After months of rampant hypothesis (and loads of leaks and rumors), it’s lastly right here: the Samsung Galaxy Note9, the most recent in an extended line of stylus-touting flagship smartphones from the Korean firm. It’s a tad early for a last verdict — the primary items gained’t ship till August 24, roughly two weeks after they change into out there for preorder — however Samsung gave us an thought of what to anticipate immediately at a lavish occasion on the Barclays Heart in Brooklyn, New York.
Right here’s all the pieces it’s worthwhile to know — all the pieces that’s been confirmed and rumored up to now.
The Galaxy Note9 shares rather a lot in frequent with the Galaxy Note8, its year-old predecessor. In reality, in the event you put the 2 aspect by aspect, you’d have a troublesome time telling them aside.
The Note9’s physique is customary from sturdy 7000 sequence aluminum, just like the Note8’s, which may face up to submersion in swimming pools of water 1.5 meters deep for a full 30 minutes. It’s about 6.Four inches measured diagonally and eight.eight millimeters thick — simply zero.06 inches and zero.2mm bigger, respectively, than the Note8.
The Note9 boasts a bezel-to-bezel display screen with an 18:5:9 side ratio that curves across the lip of both edge, with protecting glass that’s terribly skinny and light-weight (Samsung reportedly delayed the Note9’s launch by two weeks to shave zero.5mm off the panel’s thickness). The highest and backside bezels are a tad narrower, consistent with trade traits, and aside from an iris scanner, ambient mild sensor, proximity sensor, front-facing digicam, and an earpiece that’s been widened to make room for a bigger speaker located above the display screen, there’s not a lot to have a look at. It’s the definition of minimalist.
The Note9’s Infinity Show dominates its entrance, and — opposite to early experiences — there isn’t an in-display fingerprint sensor beneath. Some publications advised that Samsung Show, Samsung’s display screen division, was prototyping a number of designs with a Vivo Nex-like biometric scanner embedded beneath the show, however technical limitations apparently put the kibosh on these plans.
As an alternative, you’ll discover the fingerprint sensor round again and beneath the Note9’s horizontally oriented twin cameras and LED flash, together with a well being sensor that measures biometrics like coronary heart fee, blood oxygen, and blood strain. (That association’s an controversial enchancment on the Galaxy Note8’s right-of-camera sensor placement, which made smudging its cameras with a wayward digit frustratingly simple.)
On to the edges: You gained’t discover any surprises on the Note9’s backside portion, which homes a USB Kind-C port, a microphone, three.5mm headphone jack, a loudspeaker, and a hollowed-out slot for the S-Pen. The loudspeaker works in tandem with the earpiece to ship stereo sound; it’s tuned by AKG Acoustics and helps Dolby’s Atmos 3D simulated encompass sound expertise in supported apps like Netflix. On the left is an influence button and quantity rocker, and featured prominently on the appropriate is the Bixby key, a button that triggers Samsung’s homegrown AI assistant.
The Word sequence has lengthy been a showcase for bleeding edge, top-of-the-line expertise, and the Note9 continues in that custom.
The 6.Four-inch Tremendous AMOLED+ display screen is a bona fide stunner. It’s obtained a Quad HD+ decision (2560 x 1440 pixels) and a super-bright panel that’s about 10 % brighter than that of the Galaxy S9 and S9+. That’s spectacular — Samsung beforehand declared the 2 telephones’ 700 nit screens the “brightest ever” on a Galaxy sequence.
Similar to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ earlier than it, the Note9’s panel is licensed by the UHD Alliance for Cellular HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) Premium content material. (With out entering into the weeds, HDR movies and video video games have a wider shade gamut and brightness vary, contributing to an image that’s not solely extra correct, however extra visually pleasing.) And the telephone’s software program — particularly Samsung’s Software program Video Enhancer — takes full benefit of the display screen’s enhancements by, when enabled, mechanically boosting the illumination and shade distinction of steaming and native video.
The beating silicon on the coronary heart of the Note9 is both Samsung’s Exynos 9810 or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 (relying on area), each of that are cooled by a custom-designed water cooling system. (North America, Latin America, Honk Kong, China, and Japan will get the Snapdragon mannequin; the remainder of the world will get the Exynos.)
The Exynos 9810, the second in Samsung’s Exynos 9 sequence, is an eight-core chip consisting of 4 high-performance cores and 4 barely slower, power-efficient ARM Cortex-A55 cores. It packs fairly a efficiency punch, delivering as much as 2 instances the uncooked processing energy of the Note8’s Exynos 8895 when it comes to single-core efficiency and as much as 40 % in multi-core workloads.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 equally sports activities eight cores — 4 Cortex-A75 efficiency cores and 4 effectivity cores. It’s 30 % sooner than the Note8’s Snapdragon 835, general, and its graphics chip — the Adreno 630 — has 2.5 instances the show throughput.
Each the Exynos 9810 and Snapdragon 845 boast modems that ship obtain speeds over LTE as much as 1.2Gbps (Cat. 18) and custom-designed chips that speed up machine studying duties. And each are paired with both 6GB or 8GB of RAM, relying on the mannequin.
On the facility entrance, the Note9’s battery is barely upgraded from the Note8’s — it’s Four,000mAh in comparison with the latter’s 700mAh. It helps each Samsung’s Quick Wi-fi Charging and Adaptive Quick Charging tech, and lasts a couple of day and a half off a cost.
Final, however not least, storage: The Note9 is available in 64GB and 512GB configurations, each of which have a microSD slot that helps playing cards as much as 400GB.
Bluetooth S Pen
Samsung’s keen on defending the Word lineup‘s styluses — and with good motive. It claims that 92 % of Note8 homeowners are lively S Pen customers, and majority — 60 % — use the S Pen to shortly jot down lists and notes. It doesn’t come as a lot of a shock, then, that the Galaxy Note9 ships with a stylus. What is shocking is simply how a lot it has modified from final yr’s mannequin.
The Note9 S Pen’s modern exterior belies its technological enhancements. It has Four,096 strain ranges and packs a Bluetooth modem (powered by a tiny battery), which pairs it to the Galaxy Note9 for neat tips, like unlocking the telephone, manipulating slideshows, pulling double obligation as a digicam shutter button, controlling music playback, and even serving as a makeshift controller in video games like Fortnite. (A software program developer equipment will permit third events to faucet into it for different features.) Samsung stated it’ll final round 200 clicks of the button on a single cost, and fortunately there’s no awkward charging process concerned — the S Pen attracts energy when it’s docked within the Note9’s socket and lasts 30 minutes after simply 40 seconds of charging.
In any other case, the S Pen helps the vary of Word options customers know and love, like Reside Drawings, which helps you to sketch or write handwritten messages on images and backgrounds and ship them as GIFs to anybody in your contact checklist. (The Note9 options unique new backgrounds, ink types, and the choice to export the GIFs as MP4 video.)
Additionally on faucet is Display-off Memo, a digital sketchpad that permits you to scribble notes on the Galaxy Note9’s always-on display screen with out having to unlock it first. As with the Galaxy Note8, you possibly can flick to a brand new web page in the event you run out of house and pin notes of your option to the display screen for simple entry. (A cute contact price noting: The colour of your S Pen corresponds to the colour of the textual content.)
Rounding out the Note9’s bevy of S Pen instruments are Translate, which mechanically interprets phrases and phrases as you hover over them with the S Pen’s tip; Enlarge, which, because the identify implies, enlarges elements of the display screen; and Good Choose, which helps you to crop out a portion of the Note9’s display screen and put it aside as a snapshot.
Cameras and iris scanner
A Bluetooth S Pen and zippy processors aren’t all that’s new within the Note9. There’s an improved pair of cameras on the again — cameras that share almost the identical specs, not coincidentally, as these within the Galaxy S9.
