comscore Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions: More than just an incremental upgrade
News

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions: More than just an incremental upgrade

The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a bigger battery, ample storage, and an improved S Pen among other key highlights.

samsung galaxy note 9 s pen air command

Highlights

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with an updated Bluetooth-powered S Pen.

  • The phone is powered by the Exynos 9810 SoC, and comes with up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

  • The dual-aperture camera also makes its way to the Note 9, after being first showcased on the S9 series.

Samsung has officially introduced the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone to the world today. The successor to last year s Galaxy Note 8, the new smartphone comes with refined design, new features and a bigger battery. Even though it is an incremental upgrade, there were some interesting features that Samsung has packed in the device with an aim to improve the Note experience. I had some time to play around with the smartphone ahead of the launch event, and here is what I think about it. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy M62 launched: It's a rebranded version of the new Galaxy F62

Design

Also Read - Samsung 100-day trial for Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 5G floated for customers

From the front, the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy Note 9 look almost identical. You have a tall display with slim bezels on top and bottom, and dual edge curved display as well. The screen is slightly larger at 6.4-inch, compared to 6.3-inch on the Note 8. One of the visible changes is at the back where the fingerprint sensor has now been relocated below the camera module as it is the convenient way to reach the scanner without accidentally touching the camera lens. Also Read - Samsung will now provide up to 4 years of security updates to its phones: See list

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Look

S Pen

Since the inception of the Note-series, the S Pen, which is the heart and soul of the Note experience, has seen little change. It can detect more levels (4096) of pressure, it can also be used underwater, and now, with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has given S Pen the biggest upgrade in years. Yes, the rumors were true, and the S Pen has built-in Bluetooth capabilities.

It has a small battery inside which can offer over 30 minutes of usage, and charging takes just 40 seconds, thanks to the super capacitor used inside it. And if the battery drains completely, you can still use the S Pen as a stylus; only the Bluetooth related S Pen functions won t work.

So, what can you do with the S Pen? Well, you can use the S Pen as a remote shutter for clicking photos and selfies. You can use it during presentations for changing slides (when connected to a monitor or TV using an HDMI cable), you can use it to flip through photos in gallery app, and much more. Samsung has also announced that it is opening the S Pen SDK, which will allow developers to make the best use of the S Pen in their apps.

Battery

After the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Samsung did hold itself back when it came to battery capacity on its smartphones. Now, with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has taken a bold step again, and the smartphone comes with a massive 4,000mAh battery. Samsung claims that together with software optimizations, the battery can deliver an entire day’s worth of usage on full charge. And features such as fast charging and wireless fast charging are also present on the smartphone. It remains to be seen if the phone can actually deliver that kind of battery life.

Cameras

Camera has always been a highlight of Samsung phones, and the Note 9 is no different. It comes with a dual camera setup at the back, out of which one is a 12-megapixel sensor with dual aperture lens (f/1.5 to f/2.4). It has been designed to help you capture good photos in both daylight and low-light conditions. The second sensor is a 12-megapixel one with a telephoto lens that enables DSLR mode and 2X lossless zoom. Up front, is an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera for selfies and video calling.

Following the footsteps of offer manufacturers, Samsung has also made an interesting addition to the camera software. It is now AI enabled which can recognize between 20 different scenes and objects such as blue sky, flower, pets, text and more. There is also a new blink detection feature that will notify if your subject blinked eyes at the time of capturing the photo, just so that you can re-capture it again.

Lastly, Samsung has also made improvements to the HDR mode, and live-focus now also works in low-light. Besides, there are some software optimizations too for helping you click better photos. But I won t be able to pass a judgment before I use the smartphone at length.

Specifications, software and more

Under the hood, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 powered chipset, or an Exynos 9810 SoC, which is market dependent. The base variant now comes with 128GB storage, which comes with 6GB of RAM. The higher model comes with 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage. To get the maximum performance while playing games, Samsung has added a carbon fiber cooling system to ensure the phone does not get too warm when playing games at a stretch.

There is also on-device AI performance adjustment mode, where the phone will learn from your usage pattern at only enable the power cores when performance is needed. Running on Android 8.1 Oreo OS, there is no word when Android 9.0 Pie update will be rolled out for the device. Samsung has also made changes to the DeX mode, which no longer requires a dock to connect with your PC. All you need is a Type-C to HDMI cable and you re good to go.

Other than these, features like intelligent scan that combines iris and face scanning are also present. You get Bixby assistant, live translation and more.

Final words

Sure, the Galaxy Note 9 seems like an interesting upgrade over the predecessor. There s a lot going for the smartphone, but pricing will be key. I used the S Pen Bluetooth stylus and was impressed with the functionality. Whether or not it turns out to be a feature that users would be using more often needs to be seen.

In India, the smartphone is expected to launch soon. Flipkart has been teasing the smartphone, and it will likely be sold on the e-commerce platform, alongside offline stores. I can t wait to see how aggressive Samsung can go with the Galaxy Note 9 when it comes to pricing. But based on the brief usage, I m really looking forward to use the Galaxy Note 9. We will bring more such coverage, and an in-depth review of the Note 9 in the coming days. Till then, stay tuned.

Disclaimer: The writer is traveling to New York for Galaxy Note 9 Unpacked Event on Samsung s invite. Samsung has taken care of his travel and accommodation.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: August 9, 2018 9:04 PM IST


You Might be Interested

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

67900

Android 7.1.1 Nougat with TouchWiz UX
Exynos 8895 Octa-core 64-bit Processor
12 MP (f/1.7 aperture) + 12 MP (f/2.4 aperture)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

67900

Android 8.1 Oreo
Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC
Dual 12MP + 12MP

new arrivals in india

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Best Sellers