All you need to know about Samsung's new phones, the S9 and S9+

Edoardo Maggio/Business Insider

  • Samsung’s new S9 ranges from $1,199 to $1,499
  • First impressions show not a lot’s changed from the S8
  • Photo enthusiasts will welcome one of the new features

Samsung has officially unveiled its newest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus.

More than 24 hours after launch it seems to still be all anyone wants to talk about out of one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Since then, we’ve seen Matrix fanboys and girls go mad over Nokia stealing the show for the second year in a row by releasing a supercharged version of Neo’s Nokia 8110 banana-phone.

Some very pretty, slim notebooks from Huawei and a solid update for LG’s V30S ThinQ. And most surprising of all, Telstra releasing its roadmap to building full end-to-end 5G capability in Australia.

But the S9 and S9+ is dominating the show, helped perhaps by the lower than expected take-up of Apple’s flagship phone, the iPhone X. (It’s probably no coincidence images of a rumoured “massive” iPhone X Plus started circulating overnight.)

You can pre-order them right now in Australia.

Outright, the S9 will be available in Australia for $1,199 (64GB) and $1,349 (256GB). The S9+ will be available in Australia for $1,349 (64GB) and $1,499 (256GB).

All phones will arrive in Australia on March 16.

We’ve had the new Galaxy phones in our hands for long enough now to pull together some thoughts.

  • Edoardo Maggio says his first impression was the phones feel virtually unchanged from the S8.
  • “If you didn’t notice the different positioning of the fingerprint sensor – which now comfortably sits below the camera instead of next to it – or stumbled upon one of the new colours like ‘lilac purple’ you would have a hard time telling a Galaxy S9 from the Galaxy S8,” he says.

    There’s a slight improvement to the display, the same battery, despite rumours a bigger one may have appeared in the S9 Plus, and a barely noticeable RAM upgrade.

    The biggest differences, Maggio says, can be found between the S9 and S9 Plus models themselves. Here’s where he says the S9 Plus wins out over the iPhone X.

  • Avery Hartmans agrees
  • Samsung

    So much so that she has even found six reasons to consider the Galaxy S8 over the newer Galaxy S9.

  • But there are some differences
  • And they will most likely prove more significant as their time in users’ hands goes on.

    The S9 is the first smartphone to feature the dual aperature, which allows the camera to take in more light than other smartphones – great for low-light environments.

    You can see the aperature switching here in Marques Brownlow’s review:

  • Ben Gilbert says the smartest piece of Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 phone is a decades-old component
  • Yes, Samsung has kept the headphone jack.

    Now Apple and Google have ditched the jack, Samsung remains the only major player which still supports all your favourite own headphones.

    And it support your new, Bluetooth-powered headphones. So by refusing to support this kind of silliness:

    IPhone 7 headphone dongleHollis Johnson/Business InsiderDongle up.

    The S9 is “far more user friendly than the competition”, Gilbert says.

    So on balance, it looks like you’ll be paying a little bit more for a little bit extra. That suggests the S9 and S9 Plus are more attractive as upgrades for those in a two-year cycle, which many plan buyers are.

    For those holding an S8, unless it’s broken, it looks like there’s little point in fixing it just yet.

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