Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Bigger, Better and Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has everything the leaks promised, including a super bright super vibrant 6.4-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED infinity screen, a huge 4,000mAh battery, and a highly-upgraded, Bluetooth-enabled S Pen – and it’s not cheap

Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Bigger, Better and Expensive

The highly-anticipated and much-talked-about Galaxy Note 9, Samsung’s newest and biggest flagship phone yet, has finally gone official.

Thankfully, it brings an end to all the speculations and assumptions that had been flying around after many of the phone’s features and specs were leaked to the media prior to its official unveiling on Thursday (August 9).

It also gave us a chance to verify all the leaked details and it seems that the grapevine had been spot on about many of the phone’s features and specifications, although there’s a couple of things that nobody saw coming.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 definitely has a lot riding on it, considering that the S9 series has not lived up to the Korean tech giant’s expectations.

So, it’s now up to the Note 9 to infuse some life back into the company’s dwindling performance and, believe you me, the all-new S Pen on the Note 9 should be a major factor in making it a success and see Samsung through this lean patch, but more about this wonder stylus in a bit.

From a design perspective, there isn’t anything that new about the Galaxy Note 9, as it carries forward the same glass and metal boxy design that we’ve got accustomed to from previous-generation Galaxy Notes, including the infinity display and curved edges, to name a couple.

Taking a leaf out of the S9 book, the fingerprint reader on this one will now feature below the rear-facing cameras, which is a very welcome upgrade, as it makes it easier to reach the fingerprint scanner without leaving unwanted smudges on the camera lenses – a really cool improvement, one has to say.

And, while we’re still on the back of the phone, let’s check out what the horizontal dual rear camera setup has to offer.

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Again, like the S9, the 12-megapixel primary sensor on the Note 9 now has a variable aperture lens, f/1.5 – f/2.4.

The secondary shooter, which also boasts a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 aperture, has a telephoto lens with 2X Optical Zoom support, as well as support for up to 10X Digital Zoom.

Both of the rear-facing cameras support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and what’s really good about the entire rear-camera module is that it is flush with the back of the device, with no protrusions, whatsoever.

Moving over to the front, there’s a single 8-megapixel f/1.7 aperture selfie camera with a number of interesting features to go with it, including flaw detection, Auto-HDR, as well as a Scene Optimizer that will be able to see and understand at least 20 scenes – thanks to the liberal use of artificial intelligence.

The Galaxy Note 9 sports a gorgeous 6.4-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED infinity display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and a pixel density of a whopping 516ppi, all protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Powering the Note 9 in North America will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, while the rest of the world will get their Note 9s with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 SoC.

The phone will ship with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with Samsung’s Experience UI on top.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is being made available in two configurations; the baseline variant will ship with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, while the other config will have 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.

Both configurations will support up to 512GB of expandable storage via micro SD card.

Also, the new Note is getting a massive battery boost with a 4,000mAh battery – that’s 21 percent bigger than the 3,300mAh battery inside last year’s Galaxy Note 8, which was pretty respectable in itself.

Despite the large battery, Samsung has managed to keep the phone sleek enough – thanks to some of its design elements, particularly the diamond cut.

And last, though not the least, the battery supports, both, wireless and wired fast charging.

Alright, it’s time now to talk about the most anticipated feature of the Note 9 – the S Pen, which Samsung says is the biggest selling point of the company’s Note phones.

This time around, the S Pen will come with integrated 2.4GHz Bluetooth Low Energy and its own internal battery, which the company chooses to call a supercapacitor, giving it 30 minutes of usage or 200 button clicks with just 40 seconds of charging.

It’s a massive improvement, indeed, compared to the unpowered inductive stylus you got with the previous generation Notes.

Because the S Pen is now Bluetooth-enabled, it can be used for a number of things that are not even related to a stylus.

It can serve as a remote control, allowing you to click your way through presentations, watch YouTube, click pictures, control different apps and even switch between the front and back cameras.

What’s great to know is that Samsung is opening the S Pen SDK (software development kit) for other developers to create even more features and add to the stylus’ functionality.

Although the Note 9 is not a hard-core gaming phone, Samsung has included a couple of gaming-inspired features, one of which is a Water Carbon Cooling system with a large thermal spreader, which will allow you to play heavier games without the device overheating.

The Positives

  • 6.4-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED infinity screen – super bright, super vibrant
  • Fast wireless and wired charging with USB Type C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • A much-improved S Pen
  • Thin bezels, no ugly notch, clicky buttons, and a solid build
  • Iris scanner
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Heart rate sensor

The Negatives

  • Unfortunately, the under-the-screen fingerprint scanner that was originally planned for the Note 9 was abandoned late in the development process of the phone.
  • Expensive
  • No HDR video recording

Pricing

  • $999 for 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM
  • $1,249 for 512GB ROM with 8GB of RAM

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