 6Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoDisplay5.8in Quad HD+ (2960×1440) 18.5:9 SuperAMOLED Infinity Display6.2in Quad HD+ (2960×1440) 18.5:9 SuperAMOLED Infinity display 6.28in Full HD+ (2280×1080) AMOLED display, 19:9, 402ppiProcessorExynos 8910 octa-core processorExynos 8910 octa-core processorQualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processorMemory4GB RAM6GB6/8GBStorage64GB (expandable up to 400GB via microSD) 128GB (expandable up to 400GB via microSD)64/128/256GBPrimary Camera12Mp rear-facing camera with OIS and switchable f/1.5-f/2.4 aperture12Mp rear-facing camera with OIS and f/1.5-f/2.5 switchable aperture + 12Mp telephoto F/2.4 16Mp and 20Mp rear camera, f/1.7Front Camera8Mp8Mp16Mp f/2.0Video Recording4K @ 60fps, Super slo-mo 720p @ 960fps, HDR4K @ 60fps, Super slo-mo 720p @ 960fps, HDR4K @ 60fps, Slo-mo 720p @480fps WiFi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-bandGPSYesYesYesBluetooth5.0 with aptX5.0 with aptX5.0 with aptXNFCYesYesYesFingerprint scannerYesYesYesWireless chargingYes (fast-charging) Yes (Fast-charging)NoColoursMidnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, Liliac Purple Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, Liliac Purple Silk White, Mirror Black, Midnight BlackPortsUSB-C, 3.5mm Headphone jackUSB-C, 3.5mm Headphone jackUSB-C, 3.5mm Headphone jackWaterproofIP68IP68Usable in light rain showersDimensions148mm x 69mm x 8.5mm158mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm156.1mm x 75mm x 7.75mmWeight163g189g177gBattery3000mAh3500mAh3300mAh
Another traditional area of strength for Samsung is its cameras. The S9 is something of an oddity in 2023, as it only has a single rear lens rather than the dual setup that can be found on most flagships at the moment, including the S9+ and OnePlus 6.
That being said, it’s a highly capable 12Mp sensor with an innovative switchable aperture that offers f/2.4 in bright settings, and a faster f/1.5 for when things get darker. There’s also Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) to keep things smooth.
The S9+ comes with the same main camera but pairs it with a 13Mp telephoto lens for greater depth in images, plus a dedicated portrait mode.
Both devices shoot 4K video at up to 60fps, and have a super slo-mo mode that can capture 720p footage at 960fps.
The OnePlus 6 is, on paper, a solid performer. The dual-camera combines 16Mp and 20Mp units, with f/1.7 apertures on both and OIS on the 16Mp sensor.
Video can be recorded up to 4K at 60fps, just like on the Samsung devices, but slo-mo maxes out at 480fps for 720p, which is half that of the S9 and S9+.
As the OnePlus 6 is still barely out of the wrapping, we will be conducting deeper tests on the camera performance in a variety of settings. So, be sure to check back if you want to see how it stands up to its Samsung rivals.
OnePlus may use its own OxygenOS, but it’s a very light overlay that leaves most things in the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system unmolested. Thankfully there isn’t much in the way of bloatware either, making the OnePlus 6 a fine choice for those who like Android the way Google intended it to be.
Samsung’s TouchWiz interface has been refined a great deal over the past few years, but it is still distinctively different from stock Android in terms of looks and features. Of course, for many people TouchWiz is Android, and if you’re one of those then the 2023 version is the best it’s been.
Opening the app draw will show lots of bespoke Samsung apps vying for your custom – email, calendar, etc. – but these can be replaced by your own personal favourites.
Under the skin there’s Android 8.0 Oreo, although the 8.1 update is expected to appear any day.
