It's been a month since Samsung launched the new generation Galaxy S family, including the Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 +. Having already tested all three newcomers and compared them with the previous generation, one more question remains: what about the predecessor? Is it still worthwhile to buy the Galaxy S9 + in 2019?
A still modern design
Despite the light redesign this year, the Galaxy S9 + (for testing) does not look so different from the Galaxy S10 + (for testing). With the exception of the remarkably slim frame and the two front cameras housed behind the display hole, last year's device still has a modern design.
There were no drastic changes, as was already the case with the Galaxy S8 (Plus) on the Galaxy S9 (Plus), after Samsung introduced the Galaxy S8 for the first time with its Infinity Display. The Galaxy S9 + remains so with this familiar strategy and certainly offers fans of the series no reason to complain.
A brilliant display
Although the display of the current flagship Samsung is the best smartphone display so far, this does not mean that the display on board the Galaxy S9 + is now suddenly bad. Despite the smaller overall size of the panel, especially due to the wider frame, both models have the same maximum resolution (QHD +) and are in your own way a feast for the eyes.
While the Galaxy S9 +'s display does not support the latest HDR10 + technology, it offers full support for its predecessor, the HDR10, to optimally display content from services such as Netflix or Amazon.
Performance? Even today, the blast
It may be a year old, but the Galaxy S9 + is still a very fast smartphone that can handle all daily tasks and even more easily. After all, we're still talking about the flagship of the previous year, not ten years ago, so that's no surprise.
The drive is the Exynos 9810 with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. The only difference compared to the previous year is that in the previous year the standard version and the plus version differed. Last year, the Galaxy S9 was equipped with 4 GB of RAM and who wanted more, had to buy the Plus version. This year, however, there is no longer any difference between the plus and the "normal" model.
Always up to date thanks to One UI
While in the course of a year, of course, nothing to the hardware of a smartphone changes, you can not say the same thing about the software. It's almost the only change you can find on the Galaxy S9 and S9 + compared to last year. At the end of 2018, Samsung distributed an update to the Android 9 Pie for the "old" flagship, and a little later, the manufacturer-customized One UI interface.
Among the most important innovations is the ability to activate the Dark Mode, which not only gives the two Galaxys a new software look, but also improves the battery life, one of the biggest criticisms of the device.
A good camera – but something is missing
The biggest innovation in the Galaxy S9 + was the dual camera, where the main sensor had a unique feature: a variable aperture of f / 2.4 to f / 1.5 to create ideal conditions for day and night shots.
In addition to this variable aperture, the main camera is equipped with a 12 megapixel sensor and optical stabilization. The second sensor is a telephoto lens with double optical zoom. Like most top-of-the-line smartphones, the Galaxy S9 + will not disappoint you in daylight shots, where the device delivers good detail and color. At night, however, it can no longer compete with current flagship models, but I have to say that the results continue to be very handsome thanks to the variable iris.
What is missing, however, is the AI support that is available on new Samsung models. The Galaxy S9 + lacks a special NPU, making it impossible to take advantage of AI algorithms. Other than that, I've undoubtedly missed the wide-angle sensor found on the Galaxy A10 +, but I was able to fix the problem in between with the RhinoShield lenses.
The battery remains the Achilles heel
Compared to the Samsung S10 +, the battery life of the Galaxy S9 + has never been satisfactory despite its 3,500 mAh power source. After the upgrade to Android 9 Pie and the switch to the new One UI, which let me save some energy with the dark design, the runtime was a bit better, but you should not expect miracles here.
Of course, the battery life varies depending on the use of the smartphone, but you will continue to come around not to hang the Galaxy S9 + in the evening to the outlet. In my rather intense use of the smartphone, the device even craved electricity before dinner.
Is it worth to buy a Galaxy S9 + in 2019?
The Galaxy S9 + convinces with most of the factors that may be important to the average user when buying: a good camera, an up-to-date design, an excellent display and the latest version of Android with a current interface.
Despite some flaws, we are still talking about the currently best-selling smartphone generation in the series in the history of Samsung. In addition, the smartphone is now partly already for less than 500 euros to have. A good price for those who want a high-quality Samsung device for a good price.