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The Galaxy Note 9 is here: Everything you need to know
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has landed and we have all the official details here. Read on for a full rundown of the Galaxy Note 9 specs, features, price, and release date.
The Galaxy Note series has always been controversial. From the days of “who would ever want a 5.3-inch screen?,” to the commercials that made Apple doubt itself, to the Note 7’s fiery fiasco, the series has constantly made the news. Despite the controversy — or maybe because of it — the Note family is Samsung’s proudest achievement, an embodiment of its leadership in technology and design.
Read Next: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review
Announced today in New York City, the Galaxy Note 9 is an exquisitae, yet utterly uncontroversial phone. For better or worse, Samsung is playing it safe (unless you have strong feelings about color schemes). Here’s everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 9.
Note 8 redux
In line with Samsung’s other major phones from the last couple of years, the Galaxy Note 9 brings very little in terms of design changes. The Note 9 looks almost exactly like the Galaxy Note 8 before it. The front of the device is largely identical to the Note 8’s, with slightly smaller bezels to accommodate the 6.4-inch screen, which is the largest ever on a Note.
The fingerprint sensor on the back (now placed below the camera) serves as a quick way to identify the Note 9. Despite some rumors about Samsung using an in-display fingerprint for the Note 9 (similar to the vivo X21 UD), it looks like the tech isn’t quite ready for Samsung.
Samsung spruced things up a bit with the color selection.
Samsung did spruce things up a bit with the color selection. Lavender Purple and a luscious Metallic Copper join the more conventional black and blue options. The yellow S Pen shipping with the blue model is a very nice touch. As usual, Samsung is holding back some versions in the U.S., where only the blue and the purple models will be available at launch.
Galaxy Note 9 specs: Living up to expectations
We have a full discussion about the Galaxy Note 9 specs and features here, but you can see the essential details in the table below. Suffice to say that the Galaxy Note 9 is a specs beast that will satisfy even the most demanding users. That’s especially true in the top configuration with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage that will sell for an eye-watering $1,250.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9
6.4-inch Super AMOLED
2,960 x 1,440 resolution (Quad HD+)
18.5:9 screen ratio
Global: 10nm, 64-bit, octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 (2.8 GHz quad + 1.7 GHz quad)
U.S.: 10nm, 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
ARM Mali-G72 MP18 (Exynos)
Adreno 630 (Snapdragon)
6 or 8GB RAM
128 or 512GB
microSD expansion up to 512GB
Rear: Dual camera with dual OIS
Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor with OIS, f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures
Telephoto: 12MP AF sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 2x zoom
Front: 8MP AF sensor, f/1.7 aperture
Stereo speakers tuned by AKG, surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
Audio formats: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE
MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
Fast wired charging compatible with QC 2.0
Fast wireless charging compatible with WPC and PMA
Enhanced 4X4 MIMO/CA, LAA, LTE Cat. 18
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth v5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
Location: GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou
Lock type: pattern, PIN, password
Biometric lock type: iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, face recognition, Intelligent Scan
Android 8.1 with Samsung Experience
Dimensions and weight
161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm
lavender purple, ocean blue, midnight black, metallic copper
So. Much. Storage.
The smartphone specs race has slowed to a crawl (at least until foldable phones arrive), so we shouldn’t be surprised that Samsung is hawking storage space as a major feature of the Galaxy Note 9. Not that we’re complaining — even with unlimited data and generous cloud storage plans, there’s no such thing as too much local storage.
The base version of the Galaxy Note 9 features 128GB, which is already excellent. But storage-obsessed users can go up to 512GB of onboard storage. Couple it with a 512GB microSD card and you can walk around with 1TB of storage in your pocket — provided you’re willing to pay close to $1,500 for the phone-card combo. Samsung said compatible cards are coming this fall, but didn’t explain why users can’t just buy one of the 512GB microSD cards already on the market.
You can walk around with 1TB of storage in your pocket, if you can afford it.
“All-day battery” and Wireless Charger Duo
Having a large screen means plenty of space for a large battery. The Note family has always been known for long battery life, though in recent years, competitors like the HUAWEI Mate series have pulled ahead. Samsung is now playing catch up, fitting the Galaxy Note 9 with a 4,000mAh battery, the same as the Mate 10 Pro.
