If you're looking to buy the new Samsung phone, get the Galaxy S9+ instead of the Galaxy S9

Key Points
  • The Galaxy S9+ isn't just a larger version of the Galaxy S9.
  • It has a bigger battery, a better camera and more RAM.
  • If you're wondering which model to buy, get the Galaxy S9+.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ review

If you're thinking of buying Samsung's new Android flagship smartphone, you should splurge for the larger model.

It's easy to assume the Galaxy S9+ is simply a larger version of the Galaxy S9, but it's actually a lot more. I tested both phones over the past week and found myself always choosing the larger model.

Yes, the slight bump in screen size — the S9+ has a 6.2 inch screen to the 5.8-inch on the Galaxy S9 — is really terrific for movies, browsing the web or running two apps side-by-side at the same time. There are other changes you'll like.

Samsung added a second camera on the back of the Galaxy S9+ that can be used for hardware-zoom, which is much better than relying on software. This is similar to what Apple did on the iPhone X, and it works really well when you need to get a bit closer to a subject while taking a photo. It also helps with low-light performance, so shots taken in the dark are much brighter. While standing on my porch at night, for example, I snapped a picture of the snowfall in near-complete dark, but it still almost looks like dusk or even daylight.

The Galaxy S9+ also has more RAM — 6GB instead of 4GB. That's not something most people usually care about, but it makes a difference when you're running a lot of apps, especially with the larger screen, and should keep things running smoothly as apps get more complicated over the life of your ownership.

Finally, it's rated for up to 35 hours of battery charge versus the 31 hours promised by Samsung for the Galaxy S9. That alone is usually worth it for me, since my phone always seems to die, though I was able to use the Galaxy S9+ for at least a day and a half most of the time.

The choice is yours, and the Galaxy S9+ will cost a few bucks more a month if you're buying it on a carrier payment plan. It's money well spent.