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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Sabrina Hartmann), 03/29/2018

Fine-tuning. The big model of Samsung's flagship series not only offers a larger display, it also offers a dual camera and more RAM. This review reveals whether the higher price is justified and how the Galaxy S9+ fares in comparison to its competitors.
Update: software update improves telephony features.

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965F) is the successor of the Galaxy S8+. After Samsung made fundamental changes to the design last year, the South Korean company has focused on fine-tuning for this year's model. This includes a new SoC, more RAM and a reworked camera which can now change between a 1.5 aperture and a 2.4 aperture automatically. The S9+ is also the first Galaxy S model with a dual camera.

The rest of the hardware is reminiscent of the predecessor: 64 GB of UFS 2.1 memory, support for microSD, a water- and dust-proof case, and an Infinity Edge display. In addition, the S9+ has Bluetooth 5.0, the fast LTE Cat. 18 standard, and a broad selection of sensors. This year's model comes with a price increase again. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ was released at a recommended retail price of 949 Euros (~$1167). In addition, a version with 256 GB is available exclusively in the Samsung Shop for 1049 Euros (~$1290).

The premium smartphone has to compete with devices such as the Apple iPhone X, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the LG V30, the Google Pixel 2 XL, the HTC U11 Plus, and the Motorola Moto Z2 Force. It also has to compete with less-expensive models such as the OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10.

Update 05/29/2018: Samsung has released a new firmware. Details can be found in the Software section of this review.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Galaxy Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
, LPDDR4x
Display
6.2 inch 18.5:9, 2960 x 1440 pixel 531 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multi-touch, Super AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 64 GB 
, 50.1 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: combined headphone and microphone jack (3.5 mm), Card Reader: microSD up to 400 GB (SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: iris scanner, fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2, MST, Ant+
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (Band 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 34, 39) LTE Cat. 18 (Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 66), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 158.1 x 73.8 ( = 0.33 x 6.22 x 2.91 in)
Battery
13.48 Wh, 3500 mAh Lithium-Ion, 3.85 V
Operating System
Android 8.0 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix dual camera (f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.55", 1.4 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF) + (f/2.4, 52mm, 1/3.6", 1 µm, AF)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/1.7, 25mm, 1/3.6", 1.22 µm
Additional features
Speakers: two speakers, Keyboard: virtual, USB cable, power supply, SIM tool, headset, 2 USB adapters, QuickStart guide, Samsung UI 9.0, Microsoft Apps, Galaxy App Store, 24 Months Warranty, IP67, USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1), fanless
Weight
189 g ( = 6.67 oz / 0.42 pounds), Power Supply: 62 g ( = 2.19 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
949 Euro

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has a stylish case made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and aluminum. It has a nice feel to it, even if it has a more angular appearance than its predecessor and weighs 17 grams more. It is available in the color options Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple.

The build quality is very high. The gaps are minimal and evenly distributed and the smartphone has a high torsion resistance. However, there are some slight creaking noises that come from inside the case. The Galaxy S9+ was featured in a Stiftung Warentest (a German consumer organization) survey, where it had to prove its worth in an extensive drop test. In opposite to its predecessor, it passed the test with only a few small scratches. It is nice to see that Samsung has improved on this aspect so effectively.

The protection label is still rather confusing, though. The manufacturer labeled the protection as IP68, which normally means that a phone is dust- as well as waterproof. In the fine print, however, Samsung reduced the nominal protection from permanent submersion into water to an only temporary (30 minutes) submersion in a depth of up to 1.5 meters - ergo IP67.

Depending on the model, the card tray at the upper edge of the smartphone can hold a nano-SIM and a microSD card, or two nano-SIM cards (Duos). Unfortunately, the tray is made of rather thin plastic. The battery is non-removable and hence cannot be changed by the user.

Size Comparison

Connectivity - Nearly Everything Included in the Galaxy Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus offers a broad selection of sensors which leaves almost nothing to be desired. Among other things, a heart-rate monitor is included again. All common mobile radio technologies are included as well. NFC, MST and Ant+ are offered besides Bluetooth 5.0. The Bluetooth radio supports dual audio and can connect to two speakers simultaneously. Furthermore, aptX is supported for high-resolution audio content.

According to the manufacturer's specifications, the microSD card slot supports cards with a capacity of up to 400 GB, which is the maximum capacity currently available at the time of testing. The SDXC standard goes up to 2 TB, so even cards with a higher capacity should not pose a problem in the future. Because of the great differences in performance between the internal and the optional storage, it is not possible to format a microSD card as internal storage or to transfer apps to it.

The USB port is of the current Type-C variant and supports the transfer standard 3.1 (Gen 1). It is also OTG-capable, so peripherals and storage devices can be connected via an adapter. Furthermore, it is possible to charge other devices via the Galaxy S9 Plus, and the port is capable of outputting HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2.

The only things users have to do without are an FM receiver and an IR transmitter.

Top: card slot, microphone
Top: card slot, microphone
Left: Bixby, volume
Left: Bixby, volume
Right: power
Right: power
Bottom: speaker, microphone, USB, audio
Bottom: speaker, microphone, USB, audio

Software - Android Oreo without Any Great Improvements

The operating system used for the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is Google Android 8.0 Oreo, expanded by the Korean company's own Samsung UI 9.0. From a purely visual point of view, the newer operating system barely differs from Android 7, which was used for the Galaxy Note 8 among others. At the time of writing, the security patch level is from March 1, 2018 and hence up-to-date.

Samsung's own assistant Bixby is included as well. However, it feels as if it has barely changed since its release and is still not offered in German, It is only offered in Korean, Chinese and English.

The new AR emojis feel more like a gimmick than a fully developed feature. Especially the live movements are usually understated and the mouth of the digital avatar often twitches nervously. We liked the social media stickers more, even though the recognition value is not very high.

Familiar features such as the Edge bar or the Game Launcher are included again as well, together with Samsung's own app store. Additionally, Microsoft and Facebook apps are preinstalled and cannot be removed completely, merely deactivated. Many Google apps, by contrast, can be deleted completely. Sadly, Samsung forwent the opportunity of setting up multiple user accounts on this smartphone.

