What is it?
Samsung's sleek, slick new range of phones. There are two this time: the basic model, the S9, and the larger S9+. Like the S8 models, both phones have curved sides. Samsung's nailed its phone design and is spending its time refining everything, from screen clarity to speed. The S8 was so good Samsung probably didn't even need to bother this year, but I'm glad it did.
What does it do? Samsung phones have always had the edge over Apple when it comes to camera technology, and the S9 doesn't change that. For this release, Samsung says it's reimagined the camera, claiming it works "just like a human eye" and rivals "professional DSLR camera technology". To test it out, I took this phone to Womad in New Plymouth, and have to agree. The photos, night and day, were amazingly clear and concise. Even stage shots from the back of the Bowl of Brooklands came out well.
What's its nearest competitor? If you're struggling to decide whether an iPhone or Samsung is for you, Apple's nearest competitor to the S9 is its highly touted iPhone X, but it's about $300 more expensive and doesn't quite pack the same punch. Personally, I'd go with the S9 just for the camera. But the S9 is also more powerful, comes with more pixels and I like the Coral Blue colour better.
Any downsides? After using an S8+ for a year, I've got used to the bigger size, so downsizing to the S9 took a little while to get used to. But the clearer screen and smoother swiping meant it didn't take long before I was pinging around it with ease. If you're doing a lot of long-form reading on your phone though, you might want to upgrade to the bigger screen.
How much is it? If you're already on board and own an S8 or S8+, they'll still do the trick. But if you're desperate for the latest tech, the S9 will set you back $1399 and the S9+ is a little more at $1599.