Spoiler alert: There's still a Bixby button.
Galaxy S9+ skins: https://dbrand.com/shop/samsung-galaxy-s9-plus-skins
Dave2D video on the blood pressure sensor: https://youtu.be/KWBjfoioS20
MKBHD Merch: http://shop.MKBHD.com
Video Gear I use: http://kit.com/MKBHD/video-gear#recommendation17959
Tech I'm using right now: https://www.amazon.com/shop/influencer-0bfe542e
Intro Track: That Good Ship by Alltta
Phone provided by Samsung for review.
Hey what is up guys I'm THD here and this may all look very familiar to you this is Samsung Galaxy S 9 yeah this is definitely s 9 and this is new you're probably wondering if it's worth your money for an upgrade you may also just be wondering if it's a good phone or not so I think the best way to describe this phone is it's a nearly perfect Samsung phone so what I mean by that is if you've liked Samsung phones in the past or you have an old Samsung phone and you like what they do with the software with the great cameras with the awesome design with their build then this is the best and most complete version of that that they've ever made but conversely if you already don't like Samsung phones like if slow Android updates aren't your thing or you just don't like what they do with the skin then this isn't going to change your mind so it's a nearly perfect Samsung phone so last year the Galaxy s8 had the infinity display this year again galaxy s 9 has one of the absolute best displays in any smartphone sandwiched between even slightly thinner top and bottom bezels and last time and they've even done a slightly better job hiding the sensors and things in that top bezel so the black looks more seamless and that your piece also now doubles as a second speaker front-facing speakers so you kind of have a bit of a stereo speaker thing going on here it's not quite the same obviously as two big dedicated front-facing speakers but at least now it's a bit louder and clearer if you accidentally block the bottom speaker which can happen you don't completely miss what's going on so it's better last year you also had USBC and wireless charging fast charging all that that is also all still here USB see fast charging wireless charging a headphone jack water resistance is great clicky buttons and just overall a plus build quality now it's still glass which means you're still gonna get smudges so if you want to pick up a D brand skin this new black camo might not make your phone invisible but it'll make all the smudges and scratches disappear and then the biggest change on the outside has to be obviously the fingerprint reader placement it's now in the middle instead of up at the top next to the camera and that makes a huge difference even more than people are giving it credit for it's perfect now it's raised slightly so it's easy to know when your fingers on it when you're not looking at it and registering your fingerprint is now just a slow swipe like you roll your finger down the scanner once which is actually really cool I thought it was a glitch usually you kind of you know you have to press it on the fingerprint reader a whole bunch of times to enroll your finger but during this phone setup you just roll your finger down at once and it's a hundred percent done that is awesome and then there's also now on the back of this phone a blood pressure sensor in addition to the heart rate monitor so the heart rate monitor is not new we've had that for a while you can measure your heart rate that's quick but the blood pressure sensor usually you haven't been able to do that with anything other than like the rap and the tools in the doctor's office to actually get that reading in that number I wasn't able to get that reading with s health or any of the health apps on my phone but I like a really good video from Dave 2d on how exactly this works there's a certain way to get it to help you if you do want to use this phone to measure blood pressure but as of right now it's just a pretty cool new addition last year's galaxy s 8 also had top notch specs when it came out s 9 here keeps that up and bumps it up to again for 2018 snapdragon 845 and four or six gigs of ram and this does definitely feel like the smoothest Samsung phone yet it still doesn't match stock Android you know there's still little performance hiccups like when opening up Bixby for example and occasionally in some other samsung apps but in my a couple of weeks with this phone that's about it everything else nearly matches pixel to and smoothness and I'm really happy about that and then there is all the Samsung software again they're still really not shy about their colourful look on top of Android so it's not gonna change your mind if you already dislike the Samsung stuff but it's all better it still has a ton of advanced features it added iris scanning from the note which is a little slower but more secure than regular facial recognition using a front-facing camera and there's also a new intelligent scan which combines face scanning and iris scanning basically using which one works better depending on light conditions so I'm really into the new fingerprint reader so I haven't necessarily used these as much but it's cool to have all the options it still has a bunch of Samsung's and big green tricks and app shortcuts you still get the edge shortcuts and some more customization options with those sometimes with all the stuff that can feel like Samsung is just kind of dumping as many features as possible on you and maybe they are hurt but that's part of what they do it still has Bixby and the Bixby button and everything Bixby is good for okay I. Could have just disabled the Bixby button from day one I know that but I decided to give it another chance I've left it enabled since day one every day using Bixby and it's still not that great not only have I triggered it a couple times on purpose but many times by accident when taking it out of my pocket and every time I open it I just kind of scroll down hoping to find something useful in these cards but usually I don't so then I close it Bixby voice can still do a lot of those like really intricate digging into the settings and longer strings of commands and the phone that other assistants can't do as well so that's pretty cool so I turn on the flashlight so if you're into that if that's something you do on your phone often you'll like Bixby when it understands you but I'm not that person so I'm gonna go ahead and disable it for now so yeah this is clearly still unapologetically a Samsung phone in a software department for better or for worse there's still two browsers out the box two smart assistants two calendars two messaging apps all the classic half-hearted Samsung ecosystem push is still there but it's also Android so you can