The latest iteration of Samsung’s large-and-in-charge Galaxy Note flagship smartphone has finally arrived, and while it looks similar to last year’s model, the Note 9 boasts a few impressive upgrades over its predecessor. Not only has it received the requisite CPU and GPU performance boost, but it packs in a bigger battery, 128GB of storage in the standard model, a little bit of artificial intelligence, and a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen you can use as a remote control.
The Note 9 phone starts at $1,000 for both unlocked and carrier-specific models, so it’s firmly in “make it rain” territory, as it's on-par with the iPhone X now, and more expensive than the Google Pixel 2 XL ($849) and the iPhone 8 Plus ($799). But you get a lot for that money: a 6.4 inch, Quad HD+ (1440 x 2960) super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor (or Exynos 9 if you’re outside the US), two rear cameras (one of which has a dual aperture), and a whopping 4,000mAh battery. The base model comes with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, though the upgraded model—which runs $1,250—comes with 512GB of storage and ups the RAM to 8GB. Coupled with an expandable microSD card slot, that means you can theoretically have up to 1TB of storage on your phone, which is just bonkers (in an “impressive-but-why?” kind of way).
Samsung’s also holding strong against rivals like Apple and Google by keeping the headphone jack, and they didn’t need to sacrifice IP68 water resistance or external stereo speakers to do it. It also comes with wireless charging, multiple biometric locking mechanisms (fingerprint, face, and iris), and a new version of DeX, which allows you to use your phone as a computer with nothing but an HDMI adapter connected to an external monitor. The Note also ships with Android 8.1 Oreo...which is already outdated, since Android 9 Pie was released just last week. I don’t doubt we’ll see Pie come to the Note 9 eventually, it’s just a matter of when, which is always the dilemma when you buy a non-Pixel device.
So, make no mistake: this is a flagship phone at an even-higher-than-most-flagships price, and not every user will see the value here. But if you want the best of the best of current technology, the Note 9 definitely competes at that top tier. Samsung sent me a review unit of the 128GB/6GB Note 9 to test, so I put it through its paces over the past few days to see how it stacks up. Also as far as my credentials are concerned, I've been an Android user since the original Motorola Droid came out nine years ago, and have used countless different phones over the years—right up to the Pixel 2 currently acting as my daily driver.
Galaxy Note 9 – Design and Features
The Note 9’s body hasn’t changed much from its predecessor, apart from some subtle tweaks to the curvature of the screen and the feel of the edges. The display measures 6.4 inches diagonally, sports an extra-wide 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and Samsung’s curved “infinity” edge display, which gives the phone an immersive, bezel-less appearance along the sides (even though it technically still has bezels on every side). The curve doesn’t really add a ton of functionality that you couldn’t have on a normal flat display, but it contributes to the phone’s premium feel, and gliding your finger in from the edge is a treat. That said, the infinity display does feel like it introduces a bit of extra glare.
The 1440x2960 resolution is simply gorgeous. With a density of 516ppi, you won’t be making out any individual pixels here, and the screen is easily bright enough to see it clearly in sunlight. In fact, the display is so good that DisplayMate gave the Note 9 their highest A+ rating, so if you care about the nitty gritty calibration details, that should really say something. I tend to find phones this large a bit unwieldy, but there’s no denying that gaming and watching videos on this screen is an absolute delight. And since it supports HDR10 as well, you can have an impressive movie-watching experience too.
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The Note 9’s glass back is curved in the same manner as the screen, giving it a symmetrical feel that fit my hand beautifully. The glass is actually grippier than most plastic backs, in my experience, meaning you’re less likely to drop the phone—though the case does get marred by fingerprints incredibly easily. But there’s no real way around that if you want the Note 9’s wireless charging, and I have to say: once you go wireless, it’s incredibly hard to go back to being tethered for charging.
In other words, everything about this phone feels premium—even the buttons on the side offer an incredibly satisfying click, and I caught myself admiring the feel of the phone in my hand on multiple occasions. Samsung’s build quality continues to impress me, even compared to other flagships like the Pixel line.
