The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a bit larger, somewhat more colorful, and slightly more powerful than every previous Note phones, but be cautioned: it’s also considerably more costly.
To date, we’ve analyzed the camera and also the S Pen camera wireless performance along with a number of additional functions.
In 2018, it is the biggest Android phone you will come across, with its considerable 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 4,000mAh battery providing power all day long, and as much as 512GB of space and 8GB of RAM.
A 512GB microSD card with a slot available from Samsung is upgradable to 1TB, the first of its kind for a mainstream phone. Not all of that space will be allotted for system data, as apps will utilize some of that storage space. However, we don’t think you would be unhappy with how much storage you have on your phone.
The good thing about the Note 9 is that it doesn’t really feel any bigger than the previous 6.3-inch Note 8, but it includes many of the features of the 2018 6.8-inch Galaxy S9 Plus and 5.8-inch Galaxy S9.
The camera has improved and now includes a dual 12MP rear configuration with dual-aperture technology and this means it can take Super Slow-Mo videos. AR Emoji returns with improved avatar customizations, but don’t worry, as per our early tests, your avi will not look much like you.
An automatic scene optimizer and flaw recognition functions that improve pictures are unique to the Note 9 camera (Samsung is known for rolling these functions out to earlier model phones at a later date).
The S Pen now includes Bluetooth giving it the ability to control shortcuts wirelessly, and it is customizable, unlike the Bixby button. Do you want to take a selfie from 30 feet away? Just use the S Pen!
The huge price is a major drawback. To get the entry-level 128GB and 6GB version, you will be paying the same price as the iPhone X. However, as per Samsung, the Note 9 is geared towards power users as seen by the actual size, storage capacity, price point and battery life.
Samsung envisions the users of the Note 9 as people who spend hours on their phone and are looking for the best. They usually buy the best TV, AV receiver etc.
We will keep testing the Note 9, however, we already notice that it is in contention to upstage the Galaxy S9 Plus as our best smartphone suggestion, given that you are looking to own a big, feature-stuffed phone with a stylus and a high price-point.
The biggest threat facing this upgrade is the ongoing deals the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which ironically, is using a number of small improvements for a big result.
New S Pen amazing features
- Bluetooth stylus with customizable shortcuts
- Ideal for taking pictures remotely and has a 30-foot range
- Quickly recharges as it is inserted in the Note 9
The star of the Note 9 is the new S pen with its ability to perform wireless Bluetooth tricks in a 30-foot range.
The stylus looks the same but Samsung has managed to fit in a tiny battery as well as a Low-Energy Bluetooth antenna allowing it to carry out a number of functions remotely and we found it impressive.
What are the actual features? Press and hold the S Pen button to launch the camera app remotely. A short press engages the camera’s selfie mode and two quick presses will take a group picture.
The camera’s timer is almost obsolete as Samsung buried it in the menu settings of the camera last year, and it is more efficient than triggering the camera’s timer by waving your hands in front of the lens.
You also have the ability to customize shortcuts on the S Pen. Here are a few suggestions:
- Camera: Flip the camera/snap a picture
- Camera: Flip the camera/record a video
- Music Player: Pause and play music/skip forward or backward to track
- Photo Gallery: Move forward to the next photo/or backward to a previous photo
Samsung is making a software development kit (SDK) available for non-core 3rd party apps to make use of this shortcut, therefore the shortcuts are going to be easy to customize if app designers support the capabilities.
The S Pen doesn’t have to be charged, however, Samsung states that 40 seconds of charge time will give you 30 minutes of standby power.
The S Pen charges automatically when inserted in the Note 9 when you aren’t using it, that’s where you would normally place it. There is nowhere for the Apple Pencil to hide, and it might be a hazard to be moving around with the Lighting port. It is clearly the year experience of Samsung’s stylus-making.
The Blue Ocean Note 9 includes a yellow S Pen that is more dynamic and gives a great contrast. The digital ink is yellow, and the Lavender Purple phone uses a purple pen with digital ink that is also purple.
Every color supports similar Air Command features. It is possible to draw, write down notes, make notes on screenshots, translate foreign words, and forward Live Messages (a gimmick from the previous S Pen).
Samsung said the Bluetooth feature helped the S Pen to evolve, but we also saw another contrast.
The snapping selfie shortcut, as per Samsung, could ‘unlock a whole different level of photography’. Although it sounds like a good idea for dramatic selfies (the scenario provided is a tired person on the couch taking a selfie hands-free), the Note 9 business-class version might not find that feature useful. However, it is still a good idea.
The off-screen memo is a new Galaxy Note 9 feature that really makes the S Pen very useful. Just take the S Pen from the Note 9 when the screen is off and the note-taking feature is instantly launched.
No need to launch any apps or to unlock the Note 9, simply write down your notes and save them to the phone. Note taking has never been easier and we see ourselves using this simple feature frequently.
Taking out and replacing the S Pen isn’t as seamless as you might think though. While testing out the Galaxy Note 9, you have to be accurate to make sure it is holstered the right way.