get rid of that stuff that's annoying if you don't want it battery life I think is the biggest weakness of these new phones the s9 and s9 plus it's not terrible but among all the other great things about these phones the battery life is definitely not great so I spend most my time with the s9 Plus which has the bigger screen but also bigger battery thirty five hundred million powers and it would be dead by the end of the day and most of my heavy use days with a lot of navigation a lot of music playing a lot of screen on time watching videos and social media that would be enough to kill this phone in a single day I don't even do that much mobile gaming but if I worth that would kill it too the upside of that as it always is with Samsung is fast charging and wireless charging it charges really fast with the right charger the one in the box of course or one of several other USBC chargers like the MacBook Pro charger but can be kind of picky the - charger for example didn't work if you're curious but being able to top up really quickly during the day for me I've said this before it does offset the slightly weak battery this phone has it would be great if it had better battery but for me that's good enough depends on who you are and then for the biggest most reimagined new change in these phones that would be the camera let's break that down so there's a new 12 megapixel camera on the back and if you get the s 9 plus it gets the second telephoto camera as well and it's the first modern smartphone with a variable aperture camera it can physically switch between F 1.5 and F 2.4 depending on your lighting so it defaults to F 2.4 which is roughly average for a smartphone camera actually and that's for your Sharp normal daylight photos most of the time when you do get to low-light under 100 Lux that's when it's gonna switch to wide-open F 1.5 technically speaking the mechanism to do this is really impressive but it only matters if you can see the difference in photos so does it make a difference so alright generally photos from the galaxy s 9 camera are pretty damn good photos are a little bit less over-processed and a little less over sharpened than they used to be but it's clearly still the Samsung look we're used to with the bright vibrant colors dynamic range I'd say is the most noticeable improvement but that's something they've actively worked on so it's good to see something you'll notice looking through all of these though is Samsung's tendency to overexpose still pretty much every photo I take on the galaxy s 9 in Auto mode is just a little bit too bright it's just just a little bit but then it can also be a sort of an advantage when you take it to low-light galaxy s 9 low-light photos look pretty good and that really is thanks to the F 1.5 aperture letting in way more light so the question of is this variable aperture making a difference well low-light shots have seen a real bump up there's less smoothing because it gets rid of less grain because there's less grain because there's more light being let into the camera so fundamentally yes it's working it's still not the best camera in any smartphone though that's still pixel - hands down and I'd say it still falls a little bit behind iPhone 10 but I don't think anyone will be disappointed with the third-placed performance of a great galaxy s camera something people have also noticed recently is it shoots video in the REC 2020 color space instead of rec 709 that's what happens when you turn on or leave on HDR if you turn that off they can be rec 709 so it's trying to look better again and more saturated on the Samsung displays but you can turn that off so all right back in the impressions video I did mention that seems like Galaxy S 9 plus will have a pretty big advantage over the regular Galaxy S nine because you're getting now more RAM more screen more battery and more cameras so it turns out most of this isn't actually that big of a deal in the more RAM Department yes Galaxy S nine plus has six gigs of RAM while the regular s9 has four gigs Ram both are plenty hardly ever gonna notice the difference in regular everyday use it could be nice for future proofing now the s9 plus obviously has the second telephoto camera for live focus and for optical zoom sometimes may or may not every use that if you do obviously go that's 9 plus but you might not miss that and then of course the size difference means your 5.8 inch display versus 6.2 inch and then your 3,000 to 3,500 milliamp hour battery again both of which are somewhat mediocre so not a huge difference between them so it's a toss-up if you're choosing between them but I think the biggest thing I got out of this galaxy s 9 plus existing now at this price point is there is way less reason to buy a Galaxy Note 8 right now the note 8 is really all about the stylus and comes in at about a thousand bucks I would definitely pick the s9 plus over that because of the lower price even though you get a slightly smaller screen all the same advantages are there if you don't use that stylus and even a lot of the other reasons people might have gone towards the Galaxy Note in the past like your media experience the huge screen this tends to do a lot of that just as good if not better since you also get stereo speakers but that's just if you're picking between Samsung phones my point from the beginning of the video stands this is just about the optimal Samsung phone that you can get right now with all the pros and cons that come with that get all the pros and upsides of the Samsung experience taken to the max the awesome displays the A+ build quality the checking of pretty much every box stereo speakers headphone jack expandable storage and a pretty damn good camera but you also get all the cons of the Samsung experience to your double apps you're slower Android updates your occasional hiccups bixby so this thing really is great it's perfect for the Samsung lover but I as you probably already know am NOT that person I will be switching back I think to my pixel two as a daily so with the Galaxy S nine it makes it really easy to under appreciated because it seems like you know oh it's just a minor upgrade it's not that much better it's like an sas and you could say it's a jack-of-all-trades but the master of none but that's actually what makes this phone so good first of all it is the master of one the display there isn't really any better than this but it's actually so good at so many different things and bad at so few things especially being so good at the hardware suite that's what makes this phone so easy to recommend and so I do I recommend the Galaxy S 9 it's really good so either way that's been it thanks for watching talk to you guys in the next one peace