Mobile Insider – Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ Wrap Up

Support Team
Support Team

Back in April 2018 we gave two of our very own Brains Trust,  @ForensicsGuru and @cf4 the new  Samsung Galaxy S9 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ to review. You can go straight to their full reviews that are choc-a-bloc full of photos and videos on how the phones perform, or read on below for a brief summary.

ForensicsGuru (Samsung Galaxy S9+)
Being IT professional, I did what they always do – tried to set up without ever reading any manual etc… It was sort of straightforward, though, convoluted… Why do I need to set up Google and Samsung accounts? OK, I already had a google account, so that was simple… Anyway… After initial setup, I reset to factory and tried to avoid all the “suckers” … Didn’t sign for either Google not Samsung… Guess what – you don’t get much… Updates do not work etc… Guess what again – it is the same with Apple… To get a full functionality, you have to give away your precious personal details

cf4 (Samsung Galaxy S9)
Setup is fairly easy, I installed a Nano SIM and Micro SD card first. I found it very fiddly getting the SIM and Micro SD card to sit in the tray.

Connecting to WiFi Network, signing into Google and restoring backup Apps and Data from another device took about an hour including updating pre-installed apps

Intelligent Scan is a combination of Face recognition and Iris Scanner. It first scans your face. If that fails to unlock the phone, the device then checks your irises. If both fail, Intelligent Scan will try to authenticate your identity using a combination of the two.


ForensicsGuru (Samsung Galaxy S9+)
The camera is fantastic - not as good as my professional grade Nikons, but I would stop lugging them on family holidays, if I could get a proper grip. The pictures I got out of it are brilliant and the range of features is incredible!!!

I have been using Ookla Speedtest and Telstra Dashboard for some of the testing.

Mobile network (always at 4G coverage): unfortunately, I have to say, that iPhone 8+ outperformed Samsung Galaxy S9+ on all download tests by a little bit (2-5 Mbps) and significantly on upload speeds (few times a double!). The best I received was iPhone at my home office, little over 60Mbps down and 43Mbps up, while Samsung did 55.8 up and 23.4 down. Interestingly, Samsung had nearly always better ping time and I struggle to explain that technically…

cf4 (Samsung Galaxy S9)
The Galaxy S9 has the best display I have come across. The colours just seem to pop out of the screen. The edges of the screen are curved which makes it possible to view the display from very low angles. 

The only problem I noticed is when viewing videos in the Stan app and apps were being updated in the background. Every time an up was installed the video paused for a few seconds. This happens on all my android devices and only happens when viewing videos in the Stan app. It does not happen on the Windows Phone.

See view @cf4’s extensive camera review along with his test photos and videos.

ForensicsGuru (Samsung Galaxy S9+)
So the jury is still deliberating... I have iPhone 8+ on lease until October 2019, with an option to replace it in October 2018. iPhone X lost fingerprint that I like and has only facial/retina recognition that I don't trust as yet (same for this Samsung - did not even test it). There are things telling me "move from Apple" and there are things telling me "stay with what you know"...

Anyway, it has been enjoyable time... I still have 7 more days on the prepaid I got for the review and then... Not sure... I'm tempted to sell it - my wife is lo-fi user and it would be overkill for her... I am on contract (see above)…

cf4 (Samsung Galaxy S9)

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is an excellent phone. There are only a few things I disliked about the phone but there are many excellent features that I liked about the phone. I found the performance of the phone was very good. The phone only took 5 seconds to power off and 50 seconds to power back on. Apps and Web pages opened quickly.


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Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

ForensicsGuru (Samsung Galaxy S9+)

"I still have 7 more days on the prepaid I got for the review and then... Not sure... I'm tempted to sell it"


Many people, like me, couldn't afford a S9+ and here you are saying you are tempted to sell it... what a waste giving that to you!

Level 21: Augmented

@Ozmoz, problem is that I have 16 more months to go on leased iPhone 8+, so like many other people, I am not going to pay for something I would not be using. My wife found S9+ too big, she prefers her "hand me down" iPhone 5c (she is also very low tech user - few calls a month, no data - on long term Virgin deal - so the S9+ would be wasted on her).

So, knowing the background, what would you do?

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

@ForensicsGuru You would've known all that before taking up the offer.



Yes, you do allot on here to help people (Probably me included), but I guess I was just brought up in a different generation.


The S9's are certainly winning the war on the best android phone 2018, but so they should at the huge price tag. And unfortunately, it appears a number of android manufacturers believe to be classed as elite, they too have to charge over $1,000+ for a mobile even though they are not warranted.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

@Ozmoz every member of our Brains Trust program is given the opportunity to review a device during the program term (refreshed each year), some of these phones will be sold or gifted after the review period. This is because, as @ForensicsGuru has stated, that our super users already have phones they prefer or are paying for on contract.


This should not and does not preclude them from taking advantage of the benefits of being a member of the group. Should you qualify for the 2019 program you will be given this same opportunity too and you are under no obligation to keep the phone once the review period is over, the phone becomes the reviewers property and they are free to do with it as they please.

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

@DanK Hey, Telstra owns the phones (initially) so they can do with them what they like.


My original point was and still is... "What a waste", especially considering this was the higher value unit.


End of the day its just pfc, I get that.

Level 21: Augmented

@Ozmoz, you made your point and life goes on... As @DanK said, maybe you will have a chance to be in Brains Trust next year and maybe you will get chance to review something exciting... Good luck with it...

As a little (hopefully) closing remark, there was a call for volunteers to review this unit and @cf4 was the only person from Brains Trust who volunteered, I did not. But when I was later selected by "hat draw", I did not object and took it as a chance to see if I would like Android based device after starting to be more and more disappointed with Apple's approach. To be honest, when I received the unit and the necessary paperwork, I was surprised that the unit was mine to keep! I did not expect that at all; I presumed I would have to return it back as I had to do when I was evaluating laptops for HP and Toshiba in the past.

Just Registered

Thanks for the info! 

Level 23: Superhero

I'm sure Guru doesn't need me to defend him....but I have been testing and evaluating mobile phones for decades both as a full-time occupation and in later years as a hobby.

It is convention for the tester to more often than not retain the test item unless it's a very early prototype without a valid Australian allocated block IMEI number or with network test software

If its a full production phone with paperwork....given in lieu of payment...with permission of the provider....there is no restriction on the recipient if the provider agrees.. Frankly....I would give up a body part for a Samsung 9 plus...but we're all different!!

Level 21: Augmented

Thanks @ProfessorPhone... But honestly, I do not think it is worth of "a body part"... In the light of some recent security/forensic issues I am happy to stay with Apple even when being forced to pay a premium for the brand... Google (and Facebook and [insert your own]) is getting more and more scary for my likings... 

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Another reason why iOS users should never evaluate an Android phone with those comments. I'm sure Samsung would even be dismayed.

And PP I have already stated above [QUOTE] Is just pfc, I get that [/QUOTE] And offering 'body parts'... seriously? :-(