So you’ve got a Galaxy S8 and you’re considering buying the Galaxy S9. Or maybe you’ve got an older phone and you’re deciding if you should buy the S8 or the S9.

What’s the difference between the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9? Today, we’re explaining the major features, differences, and improvements you need to be aware of when comparing the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S8.

The Similarities

There are a lot of similarities between the S8 and the S9. There may be more year-to-year similarities than any other Galaxy S smartphones in history. Here are some of the key similarities:

  • Both phones are rootable using One Click Root
  • They’re almost identical physically. The Galaxy S9 is 1.2mm shorter (in height) and 8g heavier than the S8. These minor differences are caused by the thickness in the metal and glass. Other than that, however, there are limited physical differences between the two smartphones.
  • The screen size is 5.8 inches on both smartphones, with the standard Samsung 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
  • The phones have the same resolution.
  • Other case design elements, like the curved sides, rounded corners, and Gorilla Glass exterior, are all the same.
  • The buttons are all in virtually the same positions on the S8 and S9. The Bixby button on the left side underneath the volume rocker is even in the same spot, for example.
  • The phones have the same 64GB of default storage (with the same option to add an SD card slot). They also both have 4GB of RAM.
  • Other bonus features, like wireless charging, fast charging, and other Samsung features, all remain the same.
  • Samsung did not improve charging speeds: the phones both charge at the same Quick Charge 2.0 speeds.
  • The battery is the same size in both phones

Now, all of these similarities may lead you to think, “What’s the point?” The point of the S9 is that Samsung has left lots of good things the same way while adding nothing but improvements to the phone. It’s up to you to decide if those improvements are worth it.

What’s Different?

There are several major changes to the Galaxy S9 from the S8, including all of the following:

  • A new camera setup that includes a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor and a lens with a physically variable aperture; the sensor dramatically reduces grain and improves fine edge processing (something that S8 users have complained about, particularly in low light situations). You can expect a significantly better photo and video taking experience on the S9 compared to the S8.
  • Speaking of cameras, the new sensor on the S9 gives the phone a 960 fps super slow-motion mode that vastly outperforms the Galaxy S8’s slow motion mode.
  • The S9 uses the same Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9 processors as the S8. However, it uses them more efficiently than its predecessor. The battery remains the same as the S8, but you can expect a modest increase in battery life.
  • The S9’s display is the same size and resolution as the S8’s display. However, the S9 has a 15% brighter display than the S8. That’s a substantial difference that you’ll notice in all conditions – but it’s particularly valuable in sunlight.
  • The fingerprint sensor is positioned differently on the S9 compared to the S8. On the S8, the fingerprint sensor is beside the camera on the back of the phone. On the S9, the fingerprint sensor is below the camera. It’s a small change that makes a big difference in terms of usability.

Ultimately, the differences between the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 can be summed up like this: there are lots of subtle improvements and absolutely no downsides. Some people will be happy to pay a premium for better camera performance. Others will be satisfied with the S8 – especially considering most of the interior tech specs remain the same. Of course, if you already own the S8, then it’s probably not worth upgrading to the S9. It’s up to you to compare the S8 versus the S9 for your own unique usage needs.


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