Samsung on Sunday unveiled the Galaxy S9, the phone that’ll be the company’s prized horse through the summer and into the fall. It has everything you need: a good camera, gorgeous design, and the latest specs. We have every reason to believe Samsung’s newest flagship will be the company’s best device yet.
But you shouldn’t buy it for one simple reason: The Galaxy S8 is still a really good phone.
Samsung set such a high bar last year that the differences between the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 are negligible at best. That’s not a knock against the Galaxy S9; the Galaxy S8 is just that good. And now that Android Oreo is finally here—six months after Google made it available—the device is being reinvigorated in a meaningful way.
Put it like this: If you set the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 in front of someone who isn’t an enthusiast, they’ll likely think the phones are exactly the same. Which is a testament to both Samsung and the Galaxy S8’s quality. Twelve months later, and the handset remains plenty fast, while the design is as lovely as ever. Samsung got the formula so right that there wasn’t much room to go up.
Apple fans know this feeling all too well. Over the past few years, Apple’s iPhone updates have felt particularly lacking. It wasn’t until the iPhone X was released that it felt like the Cupertino company released a groundbreaking new product. It’s likely the follow-up to the iPhone X this year will feel more iterative than revolutionary.
We knew this would happen. 2018 is shaping up to be an off-year for significant innovation, and that’s fine. It means companies can perfect ideas as technology builds toward grander breakthroughs.
Which is why the Galaxy S8 should be your obvious choice now that the Galaxy S9 has been unveiled. Ignore the part of your brain that says you need the S9 because it’s the newest phone available. You don’t. Not when the Galaxy S8 is already a fantastic choice.
If you have the patience, wait a few weeks until after the Galaxy S9 launches, because the Galaxy S8’s price will undoubtedly fall. So, you’ll not only get a terrific phone (whichever one you choose), but you could save a bit of coin.