Samsung Galaxy S9 Review
A top notch Android phone – but Samsung quirks and a lack of innovation dampen the mood
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 had big shoes to fill following the excellent S8. For the most part, it doesn’t disappoint. Its bright screen and slim bezels look great, and it speeds through tasks with aplomb. Six months on from launch, the S9 almost represents a value alternative to its rivals with recent price-drops. However, unique Samsung quirks make the experience clunkier than it should be.
- Excellent screen quality
- Beautiful, ergonomic design
- Top quality camera
- Overlap between Google and Samsung apps makes it confusing
- Bixby is just unnecessary
- Camera might be just a touch too complex for some
The Samsung Galaxy S8 was a real game-changer in the world of flagship phones. Its nearly bezel-free design really put the heat on the Google and Apple competition, making the Pixel and iPhones look out-of-date in an instant. Not to mention it had a great camera, quality screen, and impressive battery life while remaining slim and wieldy. It wasn’t quite alchemy, but it was the next best thing.
Making a marked improvement on the S8 was going to be tough, and it seems like Samsung hasn’t tried to. Instead, it’s chosen to make a handful of tweaks here-and-there to improve the S9, without trying to push the boat out. Big changes will probably come with the S10 in 2019.
However, it’s almost six months since the S9 launched, and while it’s not been left behind, it certainly feels a bit long in the tooth compared to the new iPhone XS and Google Pixel 3. As the Pixel 3 is the Android alternative, it stands out as the more obvious, and significant rival for the S9, and the Google phone has a trump card – its control of Android OS. However, the S9 undercuts by around $100. So is it still the Android phone to beat? Or has Google caught up?
In this review: