Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S9 – is it worth the upgrade?

So now the dust has settled slightly on the Galaxy S9 launch I thought I’d put together a little comparison of the most important differences between the phones.

I’ve set aside network bands and speeds because they don’t really affect enough people to matter.

Below is a comparison of the specs between the S8 and S9.

Galaxy S8

Galaxy S9


Dimensions 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm (5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 in) 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm (5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 in)  S8. The S8 is slightly smaller than the S9
Weight 155 g (5.47 oz) 163 g (5.75 oz)  S8. The S8 is slightly lighter than the S9
OS Android 7.0 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 8.0 (Oreo) Android 8.0 (Oreo)  S9. S9 ships with Oreo out the box and S8 is still waiting its release
Chipset Exynos 8895 Octa – EMEA
Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 – USA & China
Exynos 9810 Octa – EMEA
Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 845 – USA & China
 S9. Obviously a phone which comes out a year after its predecessor will have a more modern CPU
CPU Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Mongoose M2 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) – EMEA
Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) – USA & China
Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55) – EMEA
Octa-core (4×2.7 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) – USA & China
 S9 again. The CPU runs at a slightly higher (500mHz) clock speed.
GPU Mali-G71 MP20 – EMEA
Adreno 540 – USA & China
Mali-G72 MP18 – EMEA
Adreno 630 – USA & China
 S9 has the latest and greatest graphics chip
Loudspeaker Yes Yes, with stereo speakers  S9 has the new ‘stereo’ speaker (headpiece used as secondary)
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps, HDR, dual-video rec. 2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR, dual-video rec.  S9 camera wins – the biggest improvement on the S9 is it’s new and re-designed camera.

[specs from]

So the S9 wins in almost all areas spec-wise but is it worthy of upgrading from your Galaxy S8?

Well, my honest answer is no. There is nothing on the S9 that would convince me to trade in my S8 for.

The things that are improved upon on the S9 are more refinements than must-have improvements.

Faster CPU, GPU is always going to be a given with later models but I never had any issues (on Nougat) with the speed of the S8. So the only other notable ‘game changer’ is the new camera. The slow motion mode is a cool feature and the dual-aperture is definitely of interest – this should allow for much crisper photos in well-lit situations.

Therefore Samsung’s biggest selling point of the S9 is the new camera (which you can see in action with the iris-resizing below)

samsung galaxy s9 dual-aperture camera

Final note: unless you’re on a 12 month contract, the Samsung Galaxy Upgrade scheme or you simply have a huge amount of money spare, give the S9 a miss. There is simply not enough to tempt the upgrade as far as I can see.