Samsung's Galaxy S9+ combines powerful performance and a dual lens camera to exceptional effect. Here's everything you need to know.
When does the Samsung Galaxy S9+ come out? Pre-orders for the Galaxy S9+ opened on 26 February, with the phone officially launching on 16 March
What’s new about the Samsung Galaxy S9+? Dual rear-facing cameras, upgraded Exynos CPU, Super Slow Motion video recording
How much will the Samsung Galaxy S9+ cost? $1,349 for the 64GB model and $1,499 for the 256GB model
Samsung refreshes its Galaxy S line once each calendar year, and in 2018, this led to the replacement of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ with the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, officially announced at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2017, the launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ didn't happen at MWC, with Samsung instead opting to use Mobile World Congress to launch the Samsung Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 ranges following the critical battery issues with the Galaxy Note 7.
While that crisis is now long behind Samsung, it's still hoping to score a serious hit with the Galaxy S9 and its bigger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S9+.
The S9+ is follows in the sizing footsteps of its predecessors, with a 6.2 inch display running at a resolution of 2960 x 1440. Leaks just prior to MWC 2018 confirmed this, as well as the colours and specifications for the new Galaxy S9+.
The Galaxy S9+ uses one of Samsung's own Super AMOLED displays. The handset hasn't seen significant design reworking this year, with a look that remains broadly similar to the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung copped a lot of criticism for the placement of the fingerprint sensor on its 2017 flagship handsets. The company is apparently experimenting with technology that will place a fingerprint sensor underneath the front display glass, but it seems this technology isn't yet ready for the prime time given its absence on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
Instead, Samsung has shifted the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the handsets from its previous position next to the camera lens to further below it, making it less likely that you'll accidentally smudge up the camera lens when unlocking your phone.
Following on from Apple's footsteps with the iPhone X, Samsung has also integrated an augmented reality tracking system capable of translating facial movements onto virtual characters. Called AR Emojis, these digital doppelgangers allow you to send animated clips of your face to your friends, much like Apple's Animoji feature.
The Galaxy S9+ uses a faster processor than its predecessor, but which one specifically depends on where you live. Outside Australia, the Galaxy S9+ uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, but local stock instead uses Samsung's Exynos 8910 processor. Regardless, both offer performance and battery life boosts over today's current CPU choices. There was some early suggestion that Samsung might go it alone on the CPU front if it could get CDMA support baked into its own Exynos solutions, but that has now been proven incorrect.
The Galaxy S9+ is also capable of some of the fastest network speeds Australia has seen. Samsung already announced its own Cat 18 LTE modem, capable of download speeds of up to an impressive 1.2Gbps, and the Galaxy S9 and S9+ both make use of this new modem. While such high speeds are dependent on the carrier network, Telstra has already confirmed that Galaxy S9 will be the first handset to support Cat 18 speeds on its network.
Will the Samsung Galaxy S9+ have a good camera?
Previous Galaxy S phones with plus-sized variants haven't tended to differentiate the camera, but this time around the camera on the S9+ is a big step up from the regular Galaxy S9. Specifically, instead of the single lens approach of the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S9+ boasts a dual lens camera similar to that found on the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung's betting heavily on camera optimisations for the Galaxy S9+, with its promotional material strongly bearing the tagline "The Camera Re-imagined". To achieve this, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature a new slow-motion function that allows for recording videos at 960fps. At such a high frame-rate, a 0.2-second video can be stretched out to a 6-second video, enabling finer analysis of motion than any Samsung Galaxy handset has yet achieved.
New low-light capabilities also make their appearance in the Galaxy S9+. Thanks to the introduction of an F/1.5 aperture lens to the Galaxy S9 and S9+, both handsets can claim the brightest lens of any smartphone currently available. Brighter lenses means clearer detail in dim environments, making the Galaxy S9+ ideal for late-night photography.
Is the Galaxy S9+ water resistant?
Absolutely. As with all its previous Galaxy handsets, Samsung maintains an IP68 rating with the Galaxy S9+. This level of water resistance ensures that the Galaxy S9+ can handle depths of up to 1.5 metres for as long as 30 minutes.
When will the Galaxy S9+ be available in Australia?
Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S9+ on 26 February at MWC 2018, with pre-orders opening that very same day. Mobile providers, meanwhile, opened their own pre-orders the day after on 27 February.
The delay between pre-order and launch proved quite short, too, with both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ set to hit Australian shores on 16 March.
How much does the Galaxy S9+ cost?
Premium phones attract premium prices, and that's certainly the case with the Galaxy S9+. The basic 64GB model retails for $1,349 directly through Samsung, thought it will likely be available cheaper through direct resellers and importers shortly after release. The 256GB model, meanwhile, retails for a heftier $1,499 through Samsung.
Samsung has typically been quite generous with pre-order bonuses for its handsets, and for the Galaxy S9+ it is throwing in a free wireless charger valued at $119. You don't have to buy directly through Samsung to score the bonus charger, either, as many participating mobile providers are including it in their plans, too.
If you'd prefer to pick up the Samsung Galaxy S9+ on a plan, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Woolworths Mobile and amaysim are all stocking the handset on a variety of contracts. You can compare all the current Samsung Galaxy S9+ plans right here.
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Specifications
- Product Name
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- Display Size
- 6.2 inches
- 1440 x 2960
- Exynos 9810, Octa Core-CPU (4 x 2.9GHz + 4 x 1.9GHz)
- Operating System
- Android 8.0
- Front camera
- 8MP F/1.7
- Rear camera
- Dual Sensor 12MP F/1.5 & F/2.4 and 12MP F/2.4
- 158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm
- $1,349 for 64GB, $1,499 for 256GB
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