Related: Best OnePlus phonesSpecs OnePlus 6: Specs
Android 8.1 Oreo with OxygenOS
6.28in Full HD+ (1080×2280) AMOLED display, 19:9, 402ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
Adreno 630 graphics
16Mp and 20Mp rear cameras, f/1.7, support for 4K video at 60fps
16Mp front camera, f/2.0
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
4G LTE (Cat 16)
Fingerprint sensor (rear)
3,300mAh non-removable battery with Dash Charge
As with many phone comparisons, there’s not necessarily a clear winner. The right phone for you will depend on various things. You will save money (going by RRP at least) by getting the U12 Plus and you’re getting decent specs overall, namely four cameras, a larger screen, more RAM and a bigger battery. However, this all comes in a more bulky handset which forces you to use Edge Sense which not everyone will like. On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 is more compact and lightweight. Yet it still has impressive specs including the Infinity Display, adjustable aperture camera with super slow motion, wireless charging and a headphone jack.
New on the smartphone scene is the HTC U12 Plus and the flagship offers four cameras, great audio and Edge Sense 2. But can it beat one of the best phones around in the Samsung Galaxy S9? Here we compare the two handsets across price, design and specs.
HTC has been lagging behind somewhat in the competitive smartphone market for a while now, but the Taiwanese firm continues to bring out new and improved versions of its U flagship. Samsung’s S tier is very hard to topple though.HTC U12 Plus vs Galaxy S9: Price and availability
The U12 Plus is £50 more than its predecessor at £699. That’s about the average price for an Android flagship in 2023.
It’s a cheaper option compared to the Galaxy S9 which is £739 so not too much more expensive.
However, since it’s been on sale for while, you can already get it for as little as £634 on Amazon – at the time of writing if you buy the international version.HTC U12 Plus vs
Galaxy S9: Design and build
When it comes to design and build, the two phones are on a par in various ways including IP68 waterproof ratings, shiny glass rear covers and a slim profile.
Perhaps the HTC’s Edge Sense sensors will appeal to you, though. The feature means you can physically squeeze the phone to do different things. Edge Sense now even extends to the power and volume buttons so they don’t physically move.
The back of the U12 is arguably more interesting with a two-tone colours or even a transparent version.
Both have rear fingerprint scanners and ergonomic bezel-free designs. The main differences for us are that the HTC is bigger and heavier, plus doesn’t have the headphone jack.HTC U12 Plus vs
Galaxy S9: Specs and features
Although the HTC is a fair amount bigger than the S9, the screen is only a little bit bigger at 6in compared to 5.8in. They both have extremely high resolutions and almost identical tall aspect ratios.
The key difference here is that Samsung offers the curved edge ‘Infinity Display’ with AMOLED technology while HTC uses a more standard flat screen with an LCD panel. Our pick of the two is Samsung’s.
HTC has understandably opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and although the S9 uses the same chip in China, here in the UK it has Samsung’s own Exynos 8910.
Each phone comes with 64GB of storage as standard, although higher capacity is available if you search but both have a microSD card slot. A bigger difference on the spec sheet is that the U12 Plus has 50 percent more RAM at 6GB, although you’re unlikely to notice this in general usage.
As with most phone comparisons a lot hinges on the camera and although the S9 has a unique adjustable aperture on the 12Mp camera (f/1.5 to 2.4) the HTC has dual cameras with a main 12Mp sensor (f/1.75) coupled with a 16Mp (f/2.6) lens that allows for portrait mode shots.
It’s also got dual 8Mp front cameras, making a total of four altogether. Again this is for portrait style shots.
More cameras doesn’t simply mean the HTC is better though. The S9 can manage depth effect with just one lens and is capable of some amazing shots. It also offers video features that HTC doesn’t, such as 960fps super slow motion.
It’s a hard call, partly as it depends what camera features are more important to you and we haven’t tested the U12 Plus out fully let. Check out our HTC U12 Plus hands-on review, which will soon have a final verdict.
HTC is always big on audio and the speakers might be louder than the S9’s but it’s strange that there’s no headphone jack.
Although both phones have Android 8.0 Oreo, you’ll get quite a difference experience due to each firm applying their own custom user interface. This is down to personal opinion but Samsung wins it for us at Tech Advisor towers.
