Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 arrives with a huge display and a supercharged stylus
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is here, with a giant 6.4-inch screen, top-of-the-line specs and an S Pen stylus that offers a few more tricks than previous years. It's instantly one of the most powerful and appealing Android phones of the year, but is it enough to pull users away from the next iPhone?
If you've been studying the specs of Samsung handsets launched earlier in the year, and keeping tabs on the flood of Note 9 leaks hitting the web, there won't be too much here to surprise you. Like its Galaxy S9 predecessors, the Note 9 comes with a powerful Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 processor, depending on where in the world you are.
That's matched with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, or – brace yourselves – 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. That's a decent spec for a laptop, never mind a phone, and shows how Samsung is continuing to position the Note as the powerhouse handset that can do just about anything.
As is the norm for Samsung phones from the last couple of years, the huge Super AMOLED display is one of the stars of the show. With barely visible bezels, the 6.4-inch, 1,440 x 2,960 pixel resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio screen really stands out, as you would expect.
As for that S Pen, as well as a variety of new colors (to match whichever color Note 9 you get), the stylus has been upgraded with Bluetooth – that means you can control video playback or the camera shutter with the pointing device, as well as do all the usual on-screen scribbling and selecting.
The 12 MP + 12 MP dual-sensor rear camera around the back of the Note has a fixed F2.4 lens aperture on one sensor, and the option to switch between F1.5 and F2.4 apertures on the other, so the amount of incoming light can be adjusted manually or automatically. The Galaxy S9 Plus offered the same trick, and if the photos are as good in terms of quality, the Note 9 should be able to get a decent picture in just about any lighting condition.
Samsung was keen to play up the battery inside the Note 9, with a capacity of 4,000 mAh that the company says will last "all day," whatever that means. We'll have to wait and see how the phone performs in real life, but it looks like Samsung is confident that this is a phone that can run and run.
All the usual Samsung staples are here too: wireless charging, waterproofing, dustproofing, and even a 3.5 mm headphone jack. As with the Galaxy S9 phones, Samsung DeX is included too, so you can hook up a monitor and use the phone to drive a Windows-like experience on a bigger screen – only with the Note 9, you just need a cable rather than a dedicated dock.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 goes on sale in its various configurations on August 24, and your color options are blue, copper, lavender and black, depending on your region. This premium phone comes with a premium price though, and will set you back US$999 for the 128 GB model, and $1,249 for the 512 GB version.