The static design of the new Galaxy S9 underscores both the slowing pace of smartphone innovation and the extent to which other manufacturers, particularly Apple, have caught up with Samsung features that once stood out. That includes everything from edge-to-edge screens to facial recognition to a water-resistant body.
The new phone's biggest selling point is a collection of minor improvements to its camera, which is already among the best in the smartphone business . The S9 promises even better low-light shots, while offering a video mode that appears to freeze fast-moving objects, matching a feature in some Sony phones. The S9 can automatically detect when there's high-speed motion to record, such as a cork popping off a bottle of champagne. A fifth of a second of video gets stretched out into six seconds.
Buy it outright: S9 for $719.99; S9 Plus for $839.99.
Monthly installments: $30 per month for 24 months for the S9; $35 per month for 24 months for the S9 Plus. Prices are a cent more expensive than buying it outright.
Buy it outright: S9 for $790.20; S9 Plus for $915.
Monthly installments: $26.34 per month for 30 months for the S9; $30.50 per month for 30 months for the S9 Plus. Those come to the same prices as buying the phone outright.
Buy it outright: $800 for the S9; $930 for the S9 Plus.
Monthly installments: $33.33 per month for 24 months for the S9; $38.74 per month for 24 months for the S9 Plus. You save a few cents paying this way instead of buying outright.
Trade-in: $100 to $350 off the S9 or S9 Plus when you buy it on an installment plan and trade-in a working phone in good condition. In order to get the $350, you have to trade in a Galaxy S8, iPhone 8, or newer (so realistically, only very serious Samsung fans will take this trade-in offer). Other flagships from last year fetch $300; and you can get $200 off for two to three year old phones. Phones like the iPhone SE and Galaxy S5 get $100. The trade-in value is broken up across the life of your payments, so you’re still looking at two years of bills.
Monthly installments: $30 per month for 24 months for the S9; same for the S9 Plus, but it also requires a $120 down payment. That’s $720 in total for the S9; $840 for the S9 Plus.
Trade-in: Up to $360 off an S9 or S9 Plus when purchased on an installment plan. You can trade in flagship phones as far back as an iPhone 6S or a Galaxy S7 and get $360 off. T-Mobile will also give $200 off for trade-ins of flagships as far back as the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4. The discount comes with bill credits, so you’ll have to stay with T-Mobile to get the full offer.
Promo: $100 off if you preorder through Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint on March 2nd only. After that, Best Buy is advertising a discount of “up to $100,” which suggests different carriers might receive different discounts.
Trade-in: Up to $350 off when trading in “a qualified smartphone.” We’ve reached out for details on what qualifies.