-Perhaps you’ve read my first impressions, or perhaps you’ve seen different reviews, regardless it’s PhabletGuru’s turn. And thus I shall break out the “proverbial” good stuff.

-This phone, in one word, is surprising. In my first impressions published not long after launch, I considered it predictable. Yet, even then it had some impressive qualities, more on that further down this long and enjoyable road. The S9 with all it’s S8 glory, ended up not really being that, here in the long term review. Let’s go ahead and get the negatives, what few there are, out of the way first.

-This first thing isn’t so much negative as it is uninspired. In regards to being compared to the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Virtually identical in design are the S8 and S9, save for two design features, the placement of the fingerprint sensor and the camera setup.

-There are new colors, purple and a slightly different shade of blue. But this is normal in the mobile industry. The same held true for the iPhone 6s, 7, and 8. Three years of virtually identical design.

-I’m still uncertain if Im a fan of the curved displays Galaxy has. A feature Samsung pioneered dating back four years ago with the Galaxy Note 4 edge. Granted the curve has become less drastic and far more ergonomic and eye appealing in my opinion.

-Honestly, the edge screen features with different panels and such, I’ve yet to really tweak or use. I don’t find it something that I will use everyday. Since I have my home screens set up the way I like them. It seems almost redundant in a way, like an extra launcher on top of Touchwiz running on top of Android. It might surprise me though once I start actually using it. For some reason I haven’t felt the need to use it.

-I’ve never been overly fond of the Samsung Touchwiz UI on top of Android. That being said there have been additions to Android inspired by Samsung such as split screen multitasking, and others. The most frustrating part of the user interface is the settings menu which is just a convoluted list that seems never-ending and is extremely hard to find what you’re exactly looking for.

-I don’t like that there are multiple applications that do essentially the same exact thing, like… why do I need Samsung messages and Android messages? Why do I need Samsung calendar and Google Calendar? Why do I need Bixby and Google Assistant? and so forth and so on.. waste of space if you ask me, they should just stick with native Androd apps in my opinion. However I can say Bixby vision is pretty legit, as the young folk say. It’s cool if I use the word ‘legit’ right?

-The Avatar thing is… just ok. It looses it’s fun after an hour of I’m going to be real with you. And the virtual makeup thing is a cool idea for some. The front facing camera is good but not great, it softens things too much in my experience.

-That about rounds up the negatives of my experience with this phone. Now let’s bring on the main event… Why I find this phone to be surprising.

-First and foremost, dat screen though, simply gorgeous. Keep in mind I have the S9+. It’s extremely minimal bezel design is definitely a sight to behold with a second generation Infinity display.

-I would like to add that I am grateful there is no Notch. I cannot stand the notch in Android. That’s a whole nother blog though. Samsung is the undisputed King of displays and screen technology. I’ll leave it at that.

-We now arrive at a feature that can make or break a phone, the camera or cameras as we are talking about the plus version. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ does have a dual lense setup. Samsung has brought a first to any camera on any smartphone in the history of smartphone cameras.

-This thing sports a variable aperture camera. Some refer to it as a mechanical iris. Before I get into the details of what that is take a look at some shots taken with this camera.

-As you can see it takes amazing shots. What the variable aperture feature of the camera means is that like the human eye this lens opens up wider when there is not much light, in order to let more light in. That is amazing ladies and gentlemen.

-With the camera you get a whole lot of features, filters and enhancements galore. In fact there is so much you can do with this camera it almost requires a learning curve. Perhaps I’ll write a how to blog for this camera. Because of the variable 1.6 to 2.4 aperture it makes this THE lowlight cell phone camera to beat.

-There are a myriad of other little things I enjoy about this phone. The edge lighting for notifications is customizable, change the colors that flash around the entire of the perimeter of the screen. I enjoy the blue notification light in the top bezel.

-I dig the fact you can change the on screen navigation buttons to match the rest of Android (the back arrow on the left side of the home button). See picture below. I like that there is still a headphone jack and expandable storage.

-If you currently have the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus or Note 8 I would recommend keeping your current device until next gen you’re not missing much. However, if you are a current owner of a Galaxy S7 or earlier than I can say go for this phone you’re going to love it I know I do.

-If you have a current high-end Android phone, released within the last 8 to 12 months, stay where you are. Unless you must have the newest latest Galaxy. I know there are plenty of you guys like that out there. You all will love this phone.

-Perhaps you are an iPhone owner wanting to jump ship, switch sides as it were. Maybe you used to have an Android and you wanted to give iPhone a shot. Then you realized you don’t like it as much and want to come back over to the light side of the force. Well we will welcome you back, with arms wide open nonetheless .

-This phone is a beast and worthy of the time honored name of Galaxy. I’ve been surprised with how much I like it.  I can whole heatedly recommend this phone with a PhabletGuru 7.38 thumbs up.

-Marvel’s “Avengers Infinity War” was amazing, you must go watch it… Now!


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