Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: what are the best alternatives?

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: what are the best alternatives?
Looking for a great alternative to the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+?

While there are a ton of phones available, only a few can match Samsung's new heavyweights in terms of design, performance and camera quality.

We have picked the 5 best options that we ourselves would turn to if we had to select an alternative. These are the 5 best Galaxy S9 alternatives that are available right now.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Smooth performance and updates on time

Google might have gotten a ton of bad press about the display of the Pixel 2 XL (some units suffer from burn-in issues and all displays turn bluish when you view them at an angle) and we would add that the design of the Pixels is not quite as stylish and elegant as on the Galaxies, but the Pixel 2 series more than make up for these shortcomings by delivering the smoothest performance of any Android phone that we have used and arguably the best camera ever put on a smartphone. This is important: even though the Galaxy S9 has a newer Snapdragon 845 chip inside, the Samsung Experience interface on it still stutters a bit and is not quite as smooth and fast as on a Pixel. You also don't get any duplicate apps and bloatware on the Pixel series.

Not just this, the Google Pixel phones are the only ones that are getting updates on Android on time, while Samsung still has not pushed the Oreo update to its Galaxy S8, half a year after that update was pushed by Google. The Pixel 2 series also come with a promise for three full years of software updates by Google.

Apple iPhone X

All about the iOS ecosystem.

The $1,000 iPhone X is the best iPhone that you can get and if you are not dead set in the Android platform, the iOS ecosystem has a lot to offer: you have iMessage, many games arrive first and sometimes only on iOS, the popular Apple Watch only works with the iPhone, and you are guaranteed to get long years of software updates.

Not just that, but the smooth iOS interface contrasts with the slightly stutter Samsung Experience on the Galaxy S9 series. The new iOS gestures are an absolute delight to use and feel like a big step forward in the actual experience of using a phone on a daily basis, while the on-screen navigation buttons on the Galaxy are not quite as fluid and comfortable to use.

When it comes to the cameras, it's a tie. The iPhone and the Galaxies take different pictures: the iPhone with its signature overblown contrast and saturation, while the Galaxy captures more balanced, photo-realistic images. If you don't mind spending a bit more on the newest iPhone, it is another great Galaxy alternative.

Samsung's earlier phones: S8, S8+ and Note 8

Actually, still good enough.

Here is another option: you might just skip the Galaxy S9 altogether. If you are using one of Samsung's last year top phones - the S8, S8+ or Note 8 - you don't get much new with the S9.

You get fixes: the fingerprint scanner position, the slightly more balanced images, the 4K60 video recording capability, the better sounding stereo speakers... and that's about it. The rest of the features like AR Emoji and Super Slo Mo are gimmicks for the most part.

Battery life is not better and you get no ground-breaking changes in design. In fact, the S9 almost seems like an intentionally subdued release, the quite before that new futuristic foldable smartphone that Samsung has been developing for years...

LG V30

One for video and audio enthusiasts.

If you still want to try a different phone that has character and personality, the LG V30 is one more great bet.

The V30 is certainly the prettiest phone that LG has ever made and easily one of the most elegant phones out there. It is unique with its super wide-angle secondary camera that allows you to capture a different perspective. If you are into filming sports or taking pictures of big buildings, this camera is a god-send. In fact, video recording and editing is the V30's marquee feature as LG has included some cool, advanced video grading and editing options.

One more thing: the V30 has a high-resolution audio output and a headphone jack, so you can take those expensive, high-impedance headphones that you have and plug them in and enjoy immersive, high quality sound.

The LG interface is the weakest point of the V30, with its quirky cartoony looks and quiestionable esthetics, but the phone moves fairly smoothly and has all the features you can expect from a flagship.

OnePlus 5T

Your best budget alternative.

Finally, if you don't want to spend a fortune on a new phone like the Galaxy S9, yet still want something with a similarly good performance and an elegent design, the OnePlus 5T is your best bet.