Update 05/29/2018: Samsung has released a new firmware (356 MB) that is supposed to improve upon VoLTE and VoWifi. Dual VoLTE fr the Galaxy S9+ Duos has been added as well. Google’s security patches have been updated and are now as of May 1, 2018.

Communication - Galaxy Smartphone with Modern Standards

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus offers a broad selection of mobile carrier frequencies. The Korean company prefers several regional variants to a global one. The European version SM-G965F supports up to 35 frequency bands, while the US variant SM-G965U supports 40 and the Canadian G965W supports 41. These are not only LTE bands, but especially CDMA frequencies which are not required in Europe. The LTE module (Cat. 18) has a download speed of up to 1.2 Gbit/s, which makes the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus one of the fastest phones to date. The reception was good within a big city and did not give us any reason for complaints.

The Wi-Fi module remains unchanged in comparison to the predecessor Galaxy S8 Plus. It supports the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac with VHT80 MU-MIMO as well as 1024 QAM (10-bit quadrature amplitude modulation). On paper, the Galaxy S9 Plus should offer the same performance as its predecessor, but the Korean company did some fine-tuning and improved the download speed, but in turn the upload speed suffered slightly. Overall, the smartphone delivered a very good performance in combination with our reference router Linksys EA8500.

Users with several Wi-Fi access points in their office or home will notice that the Galaxy S9 Plus is sadly a bit slow with automatically changing to the stronger signal. During our reviewing time, this forced us to reset the Wi-Fi connection repeatedly to connect to the closer hotspot, which was rather annoying. However, this is a wide-spread issue with smartphones. Only the Huawei Mate 10 Pro stood out among the comparison devices because it can switch between access points significantly faster thanks to its Wi-Fi+ technology.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone X
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, 64 GB eMMC Flash
939 MBit/s ∼100% +44%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
652 MBit/s ∼69%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
573 MBit/s ∼61% -12%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
368 MBit/s ∼39% -44%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
338 MBit/s ∼36% -48%
Google Pixel 2 XL
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
239 MBit/s ∼25% -63%
Average of class Smartphone
  (43 - 939, n=224)
194 MBit/s ∼21% -70%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
656 MBit/s ∼100% +26%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
587 MBit/s ∼89% +13%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
519 MBit/s ∼79%
Apple iPhone X
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, 64 GB eMMC Flash
456 MBit/s ∼70% -12%
Google Pixel 2 XL
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
279 MBit/s ∼43% -46%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
225 MBit/s ∼34% -57%
Average of class Smartphone
  (46.7 - 703, n=224)
188 MBit/s ∼29% -64%
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: GNSS
GPS test: GNSS
GPS test: in the basement
GPS test: in the basement

The Samsung Galaxy S9 uses the satellite navigation systems GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, QZSS, and Galileo for positioning, which makes it rather well equipped. In addition to that, it also has a barometer. Satellite tracking is almost immediate outdoors, but takes a bit longer inside of buildings. Even near a basement window, localization was still possible.

In order to assess the phone's localization abilities, we took the Galaxy S9+ on a bike ride to compare it with the bike computer Garmin Edge 500. Both systems actually measured the same distance and traced a very similar track even in direct comparison. This track was not entirely impeccable for either of the two systems but still gave a very good overall impression.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Call and Voice Quality

The telephone app of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has undergone some slight changes in comparison to its predecessor, which made it much sleeker. The tab "Places" has been deleted without substitution and users can now only change between the list of recent calls, their own contacts and the numeric field.

The smartphone's call quality is good and gives no reason for complaints if the provider supports VoLTE. The 3G connection has noticeably more noise but is still at an overall good level. The noise suppression feature could work better, since clipped shreds of noise leak through from time to time. The speaker mode of the Galaxy S9 Plus worked well enough. Despite the slight echo, the smartphone can be placed on a table to have one's hands free. The device also supports telephone calls via Wi-Fi.

The Galaxy S9 Plus is available in both a single-SIM and a dual-SIM variant. The latter is named Duos and can hold an additional nano-SIM instead of a microSD card. However, dual-VoLTE is not possible.

Cameras - Powerful Dual Camera

Picture taken with the front camera of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Picture taken with the front camera

The front camera (Samsung S5K3H1) of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the same one that is installed in the predecessor model. It offers 8 MP, an aperture of f/1.7 and even an autofocus. Furthermore, the camera offers numerous settings and filters. Thanks to the "selfie focus" feature, the front camera can take pictures which frame the subject with a blurred background. This works decently, but rivals such as the Pixel 2 XL or the iPhone X are even better at this. In daylight, the photos are good and can convince with a high sharpness and dynamic. It is still possible to take good pictures even in twilight, but there will be visible noise.

The front camera can record videos in numerous formats, including 18.5:9 (2224x1080 pixels) and QHD (2560x1440 pixels). The frame rate is limited to 30 FPS.

We took a closer look at the front camera's performance under controlled lighting conditions. In regard to its sharpness and level of detail, the camera reached its limits relatively fast. Finer details are slightly out of focus, but this can actually be an advantage for selfies.

The S9 Plus is the first smartphone belonging to the Galaxy S series which has a dual camera on its back. Samsung is offering a solution similar to the one used for the Galaxy Note 8. In addition to the main camera, which is also used for the smaller Galaxy S9, there is also a second lens which is supposed to improve the bokeh effect for portraits as well as serve as an optical zoom.

Samsung introduced an innovation for the main camera (Samsung SLSI_SAK2L3_FIMC_IS) and equipped it with a modular aperture that can adapt to the lighting conditions by switching between an f/1.5 and an f/2.4 aperture. This is especially useful for photos taken in daylight because it avoids overexposure in brighter areas and results in good, sharp pictures. The iPhone X has a slightly higher dynamic range, but the Galaxy S9 Plus has higher details. Even in situations with little ambient light, the smartphone does its job well. The pictures do not look quite as artificially brightened as they did for the Galaxy S8+ and have clearer edges. The color representation is rather good as well.

