One of the most important questions we get
on social media, is if it's worth it to upgrade to a new Galaxy S9+. Our review was mostly focused on answering
this from a Galaxy S perspective, but that wasn't really the hottest Galaxy in town. I'm Jaime Rivera with Pocketnow, and this
is Galaxy S9+ vs Galaxy Note 8. Phablets, phablets…
They've got their benefits, and their complications. These two are some of the most expensive money
can buy, but also the most useful. In the hand, both devices feel literally the
same. The Note has sharper corners, but the aluminum
trim feels just as pronounced on both, though I do hear the S9 brings a stronger build of
Same glass on glass sandwich across the board,
same love for fingerprints and smudges, so I'd stick to another color variant that's
not black if I were you on either phone. Dimension wise the Galaxy Note 8 is actually
a larger phone overall. We're talking 4mm taller, 1mm wider, 0.01Mm
thicker, and 6 grams heavier, a complete oddity since the Galaxy S9+ has a 6% larger battery. The Note's gorgeous Infinity Display is also
slightly larger at 6.3-Inches diagonal vs 6.2 On the S9+, but both sport the same Super
AMOLED technology, the same QuadHD+ resolution capabilities, and also Corning Gorilla Glass
Storage options starting at 64GBs thats
expandable, and the 6 gigs of RAM are also the same. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas are the same
spec at AC and 5 respectively. Both devices are also IP68 water and dust
resistant and support fast and wireless charging. Really what makes the Galaxy Note 8 stand
out is the S Pen.
This feature alone turns this phone into
that productivity workhorse that you'd like to bring around to doodle notes or sign a
PDF buuut. That's it. After using a Galaxy Note for the past 6 generations,
I will say that it's nice to have, but something I rarely use. The Galaxy S9+ on the other hand might look
similar, but its benefits are significant.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
is not just 25% faster, but also more battery efficient. It also supports faster Gigabit LTE speeds. It also solves our main complaints about the
Note 8. The Galaxy S9 finally brings stereo speakers
for more immersive content consumption, with support for Dolby ATMOS.
The fingerprint scanner is now placed where
regular human hands can reach, where that proves to be a serious chore on the Galaxy
Note 8. The Galaxy S9 even has Intelligent Scan to
blend facial recognition with the Iris scanner, where the Note 8 only has the later. And hardware isn't the only thing that improved. One of our biggest complaints about Galaxy
Notes is software updates.
Sure the Galaxy S9+ is still a version behind
in Oreo, but I'd call that a better option than being a year behind with Nougat on the
Note 8. Now what's interesting is that Samsung Experience
9 on the S9 is pretty much the Oreo version of Experience 8.5 On the Note 8. It means that everything we praised about
the Note 8, is now reaching the Galaxy S. Things like the broader grid for the launcher
is now reaching the S9.
App Pairs are also being ported from the Note
to the Galaxy S9 as well. Other than that we have AR Emoji on the Galaxy
S9+, which I sadly still can't recommend given its terrible implementation. And as for Bixby, it seems the Note is still
stuck a version behind, so features like Bixby Vision do work, and they even claim AR capabilities,
but only the S9 can go further with features like translation and makeup. The Galaxy Note 8 was my primary Daily Driver
pretty much until the Pixel 2 XL replaced it, and now the Galaxy S9+.
Performance feels smoother on the Galaxy S9+
by a meager margin. It's as if the Note8 sometimes waits an extra
second to respond to a gesture. You won't notice any differences when playing
games, though. Both devices feel just as powerful.
When it comes to phone calls, I seriously
feel the Galaxy S9+ has a louder earpiece. The Note 8 isn't bad, but not as clear as
the newer smartphone. Things like battery life are also better on
the Galaxy S9+. I wouldn't say by a long shot, but at least
I know the S9+ will end the day with at least 30% to spare, where the Galaxy Note 8 is just
The camera is where things become interesting. Technically, the new Dual Camera system on
the Galaxy S9+ is more versatile, with variable F1.5 Or F2.4 Aperture for low light and bright
scenarios respectively. Every other technical specification is similar,
with the same megapixel count, the same specs for the telephoto lens, the same specs for
the front facing camera. In theory, the improvements on the Galaxy
S9 should mean better photos overall, but honestly, I can't tell much of a difference.
I do notice the brighter aperture brings better
low light on the S9, but it has proven to be sluggish with moving subjects. I love that the Galaxy S9 brought the same
Live photo capabilities of the Note 8. Apply effects after the fact, or stick to
the wide shot if things went bad. What I will praise about the Galaxy S9+ is
its capabilities as a video machine.
It can record 4K video at 60fps, 1080p at
240fps, and even Super Slow Mo video at 960fps at 720p – all things the camera I use for
this review can't do. The Note 8 is obviously no slouch, and stabilization
on both phones is great, but the Galaxy S9 clearly has significant improvements in this
department. To conclude, it would seem that the Galaxy
S9+ is a more complete phone. We have significant improvements in the processor
with the Qualcomm Snapdargon 845, newer software, stereo speakers, and significant improvements
in the camera system.
Calling out a winner really depends on your
needs, though. If you depend on the S Pen, then there's no
way around it, you need the Galaxy Note 8. If you don't, which is the reality of most
people, then I'd recommend you go for the newer Galaxy S9+. It's the overall better buy, where you get
some unique features that many phones today don't have.
Obviously you could wait for the next Galaxy
Note that'll most likely bring all these improvements, but that's still a good 6 to 8 months away. Friends our coverage of the Samsung Galaxy
S9+ is still going. Let us know which comparison you want next. While you're at it follow us on social media
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You can also follow me on Twitter Jaime_Rivera
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like what you saw, I'm Jaime Rivera – thanks for watching..