The Galaxy S9 Plus has tons of cool new features, but it’s not perfect. Here’s a look at the best and worst features of the S9 Plus, as well as some tips to make the most of it.
The biggest feature introduced with the new S9 is its camera, which is an incredible achievement. I’m not going to get too deep into specific specs because there are several places you can read about them online, but I will say that it took me awhile to even realize I was taking pictures with a phone. More than anything else about any phone, no matter how good it looks or how many flashy features it boasts, people are most concerned with how their pictures look when they take them. With that said, if you’re looking for a great phone that takes amazing pictures, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.
It comes equipped with two cameras on both sides (the front-facing camera has only one) so you have more options for getting just the right shot. It also has something called dual aperture technology, which allows you to adjust your shutter speed depending on your lighting situation—great for shooting in low light without having to use flash! It also has super slow-mo capabilities, allowing you to capture moments in time that would be impossible otherwise. Overall, whether you’re a professional photographer or just like snapping pictures of your family and friends every once in awhile, chances are pretty high that you’ll love what this phone can do.
There’s no headphone jack. Let’s get that out of the way, as it’ll likely be one of your first thoughts when you check out a Galaxy S9 Plus. After all, almost every other flagship on Earth still includes a headphone jack. At least it’s not much of an issue if you have Bluetooth headphones or an adapter handy, though I don’t know how many people actually carry around a dongle with them these days. You also can’t charge via USB-C and use wired headphones at the same time, which is annoying if you like to listen to music while charging your phone. The good news is that there are plenty of wireless options available for most phones today—including Samsung’s own Gear IconX earbuds. And even better news:
You can buy some pretty decent USB-C headphones now too! If you do want a 3.5mm port, consider picking up a dongle from Samsung. It’ll only set you back $12.99 (at Amazon) if you need it right away; otherwise just go ahead and wait until they inevitably release another phone without a 3.5mm port in 2019 (yes, really). But overall I really liked using my pair of Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones with my Galaxy S9 Plus; they’re comfortable enough to wear all day long and sound fantastic when paired up with some nice high quality tracks through Tidal HiFi (no more Spotify!)
The bottom-firing mono speaker on Samsung’s S9+ is sub-par at best. It gets loud, but never sounds great. The placement on both sides of the phone helps sound travel to your ears when holding it in landscape mode, but it also makes for a more muffled experience with not much bass to be heard. And if you’re someone who likes their smartphone with a case (like most of us), forget about having any kind of external audio experience.
Those bottom firing speakers were made for naked phones only. #2: AR Emoji: AR Emoji has some cool uses, like turning yourself into an animated character or creating a fun avatar that mimics your facial expressions. But if we have one complaint about AR Emoji, it’s that they can’t be used anywhere else besides Snapchat right now. There aren’t even export options so you can save these cute little animations or share them with friends outside of Snapchat. This means they feel very limited in their use and could potentially get stale fast since there isn’t much room to grow beyond what we have today.