Samsung has launched the latest Galaxy S smartphones in the form of the S9 and the S9+, bringing new hardware and a couple of design tweaks to the company's flagships.

The Galaxy S9+ sees a few more extras than the smaller model, including the introduction of dual-rear cameras, which we first saw on the Galaxy Note 8 a few months ago.

But which of these phones should be looking to buy? What are the differences and similarities between the Galaxy S9+ and the mighty Note 8 though? Here are the two compared.

  • Both IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Infinity display, dual cameras on both
  • S9+ smaller but heavier

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the Galaxy Note 8 both feature similar designs. The two devices opt for a metal core sandwiched between a glass front and back and they both come with IP68 water and dust resistance.

The display dominates the front of both devices with super slim bezels at the top and bottom, coupled with curved edges, while dual-lenses and a fingerprint sensor are present on the back, albeit in a different layout.

The Galaxy S9+ has a vertically-aligned camera on the back with the fingerprint sensor positioned below, while the Note 8 has a horizontally-aligned camera with the fingerprint sensor to the right, so the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is easier to unlock with fingerprints.

Both devices come with USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack, but the Note 8 also adds the S Pen to its list of features, which tucks in at the bottom of the device, next to the charging port. It is the slightly bigger device, measuring 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm compared to the S9+ at 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm, but it is lighter at 168g, compared to 189g.

Overally, the S9+ is slightly curvier, with the Note 8 being subtly flatter, but the Note 8 does have slightly larger top and bottom bezels.

  • S9+ smaller display by 0.1-inches
  • Both curved AMOLED, 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Both Quad HD+
  • Both support HDR content

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the Note 8 both come with a curved Super AMOLED Infinity display but the Note 8 is slightly larger than the S9+ at 6.3-inches compared to 6.2-inches.

The two devices both have Quad HD+ resolutions though, which translates to 2960 x 1440 pixels, meaning the S9+ has the sharper display on paper with a pixel density of 530ppi, while the Note 8 offers a 522ppi - so you won't really notice much of a difference.

Both the S9+ and the Note 8 also have an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and both devices support HDR. The Galaxy S9+ is newer and the display may be a little brighter - although both devices are top quality.

  • S9+ has upgraded hardware platform
  • Same RAM on both
  • S9+ has larger battery capacity
  • Note 8 has S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will run on one of two 10nm, 64-bit octa-core processors, depending on the region, the latest Exynos 9810 or the latest Qualcomm 845 platform.

The Note 8 meanwhile, runs on the Exynos 8895 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 depending on region, so the S9+ is incrementally improved - although there's no real discernible difference in day-to-day performance. RAM is the same on both devices though with 6GB on board, and both start at 64GB storage.

The Galaxy S9+ has a larger battery capacity than the Note 8 at 3500mAh compared to 3300mAh, though both feature support for fast charging and fast wireless charging. The real world battery performance of both devices is similar from our testing.

AKG-tuned speakers are present on both devices, although the S9+ blows the Note 8 out of the water when it comes to speaker performance. The addition of Dolby Atmos on those speakers makes them a whole world better. Both the S9+ and the Note 8 retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Both offer face, iris and fingerprint scanning, although the Galaxy S9+ combines iris and face into Intelligent Scan for more reliable unlocking.

  • Both have dual 12MP rear cameras
  • Both have 8MP front cameras
  • S9+ has super slow motion video
  • S9+ has dual aperture rear camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Note 8 both feature dual rear cameras, as we mentioned previously. There are some differences however.

Both devices see two 12-megapixel sensors make up the dual setup, consisting of one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens. Both have dual optical image stabilisation on board and both are capable of 2x optical zoom, something the standard Galaxy S9 isn't able to do.

The S9+ also has a dual aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4 on the wide-angle sensor though, adjusting automatically to the lighting conditions, which offers improvements on the Note 8 camera, when it comes to low-light shooting. The S9+ also offers super-slow motion video at 960fps and thanks to a new sensor design, it's better at dealing with low light noise, for cleaner images.

There is an 8-megapixel autofocus sensor on the front of both the S9+ and the Note 8 featuring an aperture of f/1.7 so no change on the front camera. Overall, the S9+ is a slightly better camera, with better low light performance and a few new features.

  • Android Oreo with TouchWiz
  • Note 8 will see upgrade
  • Note 8 also offers S Pen features

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ launches on Android Oreo with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. The Galaxy Note 8 launched on Android Nougat though it will be upgraded to Oreo at some point ... hopefully.

The overall experience of these two devices is very similar but there will be a couple of extras on the Note 8 thanks to the S Pen functionality. The Galaxy S9+ however adds things like AR emoji. Whether that will come to the Note 8 as well, we're not sure. Both have Bixby and Google Assitant.

The real functionality difference comes with the S Pen. This offers things that the Galaxy S9+ just won't do, like off-screen memo and the huge range of highlighting, translating and other manipulation functions that the S Pen makes really easy to do.

  • Both cost £869

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will cost £869, which is the same price as the Note 8.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ deals


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals


The Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note 8 feature similar designs though the Note 8 is a little lighter and comes with the advantage of a built-in S Pen and a slightly larger display.

The S9+ has a larger battery capacity, a couple of camera extras in the dual aperture and super slow motion video, and a faster processor.

At the same price though, the decision between these two devices will likely come down to the S Pen functionality and whether you want it or not. With very little difference in the size, choosing the slightly more compact Galaxy S9+ might seem like the sensible choice - but be sure to check for deals on the Note 8 - as an older phone, there's a good chance you'll be able to get it for less money.