The cameras comprising the twin rear digicam mannequin — one in all which has a telephoto lens that delivers as much as “2x zoom” — are each 12MP. However the wide-angle lens has a variable aperture: A tiny contracting and increasing motor embedded within the Note9’s digicam module affords you the liberty to modify between f/1.5, a decrease aperture higher suited to dim lighting, and a couple of/Four, the default setting.
The digicam app’s set-it-and-forget-it Computerized mode flips to the f/1.5 aperture mechanically when the ambient lighting dips under 100 lux. And a brand new AI-powered scene detection optimizes shade settings like distinction, white stability, publicity, and extra primarily based on landscapes, folks, animals, or objects in body. (Helpful speech bubbles let you already know if somebody blinked throughout a snapshot or in case your hand was a bit wobbly.)
Additionally new on the digicam entrance: improved optical picture stabilization; Tremendous Velocity Twin Pixel, a sooner and extra correct model of Samsung’s Twin Pixel focusing expertise; and multiframe noise discount, which improves the crispness of photographs by capturing a 12-image burst shot, dividing it into three units of 4, and producing a composite picture.
The front-facing digicam, in the meantime, is 8MP. Courtesy of the Note9’s digicam app, it might approximate bokeh — a blurred background and in-focus foreground — in software program, taking a web page from the Google Pixel and iPhone X’s portrait modes.
In relation to video, the Note9 can document clips at 4K with excessive dynamic vary (HDR). That’s one higher than the Galaxy S9, which doesn’t assist HDR recording at resolutions larger than Full HD. Tremendous Gradual Movement is current and accounted for — the Note9 shoots clips as much as a blistering 960 frames per second (accomplished mechanically in the event you allow Computerized Seize, which triggers recording when an object enters a definable bounding field) — as is a GIF generator that converts Tremendous Gradual Movement movies into shareable photographs with results like an Instagram-esque Sing, Loop, and Reverse.
So how in regards to the iris scanner? Nicely, it’s not a lot totally different from the Note8’s digicam sensor, with a notable exception: It takes benefit of Clever Scan, which makes use of each the iris scanner and front-facing digicam to safe the telephone.
Bixby, Fortnite, and software program
Bear in mind Bixby, Samsung’s reply to digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, the Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana? It’s again as a part of Samsung’s Android eight.1 Oreo-based Software program Expertise 9.5, and it has a number of new tips up its sleeve.
Bixby 2.zero — the next-gen model of Bixby that Samsung previewed at Cellular World Congress 2018 in March — is all about third-party integrations. It marks the general public launch of the Bixby Developer Program, a collection of instruments that give third-party app builders larger management and customization over the way in which Bixby interacts with in-app interfaces. And it units the stage for deep integration of Viv, the expertise platform Samsung acquired in 2016.
Bixby already works with apps like CNN, Flipboard, Fb, Twitter, and Uber. Within the very close to future, anticipate the variety of supported apps to develop by leaps and bounds.
The improved Bixby additionally has higher pure language processing, sooner response instances, and built-in noise discount tech. Merely put, it ought to be capable to perceive you higher.
Lastly, it’s extra conversational — once you ask it about upcoming live shows over Labor Day weekend, for instance, it’ll do not forget that date vary when search for tickets sooner or later. It is aware of your preferences, too — once you ask Bixby to e book a restaurant, it’ll infer the dimensions of your occasion and time primarily based on previous reservations.
In any other case, Bixby Voice works simply because it does on the Note8 — Say, “Hey, Bixby” or maintain down the Bixby key to prime it for instructions like “What’s the climate forecast?” and “Name John.” It helps greater than three,000 instructions in all, Samsung stated, together with chained directions like “Open the gallery app in split-screen view and rotate misaligned images” and “Play movies on a close-by TV.”
