It’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ release day, but Samsung’s newest Android smartphone shouldn’t be the only thing you put in your pocket. No new gadget is complete without the essential accessories that make it easier to live with, and the Galaxy S9 is no different. Read on for our favorite picks in charging and protecting the S9 and S9+, as well as some other must-have accessories.
A wireless charger makes S9 life easier
Samsung has been onboard the wireless charging train for several years now, well before Apple decided to embrace the cord-free life, and it has a new 2018 version of its Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand. Priced at $69.99, that supports any Qi-compliant device – which means your friends’ iPhone X will work on it too – and either stands the S9 upright so you can still see the screen, or flat by folding the top down. It’s available in either black or white.
However, thanks to the S9 and S9+’s support for both main wireless charging standards, your charging pad needn’t bear the Samsung logo in order for it to work. RAVPower’s Fast Wireless Charger gets great reviews and costs just $39.99, but still delivers 10W of Qi charging to Samsung’s new Galaxy devices. There’s even a promo on right now which takes off an extra 10-percent.
A case, since S9 accidents happen
Samsung isn’t shy when it comes to talking up the Galaxy S9’s ruggedness, and with Gorilla Glass for the casing and IP68 water- and dust-resistance we can’t blame it. Still, drop your shiny new smartphone onto a hard surface and you can’t be surprised if it cracks, or worse. Best to plan ahead and pick out a case.
Samsung has a range of options for 2018, spanning everything from fashion through to seriously rugged shells, but they’re not the only game in town, of course. If you’re in the market for something super-sturdy, SUPCASE’s Full-body Rugged Holsters have a great reputation and a reasonable $24.99 price. That’s fifteen bucks less than Samsung’s own rugged cases.
More functional, meanwhile, is the Galaxy S9 S-View cover. Available for both the S9 and S9+, it’s a flip-case with a kick-stand that holds the smartphones up for easier video watching. Perfect if you’re hoping to use that excellent Super AMOLED screen to watch movies on the go. It’s priced at $59.99 and comes in a variety of colors.
Earphones, for the S9’s 3.5mm jack
Samsung includes a set of wired headphones in the box with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, but it sensible avoided one of the big smartphone bandwagons with this newest design. Unlike Apple, HTC, Sony, and others, Samsung has kept the 3.5mm headphone jack on its latest flagships. That gives you much more flexibility to pick up a set of aftermarket headphones.
We’re big fans of noise cancelling headphones, since they can make the difference between a nightmare travel experience and getting some sleep while you’re on a plane. If you’re looking for in-ear noise cancelling headphones, our pick would be Bose’s QuietComfort 20. They use the S9’s 3.5mm jack and deliver great noise cancellation.
Of course, since there’s Bluetooth too, you can also go wireless if you prefer. If Apple’s AirPods are tempting you – and, it’s worth remembering, they’ll work with the Galaxy S9 and other Android devices in addition to an iPhone, only without the more advanced features like Siri control – but you want tighter integration with Samsung’s software, it’s worth considering the Gear IconX 2018 edition. Samsung’s own wireless earbuds aren’t cheap, at $198 for a pair, but they have decent battery life, standalone fitness tracking and music playback, and work nicely with the Google Assistant and Bixby.
A microSD card to boost the S9’s storage
Samsung has several versions of the S9 and S9+ with different storage capacities, offering everything up to 256 GB of onboard capacity. Not every model is available through carriers, however, but luckily there’s a memory card slot to expand them. A microSD is often much cheaper – for more memory, indeed – than paying to go up a tier in onboard smartphone storage.
Indeed, right now you can find 64 GB of Samsung’s own microSD storage for under $20. You can double that, too, to 128 GB for under $40. Those with really big ambitions for recording or watching 4K movies, meanwhile, will be pleased to know that the Galaxy S9 is compatible with up to 400GB microSD cards… but they’ll cost you $200.
The S9’s DeX Pad to replace your PC
One of Samsung’s cleverest features on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is the ability to turn the smartphone into a PC replacement. With mobile processors now fast enough to run desktop-quality apps, cloud storage meaning your files are just as accessible on a smartphone as they are a laptop, and an increasing number of web-based services replacing dedicated software, it’s even more appealing to use the S9 and leave your notebook at home. For that, though, you’ll need an accessory.
The Samsung DeX Pad is the second generation of the company’s DeX desktop docks. While the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will work with the first-gen DeX Station too, if you want the maximum 2K video output via the HDMI port on your external display, you’ll need this latest version. It also adds two USB-A ports and uses USB-C for charging.
Conveniently, unlike the upright DeX Station, the DeX Pad holds the Galaxy S9 horizontally. That way, it can double as a trackpad and even a keyboard, saving connecting dedicated peripherals. It’s available for preorder now, at $99.99, and will ship at the end of April 2018.