Head-To-Head: Samsung's Rumored Galaxy S9 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S8

Into A New Galaxy

Samsung's follow-ups to its hit 2017 premium smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, are expected to be unveiled Feb. 25 just before the start of Mobile World Congress 2018. But many of the details about the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have already surfaced via a series of credible leaks and rumors. For this week's device face-off, the CRN Test Center takes a look at how the rumored Galaxy S9 and S9+ compare vs. the Galaxy S8 and S8+ on specs, features, and price.

(Galaxy S9 image, on left, courtesy of Evan Blass)


Samsung broke new ground in unveiling the edge-to-edge display design for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ a year ago. Phone makers such as Apple (with the iPhone X) and Google (with the Pixel 2 XL) would follow the same idea later in 2017. Now, for the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung appears to be looking to stick with the successful approach with the display of last year's models. According to leaks and rumors, the Galaxy S9 will stick with a 5.8-inch display while the Galaxy S9+ display will remain at 6.2 inches. Leaked images of the new smartphones suggest the form factor overall will adhere closely to the 2017 models, with slim bezels above and below the display and curved display edges on the left and right.

In terms of the display specs, it's a safe bet that Samsung will be sticking with its Super AMOLED display technology for the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Specifics on the display resolution of the forthcoming phones haven't surfaced yet, but the Galaxy S8 and S8+ both feature 2,960 x 1,440 pixels.

(Galaxy S9 and S9+ image courtesy of Evan Blass)

Processor & Battery

One big advancement that's expected for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is the inclusion of Qualcomm's newest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 845. The eight-core processor runs at up to 2.8GHz, which could be noticeably faster than the processor used in the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the Snapdragon 835 (up to 2.45GHz).

Qualcomm's promise of improved power efficiency with the Snapdragon 845 could also help to increase the battery life of the new Galaxy devices, particularly as leaks suggest the battery sizes themselves won't be changing—3,000mAh for the Galaxy S9 and 3,500mAh for the Galaxy S9+, identical to the 2017 phones. Samsung has promised 12 hours of battery life on 4G for the Galaxy S8 and 15 hours for the Galaxy S8+.

RAM & Storage

One theme of the new Samsung Galaxy devices for 2018 is that the two models may not feature identical specs to each other, as the Galaxy S8 and S8+ largely did. According to leaks, the Galaxy S9+ will include a larger amount of RAM -- 6 GB -- than the Galaxy S9, which will have 4 GB of RAM. By comparison, both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have come with 4 GB of RAM.

The same dynamic is true with storage, with the Galaxy S9 rumored to be coming with 64 GB of storage (the same as the Galaxy S8), but the Galaxy S9+ rumored to pack 128 GB of storage (twice the amount of the Galaxy S8+).


Samsung's event invite for the Feb. 25 unveiling event teases that the new devices will include a "reimagined" camera. Leaks and rumors have filled in some of the details: the Galaxy S9+ is expected to feature a dual-camera setup of 12-megapixel cameras, while the Galaxy S9 will stick with a single 12-megapixel camera. Features of the new cameras could include variable aperture capabilities, "tag shot" (which tags photos with the current location) and slow-motion video. The camera system may also enable a new form of biometric authentication that combines both facial and iris scanning, potentially called "Intelligent Scan."

By contrast, both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature a single rear camera, of 12 megapixels, without variable aperture capabilities or combined facial and iris scanning.


While there has been less information available about pricing, some rumors do suggest that Samsung has a price increase in store for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ compared to the predecessor models. Unlocked from Samsung, the Galaxy S8 has started at $725 and the Galaxy S8+ has started at $825. Rumors about potential pricing in South Korea suggest that U.S. prices could surpass $800 for the for the Galaxy S9 and surpass $900 for the Galaxy S9+. There's a bit more certainty about the shipping date, which will be March 16, according to VentureBeat's Evan Blass, who has a strong track record on providing details about Samsung devices prior to launch.