Each year, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy models dazzle the world with its performance, features, and sleek design. Many have hailed the 2019 Samsung Galaxy S10, the greatest Galaxy in history. And reviews have shown it often beating both Apple and Google’s latest offerings.
But how well does it stand up to its predecessor, the Galaxy S9? You can now find refurbished S9 smartphones on Amazon for less than half the cost of the Galaxy S10. So is it really worth it to pay for S10 instead of the S9?
Here’s our Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 guide to help you decide which one is right for you.
Let’s jump right in!
Design: S10 vs. S9
With the release of the Galaxy S10, Samsung fans had more choices than ever before. For years, Samsung offered two sizes. For the S9 that was the 5.8 inch Galaxy and the 6.2 inch Galaxy S9+. For the S10, you have four different sizes—Galaxy S10e at 5.8 inch, 6.1 inch S10, 6.4 inch S10+, and 6.7 inch Galaxy S10 5G.
These models span from budget to top of the line with a range of different features. We will primarily focus on the Samsung Galaxy S10 flagship and Galaxy S10 as they are the most comparable.
But the Samsung Galaxy S10e is a great option for people who want to upgrade to a newer Samsung offering at a more affordable entry point.
One of the biggest design changes you’ll notice is the movement of the fingerprint sensor. On the S9 (and earlier models) Samsung moved it to the back of the device to create more space for the Infinity Display.
For the S10, it’s now underneath the display as an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Most people will house their phone in cases so don’t let this overly influence your decision.
Both Samsung Galaxy S10 and S9 are waterproof with IP68 ratings.
Which Phone Has the Better Display?
Samsung AMOLED displays have consistently outperformed all competitors including Apple. In fact, Samsung initially supplied Apple OLED screens. Both the S9 and all variants of the S10 feature AMOLED screens. Both displays look fantastic.
The big difference is the aspect ratio. With the Galaxy S10, you get a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 aspect ratio. This is compared to the Galaxy S9 5.8-inch AMOLED, 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
Extra aspect ratio is achieved through the “punch hole” display. Instead of a notch used by Apple, there’s a small box where the S10 front camera fits in. It’s a little unusual at first, but it’s a fantastic use of space and comes in much smaller than an iPhone notch.
For US Samsung users, the S10 is an upgrade from the Snapdragon 845 inside the Galaxy S9 to Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855. All of the S10 models are fast and among the fastest across Android phones. Only my iPhone XS and iPhone 11 series posted high results.
The S10 is significantly faster than the S9. When the S9 was released it performed quite well, but nowhere nearly iPhone levels. The S10, however, is closing that gap. Even the S10e budget model runs on the same Snapdragon 855 making it quite a powerful budget option.
You also have more RAM with the S10. The S9 and S9 plus offers 4 and 6GB of RAM respectively. The S10 starts with 8GB and the S10 Plus goes up to 12GB.
What About 5G?
5G is right around the corner. Samsung has planted its flag by offering the first major flagship phone with 5G compatibility—the Galaxy S10 5G. 5G is gradually being rolled out across the US. Using the 5G modem included the Snapdragon 855 among another new techs, you can get some truly amazing speeds topping out at 1 Gbps in some areas.
It’s great technology but still in its infancy. And the cost of the Galaxy S10 5G is very high. You’re better off waiting a few years until 5G is more widespread and affordable for users.
Cameras Comparison: Galaxy s10 vs. s9
Cameras are one of the biggest areas you’ll notice a difference in your Galaxy generation. The S9 featured a single, 12-megapixel lens with a variable aperture and the S9 Plus dual 12-MP cameras. All versions of the Galaxy S10 have multiple cameras on the back. That’s right multiple.
The primary on the S10 is a 12-megapixel, variable aperture lenses are supported with a dual-pixel sensor — is present on every model. The S10e features an ultra-wide-angle 16-MP secondary shooter. The S10 and S10 Plus have this and a 12-MP telephoto lens for an incredible portrait mode.
On the front, all S10 models have a 10-MP dual-pixel camera, The S10 Plus also has a secondary 8-MP depth sensor to create better depth-of-field selfies.
The Galaxy S10 5G has an incredible four cameras on the back, including the much-hyped time-of-flight 3D depth sensor the three existing cameras. It’s the best camera offering in the generation and worth it if you have the money.
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 Battery Life
Both the S9 and S9 Plus featured 3,000 and 3,500-mAh batteries, respectively. These phones solidly last a full day of moderate usage and up to 11 hours of LTE continuous use. Overall, they offer a great battery life.
The S10 builds on this with even bigger batteries for each model. The entry-level S10e features a 3,100-mAh battery, which is a bit more than what the S9 included. Battery sizes increase accordingly 3,400 mAh and 4,100 mAh on the S10 and S10 Plus variants. The S10 5G uses a 4,500 mAh unit to power the 5G technology.
On battery tests, the Galaxy S10 Plus lasted an incredible 13 hours far surpassing all flagships for the year. That lands the Galaxy S10 Plus on the list of longest-lasting smartphones. Even the S10e lasted nearly 10 hours.
All four S10 features can use wireless charging and wireless charge other Qi devices.
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9: Price
This will ultimately be the deciding factor for most people. Ultimately both the S10 and the S9 are great phones. But one is the update so of course, it’s going to feature better specs. Right now, you can get all kinds of deals on the S10. Major telecom carriers offer free or discounted Galaxy S10 with phone plans.
The Galaxy S9 starts at $599 while the S9+ starts at $699. On the other hand, the Galaxy S10e starts at $749 and the S10 starts at $899.
So you need to ask yourself if the extra $300 is worth it. The S10 is a fantastic phone that will last for years. But the S9 is also great and you can even get a larger screen model for a $150 less than the budget S10e.
Bottom Line Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9
You really can’t go wrong with any of Samsung’s flagship phones. They’re sleek, powerful, and designed to last for years. The Samsung Galaxy S10 offers a huge improvement over S9 in performance, cameras, and battery life. But many smartphone buyers are waiting until 5G technology becomes more widespread.
So what should you do? For budget-conscious buyers who are holding onto older phones, you should go with the S9. It’s now very affordable, packed with features, and will work great until 5G becomes more available. You’ll definitely notice a huge improvement over Galaxy S5 or S6.
And for less budget-sensitive buyers, then this is an easy choice. You should upgrade. Take advantage of offers to get a discount and start using the best phone on the market!
You can’t go wrong with either the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the S9. When you’re ready to make the switch, sell your old phone to Buyback Boss. You can click here to get an instant quote and see how much your phone is worth. We make it easy to sell your phone so you can get cash for your upgrade. Check it out now!
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