Our concern is that if the S Pen isn’t replaced in its slot properly, it could fall out without you knowing. As you use this feature more it will become easier, however, we found it a bit jarring until now.
The first 1TB-available smartphone
512GB of internal memory with 8GB of RAM
128GB of internal memory including 6GB of RAM
An extra 512GB microSD card will boost memory to 1TB
It’s understandable why Samsung, among the leading manufacturers, is the very first to deliver a 1TB-ready smartphone, an amount that rivals that of the majority of laptops individuals purchase these days.
Samsung produces both the internal 512GB memory along with a selection of 512GB microSD storage cards.
Having said that, once you switch on the Galaxy Note 9 for the very first time you’ll notice that it’s actually using a minimum of 19GB of storage. This implies that although there’s in theory 1TB of storage once the 512GB Note 9 is coupled with the identical size microSD card, you will not really have 1TB of storage to use.
This is not really a revelation since the advertised amount of storage on any smartphone nowadays isn’t the volume of storage you really have to work with – however, it does somewhat detract from Samsung’s 1TB heading.
The Note 9 is being advertised as the smartphone that has virtually unlimited physical storage. Uninstalling video games and getting rid of videos you’ve saved isn’t anything you’ll have to concern yourself with here – capture all the pictures you desire at full resolution, and as much 4K video as you would like, without worrying about space.
8GB of RAM is also designed to perform best with Samsung’s Dex desktop setting, second display workflows, and virtualization applications.
DeX on its own is simpler to work with on the Galaxy Note 9, as in contrast to the Note 8 where an actual dock was needed for it to function, at this point of time you just need a basic HDMI dongle for the PC-like computer feeling.
Obviously, the 512GB memory and 8GB RAM are precisely what made the Note 9 price tag shoot higher; the beginner 128GB and 6GB of RAM set up is $250 ‘cheaper’.
At these kinds of price tags, you really have to ask yourself: Should I actually get a 1TB smartphone? Will I also need to shell out more money on a 512GB microSD card? Moreover, will cloud storage space render this obsolete sooner or later?
The 4,000mAh battery
Much bigger capacity 4,000mAh battery
Galaxy S9 includes 3,000mAh and S9 comes with 3,500mAh
Rapid Charging and Quick Wireless Recharging included
The Note 9 battery power has been unshackled, shattering the 4,000mAh threshold.
Samsung is at last comfortable enough to provide us higher capacity battery after recalling the Note 7, and they guarantee that the eight-point security measure evaluation means that the fires we saw a few years ago have been eliminated.
Battery life is being marketed as having enough power for a full day of work, and that’s for those who use the Note constantly, therefore moderate users should expect around two days use before recharging is needed.
Although there are two different storage size setups, the size of the battery, fortunately, is the same in the two devices. There is also Fast Charging and Fast Wireless Charging included.
Design, display and other specs
Larger 6.4-inch screen size improvements
Comes with fingerprint detector, microSD slot and also headphone jack port
Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen doesn’t have to be modified to look fantastic. It has been frequently the best quality smartphone display on the planet until the subsequent Samsung phone releases, each year.
The 6.4-inch Note 9 display did increase by a tenth of an inch over the previous 6.3-inch Note 8 screen. Most people will not observe this change unless they actually take measurements (and we did during our testing).
The virtually bezel-less Infinity Display is vivid and punchy. And, even though the big 18:9 aspect ratio (or in this scenario 18.5:9) is on almost every high profile smartphone in 2018, Samsung’s curved edges are unrivaled.
The Note 9 size is bigger compared to the Note 8, however, not the way you believe. It’s a bit wider, and just a little shorter, compared to the Note 8, with sizes of 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm (the Note 8 was 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm).
On top of that, it is a little heavier: 201g vs 195g. This isn’t a compact or lightweight smartphone, however, it is comfortable to grip, better than the S9 Plus in certain ways because of its boxy, less rounded-off style.
Below are two capabilities Samsung provides you with which you don’t receive on a comparatively priced iPhone X: a jack for headphones as well as a microSD card port for upgradable capacity.
The Note 9 is water and dust proof to IP68 standards, and that resistance ranking remains the identical even if the S Pen is inserted or not. Brand new to the Note 9, which wasn’t on the Note 8, are stereo speakers (similar to the ones on the S9 Plus and S9).
Another thing not included in Apple’s best smartphone: a fingerprint detector that works like the iris scanner or Face Unlock.
It is located on the rear of the Note 9 and in a central position this time. There was also a fingerprint reader on the Note 8, however, it was not centrally positioned and resulted in plenty of camera smears. We disliked it.
The best part is the fingerprint scanning device on the Galaxy Note 9 is a lot simpler to find, and our forefinger found the scanner easily – even though the landing spot is a bit on the small side.
Instead of the current circular design, a larger landing spot would be better in our opinion, but Samsung made the effort to maintain the aesthetic look on the back of the Note 9 and we are ok with it as is.
