We thought we’d take a look at the current leading Samsung smartphones and ask… which one should you choose?
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S9
The Galaxy S series of high-end Android-powered phones has proved a massive success story for Samsung since the release of the first version in 2010. But if you’re trying to decide between the latest Samsung Galaxy S9 and the slightly older S8, which one should you go for?
There’s no question that these two devices are superficially very similar, to the extent that the average person probably wouldn’t be able to tell the newer model apart from the older one if you handed both to them. The relocated rear fingerprint sensor on the S9 is certainly noticeable, but there’s otherwise scarcely any physical difference between the latest model and its predecessor.
It’s the camera setup that largely distinguishes the S9 from the S8. Go for the most recent phone, and you’ll be able to take advantage of a new ‘Super Speed’ Dual Pixel sensor, as well as a lens boasting a physically variable aperture. You’ll notice much less grain and enhanced fine edge processing when taking snaps with the S9 in low-light conditions.
Both the standard S8 and S9, though, serve up 12-megapixel rear cameras, alongside eight-megapixel front cameras sporting f/1.7 apertures. They also both offer 4GB of RAM, although you aren’t restricted to 64GB storage if you plump for the S9 over the S8. That’s because the more recent phone also gives you 128GB and 256GB options.
With the S9 seeing significant changes to both the camera and the processor compared to the S8, it’s fair to say that these are two distinctly different phones. However, they aren’t drastically different, so if it’s a question of spending literally hundreds of dollars more on the S9 over the S8, the latter won’t exactly feel like a poor relation.
Look in the right parts of the web, though, and the premium won’t necessarily be that heavy. We found the Midnight Black unlocked S8 being offered at Walmart for $599, for instance, but also an unlocked S9 in the same color on Amazon for a mere $609.99.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy Note 9
Playing a leading role in the early 2010s in the popularization of the ‘phablet’ – a type of smartphone that boasts a larger-than-usual screen to make tablet-like functionality possible – Samsung’s Galaxy Note series continues to go from strength to strength.
Slender differences between new and year-old Samsung Galaxy models, however, aren’t a phenomenon restricted to the S series. That’s because the story’s similar as far as the Note 8 and Note 9 are concerned. It just goes to show that Samsung doesn’t really target those looking to upgrade on a 12-month cycle with its latest models, instead trying to appeal to people carrying around two-year-old or three-year-old phones.
The Note 8 may have been released ‘way back’ in September 2017, for instance, but it still feels like a very modern device, thanks to such features as a massive Super AMOLED display that remains one of the more sophisticated on the market, as well as an exceedingly powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, compared to the Note 9’s Snapdragon 845. The Note 8 also has 6GB of RAM, which is equal to that offered by the base version of the Note 9.
There are still some notable changes that might tempt you to go for the Note 9 if you aren’t upgrading from a Note 8, though. The 21% greater battery capacity than the Note 8 can offer – at 4000mAh – may be a deciding factor, not least given how similar these handsets otherwise are. Storage is also something to consider – the Note 9 can give you 512GB in storage, plus another 512GB with an optional SD card, thereby giving you a stellar amount of space to play with.
The experience with the ‘S Pen’ stylus pen is also better with the Note 9 than the Note 8, although the precise difference that this will make for you will depend largely on how you expect to use it. The Note 9 gives the S Pen wireless connectivity so that you can do much more with it, including launching and controlling apps remotely. But if you only expect to use your S Pen for writing and drawing, such enhancements may not be of great interest to you.
The range of deals on offer for both of these highly rated ‘phablets’ is certainly interesting. We recently found an unlocked 64GB Note 8 being offered at Best Buy for $849.99, for instance – but those looking to Amazon could have themselves a certified refurbished and unlocked Note 9 with 512GB in storage for a tempting $885.
As a comprehensive comparison of these four respected devices shows, there isn’t necessarily that much to choose between them, which makes it all the more crucial for you to scrutinize their specifications in the context of your own requirements. Happy purchasing!