The Pro mode can lead to even better results. It enables the user to set the white balance, the light sensitivity (ISO 50 - 800), the exposure time (1/24000 - 10 s), the focus as well as the aperture size manually. Furthermore, pictures taken in Pro mode can be saved in the RAW format. The Live View feature has been improved slightly, but it still doesn't work reliably for long exposure times.

Pro mode is not offered for the second lens. Because of its low light sensitivity, it is meant for use in daylight and otherwise produces a lot of noise in its pictures. It is a definite pro, however, that both of the dual camera's lenses are equipped with an optical image stabilizer (OIS).

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is finally able to record videos in Ultra HD with up to 60 frames per second. The colors are saturated rather strongly, but the video recordings are really good. Sadly, the maximum recording duration in these settings is limited to five minutes. In UHD with 30 fps or in Full HD with 60 fps, it is limited to ten minutes.

Another innovation is the Super Slow Motion mode with 960 frames per second, which debuted last year in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. Samsung predefines a square within the image to activate the mode automatically if the camera detected motion inside of it. This is a great idea and works well, especially because it is possible to do so up to four times per video. Sadly, the quality of the recordings is acceptable only in optimal lighting conditions and declines sharply in weaker light, resulting in a rather noisy and dark picture. The low video resolution (720p) limits their usage to social media applications. Sony is a bit further ahead in this regard and allows Full HD video-recording in the Xperia XZ2, albeit without the convenient automatic activation.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

We also took a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus's dual camera under controlled lighting conditions. The variations between the different lenses and aperture modes are apparent. The f/2.4 aperture of the main lens had the highest level of detail and good color gradients. The decline of sharpness is visible the most clearly in the two upper corners and is slightly stronger on the right. The f/1.5 aperture still takes good pictures, although finer details are no longer depicted flawlessly even in the center of the image. The level of detail is still better than with the telephoto lens which has the weakest performance in this area.

We assessed the dual camera's color accuracy with the ColorChecker Passport. The bottom half of each field in the images below displays the reference color. As expected, the saturation is a bit stronger but not too garish. The telephoto lens has noticeably darker colors than the main lens.

ColorChecker: main lens (f/2.4)
ColorChecker: main lens (f/2.4)
ColorChecker: main lens (f/1.5)
ColorChecker: main lens (f/1.5)
ColorChecker: telephoto lens (f/2.4)
ColorChecker: telephoto lens (f/2.4)
Test chart center: main lens (f/2.4)
Test chart center: main lens (f/2.4)
Test chart center: main lens (f/1.5)
Test chart center: main lens (f/1.5)
Test chart center: telephoto lens (f/2.4)
Test chart center: telephoto lens (f/2.4)
Test chart: main lens (f/2.4)
Test chart: main lens (f/2.4)
Test chart: main lens (f/1.5)
Test chart: main lens (f/1.5)
Test chart: telephoto lens (f/2.4)

Accessories and Warranty

The scope of delivery of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus includes a black modular power supply (9.0 V, 1.67 A; 5.0 V, 2.0 A), a suitable USB cable (Type-A to Type-C), two OTG adapters (Type-C to Type-A and Type-C to Micro-USB), a SIM tool, an AKG in-ear headset with covers in different sizes as well as several leaflets regarding security and warranty, and a quick-start guide. In some countries, a silicone case is added to the package, but this did not happen for us in Germany.

Numerous optional accessories are available via Samsung's online shop, including several covers and an inductive charger (75 Euros, ~$92) among other products.

Samsung offers a two-year warranty for their product, while the included accessories have a warranty of only six months and the battery has 12 months. The merchant warranty is not affected by this.

It is possible to purchase the optional Samsung Mobile Care package for a surcharge of 119 Euros (~$146; 159 Euros, ~$195, for the 256 GB variant). This package covers cases such as a broken display, damage caused by liquids, or battery faults for 24 months. Each damage case requires a deductible of 10% of the purchase price from the customer.

Input Devices & Handling

Samsung did not change much about the handling for the Galaxy S9 Plus. The capacitive touchscreen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and supports up to 10-point gestures. Inputs are registered reliably and processed quickly. Samsung still uses their own keyboard layout, which has a rather clean appearance, but it often produces extra work with its automatically activated spell check. The layout can be easily replaced by any other app available in the Play Store.

The smartphone's physical keys have a high quality and fit well. Other than the power button, they include the volume rocker and the Bixby button. Even when the phone is locked, the Bixby button displays an overview of upcoming appointments, information about the weather, Samsung Health, and news, among other things. After configuring Bixby for the first time, this button can be deactivated as well. Sadly, it cannot be assigned to another function.

Fortunately, the fingerprint reader has been repositioned and can now be found beneath the Galaxy S9 Plus' dual camera, which makes it much easier to reach. The sensor's recognition rates are good, but the unlock speed could really be faster. The alternatively or additionally offered facial recognition and the iris scanner are even slower and the facial recognition is not very secure. Another disadvantage of the iris scanner is being forced to lift the Galaxy smartphone to face level to allow for accurate recognition. Apple's Face ID, for instance, does a much better and faster job at this.

The Android user interface can be found on the display again. The one-handed mode can be enabled with a swipe gesture as well as a triple tap on the on-screen home button. This mode shrinks the screen to a manageable size.

Display - Slightly Optimized Galaxy S8 Panel

Subpixel array of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus's Super AMOLED display
Subpixel array

The Super AMOLED display of the Samsung S9 Plus received only a small amount of fine-tuning in comparison to its predecessor, which is not even a disadvantage because this is an excellent panel. The display measures 6.2-inches (15.75 cm, 97.56 cm²). With its 18.5:9 aspect ratio, the smartphone offers a resolution of 2960x1440 pixels, although the factory settings are lower at 2220x1080 pixels. This saves battery power, but to be able to enjoy the display's full splendor, the settings should be changed.

The luminosity of the Infinity Edge display is just slightly above the predecessor's level and reaches an average of 571 cd/m² on a fully white screen if the ambient light sensor is activated. If the dark and bright areas are distributed evenly (APL50), the panel reaches up to 691 cd/m² when measured at the display's center, which is a lower result than the Galaxy S8+ had. During the presentation, Samsung promised up to 1000 cd/m². If the brightness is adjusted manually, only 325 cd/m² is available.

