Overview & Price

So you’re interested in the Samsung Galaxy S9? Well you have come to the right place! In this Samsung S9 review UK we go over the Samsung Galaxy S9 performance, the camera, battery and more!

We give you all of the information you need to make an informed purchase decision when it comes to purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S9, we even showcase the best deals in the UK.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the newest Samsung phone on the market right now and is priced at around £600 in the UK, but can be attained on a contract deal for cheaper monthly instalments.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 camera quality is great, capturing stunning images in both strong light, and low light, more on that later!

The reason for this, is that if you are a Samsung phone lover and by that we mean you enjoy what their phones offer, then you are going to love the Samsung Galaxy S9 as it is their most up to date and best phone that they have ever made!

Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S9 contract deals in the UK..

Design & Display

When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S9 design, it is one of the best in any smartphone to date. Samsung has done an excellent job at making the bezels thinner than on last years model and hiding the bezels in the display.

In addition, the earpiece now doubles as a front spacing speaker which is pretty cool. It’s not quite the same as two speakers but at least it is a little louder and clearer.

The USB-C and fast charging are still here in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and so is wireless charging and the headphone jack.

You may be wondering is the Samsung Galaxy S9 waterproof? Well yes, it is water and dust resistant and has an IP68 rating, meaning this thing can survive a dunk in the tub!

Similar to previous models, this phone is still made of glass which means you’re still going to get smudges and fingerprints all over the screen, so picking up a case for the phone is not a bad idea.

Although, the biggest change is that the fingerprint scanner is now in the middle of the screen instead of at the top next to the camera. This makes a big difference as it is raised slightly so it’s easier to tell if your finger is on the scanner or not.

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S9 performance aspect is very strong, it has 128GB of internal storage as standard, coupled with 4GB of RAM.

This is ideal for the average user, its plenty to store tons of music and photos on your device without having to stress about having enough storage.

Registering your fingerprint is now a slow scroll down the back of the scanner once and it will instantly register and unlock your phone for you. We found this works really fast!

We know that on previous models, Samsung has incorporated the heart rate monitor but now on the S9 we have a blood pressure sensor!

Usually to measure your blood pressure you’d have to be a doctor’s office and strapped to a bunch of machines, so this is a really cool and useful feature, marking a change towards medical functions in smartphones.

samsung s9 specs

Facial Recognition is also another one of the S9’s new features. In conjunction with an Iris scanner and a new intelligent scan which combines both! This basically works by using whichever one will work best depending on the light conditions.

It sometimes feels like Samsung has packed everything they have came up with onto this phone, although this is not a bad thing if your a Samsung user but if not it may take some getting used to.

The Bixby feature is still in the phone and works very well, it can actually follow a long chain of commands which some other assistants can’t follow, which makes it very useful when digging deep into the settings.

Overall the Samsung Galaxy S9 performance is unquestionable, lots of features crammed into the device to get to grips with, whilst maintaining good functionality and usability.

samsung galaxy s9 camera quality

Image: Jonah Pettrich

Camera

When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera quality, we were most impressed! This is easily the most innovative aspect of the device.

Personally, I think this is the only feature that actually feels unique and different to all other Samsung devices as their is a new 12MP camera on the back. Also, if you get the S9 plus you get the second telephoto camera as well, which is the first smartphone with a variable aperture camera.

The phone can physically switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending on your lighting and defaults at f2.4, which is roughly average for a smartphone camera. Conveniently,when you do get to low light then the camera will switch to f/1.5.

The mechanism which does this is very impressive! But it only really matters if you can see the difference in photos. Generally, all the photos from this phone are detailed and clear.

However, we feel they are slightly less sharp and overlooked than the Samsung photos that we are used to but it still is a great image overall.

Although, images in the f/1.5 aperture lens look fantastic in low lighting and you can see a huge difference from previous model phones because the f1.5 lens actually lets more light in than the f/2.4.

Software-based variable apertures have featured on phones before such as Huawei and Honor but they were basically filters being used on top of the photo to enhance the image and give it that artificial look.

The camera also features some added memory and OIS which enables the photo to store more images and bind them all together without you even noticing to give you the best shots.

