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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: What's the difference?

Which new Samsung is for you?

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are official. Samsung drew back the curtain at a glitzy event at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress event today. Both phones offer stellar specs and awesome performance. But which is right for you?

There are some important differences between the two phones. Which is best for you will depend on what you'll use it for, and of course how much you're willing to spend.

Without further ado, let's dive into the specs and compare the two.

Want the latest Samsung flagship? Here are our best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals.

Want to go large? Take a look at our best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus deals.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Screen

Samsung Galaxy S9 screen hero size

Both handsets offer AMOLED screens with the aspect ratio of 18.5:9. That's in order to provide a more cinematic viewing experience.

However, there is one major difference between the two: size. As the name suggests, the S9 Plus is a bit bigger than the standard S9, having a 6.2-inch screen compared to the S9's 5.8-incher.

This extra real estate will help you see more detail in films, TV shows and games, and should make text like emails easier to read.

The downside? It will take up more space in your pocket or bag, and could be unwieldy for those with smaller hands.

Our advice is to try both in the shop before you buy, to see which suits you better.

Both screens have a resolution of 1,440x2,960 pixels. The smaller size means the standard S9 will look slightly sharper, but only just.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Cameras


The S9 Plus again has the edge in this department. Its main camera is a 12-megapixel dual lens, dual pixel shooter complete with a telephoto lens.

Dual-lens capability means you can focus on the subject while blurring the background in a technique known as bokeh. It makes for very artistic shots.

Dual pixel, meanwhile, is a technology very similar to phase detection seen in other smartphone cameras and digitals single lens reflex cameras (the type the pros use). It's basically a way of making the camera focus super quickly on any object, no matter where it is in the frame.

It debuted in the Galaxy S6, and has proved a storming success since.

The standard S9 also has a 12-megapixel main camera with dual pixel technology and the same aperture. But it lacks the dual lenses and telephoto lens, meaning no bokeh and less zooming power.

Both phones have the same 8-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus. That should be handy for selfies and video calls.

Want to find out more? Take a look at everything you need to know about the S9 and S9 Plus camera.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Memory and RAM

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in-hand homescreens

The S9 has 64GB of internal storage, but this is bested by the S9 Plus' whopping 128GB. Both have microSD card slots, so you can load on extra music, movies, games, photos and apps.

The S9 Plus is also more powerful, as you'd expect. It boasts 6GB of RAM to the S9's 4GB. You'll only really notice that extra grunt when doing extremely processor-intensive tasks though, so don't worry: you'll get by just fine with 4GB at your disposal.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Battery

Samsung Galaxy S9 fingerprint scanner hero size

Considering it's bigger and has to power a bigger screen, you'd expect the S9 Plus to have a bigger battery. And you'd be right.

The S9 Plus has a 3,500mAh battery inside, which is more powerful than the 3,000mAh one powering the standard S9.

Whether that translates to longer battery life, we'll have to wait and see. The S9's bigger screen will drain juice quicker, so there's a chance the S9 Plus won't outlast its smaller sibling. We'll bring you the definitive verdict in our full review.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Extras

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus menu screens

Other than that, both phones are nigh-on identical. Both run Android 8.1 Oreo, which is the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. (Find out more here.)

Both are powered by an octa-core 2.8GHz and 1.8GHz chipset. Both have AKG stereo speakers and a super slow motion recording. And both have a fingerprint sensor below the rear camera and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.

Both also boast Dolby Atmos surround sound technology, an eyeball scanner, wireless charging and come in three colours: Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple. Maple Gold will come at a later date.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus hero size

The S9 looks like being a stellar handset, with a top-of-the-range processor, camera and operating system. But power users will want to go for the S9 Plus, thanks to its extra battery, screen real estate and imaging prowess.

The S9 and S9 Plus go on sale on 16th March. Look out for a full review of both soon.

Convinced you need the S9? Check out our best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals.

Think you need the bigger version? Here are our best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus deals.

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