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Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: What's the difference?

Is it time you upgraded?

The Galaxy S9 is here! After months of rumours, leaks and hearsay, we've finally got the full details on Samsung's latest smartphone.

Of course it's a step on from the Galaxy S8. But the question on everyone's lips is: Is it worth upgrading?

We'll walk you through a spec-by-spec comparison so you can see just how much better it is.

And hopefully it'll help you decide whether it's worth upgrading from last year's model.

Want the latest Samsung flagship? Take a look at our best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals.

Or, if you want last year's model, here are all our best Samsung Galaxy S8 deals.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Screen

Both the S9 and S8 have the same screen – it's a 5.8-inch model, with a resolution of 1,440x2,960 pixels. It also has the 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

So there's really nothing to choose between them in this department.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Camera


The same 12-megapixel dual pixel rear camera sits inside both handsets. Though there is a slight difference.

The S9's has an aperture of f1.5-2.4, whereas the S8's has just f1.7. The higher the f number, the larger the depth of field.

In other words, photos taken at a higher f number will have a greater depth of field, whereas those taken at a lower f number will keep objects at one distance in focus and blur the background.

That means the S9 should keep more objects in focus, making for a sharper image. But we'll have to wait until we test a review unit to find out for sure.

Both phones have the same 8-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus. So again, it's a dead heat here.

Want to find out more? Here's everything you need to know about the S9 and S9 Plus camera.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Processor

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in-hand shot

As you'd expect, the S9 has a newer processor, and hence is more powerful.

It features an octa-core 2.8GHz and 1.8GHz chipset, as opposed to the S8 which has an octa-core 2.3GHz and 1.7GHz chip.

That should mean the S9 is more adept at handling processor-intensive tasks like streaming 4K video and playing graphically advanced video games.

Though considering both phones have the same 4GB of RAM, the difference in performance could be minimal.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Battery

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus hero size

Another tie: both phones have the same 3,000mAh battery. They both have the same size screen, so battery life should be pretty even.

Though the S9's newer chipset – coupled with Android Oreo's power saving skills – could make it more efficient.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Operating system

Speaking of Android Oreo, you'll find Google's latest tasty mobile operating system on the S9, whereas the S8 is stuck with Android 7.0 Nougat.

Android 8.0 Oreo is rolling out to the S8, though not yet in the UK.

Samsung stopped the rollout in other countries after reports it caused some S8 handsets to reboot, though it has since resumed.

Android Oreo makes the phone boot up quicker, it's more robust thanks to Google Play Protect, and it stops apps running in the background from sucking too much power from your phone.

For more, check out our guide.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Memory

Again, a dead heat. Both have 64GB internal memory, and a microSD card slot for loading on more content.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Fingerprint sensor

Samsung S8 vs S9 hero image

Samsung has made a change here. The S8's fingerprint scanner is on the back of the phone, right next to the camera lens.

This caused many users to accidentally smudge the lens while trying to scan their digit.

For the S9, the firm has righted this wrong. It's shunted the scanner to below the camera. Which hopefully should lead to fewer smudged lenses.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Extras

So what else is there? Both handsets are waterproof, have wireless charging and an eyeball scanner. The S9 also has stereo speakers and an amplifier all made by AKG (a specialist audio company which Samsung bought) and Dolby Atmos surround sound tech.


It also comes in different colours. At launch, it's available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple, with Maple Gold to follow at a later date. The S8, meanwhile, comes in Black, Grey, Silver, Blue and Gold.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in-hand homescreens

So, is it worth an upgrade?

It very much depends on what you use your phone for, and whether you're happy spending the extra cash.

The S9 is more powerful, has a slightly better camera, more advanced audio and a better placed fingerprint scanner. If you can afford it, it's a fantastic upgrade to an already awesome phone.

The S9 and S9 Plus go on sale on 16th March.

Need the very latest Samsung phone? Here are our best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals.

Or, if you want the 2018 edition, here are all our best Samsung Galaxy S8 deals.

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