Camera and battery life
Includes the dual-aperture feature of the S9 Plus camera
Wide-angle and telephoto dual camera lenses on the rear
AI-backed view optimizer improvements show potential
Samsung is maintaining its camera expertise to the Note 9, with low-light eliminating and telephoto-zooming camera lenses on the rear.
The S9 Plus provided us a suggestion of what to anticipate, yet Samsung is encouraging possibly greater picture quality from the Note 9.
The 12MP dual rear camera makes use of dual aperture technology to shift between a f/1.5 aperture for low-light picture taking and a f/2.4 aperture for standard lighting situations. The S9 Plus delivered good results even in the darkest situations, increasing its position as the best quality camera smartphone currently available.
The secondary camera at the rear provides a 2x optical zoom, which creates sharp telephoto pictures whenever you’re standing at a long distance away. The aperture is constantly fixed at f/2.4, and similar to the primary lens, it includes optical image stabilization (OIS) to steady your unstable hands.
The Note 9’s front-facing camera takes 8MP and comes with autofocus, which is new for a Note phone. Numerous mode options are also included in the Samsung camera app: AR stickers, wide frame for group selfies, and Super Slow Motion video recording at 960 frames per second at a 720p quality. It’s quite possibly one of the most powerful camera apps in the industry, but simple to operate.
Samsung showed that the Note 9 camera recognizes and configures itself to a number of subjects with a new scene-optimizer function.
It modifies the white stability and color depending on 20 themes as diverse as sunsets, flowers, food items, birds, text etc. When compared with the S9 Plus (just 6-months old), we noticed the Note 9 camera displayed far more fine detail from a macro flower picture.
The camera is meant to know what it’s seeing, and it makes use of the similar technological innovation to fix defects, like eye blinking, blurry pictures, smeared lenses, and backlight.
Occasionally, it’ll select the best quality picture of the lot, and in other cases it’ll include a pop-up alert statement, letting you know to clean your smeared camera lens.
Although competitor Android devices are backing mobile HDR video recording, we didn’t see any indication here – we’re most likely going to have to wait around for the Galaxy S10 to get outstanding, color-rich video recording.
Of course, we are going to be evaluating this camera carefully as we keep reviewing the Galaxy Note 9.
Android, interface and apps
Android Oreo, just misses Android Pie
Fortnite exclusive (for a pretty limited timeframe)
Samsung Pay, Bixby AI, and AR Emoji included
Samsung Android 9 Pie was released just last week, so Samsung just missed this update., This means that Android Oreo is included on the Galaxy Note 9. You’re not actually missing anything, since Samsung adds a special twist on Android.
This is no longer a bad thing. The Samsung Experience applications were updated in 2018, including useful hints on the best ways to get around a detailed and complicated operating system. It’s way better compared to the overstuffed Samsung TouchWiz firmware on its outdated Android smartphones, and anyone who cannot stand the software these days most likely hasn’t worked on a Samsung in years.
Samsung products (Galaxy S7 and up) are going to be the first with the means to access the popular video game Fortnite on Android via Samsung’s Game Center app.
The 6-day exclusive begins at the launch of the Note 9 and was made to make other Android phone users jealous because they will have to wait and sideload the app at the end of the Samsung exclusive. You cannot get it from the Google Play app store. Furthermore, the Tab S4 and Galaxy Note 9 users will get a unique Fortnite skin that never expires.,
Another app of note is Samsung Pay. It is still our preferred method to make contactless payments since you are able to pay for items at credit card machines that don’t usually take Apple Pay and Android Pay. We are still baffled why more people are jumping on this.
The Bixby AI assistant is now available, however, was not mentioned and was not testable when we first reviewed the Note 9, and we needed to ask about AR Emoji to find out the specifics of the avatar refinements. For the Note 9, these aren’t showstoppers.
The Note 9 provides plenty to enjoy – along with a skyrocketing price to absolutely hate. The S Pen includes brand new remote-controlled secrets, the massive storage space is one of a kind, and the battery lifespan and AI-enhanced camera have potential.
The latter two features need further review; however, our first reactions are very favorable.
It’s the fact that you’ll pay an exorbitant price for this collection of small improvements while the Note 8 is a great smartphone at a reduced price. When Samsung informed us that the perfect consumer for the Note 9 is somebody that desires to have the best quality AV receiver, Best TV, etc., they might have omitted the best plane, the best luxury yacht, and the best sports car.
The iPhone X pushed the price point to this insane level, and we also had a problem then. At the very least, Samsung is supplying you with more ‘big’ for your bucks.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Deals
Amazon offers Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Bundle (Note 9 + DeX Pad + Wireless Charger) for $1000
Galaxy Note 9
Larger than earlier Note phones in every aspect, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 includes a bigger display screen, heftier battery and a huge 1TB of storage capacity option. The built-in camera is set to be superior and the Bluetooth S Pen is able to trigger customizable shortcuts wirelessly. However, its price point is on par with (and even tops) what the iPhone X costs.
- Appealing 6.4-inch Infinity Screen
- Huge battery and storage capacity choices
- Encouraging camera improvements
- Bluetooth S Pen shortcuts
- Many small updates
- No HDR recording option