Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S9: all major differences to expect

Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S9: all major differences to expect
The rumor mill is in a full apocalypse mode about the Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets, and information on anything, from the rear design, to the camera upgrades, is trickling down from places close and far. Until someone put up the eventual Galaxy S9 box for our eyes to feast on, confirming most of the specs we've heard so far.

Previously, we didn't expect grandiose changes in looks, compared to the Galaxy S8, given that Samsung just introduced the Infinity Display design last year, but there will apparently be some, yet the grand upgrades are saved for under the hood, if the box's specs sheet listing is to be believed.

That is why we present you all the major new differences that are expected to exist between last year's Galaxy S8 flagship from Samsung, and its upcoming Galaxy S9 successor likely to be unveiled February 26. Check them out below, and tell us if they make you put your S8 up on Craigslist already.

This cryptic trademark filed by Samsung recently was thought to refer to a brand new experience for the S9 camera compared to the S8. The box leak confirms that we will indeed have a new "Super Speed" 12 MP sensor on the S9, offering variable f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture, just like on Samsung's newest flip phone. The end result should be better low-light photos, and better bokeh for portrait photography.

The Super Slow-mo feature listed on the box likely means that the S9's camera sensor could be outfitted with its own buffer memory stack, which will allow about 1000fps slow motion videos, like on the Sony XZ Premium.

Тhe biggest gripe about the Galaxy S8 design - its unorthodox fingerprint reader placement - would be rendered moot in the Galaxy S9, it seems. 

Based on leaked CAD renders, and the new Galaxy A8 handset by Samsung itself, a brand new finger scanner that goes beneath the lens is expected on the S9, right smack in the middle of the handset's back, where it belongs. The S9 finger scanner is allegedly made by the Taiwanese from Aegis Technology, which are said to be behind the new A8 print reader as well, so it all dovetails nicely.

Judging from the aforementioned Galaxy A8 unit, though, Samsung is still keeping the elliptical shape of the S8 scanner, just rotated 90 degrees, and placed below the camera, so there could be a learning curve until one hits the exact index finger stretch amount needed to hit it without fingerprinting the lens. Granted, placing it under the cameras of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ may not fully resolve the smudging potential, but at least it will be much more ergonomic to hit by lefties and righties alike, what do you think?

New Galaxy S line entry, new chipset production node, that has been a tradition for a while, but the S9 may disappoint. Samsung announced mass production of its second-gen 10nm process late last year, but there is no such word on its 7/8nm process. 

Moreover, both the Exynos 9810 and Snapdragon 845 - the latest chipsets from Samsung and Qualcomm - were unveiled as still-10nm endeavors. That means that they might be either slightly faster, or more frugal than the S8 silicon, but there will be a tradeoff between the two. As you can see in the comparison table below, the boost in performance of 845 vs 835 will come mainly from a higher clock speed of the main processor cores.

The "up to 30% more power-efficient than the 835" promise of Qualcomm will materialize only when it comes to graphics-intensive tasks like video capture, games or virtual reality. In reality, the processing power upgrade of the S9 vs S8 will come chiefly in the form of extra features - like 4K HDR video at 60fps - rather than crushing it in the benchmarks, or lasting much more on a charge with the same battery pack capacity.  Oh, and it looks like the 845 may be exclusive to the S9 for a good while, as production ramps up for US carriers.

Samsung will allegedly equip the S9 with stacked system boards that package the chips tighter together, making their footprint much smaller, like on the iPhone X, and leaving more space for other things (like an L-shaped battery). 

With thin, in-cell touch panels, smaller motherboards, and slimmer camera sensors, we hope that Samsung will indeed use the extra space freed in the S9 for larger battery packs, rather than other extra features we may or may not use on a daily basis. So far, the rumors point out to a 3200 mAh pack on the S9, which is larger than what the S8 has inside. 

Why not even bigger? Well, sadly, the stacked PCB may only be present on the Exynos model of the Galaxy S9, and we doubt US consumers will appreciate that one having a larger battery capacity than the Snapdragon model.

Gods of War, you will finally hear a flagship Galaxy S member thunder and roar when charged with the newest Bruno Mars single! Yes, we are finally talking about stereo speakers on the Galaxy S9, as that's what it says on the tin. 

Besides the "tuned by AKG" earphones that the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 also have, the S9 is listed as sporting "stereo speakers," which will again be... tuned by AKG, of course, why would Samsung pay $8 billion for Harman Kardon otherwise. 