However, the brightness is distributed very evenly and the panel is able to display absolute blackness thanks to its OLED technology, meaning its contrast ratio could theoretically tend towards infinity. An eye-friendly blue-light filter is included as well and that, together with the low minimum brightness, makes the smartphone well suited to reading in the evening. Sadly, the Galaxy S9 Plus utilizes pulse-width modulation (PWM) for regulating the display brightness, which tires the eyes and can even lead to headaches for sensitive users. The low frequency is not exactly an advantage for this, but at least the amplitude curve is very flat to even it out. The "Always on Display" feature, which we are already familiar with from the predecessor model, and HDR support are included as well.

586
cd/m²
564
cd/m²
565
cd/m²
584
cd/m²
565
cd/m²
564
cd/m²
582
cd/m²
564
cd/m²
562
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 586 cd/m² Average: 570.7 cd/m² Minimum: 1.56 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 565 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.3 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 1.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
Gamma: 2.16
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 6.2
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 6.2
Apple iPhone X
Super AMOLED, 2436x1125, 5.8
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
OLED, 2160x1080, 6
Google Pixel 2 XL
P-OLED, 2880x1440, 6
HTC U11 Plus
Super LCD 6, 2880x1440, 6
OnePlus 5T
AMOLED, 2160x1080, 6.01
Screen
11%
19%
8%
-24%
-15%
-8%
Brightness middle
565
560
-1%
600
6%
629
11%
415
-27%
361
-36%
425
-25%
Brightness
571
562
-2%
606
6%
636
11%
420
-26%
356
-38%
423
-26%
Brightness Distribution
96
93
-3%
94
-2%
94
-2%
87
-9%
90
-6%
92
-4%
Black Level *
0.21
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.3
1.7
26%
1.2
48%
1.7
26%
2.7
-17%
2.5
-9%
2.1
9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.8
3.4
29%
3
37%
3.6
25%
4.3
10%
5.3
-10%
3.4
29%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
1.6
16%
1.6
16%
2.4
-26%
3.3
-74%
1.7
11%
2.5
-32%
Gamma
2.16 111%
2.13 113%
2.23 108%
2.15 112%
2.36 102%
2.21 109%
2.32 103%
CCT
6332 103%
6435 101%
6707 97%
6337 103%
6787 96%
6580 99%
6455 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
81.57
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.87
Contrast
1719

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 215.5 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 215.5 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 215.5 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10727 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

Optimized settings for the adaptive display of the Samsung Galaxy S9+
Optimized settings

We assessed the Super AMOLED display's color accuracy with a photospectrometer and the analytical software CalMAN. In factory settings, Samsung activated a display optimization for compatible apps. However, this profile usually leads to rather cool colors. A more natural color representation can be achieved by manually optimizing the settings. The screenshot shows the settings for a color representation that is as natural as possible, using the rather large color space DCI-P3.

The remaining three predefined profiles differ mostly by their target color space. By now, all modes aim for a white point that is as natural as possible. The cinema mode uses the DCI-P3 color space as well, while the photo mode utilizes a smaller version of the Adobe RGB color space to be able to display more shades of green. We measured the most accurate color representation in the Easy mode, but this mode also supports only the smallest color space (sRGB).

The DeltaE deviations are minor in any of the modes. Solely the Adaptive Display mode had a tint (blue) visible to the human eye. The colors had smaller outliers, but not even those were severe or disturbed the image. In photo mode for instance, the color green (dE 4.3) shows the highest deviation. Some of the competitors have an even more accurate color representation, especially the iPhone X, and also the Huawei Mate 10 Pro after adjusting the settings.

Grayscales (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Color space (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Color space (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Saturation (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Saturation (profile: easy, color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Grayscales (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Color space (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Color space (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Saturation (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Saturation (profile: cinema, color space: DCI-P3)
Grayscales (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Grayscales (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Mixed colors (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Color space (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Color space (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Saturation (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Saturation (profile: photo, color space: AdobeRGB)
Grayscales (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Grayscales (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Color space (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Color space (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Saturation (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Saturation (profile: adaptive, color space: DCI-P3)
Grayscales (profile: adaptive [optimized], color space: DCI-P3)
Grayscales (profile: adaptive [optimized], color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: adaptive [optimized], color space: DCI-P3)
Mixed colors (profile: adaptive [optimized], color space: DCI-P3)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.6 ms).

Outdoors, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus leaves a good impression, especially due to its high display brightness. The screen content remains clearly visible even in bright sunlight. Merely reflections on the glass surface might prove annoying.

The viewing-angle stability of the Galaxy S9+ is at about the same level as the predecessor's. Even at very flat viewing angles, the slight color sheen that is typical for OLED displays is only visible starting at about 100 degrees, accompanied by a slight decrease in brightness. The Infinity display has no ghosting, glow or clouding effects at all, though.

Viewing-angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Viewing-angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Performance - The Galaxy S9+ Has Increased CPU Power

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The Samsung Galaxy S9+ utilizes the Korean company's new top-notch SoC, the Exynos 9810. The CPU consists of two clusters. The performance cluster uses four Exynos M3 cores, which clock at up to 2.9 GHz. The energy-saving cluster is powered by four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, which can only reach 1.9 GHz. The system is supported by 6 GB LPDDR4x RAM. According to Samsung, this increase of RAM in comparison to the Galaxy S9 was necessary for the dual camera. An ARM Mali-G72 MP18 is responsible for graphics calculations.

The CPU performed well in our benchmarks and reached top scores in Geekbench. Only the iPhone X is even faster. AnTuTu v6 showed similar results, but in this case the Galaxy smartphone was able to outdo the Apple rival. In other system benchmarks, such as Basemark OS II and PCMark, Samsung's flagship smartphone achieved only mid-range results. The perceived system performance is good, but there are some small stutters.