Here’s a full specs comparison table for the HTC U12 Plus vs the Galaxy S9:
HTC U12+Samsung Galaxy S9OSAndroid Oreo 8.0Android Oreo 8.0Screen6.0in
18:9, LCD6, 537 ppi5.8in Quad HD+, 18.5:9, Super AMOLED, 570ppiProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845Exynos 8910GraphicsAdreno 530Mali-G72 MP18Memory6GB RAM4GB RAMStorage64/128GB GB storage (region dependent)64/128GB storage with micro SD up to 400GBMain cameraDual 12Mp (f/1.8) + 16Mp (f/2.6) with OIS12Mp, f/1.5-2.4 with OISFront cameraDual 8Mp cameras (f/2.0)8Mp, f/1.7Wireless802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi802.11ac dual-band Wi-FiBluetoothBluetooth 5.0, aptXBluetooth 5.0, aptXCommunications4G LTE Cat184G LTE Cat18SIM typeNano SIM (Dual SIM in some regions)Nano-SIMGPSYesYesNFCYesYesInterfaceUSB-C 3.1USB-C 3.1Headphone jackNoYesBattery3500mAh non removable battery3000mAh non-removable batteryChargingQualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, 4.0 compatibleQuick Charge 2.0Water resistanceIP68IP68Dimensions
157 x 74 x 8.7 mm
148 x 69 x 8.5mmSpecs HTC U12+: Specs
Android 8.1 Oreo
6in Quad HD LCD
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
12Mp main + 16Mp telephoto dual cameras, 4K video at 60fps
8Mp dual front cameras
802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
IP68 water resistant
As we’ve come to expect from Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S10 comes with a gorgeous design and top of the line specifications. Not only is the device available in three different models, but also you can get each model in different storage options. The standard variant, dubbed Galaxy S10, has a 6.1-inch Quad HD+ curved AMOLED display, 8GB RAM, 3400mAh battery, triple rear cameras (12MP+12MP+16MP) and is available in 128GB and 512GB storage options.
The most expensive variant of the three, aptly named Galaxy S10+, comes with a larger 6.4-inch Quad HD+ curved AMOLED display, 8/12GB RAM, 4100mAh battery, and there are three storage alternatives to choose from, which include 128GB, 512GB, and 1TB (that’s more storage than my MacBook and phone combined!). The rear camera setup on this one is the same as the standard variant, though. The cheapest of the three, somewhat nonsensically named Galaxy S10e, is no inferior by any means. For a relatively lower price tag, the ‘e’ variant offers you a 5.8-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display, 6/8GB RAM, 3100mAh battery, dual rear cameras (12MP+16MP) and 128/256GB storage.
Those differences aside, all three of the models are powered by Qualcomm’s latest and best chipset of this year, Snapdragon 855, and each of them features a MicroSD slot to expand storage up to 1TB. For taking selfies, they’re equipped with a 10MP camera on the front with an aperture of f/1.9. The Plus variant, however, has an additional 8MP front-facing sensor for the depth.
Now that we have got the specs out of the way, let’s get to the point:Why should you upgrade from Galaxy S9 to Galaxy S10 The new innovative design gets my vote
As the name suggests, the new design from the Korean tech giant has the front-facing camera incorporated on the display, thus giving the device a more streamlined aesthetics and, most importantly, providing users with increased screen real estate.Gizchina News of the week
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Last year, many fans took it to Reddit to share how annoyed they were with Samsung not releasing a flat-edged Galaxy S9. The firm addressed the concern this time around with the launch of a less-gimmicky Galaxy S10e.
Additionally, the Galaxy S10 comes with a fancy in-display fingerprint scanner instead of the traditional capacitive fingerprint reader we’ve grown accustomed to from the previous Samsung handsets. Although it does not warrant an upgrade, the in-display scanner is still a neat feature to have especially considering it is as fast as the traditional capacitive one.Unrivalled performance
Samsung promises a boost of 29% in terms of CPU performance and 37% when it comes to GPU performance compared to last year’s counterparts, and the GeekBench 4 multi-core scores pretty much echo the same:
Samsung Galaxy S9 – 8,302 points
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus – 8,416 points
Samsung Galaxy S10e – 10,513 points
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – 10,732 pointsReverse wireless charging
Yet another good reason to upgrade to a Galaxy S10 smartphone is the addition of a new feature called Wireless PowerShare. As the name suggests, the feature lets your Galaxy S10 phone act as a wireless charging source to power up your other devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Watch, or pretty much any other Qi-enabled devices including another smartphone.
