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Galaxy S9 vs. Essential Phone: The difference is not that big

by Danny Zepeda | February 25, 2018February 25, 2018 2:00 pm PST

Samsung is the king of Android devices. It has been for a while, and that status has only been cemented more with the Galaxy S9. That hasn’t stopped rivals and start ups from trying to usurp the Korean giant from its pedestal. The latest challenger is the Essential Phone.

The Essential Phone is a worthy opponent. Instead of copying Samsung, it brought something new to the table with a ceramic body, edge-to-edge display (with the tiny notch) and compatibility with modular accessories.

While not completely overmatched, the Essential Phone is hard pressed to keep up with the Galaxy S9. You can call it a wash with design and software: both offer something different that may appeal to different people. Where the two truly diverge is with camera performance. Essential has pushed out updates to improve camera performance, but it still doesn’t match the cameras in Samsung devices. It is no different against the Galaxy S9.

The only saving grace for the Essential Phone is its price. Whereas the S9 is upwards of $800, the Essential Phone is just $499. If you are okay with sacrificing camera performance, the price difference may be appealing.

Check out the side by side spec comparison down below of the two devices.

Samsung - Galaxy S9 Essential - Essential PH-1
Display Size 5.8-inch, 1440 x 2960 pixel display (568 ppi) 5.71-inch, 1312 x 2560 pixel display (504 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 1312
Resolution Y 2960 2560
Display Type Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED CGS / LTPS
Operating System Android 8 (Oreo) at launch Android
Processor 10nm, 64-bit, Octa-core processor (2.8 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad) Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
External Storage Yes No
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 400GB
Main Camera (Back) 12MP 13MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2mbps) Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Battery 3000mAh 3040mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • MST
  • USB type-C
  • USB Type-C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Geomagnetic
  • Gyro
  • Hall
  • HR
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer
  • Proximity
GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • GPS
Height 147.7 mm (5.81 inches) 141.5 mm (5.57 inches)
Width 68.7 mm (2.70 inches) 71.1 mm (2.80 inches)
Depth 8.5 mm (0.33 inches) 7.8 mm (0.31 inches)
Weight 163 g (5.75 oz) 185 g (6.53 oz)
Colors Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple Black, Grey, Ocean Depths, White
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 N/A
Supported Video Formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM N/A

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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