The new GPU delivers a 12 to 41% higher performance in GFXBench but cannot outdo the iPhone in our off-screen tests. During the onscreen tests, which we conducted in maximum resolution, several Android rivals had better frame rates because they did not utilize QHD. The Galaxy S9+ fared even worse in 3DMark. Some competitors with the theoretically weaker Snapdragon 835 had better results in the more demanding benchmarks.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
222290 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
165382 Points ∼74% -26%
Apple iPhone X
197851 Points ∼89% -11%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
177341 Points ∼80% -20%
Google Pixel 2 XL
166151 Points ∼75% -25%
LG V30
173749 Points ∼78% -22%
HTC U11 Plus
183057 Points ∼82% -18%
OnePlus 5T
172124 Points ∼77% -23%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
179595 Points ∼81% -19%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (217950 - 222290, n=2)
220120 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (23540 - 230421, n=318)
70716 Points ∼32% -68%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
250577 Points ∼98%
Apple iPhone X
256297 Points ∼100% +2%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
212278 Points ∼83% -15%
Google Pixel 2 XL
204654 Points ∼80% -18%
HTC U11 Plus
217442 Points ∼85% -13%
OnePlus 5T
214815 Points ∼84% -14%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (243861 - 250577, n=2)
247219 Points ∼96% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (42032 - 290397, n=93)
110891 Points ∼43% -56%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
5319 Points ∼76%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5195 Points ∼74% -2%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
6932 Points ∼99% +30%
Google Pixel 2 XL
6994 Points ∼100% +31%
LG V30
5603 Points ∼80% +5%
HTC U11 Plus
6695 Points ∼96% +26%
OnePlus 5T
6595 Points ∼94% +24%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6998 Points ∼100% +32%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (5291 - 5319, n=2)
5305 Points ∼76% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (3210 - 8601, n=182)
4480 Points ∼64% -16%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
5822 Points ∼68%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5830 Points ∼68% 0%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
8439 Points ∼99% +45%
Google Pixel 2 XL
8258 Points ∼97% +42%
LG V30
6854 Points ∼80% +18%
HTC U11 Plus
7964 Points ∼93% +37%
OnePlus 5T
7739 Points ∼90% +33%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
8553 Points ∼100% +47%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (5736 - 5822, n=2)
5779 Points ∼68% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (4711 - 10264, n=345)
4696 Points ∼55% -19%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
1109 Points ∼66%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
1163 Points ∼69% +5%
Apple iPhone X
1682 Points ∼100% +52%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1234 Points ∼73% +11%
Google Pixel 2 XL
1186 Points ∼71% +7%
LG V30
1009 Points ∼60% -9%
HTC U11 Plus
1159 Points ∼69% +5%
OnePlus 5T
1329 Points ∼79% +20%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
1300 Points ∼77% +17%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (1099 - 1109, n=2)
1104 Points ∼66% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1682, n=420)
673 Points ∼40% -39%
Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
6370 Points ∼69%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
6126 Points ∼66% -4%
Apple iPhone X
9248 Points ∼100% +45%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3657 Points ∼40% -43%
Google Pixel 2 XL
6142 Points ∼66% -4%
LG V30
5949 Points ∼64% -7%
HTC U11 Plus
6086 Points ∼66% -4%
OnePlus 5T
6100 Points ∼66% -4%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6144 Points ∼66% -4%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (6370 - 6373, n=2)
6372 Points ∼69% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 9248, n=420)
1514 Points ∼16% -76%
Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
2625 Points ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3135 Points ∼76% +19%
Apple iPhone X
1219 Points ∼29% -54%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4142 Points ∼100% +58%
Google Pixel 2 XL
2927 Points ∼71% +12%
LG V30
2091 Points ∼50% -20%
HTC U11 Plus
3376 Points ∼82% +29%
OnePlus 5T
3845 Points ∼93% +46%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3652 Points ∼88% +39%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (2625 - 2669, n=2)
2647 Points ∼64% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 4423, n=420)
1115 Points ∼27% -58%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
6413 Points ∼62%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
5319 Points ∼52% -17%
Apple iPhone X
10281 Points ∼100% +60%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
5244 Points ∼51% -18%
Google Pixel 2 XL
5914 Points ∼58% -8%
LG V30
4238 Points ∼41% -34%
HTC U11 Plus
5926 Points ∼58% -8%
OnePlus 5T
5872 Points ∼57% -8%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
5918 Points ∼58% -8%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (6234 - 6413, n=2)
6324 Points ∼62% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 10281, n=420)
2222 Points ∼22% -65%
Overall (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
3302 Points ∼88%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3301 Points ∼88% 0%
Apple iPhone X
3737 Points ∼100% +13%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3147 Points ∼84% -5%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3351 Points ∼90% +1%
LG V30
2702 Points ∼72% -18%
HTC U11 Plus
3447 Points ∼92% +4%
OnePlus 5T
3678 Points ∼98% +11%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3625 Points ∼97% +10%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (3285 - 3302, n=2)
3294 Points ∼88% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 4308, n=423)
1131 Points ∼30% -66%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
6202 Points ∼72%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
8295 Points ∼97% +34%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
8572 Points ∼100% +38%
Google Pixel 2 XL
7568 Points ∼88% +22%
LG V30
8016 Points ∼94% +29%
HTC U11 Plus
7946 Points ∼93% +28%
OnePlus 5T
8000 Points ∼93% +29%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (6202 - 6219, n=2)
6211 Points ∼72% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 14362, n=118)
3891 Points ∼45% -37%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
8963 Points ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
6695 Points ∼65% -25%
Apple iPhone X
10255 Points ∼100% +14%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
6792 Points ∼66% -24%
Google Pixel 2 XL
6253 Points ∼61% -30%
LG V30
6078 Points ∼59% -32%
HTC U11 Plus
6771 Points ∼66% -24%
OnePlus 5T
6670 Points ∼65% -26%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6711 Points ∼65% -25%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (8786 - 8963, n=2)
8875 Points ∼87% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 10558, n=164)
4032 Points ∼39% -55%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
3776 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
2015 Points ∼47% -47%
Apple iPhone X
4265 Points ∼100% +13%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1898 Points ∼45% -50%
Google Pixel 2 XL
1916 Points ∼45% -49%
LG V30
1900 Points ∼45% -50%
HTC U11 Plus
1935 Points ∼45% -49%
OnePlus 5T
1962 Points ∼46% -48%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
1911 Points ∼45% -49%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (3688 - 3776, n=2)
3732 Points ∼88% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 4265, n=165)
1200 Points ∼28% -68%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
2469 Points ∼80%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
2466 Points ∼80% 0%
Apple iPhone X
2361 Points ∼77% -4%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2871 Points ∼94% +16%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3028 Points ∼99% +23%
LG V30
2931 Points ∼96% +19%
HTC U11 Plus
3049 Points ∼99% +23%
OnePlus 5T
3068 Points ∼100% +24%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
2986 Points ∼97% +21%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (2469 - 2486, n=2)
2478 Points ∼81% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (531 - 3669, n=272)
1552 Points ∼51% -37%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
3582 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3479 Points ∼87% -3%
Apple iPhone X
3463 Points ∼86% -3%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2844 Points ∼71% -21%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3872 Points ∼96% +8%
LG V30
3903 Points ∼97% +9%
HTC U11 Plus
3987 Points ∼99% +11%
OnePlus 5T
4016 Points ∼100% +12%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3991 Points ∼99% +11%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (3553 - 3582, n=2)
3568 Points ∼89% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (53 - 5212, n=272)
1065 Points ∼27% -70%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
3256 Points ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3188 Points ∼85% -2%
Apple iPhone X
3138 Points ∼84% -4%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2850 Points ∼76% -12%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3646 Points ∼97% +12%
LG V30
3635 Points ∼97% +12%
HTC U11 Plus
3732 Points ∼99% +15%
OnePlus 5T
3758 Points ∼100% +15%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3713 Points ∼99% +14%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (3244 - 3256, n=2)
3250 Points ∼86% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 4732, n=280)
