It’s here. The Samsung Galaxy Note9, after tons of leaks and rumors, is finally here. Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy Note9 at its Unpacked event that was held in New York. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is successor to last year’s Galaxy Note8. Well, being a successor to the Galaxy Note8, the Note9 does indeed comes with improvements, and, as this a Galaxy Note device, it comes with hardware and features that make it a workhorse.
Design and Display
The Samsung Galaxy Note9 boasts a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display that has resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and a pixel density of 516 ppi. Well, while the resolution remains the same as last year, the screen size has increased by 0.1-inch.
The Galaxy Note9 doesn’t feature a notch (thank god) and it still manages to retain its bezel-less design. The top and bottom bezels are small, and the screen is curved along the edges. Well, as the bezels are small, there’s no fingerprint scanner on the front, and, it’s located at the back just like we saw on the Note8. However, the fingerprint scanner on the Note8 was placed awkwardly right next to the camera. But, on Note9, Samsung has rectified that mistake and has now placed the fingerprint scanner below the dual camera module.
The back of the Galaxy Note9 is glass covered, and, the frames are made out of metal. The device (and the S Pen) also carries IP68 dust and water resistance which means it can survive in 1.5 meters of water for a duration of 30 minutes. That said, the Galaxy Note9 is offered in four colors – Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black and Metallic Copper. And, except the S Pen that comes with Ocean Blue variant, the S Pens that come with other variants are coated with the same paint as the Galaxy Note9.
Being a Galaxy Note device, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes packed to the gills. The phablet is powered by Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810. As always, the Snapdragon variant will be sold in the US whereas the Exynos variant will be sold in rest of the markets. Last year’s Galaxy Note8 came with 6 GB of RAM, but, this year’s Galaxy Note9 comes in two RAM variants – 6 GB and 8 GB. The 6 GB RAM variant comes with 128 GB of internal storage whereas the 8 GB RAM variant comes with a whopping 512 GB of storage. Damn. That’s half a terabyte in your pocket.
Having said that, the Galaxy Note9 also comes with microSD card slot that lets you expand the storage further by 512 GB. Well, if you buy the 512 GB variant and put a 512 GB microSD card, you get a total of 1 Terabyte of storage on your device.
With a hardware that powerful on a device, one can easily develop an itch to play high-end games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite Mobile for hours. However, playing heavy titles for hours result in heating of the CPU and device which also results in reduced performance due to throttling. But, that won’t be the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note9 as it comes with Water Carbon Cooling system that prevents the device from overheating. Moreover, it also comes with “on-device AI-based performance adjusting algorithm” that delivers “powerful yet stable performance”.
The Samsung Galaxy Note9 also comes with other stuff like AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers and Dolby Atmos for better audio experience. Oh, and yes, the Note9 also does come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Yay!
Like last year’s Galaxy Note8, the Note9 this year also comes with dual cameras at the back and a single camera on the front. The front camera remains the same at 8 MP with f/1.7 aperture, but, the dual camera setup at the back has changed a bit.
The dual camera setup on the Galaxy Note8 came with two 12 MP cameras – both of which had OIS and offered 2x optical zoom. Well, the dual camera setup on the Galaxy Note9 also consists of two 12 MP cameras that come with dual OIS and 2x optical zoom, but, the primary 12 MP camera now comes with variable aperture like the Galaxy S9/S9+ that adjusts to the lighting conditions. The 12 MP secondary camera comes with the same f/2.4 aperture as Note8 though.
Other camera features on the Samsung Galaxy Note9 include Live Focus, Scene Optimizer and Flaw Detection. The Live Focus feature lets you adjust the blur in the background even after taking a photo. The Scene Optimizer feature uses “intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and instantly optimize it based on the category”. And lastly, the Flaw Detection feature informs users when “the image is blurry, the subject blinked, there is a smudge on the lens, or there’s backlight impacting the quality of the image”.
The Samsung Galaxy Note9 also comes with 960 FPS Slow-Motion video recording as well as AR Emoji that debuted with the Galaxy S9/S9+.
While the Galaxy Note9 does come with a fingerprint scanner at the back, it also comes with Intelligence Scan which uses Face Unlock or Iris Scanning based on the lighting conditions.
