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 - Smartphones launching in India next week: Vivo X70 series, Mi 11 Lite NE 5G, Samsung Galaxy M52 5G, and more

Design

Also Read - Deal of the day: Samsung Galaxy M32 5G with Rs 2,000 flat discount on Amazon is the best deal today

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 Galaxy F42 5G launching next week: Confirmed specs, expected price in India, and more

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. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • 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

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

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

Best Sellers