The Samsung Galaxy S8 arrived this time-ish last year with one objective: erase the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7s from the collective consciousness. It did that and then some, garnering fantastic reviews. While the Note 7 fiasco will never truly be forgotten, with the Galaxy S8, Samsung effectively regained the public's trust. The Galaxy S9 doesn't have quite the same burden upon its shoulders, it only needs to continue the excellence. So, did Samsung deliver?

WIRED

WIRED's Brendan Nystedt thinks the Galaxy S9 is worth it just for the headphone jack alone, and he's likely not the only one. The port is on the cusp of going extinct, and yet it's still something a lot of us use on a daily basis. All of the little upgrades over the S8 are much appreciated, and the camera is the phone's best feature (despite a less-than-stellar camera app), followed very closely by the "gorgeous" and "completely notch-free" AMOLED screen. He's less of a fan of the Samsung Experience and its slow upgrades, but it's an easy recommendation for existing Samsung fans, specifically if you opted out of an upgrade last year.

Tech Radar

Something Gareth Beavis over at Tech Radar really appreciated about the Galaxy S9 were the improved biometrics, which makes it easier to unlock than the S8. Beavis also praised the camera, specifically the low-light performance, and while he takes issue with the phone being "very, very close" to a carbon copy of its predecessor, he does see the addition of Gorilla Glass 5 as a big improvement. The brightness has been boosted, and notes that "screen has already been independently judged to the very best on the market." The phone manages to be "a very impressive smartphone, and likely to be one of the best in 2018," while also being a "disappointing upgrade" considering how great the S8 was.

The Verge

Headphone jack! It's right in the Good Stuff summary of The Verge review. It really is a big deal to have the jack on a solid, cutting-edge phone. Dan Seifert fires more shots than the other reviews, citing the average battery life, abundance of gimmicks, and Bixby's continuing uselessness. Like Nystedt, he also laments Samsung's spotty upgrade history. Don't take this to mean it's a negative review, however, as he also says the phone has a "head-turning design, fast performance, a great screen, and a very good camera." Again, like the others, he can't quite recommend upgrading from the S8.

Gizmodo

Are you seeing the theme here? Let me fast forward to the end of Sam Rutherford's Gizmodo review: "But is the S9 worth upgrading to? If you’ve been using the same phone for two years or more, definitely. However for people who own an S8, the decision isn’t quite as clear." The S9 offers improved performance, a camera that even tops the Pixel 2 in some situations, and a fingerprint sensor that's been moved to a more convenient location. Sam doesn't trash Bixby as hard, calling the new additions to the digital assistant "gimmicky" but "handy." Switching over from a Pixel 2 XL, he can't find a good reason to go back.

Here are a few video reviews from Mr. Mobile and Engadget.

Roundup



There isn't much being debated here. The Galaxy S9 is an improvement over the S8 in every way - killer screen, unmatched camera, faster performance, smoother biometrics - just not enough of an improvement to warrant spending hundreds of dollars on the upgrade. For those who are a few generations behind, however, the Galaxy S9 is a no-brainer, especially if you're already accustomed to Samsung's spin on Android.

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