The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a minor upgrade over the Note 8, both in terms of specs and design. The new Galaxy Note sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, making it a tad larger than the 6.3-inch panel found on its predecessor. The resolution and the aspect ratio remain unchanged, coming in at QHD+ and 18.5:9.

The device is powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 chipset or the Exynos 9810, depending on which region you’re in. It comes in two variants: 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM with 512GB of storage. The Galaxy Note 8, on the other hand, sports the Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895 chipset along with 6GB of RAM. It offers 64, 128, or 256GB of storage, although only the base model was officially released in the U.S. Both handsets are suitable for power users and you likely won’t notice a massive difference in performance, even though the Note 9 has a newer chipset and 2GB of RAM more (on the higher-end model only).

Don’t miss: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 hands-on

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8

Editor's Pick

Like the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy Note 9 also sports a dual-camera setup on the back with two 12MP sensors. But it also features dual-aperture like the Galaxy S9 series, which should improve images taken in low-light conditions. However, our very own Gary Sims called this fancy feature a gimmick after testing it out, though we’ll need to wait for our full review to make that call about the Note 9’s camera. Additionally, the camera supports AI scene recognition, which means it recognizes what’s in its frame and adjusts things like the saturation, white balance, and brightness to produce a better image. But as this is a software feature, it could make its way to the Note 8 via an update in the near future.

The Galaxy Note 9 has a massive 4,000mAh battery.

Ever since the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung has been playing it safe when it comes to battery sizes. The Note 8, for example, has a 3,300mAh battery, placing it far behind market leaders like the Huawei P20 Pro. Samsung finally decided to take a step forward with the Note 9 by equipping it with a massive 4,000mAh battery. Paired with a more power-efficient chipset, we expect the handset to offer a much better battery life than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8

The S Pen hasn’t changed much, offering the same set of features as last year. The only major addition is that it now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which lets you do things like launch the camera and take a selfie via the button on the stylus. The S Pen charges while it’s in the phone and will get up to 100 percent in less than a minute.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 specs and features

Most of the other specs and features are the same between the two devices. Both are IP68 rated, support wireless charging, and sport an 8MP selfie snapper, among other things. The software experience is also more or less identical, with the exception of the Galaxy Note 9 running Android 8.1 Oreo, while its predecessor is still on version 8.0.

 Samsung Galaxy Note 9Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Display6.4-inch Super AMOLED
2,960 x 1,440 resolution
516ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
6.3-inch Super AMOLED
2,960 x 1,440 resolution
521ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
ProcessorU.S.: Snapdragon 845
Global: Samsung Exynos 9810
U.S.: Snapdragon 835
Global: Samsung Exynos 8895
RAM6/8GB6GB
Storage128/512GB
expandable via microSD
64/128/256GB
expandable via microSD
CamerasRear camera
- Main: 12MP wide-angle AF Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4 dual aperture, OIS
- 12MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS

Front camera
- 8MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture
Rear camera
- Main: 12MP wide-angle AF Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture, OIS
- 12MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS

Front camera
- 8 MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture
Battery4,000mAh3,300mAh
Water resistanceIP68IP68
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 7.1.1 Nougat
(can be upgraded to 8.0 Oreo)
Dimensions and weight161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm
201g
162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm
195g

Moving on to the design, the Note 9 looks nearly identical to the Note 8. There are a few changes here and there, with the biggest one being at the back. The Note 9 has the fingerprint scanner below the cameras instead of next to them, which not only looks better but is also more practical. The device also has a chamfered edge that runs across the entire body and makes it feel a lot less slippery. Other design differences include flatter sides, a few new colors, and slightly smaller bezels that translate to a higher screen-to-body ratio.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8

The one thing that may stop many folks from buying the new Note is its price. The Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung’s most expensive flagship to date, starting at $1,000. If you want to get the beefed-up version with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, you’ll have to dish out a whopping $1,250. For comparison, the Galaxy Note 8 launched with a $930 price tag, which went up to $950 shortly after. This means the base model of the Note 9 is $70 more expensive than its predecessor at launch, but it does offer twice the storage at 128GB.

The Galaxy Note 8 offers a 0.1-inch larger display, features an upgraded camera with dual-aperture and scene recognition, and has more storage and RAM — depending on the model. It also sports a newer chipset, has a much larger battery, and a slightly improved S Pen, among a few other things.

It’s a beast of a phone, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it if you already own the Note 8. The list of upgrades isn’t exciting enough to justify spending at least a $1,000 on the device in my opinion. But if you happen to own an older Note device or a different smartphone that isn’t up to your standards anymore, the Galaxy Note 9 is a great option.

Would you consider upgrading from the Galaxy Note 8 to the Note 9? Let us know in the comments!

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