That’s a 15-percent improvement over the Galaxy S9 Plus and a generous 20 percent over the Galaxy Note 8. It’s also good enough to keep up with a full day of work and play for all but the most intensive users.
Samsung is also debuting a new wireless charger called Duo that is capable of fast charging two smartphones at the same time, or one smartphone and a smartwatch. Samsung has released dual chargers in the past, but this 25W model will fill up the Note’s battery much quicker.
Before you ask, yes, Samsung did mention the measures it took to avoid another battery disaster, including an eight-point testing suite and oversight from UL.
The S Pen is getting smarter with Bluetooth
The S Pen has stayed basically unchanged for years, but with the Note 9, the stylus is actually getting a serious upgrade. The S Pen now features Bluetooth LE (and a built-in battery), so you can use it as a remote control for your phone. You’ll be able to tap on S Pen’s button to activate the camera shutter, control music playback, and even to unlock the phone and launch your favorite app, hands-free.
The S Pen charges by drawing power from the Note 9 while docked. Docking it for less than a minute will give it enough power for 30 minutes of use or 200 clicks. The S Pen will continue to work for writing and drawing even when the battery runs out.
Samsung will also release an SDK, allowing third-party developers to bring S Pen remote control to their apps starting this fall.
With the Note 9, the stylus is actually getting a serious upgrade.
Same camera, new intelligence
Samsung brags that the Galaxy Note 9 has the best camera of any smartphone. While we’re waiting for the first camera tests, we’ll note that Samsung is using generally the same hardware as on the Galaxy S9 Plus: dual 12MP cameras with dual aperture and optical image stabilization on both cameras.
There are some software updates, however: taking a page from competitors like HUAWEI and ASUS, Samsung now offers AI-based scene detection, to automatically pick the best settings for each scene. Another cool addition is the defect detection feature that will alert you if your shot is blurry or you caught someone with their eyes closed.
Fortnite for Android exclusive
Fortnite needs no introduction at this point. The game has more than a hundred million players hooked, and it’s available on every major platform, except Android. That’s changing starting today: Samsung and Epic struck a deal to make Fortnite for Android exclusively available on recent Galaxy flagships. It’s not clear yet how long this window of exclusivity will last (Samsung said “a few days”), but it’s a major coup for Samsung, even if the demographics of the Fortnite and the Note series don’t match up that well.
The Galaxy Note 9 certainly has the oomph required to play Fortnite for Android, even if the phone lacks some of the bells and whistles found on dedicated gaming smartphones.
Besides the Note 9, Fortnite will be available starting today on Samsung flagship phones starting with the Galaxy S7, as well as the Galaxy Tab S3 and the new Tab S4. Note 9 and Tab S4 users will also get a Galaxy skin to rock in the game.
Release date and price
In the U.S., the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will become available in stores starting August 24. You will be able to pre-order it starting tomorrow August 10 at 12:01 am EDT.
The Galaxy Note 9 will be available in Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple in unlocked and carrier versions. The 128GB model will cost $999.99 unlocked, available at Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Straight Talk Wireless, Target, Walmart, and Samsung.com. This version will be carried by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, UScellular, Verizon Wireless, and Xfinity.
The 512GB Galaxy Note 9 will cost a whopping $1249.99 and will be available at AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, UScellular and Samsung.com, as well as “select retail locations.”
To sweeten the pill, Samsung is offering those who pre-order until August 24 a bonus. Customer will get to pick from:
- A pair of AKG noise-canceling headphones for free (valued at $299)
- 15,000 Fortnite V-bucks and the Fortnite Galaxy Skin for free (valued at $150)
- Both the AKG headphones and the Fortnite game bundle for $99 (valued at $449)
Only 102,000 AKG headphones, 46,000 Fortnite bundles, and 36,000 bundles will be made available, Samsung said.
Besides Samsung’s promo, we expect major carriers to come up with their own deals for the Note 9, including potentially some great BOGO deals.
Only 102,000 AKG headphones, 46,000 Fortnite bundles, and 36,000 bundles will be made available.
More Samsung Galaxy Note 9 coverage
We have more Note 9 stories for you to check out:
What do YOU think?
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