Samsung Galaxy S9

Looking pretty good… Anyone planning on getting one?



Yup! Contract finished yesterday :wink:

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Apparently not a major upgrade on the S8?

Well I always go two years so I always skip a model

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Yeah, although not getting unlocked this time as I hate having missing features and can’t be bothered flashing firmware as the very first thing I have to do on a brand new phone. But at the same time, I refuse to pay for it as part of a massively expensive contract.

So will have to wait until they’re sold as Pay as you go and buy one, chuck the SIM and put my own SIM in.

I hate the way networks work and mess about with firmware. I wish Samsung would go the Google route and refuse to let them. It’s not like they’re not big enough.

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I’m confused - how does having an unlocked phone mean you have missing features?

All of the UK mobile networks block WiFi calling and VoLTE (Voice over LTE), to name two features - if your phone doesn’t have their own tweaked version of the firmware on it.

To get their firmware, you either have to buy the phone from them with it pre-installed or download and flash their firmware onto it after buying an unbranded/unlocked one (which can potentially kill the phone).

They all do this on all phones with few exceptions (iPhones and the Google Pixel being the two main exceptions).

I hate carrier branded firmware and having a locked to a specific network phone - but I hate the missing features more.

I live in an area with not that good a signal on most networks, so VoLTE (extra coverage) and WiFi calling (when there’s no coverage) are essential for me.

When I was on EE and wanted to buy an S8 off them full price - they refused to sell me one. On the phone they told me that I could walk into one of their stores and buy one outright. But all the stores refused to sell me one, they’d only give me one on contract at a hugely inflated price. One store I went in to and asked if they had any in stock, they said they did. Then when I asked to buy one full price they claimed they suddenly didn’t have any in stock. Then proceeded to try and sell me one (which they magically found) with a contract when I was already happy with my SIM only.

They do this because they get more money if you pay for it as part of a contract, I believe the workers in the shop also get commission for signing people up to contracts - if they sell a phone outright, they don’t get commission, so one less phone on the pile is one less they can sell on a contract.

I’m sure there should be some consumer law against them doing this - crippling perfectly capable, compatible phones on their network just because you didn’t get it from them. Specially since Android has supported carrier settings in exactly the same way as iPhones do - for several years now. It’s basically forcing you to buy a phone from a certain outlet - if you don’t then it won’t fully work as it’s supposed to.

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Because in Android world, networks force you to buy their versions to get things like VoLTE and WiFi Calling. Google doesn’t allow this and neither does Apple. But only Apple is really successful. Everyone but EE just bans the Pixel from these features.


I’m on the Samsung Upgrade Program so shall be getting the S9+ come release day. Looks good so far. Only thing I want now is fingerprint under screen. But that might be further down the line.

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I thought EE offered Wi-Fi calling?

They do - but only on phones bought off them. This was within a few weeks of the S8 coming out and they refused to sell one to me because I wanted to buy it outright, full price.

It’s because they get a lot more money if they sell them as part of a contract and the people in the shops usually get commission for selling contracts too.

I’ll don’t like having network branded firmware on but I’ll submit to it to have a fully working phone (it’s a lot less invasive and bloatware filled now than it was back in the day). What I refuse to do, now that I can afford it, is to get a phone as part of a contract.

But now with various features blocked on unbranded firmware I’m forced to buy one from my network (or find and flash the firmware myself).

EE’s line on the phone was that if they have them in stock then they should sell you one. But actually getting one at a shop was impossible.

The shop I mentioned above said they had plenty but as soon as I asked to buy one they said they had none in stock. Then that changed to, ‘They’re all allocated to customers who haven’t collected them yet but if you want one on contract we’ll give you one of theirs and just tell them theirs is delayed when they come in,’

Dishonesty in mobile retailing to prioritise commission sales… Who’d have thought? :slight_smile:

I’m on Vodafone now - I just hope they’ll sell me one on release and I don’t have to wait months for a PAYG.

An added complication with Vodafone is that they use the same firmware file across Europe and your CSC (basically the code that indicates what country and network your firmware is from - used by the network to enable or block specific features) is set on first boot up, based on where your phone was sourced (plus other random unknown factors) and it’s near on impossible to change.

The way they ship phones from across Europe it’s quite common to have one from Germany or somewhere without knowing it.

So if you flash your own firmware file your CSC is often set to VD2 (Vodafone Germany) instead of VOD (Vodafone UK) and the end result is that the network doesn’t recognise your phone as Vodafone UK and continues to block the features. There’s nothing you can do about it other than do without or buy a phone from them. This is literally forcing you to buy from them.

I flashed my own S8 and by sheer luck mine selected VOD so I’m OK. No way I’m gong to risk it on a brand new phone.

(Vodafone are the only ones who use one firmware file - all the other networks who have presence in multiple countries have a separate release for each country)

I’m on Vodafone but with a Pixel 2 and just accept some things won’t work. It’s a terrible situation we have here in the UK with only one choice (EE, who require gendered titles on accounts so are out of the running for me) that supports the Pixel 2 properly.

Do remember, though, that even if you have a phone on Vodafone with WiFi calling, it only works for voice and not for SMS so it’s not as useful as it could be.

I’d be very tempted to get a Pixel 2 if they ended the exclusivity and opened it up to all networks. I had an original pixel and I loved it.

I can’t believe we’re still having to have stupid titles on accounts, in 2018.

There’s no exclusivity - it’s sold unlocked/unbranded by Google and anyone who wants to can make features work. The exclusivity is only for direct sales. Look at the US, it’s only sold by Google and Verizon, but WiFi calling and VoLTE work fine on other networks (at least T-Mobile at a minimum).

It’s the networks here being stubborn and refusing to allow it to work properly.

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I just sent Vodafone a mildly shitty tweet asking if they are going to block features and if they are, will they then allow people to buy the S9 full price.

To my surprise they replied saying that they will most likely block features on unbranded handsets but they will allow you to buy full price online or in a store - I’m suspicious.

Just preordered my S9+. :iphone:

I picked up a spotless sim free S8+ from CEX on Friday for £435. The new phone is nice but I personally I think paying twice as much for a slightly better camera and battery is a bit of a stretch.

Interesting. Never thought of doing that!