Samsung is rushing the new Galaxy S9 and S9+ to India within weeks of the global unveiling at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2018. The Galaxy S9 will be available at Rs57,900 (64GB) and Rs65,900 (256GB), while the Galaxy S9+ will be available at Rs65,900 (64GB) and Rs72,900 (256GB) from 16 March at retail outlets, Flipkart and Samsung Shop.
The S9 is the successor to the S8 and the S9+ succeeds its bigger sibling the S8+. The new smartphones have retained the tall looks, screen size and thin bezel design of the predecessors and will be available in more eye-catching colours.
The S9 and S9+ run on Samsung’s new Exynos 9810 octa-core processor clocking at 2.9GHz. It is believed to be as powerful as Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset which powers the likes of Sony Xperia XZ2, Asus ZenFone 5Z and the US variants of Galaxy S9 and S9+.
The S9 and S9+ are likely to be pitted against the Apple iPhone X (starts at Rs95,390), Google Pixel 2 XL (Rs73,000 onwards), HTC U11+ (Rs56,990), LG V30+ (Rs44,990) and the OnePlus 5T (starts at Rs32,999).
The notable elements of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ include slightly brighter AMOLED screens with resolution of 2,880×1,450p and an upgraded version of Bixby with AR (augmented reality) support. It is also water proof up to 1.5 metres. Then there is an improved camera sensor with mechanically adjustable aperture, which can automatically switch to f/1.5 for low-light snaps and to f/2.4 for daylight photography.
We take a look at its key rivals and how they compare with it.
Apple iPhone X
The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch screen just like the Galaxy S9, but its front panel looks more edge-to-edge as there are practically no bezels around three sides of the screen except for the thin strip at the top called notch. At 174g, the iPhone X is slightly heavier than S9 which weighs 163g. It runs on Apple’s powerful A11 Bionic chipset and offers up to 256 GB of internal storage in the higher variants. The S9 offers up to 256GB internal storage with the option to add up to 400GB more through microSD card. The iPhone X is water proof up to 1 metre and has dual 12-megapixel cameras with aperture of f/1.8.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 XL has a similar thin-bezel design as the S9 and S9+. With a 6-inch screen, it sits right between the two Samsung smartphones. The Pixel 2 XL has a lustreless metal back, two front firing speakers, and offers an unadulterated stock Android UI, unlike the S9 and S9+ which run Samsung’s TouchWiz custom UI on top. At 175g, the Pixel 2 XL is lighter than the S9+ which weighs 189g. The Google smartphone is also known for its impressive camera performance even though it uses a single 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8. It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and offers up to 256 GB storage. It is also water-proof up to 1 metre.
This is the upgraded version of U11 and the first HTC smartphone to offer thin bezels and wider than usual aspect ratio of 18:9. The smartphone has retained the glass back finish and is also waterproof up to 1.5 metres. With a 6-inch screen and resolution of 2,880×1,440p, the smartphone looks as big as the S9+ and also weighs 188g. The innards include Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor with up to 6GB RAM and offers 64GB internal storage and like the Samsung smartphones provides the option to expand it (up to 256GB) via microSD. It has a single 12-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.7.
With the V30+, LG has trimmed down the bezels around the screen even further. This is one of the reasons for its compact size. Even with a 6-inch screen it weighs just 158g. The screen packs the same resolution available on the S9, while the smartphone itself runs on Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB RAM. The V30+ is ideal for music buffs and uses 32-bit QUAD DAC audio hardware for superior audio experience in headphones or speaker. For photo enthusiasts, there is a (13+16) megapixel camera setup with an aperture of f/1.6. The LG smartphone is also water-proof up to 1.5 metres, like the S9.
The OnePlus flagship costs a lot less compared to the S9, but doesn’t miss out on any of the features which matters. It has a similar thin-bezel design with 18:9 aspect ratio, runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, clubs it with up to 8GB RAM, offers up to 128GB internal storage and has a 6-inch AMOLED screen, with slightly lower resolution of 2,160×1,080p. The OnePlus 5T comes with dual (16+20) megapixel cameras with an aperture of f/1.7, and runs latest Android with a near plain version of Android. Despite the big screen, it weighs 162g and is as light as the Galaxy S9.