Samsung has officially announced the next generation of their flagship line of phones.
The Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus are due out March 16. They mark a return to the minimally bezeled design of last year’s S8 phones, but with your standard annual performance upgrades.
The phones have better octa-core processors and the S9 Plus in particular offers a new dual-lens rear camera that is pretty much the best mobile camera around.
So the S9 phones are a pretty tame update, and won’t wow those who bought an S8 last year. But still, Android users who haven’t upgraded phones in a while may be surprised at just how many things the S9 phones can do.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus can handle everything from gaming, to fitness tracking, to productivity software, and they support a large suite of accessories to further improve usability.
While you’re waiting for your S9 or S9 Plus pre-order to fill, you can read on below to browse some of our favorite accessories to bring out the best in these powerful handsets.
1. Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch
With no sign from Samsung of releasing a Gear S4 smartwatch anytime soon, you can count on the Gear Sport remaining a top smartwatch for the foreseeable future.
This is especially true if you want a smartwatch that exceeds at fitness tracking. The Gear Sport extends the S9’s heart rate monitor and GPS tracking to your wrist, allowing you to check both without interrupting your workout flow.
It is water resistant for submersion up to 50 meters, and has the battery capacity to last several days.
Its touchscreen is great for discretely checking notifications or replying to calls and texts. No doubt, we will see a Gear S4 at some point down the road, but until then, the Gear Sport stands uncontested.
Buy the Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch here.
2. Samsung LED View Wallet Case
Even if you’re the most careful phone owner in the world, accidents happen. That’s why a phone case is practically a necessity for any new phone.
The Samsung LED View Wallet Case is a great option for a folio style case, as it protects your phone from drops on all sides with a flip cover for your screen.
It also offers a card slot to place an ID and credit card, and sports an LED display to tell the time and display notifications.
Buy the Samsung LED View Wallet Case for the Galaxy S9 here.
Buy the Samsung LED View Wallet Case for the Galaxy S9 Plus here.
3. Caseology Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Even though the glass used for the S9 is 20% thicker than that of the S8, it still never hurts to have an extra layer of glass for coverage from drops.
If you want to prevent your screen turning into a spider web the first time it lands face down, then you need a 9H tempered glass screen protector from Caseology.
This thin glass buffer is fully touch sensitive, and doesn’t change the way the phone works. It also provides a waterproof coating that resists smudges.
Despite its slimness, it can take quite a beating before it shatters. When it does, your phone screen beneath is much more likely to be untarnished.
Price: $12.99 (57 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Caseology Tempered Glass Screen Protector here.
4. Moga Hero Pro
The S9 and especially the S9 Plus are perfectly suited for gaming. They have octa-core processors that can handle the most graphically intensive content.
They also have beautiful screens that are easy to look at for extended periods of time. The only thing they lack is a controller.
Enter the Moga Hero Pro, a wireless Bluetooth controller that is specifically designed for use with Android phones.
This controller is responsive, well-built, and has a built-in clip to mount your phone onto while you’re playing.
The clip is large enough to fit with the S9 Plus, and the controller’s phenomenal battery offers about 30 hours of playtime. That makes the Moga Hero Pro an all-around winner.
Buy the Moga Hero Pro here.
5. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
The S9 and S9 Plus are great audio sources to be plugged into a pair of high-end headphones or surround sound speakers.
Unfortunately, their onboard speakers are limited by the compact nature of both phones.
That’s where a Bluetooth speaker can be handy, as it even a small portable speaker provides enough power to fill a room.
The Wonderboom is among UE’s most portable speakers. Despite this, it delivers a clear and full sound through Bluetooth wireless.
It is IPX7-rated for water resistance, and is drop-tested for durability. With a 10 hour battery life, you’ll have enough juice to keep the party going between charges.
Price: $59.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom here.
6. Samsung DeX Pad
Samsung’s DeX system, which aims to give your smartphone a desktop-like UI and input system, hasn’t quite yet taken over the workstation market.
But with the gradual improvement of smartphone performance, it becomes more and more viable.
Currently, you get a pretty smooth experience out of pairing an S9 or S9 Plus with a DeX device, and this will only become better with the impending release of the DeX Pad.
The Dex Pad is a dock that allows you to connect your phone to an external monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard, among other peripherals.
The experience is niche, but if you want to throw out your old, decrepit PC tower in favor of something a little more streamlined, the forthcoming DeX Pad is a great option.
Buy the Samsung DeX Pad here.
7. Samsung Gear VR with Controller 2017 Edition
Another must-have accessory for Android gaming is a VR headset. The Gear VR from Samsung is optimized to work with the latest smartphones, as long as you use the Note 8 compatible model from late 2017, as neither S9 phone fit in the older versions.
This headset slots your phone into the visor to use as a graphical processor for hit games like Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay and Minecraft, among others.
The games look great, and are easy to control with a combination of head tracking and the Gear VR’s included controller.
The Gear VR promises hours of fun for even the most casual gamers, and you don’t even have to buy an $800 graphics card.
Price: $99.00 (24 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Samsung Gear VR with Controller 2017 Edition here.
8. Samsung Wireless Charging Convertible Stand
With a 3,000mAh battery on the S9 and a 3,500mAh battery on the S9 Plus, the mid-day charge is long in the past.
Also long past are the days of having to fumble with plugging in a power cable. With Samsung’s Wireless Charging Convertible Stand, you can enjoy the convenience of wireless charging with 9W fast charging speeds.
This charge pad has a built-in fan to cool your device as it charges, and ample coils so that you don’t have to be laser accurate just to get a charge in.
The coolest part about this charger is that it can be repositioned as a stand for watching videos or taking calls.
Price: $49.86 (45 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Samsung Wireless Charging Convertible Stand here.
9. SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Memory Card
These days, it’s starting to feel like a privilege to have expansion slots and peripheral ports on a phone.
Thankfully, Samsung seems resolute on keeping these most important additions. This includes the microSD card slot.
Without any memory expansion, the S9 and the S9 Plus each have at least 64 GB of internal memory. They support memory cards of any size, theoretically allowing you to boost your storage by an additional 400GB.
Well Samsung is considering releasing a 512GB version of the phone, but you don’t need quite that much to store excess photos and music.
A simple 64GB card will suffice for most. This still doubles your memory, putting you at a considerable 128GB.
Buy the SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Memory Card here.
10. Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub
As you start to acquire more smart devices, it becomes necessary to route them through a hub to better track and integrate their functions.a
If your goals are simple, you can do it all from your phone. However, if you want to use logic to automate more advanced functions, then the SmartThings Hub is a great way to get started.
The SmartThings app greatly simplifies the tasks of changing settings and linking two smart devices. It works with a variety of ZigBee and Z-Wave products, and is alreays receiving new updates for enhanced features.
You have to be pretty invested in the smart home ecosystem to realize the full potential of the SmartThings Hub, but the end result is well worth it.