What was once a gargantuan outcast is now one of Samsung’s most successful series of Smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Note series, known for having large displays, impressive specifications and a stylus, will see its latest iteration in a months time. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 likely won’t bring too much new to the table, but it will still bring plenty of changes worth talking about.
Using leaks, rumours and speculation we can get a fairly good understanding of what to expect when the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is released. So let’s break it down!
Specifications, storage and battery
The latest leaks and rumours all suggest what most people are expecting anyway. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will almost certainly feature the Snapdragon 845 coupled with 6GB of RAM. Some regions will get an Exynos 9810 SoC version which will be similar in terms of performance. This internals probably won’t be powering Android P at launch, rather, 8.1 Orea will come out of the box. Although, do expect an Android P update within a few months of the Note 9’s release.
As for storage, recent leaks from Tutto Android show that the Galaxy Note 9 will have two variants. A 128GB base version and a second with 512GB of storage. It is, however, likely that the 512GB version will be limited to certain Asian markets and most Western countries will only have the option of 128GB.
That being said, the Note 9 is poised to keep the Micro SD card slot. So you will be able to an additional storage if desired. On top of that, the headphone jack will also still be present! Nice one, Samsung!
The Note 9’s battery size has also seen it’s fair share of rumours. There’s been a number of reports stating that the Note 9 will house a massive 4000mAh battery. Going by recent leaks, the Note 9 will probably have the same dimensions as the Note 8. Squeezing a battery 700mAh bigger into a phone the same size could be a risky thing to do. Especially when you consider the battery disaster of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Realistically the Note 9 will likely include a 3300mAh battery; the same as the Galaxy Note 8.
As for the camera, it’s looking as though it’s going to be very similar, if not the same, as the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. A dual lens setup consisting of a primary 12mp sensor and a secondary sensor for bokeh and 2x zoom.
If you look at Samsung’s advertising for the Galaxy S9, a lot of it is focused on its variable aperture camera. So expect the Note 9’s primary 12mp sensor to feature an adjustable aperture as well (f/1.5 and f/2.4).
It may also feature (source) 960fps slow-motion video recording for up to 0.4 seconds. That’s double the length of time supported by the Galaxy S9 and S9+. It’s a cool feature to have but requires ideal filming conditions and the overall quality of the footage is pretty average.
The front facing camera is more predictable. The Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 8 all use an 8mp f/1.7 camera. It’s unlikely that Samsung will break this trend for the Note 9.
So how does it look!? Well, pretty much the same, at least that’s what current leaks indicate… Check out this leak from @evleaks (who, by the way, has a very credible history of accurate leaks).
Note9 in (from L to R) black, blue, and brown. pic.twitter.com/Akr1tnrxiS
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 24, 2018
Samsung looks to be applying the same philosophy to the Note 9’s design as it did with the Galaxy S9’s. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Though it is worth pointing out that the fingerprint reader has been moved from beside the camera, to just below it.
The placement of the fingerprint scanner was hands down the biggest design complaint with the Note 8. So I’m hoping that this rumour does turn out to be accurate.
The second most notable design change is the new colour variants. Yes, what you’re seeing there is, in fact, a yellow stylus. It’s bold and perhaps polarising, but it would give the Note 9 a somewhat playful charm. Something not seen before in prior Note devices which have always come across as productivity only devices. Including information from other sources, the Note 9 will likely come in four colour schemes: Blue with yellow accents, Brown, Black and Purple.
New and improved S Pen
The S-Pen is the Note Series’ standout characteristic, yet it hasn’t seen a major upgrade in years. Less latency, better accuracy and a couple of new software additions are typically all the S-Pen get’s with each new Galaxy Note. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may be the first Note smartphone to completely change the S-Pen as we know it.
A number of leaks, including the one below from avid leaker Ice Universe, state that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will use a Bluetooth S-Pen. This means that the S-Pen in the Note 9 will have a built-in battery. Presumably, it will be charged when inserted back into the Note 9 – unlike the Apple Pencil which has to be physically plugged in to charge.
As mentioned in the Tweet, Bluetooth could give the S-Pen a wealth of new abilities. It’s plausible that the Note 9’s S-Pen may be used to control music, as a remote camera shutter button and perhaps include gesture control. As for what kind of functionality gestures would bring is unknown, but it’s an interesting idea none the less.
The new features of the Note 9’s S-Pen are all still just speculation; nothing is confirmed as of yet. What we do know though, is that the S-Pen will play a major part in the Note 9’s unveiling. Samsung has made it front and centre for all of their Note 9 promotion leading up to the launch.
The Galaxy Note9 SPen can be used to control long-range self-timer, control music playback, because it is a Bluetooth device, it will do something unrelated to the pen. pic.twitter.com/WPS83xUskq
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 1, 2018
The Note 9’s Price
Well, it ain’t gonna be cheap, that’s for sure! Recent rumours suggest that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be the priciest Note device yet. Below are the latest price figures to have been leaked. Do bear in mind that over the last few weeks there have been prices both higher and lower than what’s below, so take these with a large pinch of salt.
- 128GB Model – €1,050 (Converted = $1,229 / £933)
- 512GB Model – €1,279 (Converted = $1496 /£1136)
Smartphone prices vary from country to country so don’t don’t be surprised if the converted prices above are higher than the official ones.
It’s also worth noting that these leaks come from an Italian Website, so you’d assume Italy will be getting the 512GB variant. But as mentioned previously, going by past releases, it’s very unlikely that it will make an appearance in all regions.
If recent rumours are to be believed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be unveiled on August 24th 2019. This does match up with the last three Galaxy Note announcement dates which were all also in August – the 13th, 2nd and 23rd respectively.
As for when the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will hit store shelves is a little less certain. That being said, if we were to make an estimate based on prior Note releases, then it will start shipping within 2 to 3 weeks of the announcement.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Summary
As it stands, all of the rumours point to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 being an iterative upgrade. Better battery life, new colours, a Bluetooth S Pen and improved cameras will likely be the standout features.
Is the lack of a new design a bad thing? Probably not for most people, after all, the (notch-less) Note 8 is still superb both in terms of it’s looks and build quality. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 looks to be a safe bet from Samsung, but I’m certain it will be one of the best phones of 2018.