It’s been nine years since Samsung introduced its Note lineup and took the mantle for building the most competent giant phones. Today, when nearly every other phone has a large 6-inch screen including its own S9 series, the phone maker has taken the wraps off the Galaxy Note 9. So what is so noteworthy about this one?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, first and foremost, is well, big. It has a 6.4-inch OLED screen which has a resolution of an impressive 2960×1440 pixels. The design itself is largely the same as the last year’s Note 8. There’s glass on both the front and back with rounded corners as well as curved edges.
Another feature which nearly every phone under the Note series is known for is the battery and the Note 9 is no different. It has a massive 4,000mAh battery which is compatible with quick wired and wireless charging. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Note without the S-Pen. Samsung has made a handful of upgrades to the stylus this time too.
For starters, it’s now Bluetooth enabled which will essentially allow you to use it as a remote. You can swipe through pictures on your phone with the button present at the top, employ it as shutter key for clicking photos, or skip through slides on PowerPoint. The rest of the S-Pen features are present too such as you can doodle on the screen even when it’s off for quick notes, translate text by hovering over them, and more.
As for the cameras, the Note 9 inherits the hardware from its sibling, the S9 Plus. There are two 12-megapixel sensors on the rear, one of which is a telephoto lens and the other has a variable aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4. On the front, you’ll find an 8-megapixel f/1.7 selfie camera.
Like the majority of phones released this year, the Note 9 can also automatically fine-tune several camera settings based on the object or scene you’re trying to capture. In addition, the camera software can detect whether a photo you’ve clicked has any sort of blurriness. If there is, it will immediately let you know and ask if you’d like to try again.
Samsung DeX is available too but with one significant change. You don’t need a dock anymore. The Note 9 can be turned into a desktop simply by connecting it to regular HDMI cable. It also retains the Iris Scanner for facial authentication in addition to a regular rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. There’s also a new carbon-water cooling system for curbing heat levels during prolonged gaming sessions.
The specifications are quite straightforward for a 2018 flagship. It’s powered by either Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 octa-core chip or the Snapdragon 845 depending on your region, has up to 8GB of RAM, Android 8.1 with a custom skin, and 512GB of onboard storage which can be expanded through a MicroSD card slot. Samsung also still detests #donglelife and hence, the Note 9 does have a standard headphone jack.
As rumors and leaks suggested, Epic Games also announced Android availability for its wildly popular game, Fortnite. It will remain exclusive to Samsung Galaxy phones initially and users with either Note 9 or the Galaxy Tab S4 will be able to avail a special “Galaxy” skin.
There are three color options to choose from — Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, and Metallic Copper. The base variant of the Note 9 which features 6GB RAM, 128GB storage costs $999 and the one with 8GB RAM, 512GB storage is priced at $1,250. Preorders commence on this month’s 10th. It will go on sale starting from August 24th in the United States.