It hasn’t been a month since Samsung unpacked the Galaxy Note 9 but we’ve seen it analyzed and scrutinized and even battery drain tested. After almost a year of anticipation, the smartphone is ready to become your top choice for a new phablet. Ever since we heard the Note 9 would apply an under-display sensor last year, we’ve been excited about the new technology but was disappointed when the South Korean tech giant confirmed the Note 9 won’t have it but will be ready on the S10 instead.
The past few months have been interesting because from thinking about an under-display sensor, we were told it would still have a rear fingerprint sensor. That means we’ll have to wait for another six months because the Galaxy S10 will use the Fingerprint On Display technology first.
We never doubted the Galaxy Note 9 will be great. We believe it is Samsung’s second chance. A recent teardown analysis revealed a whole copper plate which was the copper tubing we’ve mentioned before meant for cooling.
Some Samsung Galaxy Note 9 accessories are already out including the Moment phone case and Moment Pro app and the mophie 2525mAh juice pack. The phone did arrive with a new and improved S Pen and we can all agree it is better with Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike an earlier rumor, it didn’t have any battery but it’s definitely worth the upgrade.
The Galaxy Note 9 doesn’t look any different from the Galaxy Note 8. If you’re switching though, you may notice the phone is a bit heavier, wider, thicker, and shorter. If you don’t frequently hold a Note 8, you won’t know the difference on the Note 9.
We remember mentioning the dual rear camera system will still be in horizontal orientation. Looking closely at the edges, we notice some gloss and matte finishes perhaps due to dia-cut tapering. The effect is a smoother Note 9 compared to the Note 8, making it more comfy in one’s hand.
Th specs and features are bigger or slightly improved: the record-setting 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen according to DisplayMate, 2960 x 1440 resolution, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, USB-C, NFC, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (equivalent Exynos), dual 12MP cameras with f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures, 128GB or 512GB storage, and a 4000mAh battery.
As with the previous Notes, there’s still the IP68 water- and dust-resistance approval that also extends to the S Pen. Even if the built-in storage is huge at either 128GB or 512GB, the microSD card slot remains. But more good news: it can accept 512GB cards. This means you can have as much as 1TB on the Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung still has not forgotten the 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s still there. Audio is made even better with those AKG-tuned stereo speakers.
Unlike in the past, Samsung has decided to use more colors for the Note 9. Black is usually the default Note 9 color but not, we see an Ocean Blue version and the Lavander Purple one. Even the S Pen is ready in different colors like yellow and lavender purple.
We’ve been saying the price would still be reasonable but now that we know it’s over a thousand dollars, we’re no longer sure. A $1,000+ cost is never reasonable but we believe there will be people who will jump into the new Note. Old Note 8 users may need more convincing to switch to the Note 9.
Now this is something that may explain why the device could be a worthy upgrade: there’s the Bluetooth LE and a Super Capacitor that allows ultra faster charging whenever the stylus is docked into the Silo–40 seconds of recharging enough for 200 clicks or 30 minutes on standby. Level pressure sensitivity at 4,096 and a 0.7mm nib.
The S Pen still allows Air Command, pop-up launcher, and Screen Off Memo. The Bluetooth connectivity allows the S Pen to work as a remote control or clicker ideal for making presentations from up to 30 feet away.
The new S Pen can also be used to launch different apps and different functions. For example, you can press the clicker to move forward a photo. Double press to move back. Use the same in Chrome to more forward-backward through those slides or webpages. The same thing happens when you’re listening to music as a click of a button can play or pause an audio track.
In the near future, third-party apps will be able to feature S-Pen compatibility as an SDK is available.
As with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung DeX turns the Note 9 into a computer. This one no longer needs a docking station just to work. You only need to connect to an external display by using a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
When it comes to imaging, the Note 9’s cameras are just the same as the Galaxy S9+’s so we’re expecting the same Dual Pixel camera performance with the addition of AI tech. The camera app has been updated with a smarter auto mode. To review, the Note 9 boasts a dual 12MP sensors with optical image stabilization. Only one has the Dual Aperture system with f/1.5 and f/2.4 lenses.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features a Scene Optimizer which is the company’s very own AI for the camera. This one is able to identify different scenes and objects so it will adjust different elements like saturation, color tone, brightness, white balance, and contrast among others. Other camera features include Flaw Detection and 4K video recording at 60fps.
Samsung decided on a smaller battery on the Note 8. The previous Note 7 already had 3500mAh but we all know what happened. The South Korean tech giant used 3300mAh on the Note 8 and a bigger one on the Note 9. This comes as a surprise because the 4000mAh battery is huge. The 700mAh is a big change. It’s a risky move by Samsung but we’re assuming the company has already learned its lesson.
Battery and power really depend on the usage of a phone owner but on the average, the Note 9 can last a whole day or up to two days on a single charge.
This is one expensive phone that can be worth your hard-earned money if you have a fat wallet. The $999 price may be too much for many people. We think it is worth the price but we can all agree there are similar ones, or at least, close to giving the same features and performance for half the cost.