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Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Note 8: Which is for you?

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy Note 8: Which Samsung flagship should you buy?

Samsung’s unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9 and boy does it look great. But with the Galaxy Note 8 still fairly new, is it worth going for the new phone, or going for the more established phablet? Find out below.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy Note 8 Design: What’s the difference?

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 8 both look fairly similar, featuring near edge-to-edge displays and a mixed metal and glass chassis. But up close they’re different beasts.  For starters, the Note is nearly half an inch bigger than the S9 and a little boxier in shape.

Related: Best smartphones

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy Note 8 Specs: Which phone is more powerful?

Despite being smaller, the Galaxy S9 features significantly more powerful hardware. Highlights include the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU and an upgraded rear camera with a mechanical variable aperture.

The Snapdragon 845 is a particularly big deal. As well as offering improved performance it also comes with a number of AI features that will help Samsung’s Bixby personal assistant run faster and let it do nifty things like AR Emoji, which lets users create an emoji that looks and acts just like them.

We haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test the S9’s new camera setup, but if Samsung’s claims are to be believed, it’ll be a significant step up on the Note’s already impressive snapper. Samsung describes it as the “best-in-class low light camera” around.

Galaxy S9

The tech lets the camera intelligently switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5 apertures depending on the environment it’s being used in. For example, in bright conditions the camera will shoot in f/2.4, but when its dim, it’ll jump to f/1.5 to let in more light. Samsung isn’t the first company to experiment with this type of camera tech, but if it works it could be a nice upgrade to the Galaxy S8’s already impressive snapper.

The only downside to the S9 is that it doesn’t feature Samsung’s stellar S Pen stylus. The S Pen is a useful notation tool that makes it quick and easy to scribble notes, sketch and edit photos on the Galaxy Note 8.

You can see a more thorough breakdown how the two phones’ specs compare in the table below.

Phone Galaxy S9 Galaxy Note 8
Screen 5.8-inch OLED quad HD+. (6.2-inch for Plus) 6.3-inch quad-HD+ AMOLED HDR display
OS Android 8  Android 7
Weight 163g   195g
CPU Snapdragon 845/latest Exynos Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895
Memory 4GB (6GB for Plus) 6GB
Storage 64GB/256GB + microSD upto 400GB  64GB+ microSD
Camera 12-megapixel single rear camera with mechanical variable aperture of both f/2.4 and f/1.5. 8MP

Front camera with f/1.7 aperture. OIS

12-megapixel dual camera: 1x telephoto (f/2.4, OIS) and 1x regular wide-angle (f1.7, OIS). 8MP front camera
Battery 3000 mah, wireless fast charge  (3500 for Plus) 3300 mAh
Extras Variable aperture S-Pen

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy Note 8 Price

The Samsung Galaxy S9 will start at £739, with the larger Plus model hitting shelves at £869. Pricing for the Note 8 also starts at £869.

Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy Note 8 summary

We haven’t had enough time with the Galaxy S9 to tell if it’s a true step up to the Note 8, which is one of the best phablets currently available at the moment. But its specs are a clear cut above the older phone.

As long as the S9 isn’t plagued by bugs and doesn’t catch on fire, which believe it or not was a concern on an older Samsung phone, it should be a great choice.

However, if you’re dead set on getting a phablet, its larger sibling, the S9+ could be a better choice, the device has better specs than the Note, but again doesn’t come with an S Pen.

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