The Buyer's Guide

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Samsung Galaxy S9

from  $720+
90
Engadget
Score
The best in its category. We highly recommend it.
90

The best in its category. We highly recommend it.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Despite not feeling like a major improvement over last year’s flagship, the Galaxy S9 is still one of the best phones around.

Pros
  • Good cameras especially in low light
  • Superior performance
  • Gorgeous design
Cons
  • No major change since last generation
  • Lacks the Plus’ dual cameras
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Scores

Engadget

90
 

Users

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

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Score Breakdown

 
84
Average Critic Score

Reception and call quality

Not yet scored
 

Display

83
 

Battery life

52
 

Camera

88
 

Ease of use

69
 

Design and form factor

61
 

Portability (size / weight)

41
 

Media support

51
 

Durability

34
 

Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)

59
 
 
90
The Verge
Owners of the S8 probably don’t need to upgrade this go-around — the differences aren’t great enough to warrant splurging on the S9 — but if you’re using a Galaxy S7 or any other phone from two years ago, the S9 is a significant step up in every respect. Predictably, Samsung has made yet another excellent flagship phone. But, just as predictably, it still has plenty of room for improvement.
 
80
PC Mag
The Samsung Galaxy S9 puts the latest LTE bands and a great low-light camera into a smaller form factor than the S9+ for the best one-handed phone right now, but leaves a few things out.
 
80
Expert Reviews
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is an impressive handset, but there’s not enough here to justify the steep price.
 
90
Tech Advisor
We're going to have to wait for big jumps in technology, but although the Galaxy S9 only brings a disappointingly small bunch of minor improvements it's still an amazing smartphone that will be hard to beat in 2018. Samsung has expertly combined design, hardware and software to make a phone that will appeal to all kinds of users. The incremental updates will mean S8 users might struggle to justify upgrading. However, those on an S7 or earlier Galaxy will notice a huge difference. But might want to simply grab the S8 at a lower price.
 
100
Ubergizmo
Best smartphone design + best performance + best camera. It's that simple.
 
90
Android Authority
If we had to choose, we’d recommend the smaller Galaxy S9. Both are great phones — don’t get us wrong — but the S9 is easier to hold without sacrificing too much screen, and it still comes with most of the new camera features Samsung introduced this year. Sure, the S9 Plus is the obvious choice if you want dual cameras, a bigger battery, or more screen, but we think the smaller model will be the right choice for most people.
 
70
The Wall Street Journal
As it turned out, I like holding the S9, and I like looking at it. I really like all the Instagram likes I get from pictures I take with it. I just don’t like using it very much.
 
80
Business Insider
This is a very good smartphone. But that's what we always expect from Samsung these days. So it's really nothing that much new or crazy or whatever. So should you be upgrading from the Galaxy S8 to the Galaxy S9? The answer is no. You really don't need to spend a minimum of $720 for some pretty slight improvements. Maybe if you're always really annoyed with your S8 and how bad it is unlocking the phone. Other than that, you're fine with your S8.
 
80
Wired UK
The new camera is definitely an improvement on the S8, particularly when it comes to low light photography, but it’s not quite the reimagining that Samsung is billing it as. Really, the S9 is just another top-drawer Android phone in the era of incremental gains.
 
80
Wired
If you're on last year's Galaxy S8 or an iPhone 8, you're not going to get a whole lot out of this phone. But if you're struggling along on something significantly older, the S9 will feel like a huge upgrade.