As to the eventual placement of said stereo speakers - well, given that the S9 may sport even thinner top and bottom bezels compared to the S8, we can only see one at the bottom, and the other doubling as an earpiece.

Related phones

Galaxy S8
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(30h talk time)
Galaxy S9
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(31h talk time)



1. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

This just might be the year I upgrade my Note 5.

20. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The Note 5 was the worst one.

23. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Ehh the Note 7 beats it by an explosion or 2.

3. MattPerkins1

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 25, 2017

They need to fix their crappy skin first and foremost. The lag and performance issues are unbearable.

4. raerae unregistered

Did you use a Samsung phone before ? Still fast like the first day I bought it. Their UI is getting better after the S6 model.

5. Newguy

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 04, 2018

Wtf are you even talking about? Do you even have one?

9. SyCo87

Posts: 318; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

There's a stutter here and there, but the iPhone 7 has the same micro-lag.

10. fyah_king unregistered

How bout your iPhone fixing that stale looking 2007 icons? Why your face so blurry with your iPhone camera?lol

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31313; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You tell em buddy. Samsung sucks, their UI sucks, and it’s very laggy. My Note 8 takes 5.6 minuets to open the camera, and it suffers from iPMS.

22. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Pushing the power button twice opens camera instantly.

16. pendragon0202

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

Samsung phones lag? This video shows Oreo Note 8 showing faster speed than the vaunted Pixel 2 phone.

27. LiveFaith

Posts: 487; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Hmmm. I had no idea that the Note8 was actually snappier in many ways. I own one. And the dang thing eats through every task I throw at it without a hitch.

21. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

S8/Note 8 is the first Samsungs I've owned that didn't slow down.

24. LiveFaith

Posts: 487; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Sure pal. As if you've used an S8 or Note8 as a daily driver and discovered this. Years ago I was caught up in this tech media and fanboy fascination with "stock Android". Got a Nexus and loved it. Swapped to a Samsung Note, fearing the dreaded Touchwiz lag monster. Loved the Note even MORE than my Nexus. Especially many of the extra features that I was told I didn't want or need. Today, Samsung's interface is even more optimized and that even way back then. These people who scream "lag" in every Samsung, LG, or Sony comment section are are like performance car purists. The ones who strip out their air conditioners, door panels, spare tire, and jack from their cars in order to gain 11HP and save 87lbs in weight. All to save 0.1 seconds on the drag strip and pump their chest out about it. Then summer and 99 degree weather or a flat tire comes along. :-o If you are considering a phone, make sure that you get the phone that YOU want and works for you. Do not put your total trust in the "tech media" for they have financial interests from manufacturers and marketing departments. Do not put your trust in fanboys of Samsung(etc.), Android, Stock Android, Apple or some secondary player. Half of them live in their mom's basement and sift through benchmark numbers and split hairs in forums over their beloved super-phones. Smart people do their own hands on research, including the above, and get the device they like best, period. And actually use the thing as they need and want.

6. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

There goes the 1080p at 480fps. Crapdragon can only do 480fps at 720p so the exnynos will be downgraded to match it

14. Blazers

Posts: 751; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

It's all Verizon and Sprints fault Samsung forces the Snapdragon down our throats.

25. LiveFaith

Posts: 487; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Is it b/c of CDMA being required on SoC? Is there a real usage difference for a US unlocked vs International unlocked version of phones? Just bought my wife a US unlocked version for fear of having to compromise somewhere on the Intl version.

8. Jrod99

Posts: 760; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Stereo speakers and new scanner placement is a welcome improvement.

11. CandyBar

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 08, 2017

Same old boring, tired design. I guess they copied Apple for that too,

17. TerryD

Posts: 553; Member since: May 09, 2017

Once they figure out how to make it 100% screen, they'll be looking at ways to backtrack and make the phone look less boring.

26. LiveFaith

Posts: 487; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Probably so. Then, maybe some enterprising individuals could do a startup to make bezel attachments that add 1/2-1 inch additions around the edges of the screen. They could come up with all sorts of creative. They could even expanded batteries or modules. That way all the bezel lovers could carry their iPad sized phones in their giant baggy jeans pocket. All while keeping the same functionality as those who like a pocketable device with all the display area possible. Get me some VC contacts somebody!

12. LilFred

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

Any updates on if the S9 will come with the new, more accurate GPS chip that is due this year?

28. willk

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

I want a telephoto and a wide angle to move from an LG phone to a Samsung phone. I find the wide angle of my V30 more usefull than a telephoto but I would not mind having both.

29. rkyuchukova

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Great one

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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