As a whole the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera quality is extremely strong, it can make even the most novice photographers half decent, we found ourselves taking Instagram worthy shots with ease.

Another cool feature of the phone’s camera settings is the super slow-mo recording, which allows you to shoot a 0.2-second burst of 960fps footage and stretch it out for 6 seconds.

When you find the perfect scene to shoot, the results are fantastic but keep in mind not everything looks good slowed down this much.

It is important to have good lighting when shooting in super slow-mo and remember the camera will record only in 720p which will impact your footage.

Battery Life

Although the phone is great and has a lot of cool features available, the battery life is not so cool!

We found when using this phone it would not last very long and usually be out of juice by the end of the day (especially if you’re using the phone to play music etc).

However, although the battery drains quickly, the phone charges extremely quick and is wireless, which is great for not having wires all over the place.

We feel because the phone charges so quick it kind of balances out the fact that the battery is weak and doesn’t last very long.

Samsung has also implemented a new AR emoji features which appear to be their response to apples bitmoji, although it feels like more of a bitmoji with a human touch. Similar to Apple’s feature they do still map your face with their selfie camera which is cool.

Summary

In our opinion we think this phone is great, although we do think that the Pixel 2 and the P20 Pro are better in terms of the camera quality.

However, we would certainly recommend this phone over something like the Note 8 as you get more features and a better overall phone for less cost.

The one disappointment with regards to the camera is that the S9 plus is the only one out of the pair to receive the secondary telephoto lens which would have been welcomed in the smaller phone.

We can see their thinking here but feel they need to compete with Apples iPhone X.

All in all, the phone is great for taking photos and has a lot of cool features which would take a long time to get bored of and the fact you can monitor blood pressure and your heart rate is great! Plus the super slow-mo in the camera is a key feature for me.

We hope you have enjoyed our Samsung S9 review UK, and feel free to drop a comment and leave us some feedback as this is always appreciated.

Also check out the best Samsung Galaxy S9 contract deals for the phone up top, as these refresh daily to ensure they are the most competitive at the time.

Full Spec Below:

Launch: 2018, March

Body:

  • Dimension: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm (5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 163g (5.75 oz)
  • Build: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminium frame
  • Sim: Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)
  • Samsung Pay (Visa, Mastercard certified)

Display:

  • Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 5.8inches, 84.8cm² (-83.6% screen to body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2960 pixels, 18:5:9 ratio (-570 ppi density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • HDR10 Compliant, 3D Touch (home button only), Always on display

Platform:

  •  OS: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Exynos 9810 Octa – EMEA
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.7 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) – EMEA
    Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kyro 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) – USA/LATAM, China
  • GPU: Mali-G72 MP18 – EMEA
    Adreno 630 – USA/Latam, China

Memory:

  • Card slot: MicroSD, up to 512GB (uses SIM 2 slot) – dual SIM model only
  • Internal: 64/128/256GB, 4GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary: 12MP (f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.5″, dual pixel PDAF), OIS, LED flash
  • Features: Geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR, dual video recording
  • Secondary: 8MP (f1.7, 25mm, 1/3.6″), AF, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, auto HDR

Sound:

  • Alert Types: Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes
    – 32-bit/384kHz audio
    -Active noise cancellation with dedication mic

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE aptX
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: FM radio (USA & Canada only)
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector

Features:

  • Sensors: Iris scanner, fingerprint (rear mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate SPO2
  • Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
  • Browser: HTML5
  • More: Samsung DeX (Desktop Experience Support), fast battery charging (QuickCharge2.0), Qi/PMA wireless charging (market dependant), ANT + support, Bixby natural language commands and dictation, MP4/DivX/XviD/H265 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player, photo/video editor, document editor

Battery:

  • Non-removeable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery (11.55Wh)

Misc:

  • Colors: Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray, Lilac Purple, Burgundy Red, Sunrise Gold
  • Price: As seen in blog post above

Tests:

  • Performance: Basemark OS: 3329 / Basemark OS 2.0: 3382 / Basemark X: 42645
  • Display: Contrast ratio: infinite (nominal), 4.630 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 68dB / Noise 74dB / Ring 81dB
  • Audio Quality: Noise -93.4dB / Crosstalk – 93.9dB
  • Battery life: Endurance Rating 78h