Galaxy S9 and S9+Source: Android Central

Best answer: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are still fine phones, and hold their own in many ways even in late 2019 thanks to their solid specs, great screens, and updated software that matches the Galaxy S10. However, their current going prices limit their appeal, considering there are great modern phones in the same price range now.

Should you buy a Galaxy S9 in late 2019?

Every time we see a new flagship Samsung phone, it's enticing, new and exciting. It's also expensive. The Galaxy S10 range starts with the Galaxy S10e at $850, and goes up beyond $1000. That's just too much for many people, and it's a logical conclusion if you're looking for a Samsung phone to just move back a generation to the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

The Galaxy S9 series offers substantial savings with the same core experience as the S10.

Since being released in March 2018, discounts have brought the Galaxy S9 down to about $540, and the larger Galaxy S9+ down to about $575. That's a substantial savings compared to the Galaxy S10 series, and for phones that are still relevant in late 2019 and will easily last you a solid two years without any major shortcomings.

Comparing to the Galaxy S10 and S10+, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ don't have a ton of practical differences; it's mostly marginal improvements across the board. The S9 series has smaller screens, though the quality is still great. There's a slower processor, less memory, less storage and shorter battery life, but those are all relative decreases compared to the latest and greatest. Both phones will still get the job done for everything most people need to do, and the Galaxy S9+ in particular will offer fine battery life by modern standards. The Galaxy S9's cameras are rather limited because it doesn't even have a telephoto shooter, but the main camera is nearly up to par with the Galaxy S10's; but no matter what, you're missing out on the S10's awesome wide-angle camera.

The S10 is better than the S9 across the board, but these are all relative changes and not dealbreakers.

As far as the rest of the experience goes, you won't notice much of a difference. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ have great hardware, and all of Samsung's usual great features: water resistance, wireless charging, an SD card slot, a headphone jack and solid speaker quality.

The software side, things are nearly identical. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ were updated to Android 9 Pie, and have the same basic interface, apps and features as the Galaxy S10. The phones are slated to receive the Android 10 release as well, though that may come later than the Galaxy S10 series gets it and will by all likelihood be the Galaxy S9 series' last major software update. That's something to keep in mind if you're interested in keeping the phone for a long time; but again, with these savings, you may be okay with that trade-off.

These are fine buys in the $500 range — but if you're willing to look beyond Samsung, the OnePlus 7T is a compelling alternative.

If you're trying to buy a Galaxy flagship phone on a budget, it's not a bad idea to give the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ a look. They do a lot of what the Galaxy S10 series do for hundreds of dollars less, and still have a solid future ahead of them in terms of hardware specs and software capabilities. In the mid-$500 range they're decent, albeit not great, buys — but as time goes on and discounts roll in, dropping them under $500, they're a solid pickup.

The only time to question the value in the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is when you compare them to phones outside the Samsung world. For this money, there are some great 2019 phones that are worth considering. Notably the OnePlus 7T at $600, the Google Pixel 3a XL at $460, or even the Galaxy S10e that's sometimes discounted closer to $700.

Starting to feel old

Samsung Galaxy S9

Still modern and capable in 2019.

The Galaxy S9 still gets the job done in 2019. It has the same core Samsung exprerience S10, but for hundreds less. You don't get the latest specs, larger screen or battery life of the new model, though, and new phones at roughly the same price are often more appealing.

A solid choice

Samsung Galaxy S9+

For just a few dollars more, you get a bigger screen and larger battery.

For about $30 more, you can get a GS9+ with a larger screen, larger battery and secondary telephoto camera. There's something to be said for getting the higher-end model when you're already saving so much.

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