On March 16, Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones will become publicly available. However, pre-orders began on March 2, so technology publications have already had a few days to try out the new gadget.

Samsung has touted its latest mobile iteration to be “revolutionary” and “innovative,” much like every other annual phone announcement. Well, the votes are in: While most reviews didn’t exactly use those two words to describe the new Galaxy models, they by no means hated them.

The Good

The most raved-about thing had to be the phone’s camera, and that’s all because of the S9’s new adjustable aperture feature. This allows users to have much more precise control over how much light comes into the lens, so taking pictures in a dark bar is no longer an issue. Being able to adjust the aperture also means more control over depth of field, so you can take some really high quality close up and distance photos. If you’re a big fan of Instagram, this might be a pretty big selling point.

The S9 aperture at work. 

As you might have expected, the display got stellar reviews. Samsung is potentially the best in the game when it comes to screen tech. They’re pioneers in the race towards a bezel-less phone and the S9 is proof. Gizmodo said the only other display that compares is the iPhone X, which is coincidentally also made by Samsung.

You might have thought it was all over for the headphone jack. Well, Samsung rescued it from the pit that Apple had thrown it in. The S9 is dongle-free. Praise be.

The Bad

The most cited issue with the S9 and S9 Plus was just how similar they look to the previous Galaxy S8. Now, this might be a good thing for people who didn’t end up getting Samsung’s last phone and can now grab a new and improved edition. But the resounding message was: If you have the S8, stick with it. You’ll barely be able to tell the difference.

The phone’s virtual assistant, Bixby, didn’t garner any glowing reviews. TechCrunch said it was “by far, the most frustrating part of the S9” and other reviews put it in last place compared with its competitors like Siri and Alexa.

Samsung also hopped on the AR Emoji bandwagon, and reviewers weren’t thrilled. Instead of molding your face to a unicorn or alien like the iPhone X, the new Galaxy scans your face and generates a Bitmoji-esque character in your image. Samsung doesn’t use any special face-capturing technology for this, so the results have been reported to be underwhelming. Keep in mind this is a feature you can just completely ignore without detracting from the product as a whole.

S9 vs. S9 Plus

If you’ve decided to pick the newest Galaxy over all of the other smartphones out there, you still have another choice to make. The S9 or the S9 Plus?

For starters, the standard S9 is $125 cheaper than the S9 Plus, which retails at $915. Much like the iPhone “plus” models, the S9 Plus will be notably bigger than the normal version. So if you’re looking for a phone that will slide perfectly into your pocket, the S9 might be the way to go.

But if you’re planning on making full use of your camera, the S9 Plus offers a better camera, more batter life, and more RAM for all those pictures.

While Samsung’s latest product might not have been as “revolutionary” as they first announced, based on the reviews, it still looks like the S9 will hold its own in the market.

Photos via Samsung (1, 2)

The most fun thing about betting on sports — besides winning in the final seconds — is placing a prop bet. There’s nothing a weird and wild wager to take the edge off a more serious, analytical prediction. Regular gambling enthusiasts will often describe prop bets as having “juiced” odds, in that they are long — too long, some say — to be worth it. Sure, proposition bets have longer odds, but the payouts are higher, making them enticing to both bettors and bookies.

Having a smart home isn’t all getting the news from your washer-dryer or yelling at your fridge to make a dentist appointment; there are smaller and, dare I say it, more significant ways technology can help you life your best life. And they don’t all cost a bunch of money, either. Even a modest smart home is well within the means of most people now, and it’d be silly not to make your life easier, and your home a better place to be, with just a few small, easy upgrades.

Thursday, Amazon pulled the curtains off of plethora of new devices that support its trademark voice assistant, Alexa. The onslaught of new devices included everything from a smart microwave capable of ordering you popcorn on command to a subwoofer that allows the Echo to blast your playlists even louder.

The device that drew the most attention may have been the smart microwave, which’ll go for a very reasonable $59.99 and is a major step toward bringing Alexa’s A.I. into the kitchen. Zion Market Research projected that market for smart homes would practically double between 2016 2022, as the smart devices move from room to room.

The iPhone X has gone Super Saiyan and transformed into the iPhone XS Max. This absolute unit of a handset touts the company’s largest iPhone screen in history and comes with a record-shattering $1,099 price tag to boot.

The International Data Corporation forecasts that phablets — smartphones with a display that is least 5.5-inches or larger — are expected to outshine smaller phones by the year 2021. This is not Apple’s first foray into the plus-sized phone market, but the Cupertino-based company has clearly set its sights on stealing the spotlight from the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 9 released earlier this year. But unfortunately, bigness — along with some tweaks under the hood — are the only major changes to speak of this time around.

SpaceX has set a new record for annual landings on a single drone ship, a key step in the company’s goal of making rockets reusable. The firm launched the Telstar 18 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit on Monday, with the first-stage booster returning to earth on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the fifth this year for the ship, and the first time more than four boosters have successfully landed on a single ship in one year.