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Galaxy Note 9 vs. Galaxy S9 Plus: The Difference is More Than Just the S-Pen

by Danny Zepeda | August 9, 2018August 9, 2018 11:15 am PDT

The unveiling of the Galaxy Note 9 ushered in the last of Samsung’s trio of flagships this year alongside the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus. Between the line-up, there has always been debate about the point of having an S9 Plus with the Note 9 being the plus-sized flagship of choice for Samsung. Just exactly what is the difference between the two?

To answer the question, let’s compare the Galaxy Note 9 and S9 Plus and see how they differ outside of the S-Pen.

First off, the Note 9 is Samsung’s biggest phone. It comes with a 6.4-inch OLED display, 4000mAh battery and makes room for the previously mentioned S-Pen. Opposing it is the S9 Plus, which comes in with a 6.2-inch OLED display and 3500mAh battery. The differences are negligible, but if you want a bigger display and battery, that favors the Note 9.

Samsung also put in few extra features in the Note 9 to make it stand out. It comes with an available 512GB of expandable storage that also contains 8GB of RAM. The S9 Plus caps out at 128GB of storage (that is expandable) and 6GB of RAM.

Aside from that, the differences begin to get vague. Samsung used the same design language for both phones down to the camera (dual camera), processor (Snapdragon 845) and look (glass is on the back and front).

Though the Note 9 and S9 Plus are very similar, one is clearly better than the other and that is not by accident. The Note 9 is supposed to be Samsung’s most premium phone with the best features available while the S9 Plus slots in right under with similar specs though ultimately slightly less power.

However, that compromise does come with one very enticing offer—it costs less. The S9 Plus costs around $800 while the Note 9 gets close to (or eclipses) the $1,000 barrier. Are the savings worth the smaller display, battery and S-Pen? You be the judge.

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Samsung - Galaxy Note 9 Samsung - Galaxy S9 Plus
Display Size 6.4-inch, 1440 x 2960 pixel display (514 ppi) 6.2-inch, 1440 x 2960 pixel display (531 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 1440
Resolution Y 2960 2960
Display Type Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Quad HD + Curved Super AMOLED
Operating System Android 8.1 (at launch) Android 8 (Oreo) at launch
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 10nm, 64-bit, Octa-core processor (2.8 GHz Quad + 1.7 GHz Quad)
RAM 6GB/8GB 6GB
Storage
  • 128GB
  • 512GB
  • 64GB
External Storage Yes Yes
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 512GB
  • microSD up to 400GB
Main Camera (Back) 12MP Dual 12MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Networks
  • Enhanced 4x4 MIMO/CA, LAA, LTE Cat.18
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2mbps)
Battery 4000mAh 3500mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • USB Type-C
  • MST
  • USB type-C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Gyro
  • Geomagnetic
  • Hall
  • Heart rate
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
  • RGB
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Geomagnetic
  • Gyro
  • Hall
  • HR
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
Height 161.9 mm (6.37 inches) 158.1 mm (6.22 inches)
Width 76.4 mm (3.01 inches) 73.8 mm (2.91 inches)
Depth 8.8 mm (0.35 inches) 8.5 mm (0.33 inches)
Weight 201 g (7.09 oz) 189 g (6.67 oz)
Colors N/A Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple
Supported Audio Formats MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF
Supported Video Formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

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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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