This Note is definitely bigger than previous phones. It has a large 6.4-inch screen, 4000mAh battery and a massive 1TB storage. The camera is slightly better, the stereo speakers are also good in sound and then comes the bluetooht S pen which is made for fun and can customize shortcuts remotely . Like any other phone, it matches which iPhone X with price, So the price is the same as iPhone X.
- Beautiful 6.4-inch Infinity Display
- Superb camera, even in low light
- Battery and storage last and last
- Bluetooth S Pen shortcuts are fun
- A lot of small upgrades
- No HDR video recording
- We hate the Bixby button
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a little bigger, a little more colorful, and a little more powerful than all prior Note phones, but be warned: it’s a little more expensive, too.
It’s the biggest Android phone that will grab your attention in 2018, with a sizeable 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, a huge 4,000mAh battery for all-day performance, and up to 512GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM.
Slot in a 512GB microSD card (which Samsung will gladly sell you), and you can have the first mainstream 1TB phone in your hands. That’s bigger than a lot of laptops.
Good news – the Note 9 doesn’t actually feel any bigger than last year’s 6.3-inch Note 8, and it inherits a bunch of this year’s 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus features, including camera specs.
The camera is better than the Note 8, with a dual 12MP rear setup that has dual-aperture technology, and can record Super Slow Mo videos. There are stereo speakers, and AR Emoji is back with some finer avatar customizations, but rest assured, it’ll still look nothing like you.
Exclusive to the Note 9 camera are automatic scene optimizer and flaw detection features that enhance photos
The S Pen is still a handy tool for jotting down notes, but it now has Bluetooth for remote-controlled shortcuts that are customizable (unlike the annoying Bixby button that you can’t even turn off anymore). Want to pose for a photo 30 feet away? This S Pen can help you do that and more. It works great, but you may have trouble finding a spot to rest your precious and expensive Note 9 for full-body snapshots. We ended up with a lot of shots at bad camera angles, so it’s a good idea on paper, but doesn’t always work out like we first envisioned.
The Note 9 is our top smartphone recommendation – that is, if you want to own a giant, feature-filled phone with a stylus and hate saving money. Ongoing Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals are the biggest threat to this upgrade that, ironically, is all about going big in a variety of small ways.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 released on Friday, August 24, sooner than anyone had expected a year ago. The Note 8 came out on September 15 in the US and UK last year (September 22 in Australia and Middle East).
Talking of Samsung’s chief competition, the Note 9 price rivals that of Apple’s flagship handset, rather than undercutting it as we’d hoped from an Android phone.
In the US, Samsung will sell the phone unlocked and also through carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Pre-orders in the US opened on August 10 with Note 9 bundle deals. You’ll either get a free Fortnite Galaxy Skin and 15,000 V-bucks or AKG N60 Noise Cancelling Headphones (or both for $99).
In Australia you can also pick up the Note 9 from the country’s biggest telcos, with Vodafone, Telstra and Optus each offering a number of data-heavy plans – we’ve taken the liberty of comparing Australia’s best
Note 9 colors in the US are Ocean Blue with a yellow S Pen (it also writes in yellow for the ultimate color contrast) and Lavender Purple with a purple pen (which writes in purple digital ink). In the UK it’s available in those two colors plus Midnight Black, while the colors for Australia have been confirmed as Ocean Blue and Midnight Black. Other regions may get a Copper color, we were told by Samsung – colors are region-dependent.
New S Pen magic tricks
- Bluetooth stylus has custom shortcuts
- Great for remotely taking photos, works up to 30 feet away
- Charges quickly while embedded in the phone
- Norma note-taking works even when uncharged.
It’s much easier than setting the camera timer, which Samsung hid in the camera settings menu last year, and less awkward than waving your hand in front of the lens to trigger the gesture-initiated camera timer.
Samsung put a software development kit (SDK) out there for non-core third-party apps to take advantage of this shortcut tool, so you’ll see more customization as long as app developers support the functionality.
The S Pen does need to be charged, but it requires only 40 seconds of charge time for 30 minutes of standby battery life or 200 button clicks, according to our testing.
There’s also a helpful S Pen battery indicator in the notification shade at the top of the display, so you won’t be kept guessing as to how much power you have left. And we found that keeping the S Pen topped up was much easier than charging the iPad’s Apple Pencil.
Simply embedding the S Pen inside the phone charges it, and when it’s not in use that’s where you typically put it. The Apple Pencil has nowhere to hide, and walking around with it in the Lighting port is rather dangerous. Samsung’s years of stylus-making experience are obvious here.
The Ocean Blue Note 9 has the more dynamic yellow S Pen for a nice contrast. It writes in yellow digital ink, while the Lavender Purple phone has a purple pen and purple digital ink.
Shortcuts like snapping selfies remotely can ‘unlock a whole different level of photography’, according to Samsung, and while that sounds useful for dramatic selfies (the example given is laying tired on the couch and taking a hands-free photo), the business-class Note 9 may not be the right audience for that.
It’s fun to be able to get both hands in a shot and strike a full-body pose. But we found it hard to rest the phone and snap a selfie when in front of iconic New York City landmarks. Then we thought back to Samsung’s examples. They used a tripod for a group shot, and mimed laying on the couch with a dramatic two-handed pose, without actually taking a photo – something that would be difficult without a tripod, too.