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Samsung's Galaxy S9 Plus costs more to make than Note 8

A report from Tech Insights pegs the cost to build Samsung's newest smartphone at $10 more than last year's Note -- even though the Note is pricier for consumers to purchase.


The Galaxy S9 Plus costs more for Samsung to make than the Note 8. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

That Galaxy S9 Plus sure isn't cheap to make. 

A report from Tech Insights pegs the cost of components and assembly at $379, up $36 from last year's Galaxy S8 Plus and up $10 from the Note 8

The biggest increase in cost from the older devices came in the camera. Samsung packed a second lens in this year's S9 Plus that lets you zoom and adjust the aperture to deal with different lighting situations. That cost totaled $48 for the S9 Plus, up from $40.50 in last year's Note 8 (which also had a second camera lens) and up from $32 in the S8 Plus, which had only one lens. 

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The Galaxy S9 Plus does cost less to make than Apple's iPhone X, though. Apple's newest smartphone costs a whopping $389.50 in components, with a big chunk of that coming from the display. 

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus pricing for consumers varies depending on the wireless carrier. The smaller device starts at $720, while the larger starts at $840. The devices went on sale March 16. 

By comparison, the Note 8 cost $950 when it was released, and the S8 Plus retailed for $850 when it went on sale a year ago. Apple's iPhone X starts at $999.

Samsung unveiled its newest flagship phones in late February at Mobile World Congress. The S9 and S9 Plus feature improved audio capabilities, thinner bezels around the display and the ability to send animated emojis similar to Apple's Animojis. The updated camera lets you shoot video and photos in "super slow-mo" and low-light conditions, while Samsung finally added a dual-lens shooter for the Plus model.

But the design largely stayed the same from the previous year, which underscores the fact that it's getting more difficult to shake things up year after year. Instead of going for a radical design change, Samsung is playing it safe this year with its focus on the camera.

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