Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Best answer: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are still fine phones now over a year after their release. They have the latest Samsung software, and the dropoff in hardware and performance isn't notable if you're on a tight budget. If you want a Samsung flagship but don't want to pay Galaxy S10 prices, give the Galaxy S9 series a look.

Should you buy a Galaxy S9 in 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 $650, and goes up beyond $1000. That's just too much for many people, and it's a logical conclusion to then look at the freshly-discounted previous-generation models: the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

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

Since being released in early March 2018, discounts have brought the Galaxy S9 down to about $450, and the larger Galaxy S9+ down to about $550. That's a substantial savings for phones that are still very relevant in 2019 and will likely last you a full two years without noticeable shortcomings.

Comparing to the Galaxy S10 and S10+, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ don't have too many differences; it's really just 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; and 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 Q 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.

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.

A solid buy

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 hardware and software experience as the Galaxy S10, but for hundreds less. You don't get the latest specs, larger screen or battery life of the ne wmodel, but if this is what you want to spend it's a good phone even today.

Get more

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Drop another hundred dollars and get more of everything.

For about $100 more, you can get a Galaxy S9+ 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 by getting the last generation.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.