Samsung Galaxy S9+ Hands-on and Initial Impression; A Phablet Flagship to Beat?

Matthew Cuyugan

The Samsung Galaxy S9+, from the moniker "plus" is the bigger variant of the Galaxy S9, which was announced at the annual Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. The 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display features an Infinity Display with WQHD+ resolution. Weighing 189 grams, the Galaxy S9+ is the heaviest smartphone made by Samsung on the "S" flagship line-up. Here's our first look.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Hands-on and Initial Impression; A Phablet Flagship to Beat?
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Hands-on and Initial Impression; A Phablet Flagship to Beat?


The design is strikingly similar to its predecessor. Despite this, the sleek and gorgeous display is still amazing in its 6.2-inch 18.5:9 aspect ratio, with the curved on each of the sides and the glass finish that makes it eye candy for most people.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Front

The on-screen buttons (recent, home and back) are still intact below the screen. These buttons automatically disappear when you are playing games and will be back once you touch the area where they are originally located, similar to that of Apple's 3D Touch.

Even though it has a large screen, the narrow display makes it easier to grip and it's very manageable in our hands. Above are the 8-megapixel selfie camera, the speaker and a couple of sensors, including the ambient and proximity.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Back

Circling to the back, we have the dual 12-megapixel lenses with the dual-Pixel and dual aperture (f/1.8 and f/2.4) on the primary sensor, plus another f/2.4 aperture for the portrait shots. To the right, there's the LED flash and the auto focus sensors. Below is the fingerprint scanner, which has been moved from its awkward position in the Galaxy S8 series.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Top

On the top frame is the hybrid dual-SIM slots, that can handle two subscriber identity module or one of it plus a Micro SD card.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Bottom

Down to the busiest part, at the bottom, we have the single-firing speaker, a microphone, USB Type-C port and the 3.5 mm audio jack, yes, Samsung hasn't given up on it yet.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Left

Moving to the right side is the power button that also locks and wakes up the phone from idle mode.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Right
Samsung Galaxy S9+

Lies on the left frame of the Galaxy S9+ are the volume up and down buttons, plus the dedicated Bixby button.

Overall, the phone still looks premium at every angle, and even though it resembles the past, it still has what it takes to be a head turner.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S9 Hands-on and Initial Impression; Is It Worth Buying?


Samsung Galaxy S9+ Main Camera Sample - Close-up
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Main Camera Sample - Low Light, Close-up
Low Light, Close-up
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Main Camera Sample - Low Light
Low Light
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Front Camera Sample - Low Light Selfie
Low Light Selfie

It was already dark when we are able to play with the Galaxy S9 Plus, but we did not waste the opportunity to test it out under low light conditions. And to be honest, we are quite impressed with its camera performance under that scenario. It is still able to focus fast enough, and capture images with lots of details and less noise.


In a few hours of 'experiencing' this device, we start loving to use it. The lag-less UI, few bloatware applications, good sets of cameras with lots of features, and the striking design, convinced us that this will be going to become one of the best smartphones this 2018.

However, with a price tag of a whopping Php52,990 to Php60,990 (depending on the storage size), the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is pretty tough buy for those coming from the Galaxy S8+. Unless otherwise the dual camera set-up and the newer Exynos 9810 chipset are suffice reason for you to upgrade. But, if you are coming from a two-year old flagship device, either from Samsung or other brands, this a great option to consider when you want an upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Specs:

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports up to 1.2Gbps LTE connectivity
  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED WQHD+ (2960x1440) Infinity display, 83.2% screen-to-body-ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, front, and rear
  • IP68-certified, dust and waterproof over 1.5 meters for 30 minutes
  • Dimensions: 158.1mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 189 grams
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9 on top
  • Bixby Vision 2.0
  • 2.9GHz quad-core Custom CPU + 1.9GHz quad-core Cortex-A55 CPU, ARM Mali-G72MP18 GPU, Samsung Exynos 9810 10nm FinFet chipset
  • 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via micro SD card, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 12MP OIS dual aperture (f/1.5 & f/2.4) + 12MP f/2.4 Dual Pixel PDAF main camera with dual-tone LED flash, 4K (2160p) video recording at 30fps, 720p slow-mo video recording at 960fps
  • 8MP f/1.7 autofocus secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • Dual speaker powered by AKG
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • USB Type-C v3.1
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • NFC
  • Iris + Face scanner
  • Samsung DeX (desktop experience)
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate
  • Battery: 3500mAh Li-Po, non-removable, supports fast charging and wireless charging
  • Colors: midnight black, lilac purple, coral blue

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