The feature especially comes in handy when you’re out on the road and your dearly priced Airpods gives up on you with a low battery warning.Galaxy S10 5G if you’re into future-proofing
5G is the next big thing in wireless technologies and network providers across the world are working around the clock to make a large-scale deployment possible by 2023. For the sake of future-proofing against the imminent arrival of 5G network, Samsung is offering a 5G variant of the Galaxy S10 because obviously, you don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a technology that is going to be outdated in less than a year.There’s a Galaxy S10 for everyone
If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a new phone, then I’d suggest you go for the Galaxy S10e that currently starts from $750 for the 128GB version. Meanwhile, if you don’t have any budget constraints, feel free to check out the Galaxy S10 or the S10 Plus that are available from $900 and $1000 onwards. That said, it’s always good to save some bucks whenever you can. So, if your Galaxy S9 is gonna be locked up in a shelf till eternity after you upgrade, it’s probably a good idea to trade in the old pal for some sweet dollar notes — you can get as high as $259 according to SellCell, a price comparison site that promises to give the best prices for your old gadgets.
If you want a clean version of Android and don’t want to spend much more than £500/$500 then the OnePlus 6T is the phone for you. But the Samsung Galaxy S9 can be found for less than its retail price now and is a smaller phone with more features than the 6T like waterproofing, wireless charging and a headphone jack.
The latest phones from OnePlus and Samsung always cause a bit of a stir, and with good reason. OnePlus has carved out a vision of selling only one phone at a time for a cheaper price than rivals and updating the phone every six months.
Samsung is more of a household name though, and its S9 phone is one of the best in the world. But is the OnePlus 6T better?
Samsung Galaxy S9 review
OnePlus 6T reviewPrice and availability
OnePlus prides itself on its ability to sell its phones for less than the competition, but the OnePlus 6T is its most expensive ever from £499 in the UK and from $549 in the US.
You can buy it directly from OnePlus.
In the UK it is also available on contract from O2, EE, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse. See all of the best contracts in our OnePlus 6T deals article.
The Galaxy S9 has an RRP of £739 in the UK and an MSRP of $719 in the US. But if you shop around you can find it on Amazon UK and Amazon US for a lot less.Design
Like the S9, the OnePlus 6T is an all-glass phone with very slim bezels. The 6T has a small teardrop notch at the top of its display to house the camera – Samsung opts to not use notches on any of its phones.
The S9 is a physically smaller device but packs in so much including waterproofing, wireless charging and a headphone jack. Amazingly, the OnePlus 6T has none of these features, even though the company claims the 6T is water resistant.
With the S9 you get a tall 18.5:9 5.8im display, and it’s one of the best uses of space on a smartphone that is actually quite small. The larger OnePlus 6T has a 19.5:9 6.41in screen, and ends up being 6mm wider than the S9 because of it.
The 6T does have an in-screen fingerprint sensor rather than a physical one that you’ll find on the back of the S9. It also has dual cameras compared to the S9’s one ( the larger S9 Plus not discussed here has two, though).Features
Here’s a handy comparison table of all the specs of both phones:
SpecificationSamsung Galaxy S9OnePlus 6TOperating SystemAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 9 PieDisplay
5.8in SuperAMOLED Infinity Display, 18.5:9, HDR10, Quad HD+ (1440×2960), 570ppi
6.41in Full HD+ (2340×1080) AMOLED, 19.5:9, 402ppiProcessor
Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processorMemory
(expandable by up to 512GB via microSD)
12 Mp, f/1.5-2.4 dual aperture, 26mm (wide), 1.4µm, OIS, dual pixel PDAF
16Mp and 20Mp rear camera, f/1.7Front Camera
8 MP, f/1.7
16Mp f/2.0Video Recording4K @ 60fps, 1080p @ 240fps4K @ 30fps, Slo-mo 720p @ 120fpsWiFi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-bandGPSYesYesBluetooth5.0 with aptX5.0 with aptXNFCYesYesFingerprint scannerYesYes, in-screenWireless chargingYesNoColoursMidnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac PurpleMirror Black, Midnight BlackPortsUSB-C, 3.5mm Headphone jackUSB-CWaterproofIP68
Usable in light rain showers
147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Samsung uses different processors depending on your region – the Exynos 9810 in Europe or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 elsewhere. The OnePlus 6T uses the latter and both phones are especially powerful in 2023 and 2023. They’ll both blast through ay task you throw at them, from the simplest apps to multi-tasking and the most demanding mobile games.