1018 Points ∼27% -69%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
2496 Points ∼81%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
2465 Points ∼80% -1%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2896 Points ∼94% +16%
Google Pixel 2 XL
2995 Points ∼98% +20%
LG V30
2808 Points ∼91% +13%
HTC U11 Plus
3071 Points ∼100% +23%
OnePlus 5T
3031 Points ∼99% +21%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3071 Points ∼100% +23%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (2496 - 2600, n=2)
2548 Points ∼83% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (537 - 3642, n=302)
1449 Points ∼47% -42%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
4637 Points ∼77%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
4786 Points ∼79% +3%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3353 Points ∼55% -28%
Google Pixel 2 XL
5856 Points ∼97% +26%
LG V30
5895 Points ∼97% +27%
HTC U11 Plus
6060 Points ∼100% +31%
OnePlus 5T
5791 Points ∼96% +25%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6035 Points ∼100% +30%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (4569 - 4637, n=2)
4603 Points ∼76% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (54 - 8252, n=302)
1428 Points ∼24% -69%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
3895 Points ∼78%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3958 Points ∼79% +2%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3239 Points ∼65% -17%
Google Pixel 2 XL
4831 Points ∼97% +24%
LG V30
4738 Points ∼95% +22%
HTC U11 Plus
4982 Points ∼100% +28%
OnePlus 5T
4816 Points ∼97% +24%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
4969 Points ∼100% +28%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (3895 - 3911, n=2)
3903 Points ∼78% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 6378, n=310)
1228 Points ∼25% -68%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
26226 Points ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
20892 Points ∼79% -20%
Apple iPhone X
25633 Points ∼97% -2%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22629 Points ∼85% -14%
Google Pixel 2 XL
20233 Points ∼76% -23%
LG V30
14601 Points ∼55% -44%
HTC U11 Plus
20820 Points ∼78% -21%
OnePlus 5T
21348 Points ∼80% -19%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
21239 Points ∼80% -19%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (26226 - 26851, n=2)
26539 Points ∼100% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (5462 - 36494, n=455)
12109 Points ∼46% -54%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
46610 Points ∼41%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
33077 Points ∼29% -29%
Apple iPhone X
112489 Points ∼100% +141%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
34008 Points ∼30% -27%
Google Pixel 2 XL
54156 Points ∼48% +16%
LG V30
55271 Points ∼49% +19%
HTC U11 Plus
58307 Points ∼52% +25%
OnePlus 5T
58097 Points ∼52% +25%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
55485 Points ∼49% +19%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (46610 - 48433, n=2)
47522 Points ∼42% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (2396 - 113380, n=455)
15527 Points ∼14% -67%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
39745 Points ∼62%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
29282 Points ∼46% -26%
Apple iPhone X
64169 Points ∼100% +61%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
30590 Points ∼48% -23%
Google Pixel 2 XL
39456 Points ∼61% -1%
LG V30
34139 Points ∼53% -14%
HTC U11 Plus
41644 Points ∼65% +5%
OnePlus 5T
42022 Points ∼65% +6%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
40848 Points ∼64% +3%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (39745 - 41093, n=2)
40419 Points ∼63% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (2841 - 64405, n=456)
13411 Points ∼21% -66%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
147 fps ∼83%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
104 fps ∼59% -29%
Apple iPhone X
177.4 fps ∼100% +21%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
112 fps ∼63% -24%
Google Pixel 2 XL
112 fps ∼63% -24%
LG V30
113 fps ∼64% -23%
HTC U11 Plus
113 fps ∼64% -23%
OnePlus 5T
113 fps ∼64% -23%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
105 fps ∼59% -29%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (144 - 147, n=2)
146 fps ∼82% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (4.2 - 177, n=481)
26.8 fps ∼15% -82%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
60 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
58 fps ∼97% -3%
Apple iPhone X
59.4 fps ∼99% -1%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Google Pixel 2 XL
59 fps ∼98% -2%
LG V30
60 fps ∼100% 0%
HTC U11 Plus
60 fps ∼100% 0%
OnePlus 5T
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (60 - 60, n=2)
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (7.5 - 120, n=484)
23.4 fps ∼39% -61%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
74 fps ∼84%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
50 fps ∼57% -32%
Apple iPhone X
88.2 fps ∼100% +19%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
54 fps ∼61% -27%
Google Pixel 2 XL
59 fps ∼67% -20%
LG V30
59 fps ∼67% -20%
HTC U11 Plus
60 fps ∼68% -19%
OnePlus 5T
60 fps ∼68% -19%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
54 fps ∼61% -27%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (73 - 74, n=2)
73.5 fps ∼83% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88.2, n=406)
14.3 fps ∼16% -81%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
45 fps ∼77%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
38 fps ∼65% -16%
Apple iPhone X
58.5 fps ∼100% +30%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
56 fps ∼96% +24%
Google Pixel 2 XL
35 fps ∼60% -22%
LG V30
35 fps ∼60% -22%
HTC U11 Plus
35 fps ∼60% -22%
OnePlus 5T
53 fps ∼91% +18%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
36 fps ∼62% -20%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (45 - 45, n=2)
45 fps ∼77% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=408)
14.4 fps ∼25% -68%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
47 fps ∼96%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
42 fps ∼86% -11%
Apple iPhone X
48.9 fps ∼100% +4%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
37 fps ∼76% -21%
Google Pixel 2 XL
41 fps ∼84% -13%
LG V30
40 fps ∼82% -15%
HTC U11 Plus
41 fps ∼84% -13%
OnePlus 5T
41 fps ∼84% -13%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
40 fps ∼82% -15%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (46 - 47, n=2)
46.5 fps ∼95% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 60, n=271)
12.5 fps ∼26% -73%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
24 fps ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
23 fps ∼52% -4%
Apple iPhone X
44.1 fps ∼100% +84%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
38 fps ∼86% +58%
Google Pixel 2 XL
20 fps ∼45% -17%
LG V30
19 fps ∼43% -21%
HTC U11 Plus
21 fps ∼48% -12%
OnePlus 5T
37 fps ∼84% +54%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
22 fps ∼50% -8%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (24 - 24, n=2)
24 fps ∼54% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2.5 - 110, n=273)
12.5 fps ∼28% -48%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
28 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
25 fps ∼89% -11%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
21 fps ∼75% -25%
Google Pixel 2 XL
24 fps ∼86% -14%
LG V30
24 fps ∼86% -14%
HTC U11 Plus
25 fps ∼89% -11%
OnePlus 5T
25 fps ∼89% -11%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
25 fps ∼89% -11%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (28 - 28, n=2)
28 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0.77 - 35, n=202)
8.61 fps ∼31% -69%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
14 fps ∼61%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
13 fps ∼57% -7%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22 fps ∼96% +57%
Google Pixel 2 XL
13 fps ∼57% -7%
LG V30
13 fps ∼57% -7%
HTC U11 Plus
13 fps ∼57% -7%
OnePlus 5T
23 fps ∼100% +64%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
15 fps ∼65% +7%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (14 - 14, n=2)
14 fps ∼61% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 50, n=205)
7.8 fps ∼34% -44%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
35.83 fps ∼93%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
25.06 fps ∼65% -30%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
21.49 fps ∼56% -40%
Google Pixel 2 XL
37.71 fps ∼97% +5%
HTC U11 Plus
38.71 fps ∼100% +8%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (34 - 35.8, n=2)
34.9 fps ∼90% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (1.06 - 38.7, n=72)
12.1 fps ∼31% -66%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
1481 Points ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
1280 Points ∼75% -14%
Apple iPhone X
1702 Points ∼100% +15%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
788 Points ∼46% -47%
Google Pixel 2 XL
853 Points ∼50% -42%
HTC U11 Plus
868 Points ∼51% -41%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (1436 - 1481, n=2)
1459 Points ∼86% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (36.3 - 1702, n=61)
578 Points ∼34% -61%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Samsung Exynos 9810, ARM Mali-G72 MP18, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone X Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Mate 10 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Google Pixel 2 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
LG V30 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
HTC U11 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
OnePlus 5T Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Motorola Moto Z2 Force Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