Galaxy Note 9 – Camera Performance
The Note 9’s camera received a few upgrades, both in hardware and software. Arguably the most useful and impressive feature is the dual aperture camera, which can switch between F/1.5 and F/2.4 on the fly. This allows for much more light to enter the lens, meaning even dark shots are salvageable. Even when using Live Focus (aka portrait mode)—which is usually problematic in low light—the Note 9 produced a great looking photo (below, left), especially when compared to the iPhone 8 Plus’ lackluster results (below, right).
On the software side, Samsung has built a few artificial intelligence features into the camera as well. The new Scene Optimizer, which is turned on by default, will adjust color tones, saturation, white balance, and other characteristics based on what you’re taking a photo of. It can recognize 20 different types of subjects, including food, portraits, animals, trees, mountains, sunsets, and snow. In my experience the feature worked decently well, bringing out a bit of extra color in things like flowers and other greenery. In the below comparison, the Scene Optimizer is disabled on the first photo, and enabled on the second photo. Just make sure you want it turned on, because you can’t disable it after you snap a photo—only before.
Not every photo I took with the Note 9 looked better than its competition, though—sometimes its color was just “off” compared to an iPhone 8 Plus, especially in certain lighting conditions. But the photos were still decent, and the dual aperture takes photos that would otherwise be near-unusable and makes them look great. You can see how colors can be off sometimes in the below comparison, with the Note 9 on the left, and iPhone 8 Plus on the right. And yes, that is your humble author.
Lastly, the camera app now includes a new convenience called “Flaw Detection,” giving you a small popup notification if it thinks something went wrong—like if someone blinked in your photo, if the photo is blurry, or if your lens is dirty. Usually you’ll figure these things out for yourself, but it’s nice to have some AI backing you up.
And, of course, you’ll get all of Samsung’s usual camera goodies, like Pro Mode (which lets you adjust ISO, aperture, and other settings manually), Hyperlapse, and AR emoji. If you like to tinker with your photos but don’t want to go all-out and use a DSLR, the Note 9 should satisfy the shutterbug inside of you.
Galaxy Note 9 – Security
Note users will immediately notice the newly-relocated fingerprint scanner on the Note 9, which now resides below the camera on the back of the phone. This is far better than last year’s Note 8, which inexplicably put the sensor next to the camera—meaning you had to awkwardly adjust your grip to reach it, and you’d constantly smudge your lens when you missed the Note’s tiny sensor.
This year’s fingerprint scanner is better, but still not quite ideal. It’s still pretty high up on the phone, and I had to adjust my grip to reach it—though that’s true of a lot of things on a phone this large. The sensor still feels small compared to my Pixel 2’s circular one, too, and its subtle indentation makes it tough to find it by touch alone. It’s one of the few low points on this phone, but at least it still has pretty quick facial recognition and iris scanning—which you can use in tandem thanks to Samsung’s “intelligent scan” feature. But at the end of the day, I still think fingerprint scanners are better than facial recognition, and it’s a bummer that the Note 9’s doesn’t feel as good as some of its competitors.
Galaxy Note 9 – Battery Life
Two years after the exploding Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is ready to start pushing battery boundaries again, giving the Note 9 4,000mAh of juice—700mAh over the previous models. Samsung promises “all day battery life,” though depending on your usage, this may be nothing new—My Pixel 2 gets “all day battery life” pretty much every day under moderate usage. The Note 9 gave me a similar experience. I used it as I would any other phone: sending emails and text messages, playing the occasional game, taking photos and video, and browsing Facebook or the web for a couple hours over the course of the day. When I was working on a PC, I let it sit on the desk. By the time I went to bed, the battery was usually just below 50%. And, thanks to Android’s Doze feature, it was pretty close to that when I woke up, too.
Is it mind-blowing battery life compared to other flagship phones? Not really—but the Note’s premium specs and beautiful display are going to drain battery a lot faster than its competitors, too, so that enormous battery is a necessity if the Note wants to keep up with its competitors. And with both wireless charging and Quick Charge 2.0-compatible wired charging, it’s easy to keep the battery topped off pretty much all the time.
Galaxy Note 9 – The S Pen
The S Pen has been fundamental to the Note line for years, and with the Note 9, it got a big upgrade. It’s always been more than a writing instrument—it could translate words on a web page, take partial screenshots, and more—but now its usefulness even extends beyond your phone’s screen. With Bluetooth Low Energy built in, it can now act as a remote control from up to 30 feet away. You can press the S Pen’s button to snap a photo (or double-press it to flip the camera), pause or play media (even in non-Samsung apps like Spotify or YouTube), scroll through images in your gallery, or advance slides in a presentation when hooked up to Samsung DeX. You can even hold the button to launch an app or perform some other activity, which is customizable in the phone’s settings.