As well as a larger display the OnePlus 6T also has more RAM than the 4GB on the S9. Depending on the model you buy you’ll get 6 or 8GB with the 6T.
The S9 comes with 64, 128 or 256GB of expandable storage whereas the OnePlus 6T is non-expandable at 128 or 256GB.
The single 12Mp camera on the S9 takes impressive photos and has a clever physical dual-aperture function that changes depending on the light. A single lens does mean it can’t take portrait style photos though.
This is possible on the dual camera OnePlus 6T. OnePlus uses a 16Mp and 20Mp set up to allow for bokeh and 2x zoom. Both phones can record 4K video at 60fps.
Both phones have NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C ports. The S9 has a smaller 3300mAh battery compared to the large 3700mAh cell in the OnePlus 6T, though both can fast charge with the provided chargers.Software
Samsung’s phones are some of the most popular in the world, the S9 included, but the company actually changes the look of stock Android quite considerably with its Samsung Experience skin. It all works well, but it’s not as clean and zippy as the OnePlus 6T’s OxygenOS skin.
The 6T also runs Android 9 Pie out of the box whereas the Galaxy S9 comes with Android 8 Oreo. This doesn’t make the S9 less secure, but it does mean the 6T has a few more Android features at the time of writing.
compatibility with DeX but you might prefer the do not disturb while gaming mode on the OnePlus 6T.
The 6T also lets you pick the classic Android navigation buttons if you don’t like the new gesture system Google has introduced.Verdict
It’ll depend a lot on your budget, whether you’re buying on contract and your overall taste in phone design but these are both good phones. But on paper, the Galaxy S9 simply has more features like an IP rating, wireless charging and a headphone jack.
The OnePlus 6T has a zippier, cleaner version of Android, and Android 9 Pie at that. It also has a larger screen, dual cameras and a larger battery.Related stories for further reading Specs OnePlus 6T: Specs
Android 9 Pie with OxygenOS
6.41in 19.5:9 2340 x 1080p OLED, 402ppi
In-screen fingerprint sensor with biometric support
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
16Mp and 20Mp rear cameras, f/1.7, support for 4K video at 60fps
16Mp front camera, f/2.0
4G LTE (Cat 16)
3700mAh battery: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm
With each passing month, fresh inventions continue emerging from the smartphone market. It had been the bezel-less apparatus and front fingerprint detectors grabbing all of the spotlights at the beginning of 2023. Though, since the center of this year, it’s been about the usage of Artificial Intelligence at another frontier of flagship tablets.
Samsung has just published a teaser confirming that. This teaser was released today in the Bixby Voice launch occasion of Galaxy Ai UX at China. It’s theorized that Galaxy Ai UX is largely the AI capabilities incorporated in the Galaxy S9.
There’s an AI startup located in China called DeePhi. DeePhi generates AI chipsets which supports features including immediate address recognition, neural language processing and other recognition activities on smartphones.
Samsung has just spent. Graphcore is a UK-based AI business.
It’s apparent that Samsung is quite interested in hardware that’s capable of improving AI capacities on smartphones. Perhaps we’ll be visiting a camera which employs the depth-sensing technologies to enhance facial recognition or an AI coprocessor that renders the most important processor free to take care of different things quite soon.
Although there has not been any official statement or confirmations that these speculations are sufficient to keep us on our feet to a coming couple of months.
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