Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Specs
Size: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm
Weight: 205 grams
Screen: Dual edge Super AMOLED
Display: 6.4 inches
Resolution: 2960 x 1440 pixels (Quad HD+)
Processor: Exynos 9810
Storage: 128GB (expandable)
Operating System: Android Oreo 8.1
Cameras: Dual-aperture rear 12MP camera, single 8MP front camera
Design and screen:
It’s clear that creating a stylish phone was a priority for Galaxy Note 9 designers and it’s really paid off. This smartphone looks seriously impressive and its weight, over 200 grams, makes it feel like a prestige piece of kit. It remains a slim-built model despite the hefty feel, probably due to the enlarged battery. The fingerprint reader has been repositioned and can now be found below the camera lenses – a small improvement that makes usability more intuitive. There are three colours to choose from: black, blue, and lavender.
The Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4” dual edge Super AMOLED screen that’s worth talking about, providing a stunning level of detail, colour saturation, and brightness – ideal for watching Netflix on your commute. In fact, the screen quality is so high that it may just be the best display on a smartphone to date, beating out all other competitors. The Infinity Display comes with elegantly curved edges that are beautiful to look at and interact with too.
Performance and processor:
The Galaxy Note 9 is all substance under the stylish exterior and is a bit of an all-round technical powerhouse. Powered by an Exynos 9810 processor, the user experience is quick and fluid, with no slow-down or lag when opening and switching between applications, playing games, browsing the web or making downloads. Whilst ticking all the boxes on performance and processing, it’s worth noting that anything less at this premium price-level would simply be unacceptable. Samsung are positioning themselves as the technical leaders in the smartphone field with all the hardware on this phone, ahead of other popular smartphone makers.
The dual aperture 12MP rear cameras on the Galaxy Note 9 allows it to switch masterfully between low-light photography conditions and regular ones to ensure the best shot every time. Photography enthusiasts will be happy to know that this adaptability pays off in overcast and darker conditions. Meanwhile, 2x optical zoom does a decent job with zoomed in, telephoto-style shots. The optical image stabilisation feature further helps to capture the perfect photo, even when the photographer is in a hurry. The front-facing camera wasn’t an afterthought for the makers of this smartphone either, it comes with autofocus for improved selfies.
Samsung have pushed the boat out with a myriad of shooting options for photographers looking to take their game to the next level. There’s the standard Auto, Pro, Panorama, Super Slow Motion (960 fps at 720p), Live Focus, and AR Emoji/Selfie; to add to the list there’s also a built-in scene-optimiser which adjusts your snaps for colour, sharpness, and contrast.
This plethora of shooting options makes the Galaxy Note 9 a natural option for anyone looking to supercharge their photos beyond the typical snaps, with customisable features and great automated tweaks
Battery and charging:
Galaxy Note 9’s battery (4,000mAh) performs very well when compared to similar flagships, placing it firmly in the top category and delivering an ‘all-day’ user experience, according to Samsung at least. In actuality, and with decent use over a day, it becomes clear that it would be difficult to eek out more than a day from a full charge. That’s not necessarily a drawback since most users are used to charging their devices overnight or at their desks as part of their daily routine - it’s the price we pay for high usage on the go.
Besides the typical cable charge, the phone also comes with wireless charging capability through its Fast Wireless Charging feature, which is a very handy base to keep at home or on your desk.
The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a few interesting extras. For starters, a second model is available with increased RAM (8GB) and 512GB memory; it’s more expensive but will hold appeal to some.
It also comes with a new and improved Samsung S Pen, now with in-built Bluetooth that creates some nifty shortcuts. You can open the camera app and take pictures remotely from up to 30 feet away, ideal for selfies with friends. Additionally, you can start and stop audio tracks, browse through photos, as well as take notes and make illustrations. It’s a cool little addition that will prove more useful to some over others but it’s certainly an innovation not really seen before.
Finally, a dual-SIM model is available internationally.
Price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is already out and the price starts from £799 for the SIM-free model reviewed here, though the 512GB version will set you back £999. Lots of deals can be found for this smartphone through Hoppy’s partners to help spread the cost and find the best deal for your needs.
With this release Samsung are pushing forward as leaders in the smartphone market. Anyone after a premium device that ticks basically all the performance and design boxes would be very pleased with the Galaxy Note 9. The only drawbacks come in the form of the battery that, whilst competitive, isn’t standout. Samsung’s not yet very good AI assistant Bixby is also a bit of a let-down and needs much more work before anyone is going to get excited over it. Otherwise it’s a serious device to deliver impressive graphics, ease of use, and so much more.