Browsing the web is really fun on the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and works quickly in the preinstalled Samsung browser. The Samsung smartphone does a good job in the synthetic benchmarks as well and is beaten only by the iPhone X. In WebXPRT, however, the Galaxy places only in the middle of our comparison field.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.1)
224 Points ∼100% +222%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Samsung Browser 7.0)
69.59 Points ∼31%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (67.7 - 69.6, n=2)
68.7 Points ∼31% -1%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
66.689 Points ∼30% -4%
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
66.477 Points ∼30% -4%
HTC U11 Plus (Chrome 63)
64.948 Points ∼29% -7%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
64.709 Points ∼29% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (Samsung Browser 5.2)
62.198 Points ∼28% -11%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
56.63 Points ∼25% -19%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
52.9 Points ∼24% -24%
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 224, n=339)
34.4 Points ∼15% -51%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.2)
35255 Points ∼100% +139%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (14760 - 15233, n=2)
14997 Points ∼43% +2%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Samsung Browser 7.0)
14760 Points ∼42%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (Samsung Browser 5.2)
14050 Points ∼40% -5%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
12929 Points ∼37% -12%
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
12509 Points ∼35% -15%
HTC U11 Plus (Chrome 63)
11553 Points ∼33% -22%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
11308 Points ∼32% -23%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
10506 Points ∼30% -29%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
10406 Points ∼30% -29%
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 35255, n=475)
5013 Points ∼14% -66%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (718 - 59466, n=494)
11873 ms * ∼100% -476%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
3630 ms * ∼31% -76%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
3590.6 ms * ∼30% -74%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
3434.1 ms * ∼29% -67%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
3175.3 ms * ∼27% -54%
HTC U11 Plus (Chrome 63)
3131.6 ms * ∼26% -52%
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
3096 ms * ∼26% -50%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (Samsung Browser 5.2)
2236.7 ms * ∼19% -9%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (2060 - 2078, n=2)
2069 ms * ∼17% -0%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Samsung Browser 7.0)
2059.7 ms * ∼17%
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.2)
718 ms * ∼6% +65%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone X (Safari Mobile 11.0)
354 Points ∼100% +116%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
194 Points ∼55% +18%
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
181 Points ∼51% +10%
HTC U11 Plus (Chrome 63)
179 Points ∼51% +9%
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Samsung Browser 7.0)
164 Points ∼46%
Average Samsung Exynos 9810 (163 - 164, n=2)
164 Points ∼46% 0%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
161 Points ∼45% -2%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
158 Points ∼45% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (Samsung Browser 5.2)
154 Points ∼44% -6%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
138 Points ∼39% -16%
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=237)
98.3 Points ∼28% -40%

