Having launched on the same day, the flagship of the South Korean electronics giant, Samsung Galaxy S9, found itself pitted against the newest high-end model, Nokia 8 Sirocco, by the once-dominant Finnish handset maker seeking to recapture its glory days. Despite both operating on the Android 8 operating system, here we break down the differences between the two.
Upon the first glance, the aesthetics of both smartphones aren’t too dissimilar. The edges are tapered. The screens exhibit gentle curves and harmoniously blend into the bodies, resulting in smooth-looking handsets that are easy on the eyes and ergonomic to hold.
According to Nokia, the Sirocco is made out of a single block of stainless steel. On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 is mostly made of glass moulded upon a metal frame.
The Galaxy S9 is marginally the larger of the two. It is also offered in four colour options: black, grey, purple and blue. The Sirocco, however, is only available in black.
Both smartphones feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, which Corning says can survive shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to 80% of the time.
On top of that, the Sirocco is rated IP67—the same as Apple’s iPhone 8. The IP67 certification means that the Sirocco is water resistant to the depth of 1m for a short period of time. However, that puts the Sirocco behind the Galaxy S9 as the latter is rated for the tougher IP68, meaning that it can survive at a greater depth of 1.5m.
The international version of the Galaxy S9 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 SoC—its latest top-of-the-line chipset, while the Sirocco is fitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, which was launched a year ago. It’s unfortunate that Nokia has decided not to use Qualcomm’s newer Snapdragon 845, which we will witness in the upcoming Mi Mix 2 by Xiaomi.
Memory and storage-wise, the Sirocco boasts 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, while the Galaxy S9 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, expandable up to 400GB via microSD card.
Both have built-in Qi wireless charging. The Sirocco houses a larger 3,260 mAh battery compared to Galaxy S9’s 3,000 mAh.
On the visual front, a 5.5-inch 2K pOLED panel is fitted on the Sirocco, while the Galaxy S9 has a larger 5.8-inch Super AMOLED screen with the same resolution.
Here is where the approach towards photography differs. Nokia has chosen to equip the Sirocco with a Zeiss dual-camera setup, which is also popular among other smartphone makers. On the back, the 12MP wide-angle primary camera is paired with a 13MP telephoto shooter capable of delivering a 2x optical magnification.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S9 only comes with a single 12MP shooter. For the dual-camera setup, you will need to overlook the S9 for the S9+.
For selfies, the Sirocco uses a 5MP camera, while the Galaxy S9 uses a 8MP camera.
Nokia’s much-loved and intuitive manual camera control returns to the fore. The interface is indisputably the best on the market during the much-maligned Lumia era.
Taking on Apple’s Animoji, the Galaxy S9 introduces the AR Emoji. By capturing the user via the front camera, the smartphone will generate a 3D avatar that resembles the user. Further adjustments can be made such as swapping hair colours. The avatar can also be exported as a sticker on social media platforms.
Furthermore, Bixby Vision also makes the Galaxy S9 indispensable during foreign travels as it translates in real time foreign-language menus and road signs to your preferred languages. It also recognises dishes and thus provides nutritional values.