Samsung Galaxy S9 Review: Competition, Pros And Cons, The Verdict

By 09:37 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments

The competition

The never-ending flagship season means a thriving competition. But unfortunately for us, the consumers, things didn't pan out for the best. Instead of racing for the lowest price, the makers decided to create a run for the opposite. Nowadays everything is premium, cutting-edge, and pricey.

And now the Galaxy S9 joins the high-discontinue cartel.

The Galaxy S9 most formidable rival is the iPhone X, no doubt about this. It has never been Android vs.. iOS with Samsung and Apple, it's been an all-out war between companies.

Apple might have joined the bezel-less class late, but it did that in the typical Cupertino-controversial way - changing everything and making it Apple's with the inwell-known notch. And while those two battle in their own way, it still boils down to Android vs. iOS for you, unless a second telephoto cam and small footprint are of utmost importance.

Google has its own Pixel 2 to show off the accurate power of Pure Android. It's not as pretty, or powerful, but is cheaper, has some cool proprietary features, snaps better selfies, and does bokeh with one capturing camera unlike anyone else.

Then there is the fine ol' Galaxy S8 with a noticeable priced cut, which offers everything the Galaxy S9 has but the additional f/2.4 aperture and 960fps slow-mo of the main camera. Nobody would be able to disclose the incompatibility in the processing power for the years to come, so unless the recent aperture is a must, you might consider buying or sticking to the Galaxy S8.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact will be joining the S9 soon. It's not glass, but we think the bumpy design has its charm. The Compact has the latest Snapdragon, an excellent capturing camera capable of 960fps on both 720p and 1080p resolutions, and it's a lot cheaper.

Apple iPhone X • Google Pixel 2 • Samsung Galaxy S8 • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

Of course, if you want the best of Samsung and don't care about size and price, then there is the Galaxy S9+ with a bigger classy screen and a secondary telephoto camera. Or, if you are all about the camera, you can always wait for Huawei to announce its P20 series with a triple capturing camera and hold it from there.

The Verdict

The Galaxy S is not the trendsetter it once was, but the S9 is the only continuation that could ever be. Samsung is proficient in refining enough in hardware and user experience each year, and when there is nothing groundbreaking to show off, the surprises may come from unexpected places.

The Galaxy S9 may be failing to wow with the design but makes up for that with performance and recent capturing camera skills. And while it may not be a bokeh king, the S9 excels where it matters - in still and image quality.


  • Premium water-tight design
  • Class-leading AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen
  • Among the fastest Android phones (in benchmarks)
  • Great audio skills and stereo speakers
  • Variable aperture camera
  • 960fps slow-mo, automatic motion detection
  • Class-leading still and video quality
  • Excellent retail bundle


  • Recycled design
  • Only 720p resolution for 960fps and really limited duration
  • Not the fastest charging around (it's been stuck like this since the Galaxy S5)
  • It's quite pricey

The truth is the Galaxy S9 can't be a meaningful upgrade to any S8 user. But we live in some fascinating times, where incremental upgrades do happen, and regular users are best upgrading every two years, at least theoretically.

The ninth Galaxy S is cutting-edge no two words about it. Design, screen, and performance are top of the line, while the capturing camera is unique enough to create even some Apple users jump ship.

It's just that the S9 omits the aura of excitement any headliner should come with. It was an entirely predictable device - blazing fast, with enough hardware updates, but didn't create enough progress for a meaningful generation jump. It's more of a Galaxy S8S than S9 but we are glad it re-introduced the variable aperture snappers to the market, and we hope it makes them the next gigantic thing. Becautilize the S9 just isn't that.



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