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I did find it harder than previous Metroid games (disregarding the NES difficulty of the original). Enemies get easier, but still IMO I don't think you can tank as much like in Zero, Fusion or Super (the later areas for when fully powered). I don't know, I feel if you think in this you can bump into anything all day, I think the last games you might feel like you're invincible. Though it might also be because of the checkpoints, that death, isn't as harsh as having to restart from a save station.
I do agree it might be the easiest Metroid to get all items do to the scan pulse, yet that might also be why the ending is for speedrunning without taking into account the item percentage.