Using the new S Pen was predictably convenient. Taking photos is easily the most obviously useful feature: no longer do you have to awkwardly hold the camera and press the shutter button during selfies with your friends—you can just press the S Pen button with your other hand. It’s a seemingly small thing that just makes life a little easier.
The S Pen’s battery lasts for 30 minutes in standby mode, or 200 button clicks, and it begins recharging as soon as you put it back in the phone. Samsung says it takes less than a minute to charge, so unless you’re in the habit of leaving the S Pen lying around, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about battery life—I certainly didn’t.
Galaxy Note 9 – Gaming
I’m a big believer in cheaper, lower-specced phones, and think more people should give them a chance. Unless, of course, you’re a gamer, which is where phones like the Note 9 really shine. Not only do games look great on that big, gorgeous display, but you have the specs to drive just about any Android title you can get your hands on—including mobile versions of desktop favorites, like Fortnite.
The Fortnite beta was a bit too janky when I tried it out, but graphically-intensive games like Shadowgun: Legends ran smooth as butter. Best of all, after a half hour of gaming, the phone was just slightly warm to the touch—not sizzling like some other flagships can get. Samsung uses a "water/carbon" cooling system in the phone along with an "AI algorithm" to keep things running smoothly, and it seems to work just fine.
On top of that, the Note 9 includes all of Samsung’s other game-centric features from previous Galaxy phones: the Game Launcher combines all your game shortcuts into one screen and lets you tune performance on occasions you’d rather save battery, while in-game tools allow you to mute notifications, record gameplay video, and lock the navigation bar.
Put simply, if you’re a mobile gamer, the Note really shines, with one exception; the speakers. Stereo speakers are certainly better than mono sound, but the Note 9’s sound a little uneven, since the bottom speaker seems to fire louder than the earpiece. Plus, it’s a little too easy to cover the bottom speaker while holding the phone in landscape mode. It’s a small annoyance, and one that goes away as soon as you connect a pair of headphones, but it bears mentioning.“
Samsung’s version of Android has become so loaded with extra stuff that it feels like they’re throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
Finally, almost all of the Note 9’s new additions are impressive, but every generation of the Galaxy line has come with new features, and Samsung’s version of Android has become so loaded with extra stuff that it feels like they’re throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. It’s hard to fault them too much, though—after all, innovation is a good thing. It just feels a little overwhelming when you’re constantly getting notifications to enable something new.
Thankfully, most of those features also come with an “off” switch, not to mention lots and lots of customizability. So if you don’t like something Samsung has added, you don’t have to use it—Bixby can be replaced with Google Assistant, its browser can be replaced with Chrome, and even its non-standard navigation buttons can be rearranged. Samsung isn’t shying away from the fact that they’ve built the Note with power users in mind: from its top-tier specs to its laundry list of features and endless customizability, it’s designed to be a phone for those who “want it all.”
The Note 9 is only available for pre-order at this time, but Samsung is offering some juicy incentives. If you preorder the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 before August 24th, you can get an astonishing 15,000 V-Bucks in Fortinite, or you can opt for a pair of AKG noise-cancelling headphones, for free with your preorder. For $99, you can get both the V-bucks and the headphones.
Here's where you can preorder the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 128GB or the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 512GB.
- Direct from Samsung / Samsung (UK)
- Preorder at Walmart
- Preorder at T-Mobile
- Preorder at Sprint
- Preorder at Verizon
- Preorder at AT&T
- Preorder at Best Buy
- Preorder at Xfinity Mobile
There are plenty of lower-specced phones that can handle day-to-day usage without hiccups, and they don’t cost $1000. But if money’s no object (and size is no problem), the Note 9 is a seriously powerful device with only a few minor disappointments—though we’ll have to wait for this year’s alternatives (the Pixel 3 XL and whatever Apple’s cooked up) to see if it really leads the pack.
Source : http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/08/14/samsung-galaxy-note-9-reviewThank You for Visiting My Website