With a price starting at just $500 for an unlocked phone, the OnePlus 5T has a bezel-less screen, the Snapdragon 835 flagship-grade processor, ultra-fast performance, the latest Android version, and a few neat tricks in the simplified and likable OxygenOS custom Android interface. Also, it has rock solid battery life and a decent (but not great) camera.

Related phones

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)
Galaxy S9+
  • Display 6.2" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh(35h talk time)



1. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

All of these are obsolete and have crapmoleds, anyone would be worth

5. Stappy3

Posts: 108; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

7. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Nope he isn't.

2. redmd

Posts: 1947; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I wonder why the iPhone X don't have a landscape mode like the plus models.

8. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

My Sony has since android 5

21. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Mind the notch

3. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Oneplus, LG, SONY, Huawei, HTC and Nokia all these have better alternatives....

4. Jacksie66 unregistered

Still rocking my XZ premium since last June. See no reason to upgrade for incremental changes.

14. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

yep my xzp destroys all these, the s9 the most interesting feature I have it 1 year ago and still uses low resolution screen

16. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Nobody needs 4k screen in a phone

18. romeo1

Posts: 823; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

And everybody needs 2k? 4k is the logical step after 1080p. Most of the people can't even see the difference between 1080p and 2k.

24. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

I do need it, when I see a crapmoled I cut the pupils of the sierra tooth, when you have a 4k screen you can not go back

26. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

lol I'll probably choose any of the above mentioned alternatives than xperia zp just because of its ugly bezels and crappy display

19. romeo1

Posts: 823; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

You're right the xzp is a great device i bought it for my mother and it's a really great phone. Very fast and still the best display I've ever seen on any device. I used the z5c until it broke down last month. (i dropped it like a 100 times and very hard a couple of times the last wash destroyed it) I bought a s7e because i got it cheap to wait for the xa2 ultra(needed a big device for work so i wouldn't have to carry a tablet with me) and it's a really nice device especially for the cheap price. I only hope there is a device from htc/nokia/sony comming out this year with high end specs and a big display (6" + and 16:9)

6. TerryD

Posts: 559; Member since: May 09, 2017

Huawei not paying you enough or is the the Mate 10 Pro just rubbish?

9. yalokiy

Posts: 1078; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Mate 10 Pro is a good alternative as well.

25. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

Yes have best camera and display than s9

10. fyah_king unregistered

Regular Mate 10 is great too. I just got it for $479.

13. sintruder

Posts: 162; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

I was interested in the regular mate 10 as well. Which country did you get it from? That's a good price

11. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Apple iPhone X All about the iOS ecosystem. This is like craving Mexican food & but it's not available so you get barbeque instead.

17. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Android ecosystem with it's cheap apps and it's low quality OS is like a techno ghetto

12. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

XZ2, Mate 10 Pro are good alternatives.

15. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Heh...I guess the Iphone would be a good alternative for a Galaxy...And let me get this right, if I want the new Oreo OS I have to buy the new Nah, I'll just stick with my U11, even the new Galaxies can't compare.

20. RoyalMike unregistered

It's a article from typical Samsung hater who put every fake fact to prove his point.. Having alternatives is good but right now the galaxy S9 is the king in every aspect and have no real alternative. A few lines in the article are--S9 stutters... Even S8 is faster than pixel 2. Pixel got best camera??? S9 has a camera others can only imagine of.. S8 didn't get oreo yet??? Liar I think every S8 is on oreo now except some carrier ones and Samsung users had to wait a little more but S8 oreo isn't like any Google oreo. Added with Samsung experience 9 and amazing new features like dual messenger from Note 8. It's much more than a regular oreo update so little wait is not a problem. S9 provides the best smartphone experience which others can only dream of.

23. Poptart2828

Posts: 458; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

My smartphone experience using a Samsung s8 was disastrous. But someone else can have a great experience using the same phone. So I guess any phone that you feel offers you the things you need is a good alternative.

22. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Going to be best phone out tell the note 9

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