Bixby retains all its beforehand introduced options, in fact, like Bixby Imaginative and prescient. Because of integrations with Vivino, Amazon, Nordstrom, Sephora, Cowl Woman, and others (and Samsung’s data-sharing partnerships with FourSquare and Pinterest), it might scan barcodes and present related product listings, suggest wine, show the calorie counts of meals, and allow you to just about “strive on” make-up merchandise.
Additionally on faucet is Bixby House, a “social stream in your gadget.” It’s a dashboard of reminders and social media updates collated in playing cards that may be dismissed, pinned, or completely hidden.
If the brand new Bixby options don’t excite you, possibly Fortnite will. Epic Video games’ hit battle royale title makes its Android debut completely on the Note9 (and different Galaxy smartphones) for 30 days, and in line with Epic Video games’ CEO Tim Sweeney, it gained’t be coming to different gadgets anytime quickly. To sweeten the pot, Epic’s providing free skins and 15,000 in V-Bucks, Fortnite’s digital forex, to gamers who preorder the Note9. (That equates to about $150.)
AR Emoji, Samsung’s riff on Apple’s Animoji, debuted on the Galaxy S9 and S9+, they usually make a triumphant return right here. Right here’s the gist, in the event you haven’t heard of them: They’re three-dimensional cartoons that depend on camera-based monitoring to imitate the motions of your head, proper right down to your mouth and eyebrows. The avatars will be custom-made with filters, equipment, and masks, and exported as stickers in a shareable format (MP4).
DeX and different equipment
No flagship smartphone is full with out equipment, and the Galaxy Note9 has them in abundance.
First up is a brand new twin wi-fi charger that concurrently recharges the Note9 and the just lately introduced Galaxy Watch. It helps Samsung’s fast-charging normal and connects to a wall adapter by way of USB Kind-C, and it begins at $75.
Subsequent up: circumstances. Numerous circumstances. There’s a transparent view case that lets a portion of the Note9’s display screen present by way of, a rugged case with a kickstand, and an LED case with a customizable grid format. They’re out there in a wide range of colours, together with (however not restricted to) brown, purple, black, and blue.
Lastly, there’s excellent news on the DeX entrance: It not requires a dock. (DeX, you would possibly recall, extends the Galaxy Note9’s interface to any laptop monitor with an HDMI connection.) All you want is a USB Kind-C-to-HDMI adapter; connecting it to an exterior show will get DeX up and operating in a jiffy.
Just like the Galaxy Tab S4 earlier than it, the Note9 in DeX mode shows a Home windows-like interface, replete with resizeable home windows, a devoted taskbar, mouse and keyboard assist, and shortcuts to recordsdata, the photograph gallery, and settings. Samsung teamed up with Microsoft to optimize Workplace apps (Phrase, PowerPoint, and Excel) for the interface, and with Epic Video games to assist Fortnite. Different companions embrace the New York Occasions, Deezer, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Citrix, VMWare, and Craigslist. (Smartphone apps run in DeX, however Samsung makes no ensures that they gained’t misbehave.)
So, how a lot will the Galaxy Note9 price you? That is dependent upon which model you resolve to purchase.
The bottom mannequin with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage is anticipated to start out at $1,000 — about $70 pricier than the Note8, which began at $929. The 512GB mannequin with 8GB of RAM will price considerably extra: $1,250.
Almost a grand nets you 4 shade selections: Ocean Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, and Lavender Copper. (The Midnight Black mannequin comes with a limited-edition yellow S Pen.)
If you happen to’re a sucker for bundles, there’s a brand new one which may whet your whistle: the Galaxy Note9 Worth Pack. It comes with a pair of AGK I50 Bluetooth headphones (a $299 worth) and a case for an additional $99 on prime of the Galaxy Note9’s base value.
Replace at eight:35 a.m. PT: An earlier model of this text listed the Galaxy Word 9’s value as $929. The precise value is $1,000. We remorse the error.