Battery and S Pen
The battery department has also got an upgrade. Last year’s Galaxy Note8 shipped with a 3300 mAh battery, but, this year’s Galaxy Note9 ships with a huge 4000 mAh battery which we are hopeful will provide better battery backup than its predecessor. The Galaxy Note9 also supports fast wireless charging, but, you will have to buy the wireless charger separately that’s called Wireless Charger Duo and is priced at $119.99 (around ₹8270).
Well, in addition to improved battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 also comes with a refined S Pen. The S Pen on the Galaxy Note9 is Bluetooth-enabled that lets you use it as a remote control to perform different things like opening the Camera app and taking a photo, playing/pausing YouTube videos or changing the photo in Gallery app, or, using it to control your slideshow while giving presentations. All this can be done with the press of a button on the S Pen. That said, you can also create your own custom S Pen functions from the Settings menu.
In addition to all this, the good old features of the S Pen like Screen-Off Memo are still present. Also, as this new S Pen is Bluetooth-powered, it needs power to keep going. But, that’s not going to be a chore as charging is pretty much hassle-free and fast. You simply have to slide in the S Pen into the Galaxy Note9, and you will get 30 minutes of power in just 40 seconds. Now that’s cool. Ain’t it?
Apart from all this, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 also comes with Bixby Vision, Android 8.1 Oreo and Samsung DeX. For those unaware, Samsung DeX allows users to get a desktop-like experience by connecting your smartphone with an external monitor. However, this time you don’t need a separate DeX accessory. All you need is an HDMI cable. Once you connect the Galaxy Note9 with an external monitor with the HDMI cable, you get a desktop-like experience that makes it easier to browse the web or edit documents. Oh, and yes, the Galaxy Note9 also comes with Fortnite Android which will also be available on some other Samsung smartphones exclusively. And, besides this, Samsung has also partnered with Spotify to make it easier for users to sync and transfer music, playlists and podcasts across Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Watch and Samsung’s Smart TV products.
Commenting on the launch of Galaxy Note9, DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics, said, “The Note has always been our showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation, and Galaxy Note9 is no exception. It’s designed for a level of performance, power and intelligence that today’s power users want and need. Note fans are Samsung’s most loyal; we know they want it all, to get the most out of work and play, and Galaxy Note9 is the only phone that can keep up with their busy lives.”
Samsung Galaxy Note9 Specifications
- CPU: Snapdragon 845 SoC or Exynos 9810 SoC (depending on the region)
- RAM: 6/8 GB LPDDR4
- Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo
- Display: 6.4-inch Quad-HD+ (2960 x 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity Display with 516 ppi pixel density and Gorilla Glass
- Rear Camera: 12 MP Super Speed Dual Pixel (wide-angle lens, 1.4 µm pixel size, variable aperture: f1.5/f2.4, OIS) + 12 MP (telephoto lens, 1.0 µm pixel size, f/2.4 aperture, OIS) with 2x Optical Zoom, up to 10x Digital Zoom, Scene Optimizer, Flaw Detection, Live Focus, AR Emoji, 960 FPS, Super Slow-Mo, HDR and LED flash
- Front Camera: 8 MP with f/1.7 aperture
- Internal Storage: 128 GB (with 6 GB RAM), 512 GB (with 8 GB RAM)
- External Storage: Expandable up to 512 GB via microSD card
- SIM: Dual Hybrid (depending on the region)
- Connectivity: 4G VoLTE, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB Type-C
- Other: Fingerprint Scanner, Intelligent Scan (Face Unlock + Iris Scanning), Water Carbon Cooling, IP68 dust and water resistance, Heart Rate Monitor, Bixby Vision, AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers, Dolby Atmos, Samsung Knox, Samsung Dex, Bluetooth-enabled S Pen
- Colors: Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black, Metallic Copper
- Battery: 4000 mAh with Fast Charging (wired and wireless)
Samsung Galaxy Note9 Price and Availability
- Price of 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage variant: $999.99 (around ₹68,945)
- Price of 8 GB RAM + 512 GB storage variant: $1249.99 (around ₹86,810)
- Availability: Available for pre-order in the US and will go on sale from August 24. No word on availability in Indian market