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Galaxy S9 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 8: Samsung takes baby steps

by Danny Zepeda | February 25, 2018February 25, 2018 11:00 am PDT

Samsung reached the pinnacle of its design prowess with the Galaxy Note 8. How could it top that? It couldn’t, at least not right now, so it decided to keep the same design with the S9 Plus, while fixing some of the biggest issues.

Because of this, the battle between the S-line and N-line is closer than in years past.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: save for specs and minor details, the S9 Plus is the Note 8, minus the S Pen. But it is better. The annoying vertical dual camera with the fingerprint scanner placed as far as possible from a comfortable position has been verticalized. The fingerprint scanner is in its rightful place: in the center of the back.

The 12MP dual camera also adds variable aperture. Controlling the amount of the light between f/1.5 and f/2.4 will lead to better pictures, according to Samsung. We haven’t had a chance to test this out, but once we do, we’ll provide camera samples for both devices to decide which looks better.

Aside from the that, the only major difference is the specs, but that’s not too exciting. The main difference is the newer Snapdragon 845 processor in the S9 Plus. This should make performance snappy, but it’s not like the Note 8 is slow by any means with the Snapdragon 835. Beyond that, RAM stays the same at 6GB, display size is virtually identical (6.3-inch vs. 6.2-inch QHD+ Infinity Display) and both devices look the same with the glass melded with metal design.

Comparing the S9 Plus and Note 8 comes down to one basic question: do you want a newer phone or a cheaper phone? The S9 Plus is a terrific device, but the Note 8 is equally as great and it can be found with steep discounts.

The choice will ultimately come down to you. Check out the side by side spec breakdown below.

Samsung - Galaxy S9 Plus Samsung - Galaxy Note 8
Display Size 6.2-inch, 1440 x 2960 pixel display (531 ppi) 6.3-inch, 2960 x 1440 pixel display (522 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 2960
Resolution Y 2960 1440
Display Type Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED Quad HD+
Operating System Android 8 (Oreo) at launch Android 7.1.1 (at launch)
Processor 10nm, 64-bit, Octa-core processor (2.8 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad) Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor/Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor - Differs by market
RAM 6GB 6GB
Storage
  • 64GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 256GB
External Storage Yes Yes
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 400GB
  • microSD up to 256GB
Main Camera (Back) Dual 12MP 12MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2mbps) Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Battery 3500mAh 3300mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • MST
  • USB type-C
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • MST
  • USB Type-C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Geomagnetic
  • Gyro
  • Hall
  • HR
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Geomagnetic
  • Gyroscope
  • Hall
  • Heart rate
  • Iris
  • Proximity
  • Pressure
GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
Height 158.1 mm (6.22 inches) 162.5 mm (6.40 inches)
Width 73.8 mm (2.91 inches) 74.8 mm (2.94 inches)
Depth 8.5 mm (0.33 inches) 8.6 mm (0.34 inches)
Weight 189 g (6.67 oz) 195 g (6.88 oz)
Colors Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple N/A
Supported Audio Formats MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE
Supported Video Formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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