Since we last took a look at the smartphones that Microsoft was selling in the US, the company has added two new Android handsets to its online store. We’re talking about the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which can be pre-ordered unlocked from Microsoft for $719.99 and $839.99, respectively (these prices are similar to those asked by Samsung itself).
Justlike Samsung, Microsoft says it can ship the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ by March 16, and it offers up to $350 in credit if you trade in an old smartphone. Unlike Samsung, Microsoft is recommending Galaxy S9 and S9+ buyers to install its own Launcher on the handsets. Of course, we’re not really surprised by this, as Microsoft has also been recommending its launcher for the older Android phones that it’s selling, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S8+.
Previously known as Arrow Launcher, Microsoft Launcher - seen on the right - works on most phones running Android 4 or newer, regardless of manufacturer, and is one of the highest-rated third-party launchers available on Google Play. The launcher is free and offers features like personalized designs, customizable feed and gestures, integration with other Microsoft software (including Cortana), and the ability to instantly communicate with Windows PCs (allowing you to work on multiple devices).
Depending on region and carrier, you’ll probably find some Microsoft apps pre-installed on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ anyway. However, Microsoft Launcher is not pre-installed, so, if you want to give it a try, you can get it from Google Play via the second source link below.