* ... smaller is better

Our test device is equipped with 64 GB of UFS 2.1 storage, 50 GB of which is available to the user after booting the system for the first time. A variant with 256 GB is available exclusively in the Samsung shop, while the variant with 128 GB is not offered in Europe. The top speeds of the Galaxy's storage are really good; merely the reading and writing of small data blocks is performed quicker by some competitors.

We tested the speed of the microSD card slot with our reference card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M501. The transfer rates are at a decent level, although they do not nearly reach the full potential of the card.

Samsung Galaxy S9 PlusSamsung Galaxy S8 PlusLG V30HTC U11 PlusMotorola Moto Z2 ForceHuawei P10 PlusAverage 64 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-12%
-28%
77%
38%
82%
4%
-53%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
67.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
57.24 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-15%
47.2
-30%
51.26 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-24%
54.67 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-19%
33.61 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-50%
49.2 (17.1 - 67.2, n=19)
-27%
43 (20.8 - 87.1, n=253)
-36%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
79.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
71.12 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-10%
62.8
-21%
75.39 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-5%
77.37 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-2%
54.04 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-32%
66.1 (18 - 84.7, n=19)
-17%
61.4 (36.5 - 96.5, n=253)
-22%
Random Write 4KB
22.74
15.27
-33%
10.21
-55%
135.69
497%
78.62
246%
149.78
559%
40.6 (8.77 - 152, n=24)
79%
13.3 (0.14 - 164, n=528)
-42%
Random Read 4KB
129.68
127.18
-2%
78.17
-40%
132.39
2%
148.76
15%
173.06
33%
135 (78.2 - 173, n=24)
4%
34 (1.59 - 173, n=528)
-74%
Sequential Write 256KB
204.94
194.18
-5%
193.22
-6%
207.94
1%
213.61
4%
182.64
-11%
193 (133 - 214, n=24)
-6%
70.1 (2.99 - 216, n=528)
-66%
Sequential Read 256KB
818.69
787.6
-4%
669.48
-18%
728.37
-11%
696.35
-15%
732.94
-10%
723 (529 - 819, n=24)
-12%
208 (12.1 - 832, n=528)
-75%

Games - The Galaxy S9+ Thwarts Itself

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has one of the most powerful SoCs currently available for smartphones, and in addition it has a display with a high resolution, and dual speakers. Usually this would be a great combination, but sadly the Korean company does not always exhaust the smartphone's possibilities and instead restrains its performance with frame limitations, as was the case with titles such as Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2. The other games we tested with GameBench had great results with constantly high frame rates.

The sensors and the touchscreen did not give any reason for complaint, and they reacted quickly and reliably to inputs.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Battle Bay
 SettingsValue
 full resolution60 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
World of Tanks Blitz
 SettingsValue
 high, 0xAA, 0xAF59 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Arena of Valor
 SettingsValue
 high HD60 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Shadow Fight 3
 SettingsValue
 high60 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions - Samsung Smartphone with Good Speakers but Weaker Battery

Temperature

GFXBench battery test: T-Rex (OpenGL ES 2.0)
T-Rex
GFXBench battery test: Manhattan (OpenGL ES 3.1)
Manhattan

While idling, the surface temperatures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus are only marginally higher than the surrounding temperature. The smartphone warms up noticeably only under constant load, reaching body temperature at some spots.

We tested the temperature behavior of the SoC with the GFXBench battery test, which runs a benchmark 30 times in a row and records the battery level as well as the frame rates. The results were similar in the T-Rex test (OpenGL ES 2.0) and the more-demanding Manhattan test (OpenGL ES 3.1). Samsung's chip appears very stable at the start but then has a strong performance drop after 21 (T-Rex) and 18 (Manhattan) iterations. The Galaxy S9+ delivers only about two-thirds of its initial performance in the Manhattan Test, while the performance loss in the T-Rex test is lower at 15%.

Max. Load
 35.8 °C35.7 °C35.4 °C 
 35 °C35.2 °C35.1 °C 
 35 °C34.1 °C34.6 °C 
Maximum: 35.8 °C
Average: 35.1 °C
32.2 °C36.7 °C37.9 °C
32.4 °C34.4 °C35.1 °C
32.6 °C34.3 °C33.3 °C
Maximum: 37.9 °C
Average: 34.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.2 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-260
The maximum temp on the upper side is 35.8 °C, compared to the average of 35.9 °C ranging from 21.1 °C to 71 °C for class Smartphone.

Speakers - The Galaxy S9+ Finally Has Dual Speakers

Pink Noise graph
Pink Noise graph

For the first time in Samsung's premium series, dual speakers have been installed. These ensure not only a subjectively better sound experience but were also convincing in the lab. The playback of mids and highs is linear, but they are too far apart, which makes the sound appear unbalanced.

Fortunately, the Galaxy S9+ still offers an audio jack, which allows for low-noise playback. The included earphones are identical to those delivered with the predecessor model and offer a decent sound experience as long as the volume is not turned up too high. For those who prefer wireless earphones, aptX for Bluetooth is supported.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.628.22524.928.43124.621.24026.419.35030.829.16323.624.68020.223.310019.927.212517.638.916019.150.620019.149.925017.454.331516.961.540016.860.950015.163.663016.567.980015.67010001570.6125015.572.1160015.371.7200015.773.5250015.573.2315015.576.7400015.476.1500015.873.763001677.4800015.872.91000016.169.81250016.164.81600017.357.2SPL27.985.6N164.4median 16Samsung Galaxy S9 Plusmedian 69.8Delta0.68.935.246.432.941.937.237.731.736.839.640.528.330.327.330.326.928.126.732.2244520.952.120.957.119.558.518.562.617.570.917.574.715.778.515.876.916.676.215.873.415.473