Here’s What We Know About the Upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Slim pickings? Not with Samsung’s handset offerings
Coming in hot on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy S9’s release is a new contender: the Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung’s top phablet (that’s the innovative crossbreed between a phone and a tablet) is expected to make its first appearance on August 9 during a special Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in Brooklyn, New York. Its official release, however, isn’t until August 24th. The Note 9’s predecessor, the Galaxy Note 8, was also made official the same month last year.
While the retail price for the Samsung Galaxy S9 has not yet been finalized, SlashLeaks shared a pre-order poster that gives us a general idea. According to the poster, the 512GB version will be available for roughly $1,210, while the 128GB unit will go on sale for $935. In South Korea, the 512GB unit’s price matches the SlashLeaks image, while the 128GB is estimated to sell for $980. Based on these rumors, those looking to make an upgrade can expect the phablet to cost between $950 and $1,000.
But wait, what exactly will Samsung fans be paying for? Here are the upgrades we’re looking forward to.
The Handy Dandy S Pen
Since it’s the Samsung Note series we’re talking about, it only makes sense to start off with the feature that sets it apart from other Samsung phones: the S Pen stylus.
Rumor has it that the S Pen can now function as a separate Bluetooth device, a camera timer and clicker, as well as a music controller. It’s important to note, though, that these changes would mean that the stylus would need charging. This Bluetooth functionality may extend to gaming with a supporting app. As Samsung is reportedly in business with Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, fans speculate that the S Pen could be used for shooting or aiming in the game.
As for design, German website, WinFuture, states that some of the Note 9 handsets may be paired with stylus pens of contrasting color. Available colors are reportedly pink (with a pink S Pen), blue (with a yellow S Pen), and black.
Hardware and Software
With the S Pen in tow, the Note series is touted for productivity—which typically calls for high specifications. WinFuture claims that the Galaxy Note 9 will come with either 128GB and 512GB storage space, but Korean pamphlets have additionally suggested 64GB and 256GB variants. The phablet will carry the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, as it appeared on the list of upcoming devices that will use the said processor.
Meanwhile, a benchmark test carried out by Geekbench reportedly shows the phone to have 6GB RAM. Other regions would likely have units powered by Samsung’s Exynos chip.
Lastly, expect the phablet to continue running on Android Oreo operating system with Samsung's TouchWiz interface.
Better Battery, Same Old Security
The upcoming Note release is expected to run on a 4,000mAh battery—a step up from the Note 8 which houses a 3,300mAh power pack. Meanwhile, an FCC documentation has suggested that wireless charging may be supported, with Let’s Go Digital saying that it will be called Samsung Wireless Charger Duo and feature dual charging pads that can be used for both the Note 9 and the Galaxy Watch.
Like the S series, the Note 9 may also be fitted with a fingerprint sensor on the rear despite reports that Samsung is filing for a patent for an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Familiar Look and Feel
There are two possible dimensions for the phablet: 161.9 x 76.3 x 8.8mm and 162 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, making it shorter but wider and thicker than the previous Note. Eldar Murtazin predicted on Mobile Review that the Note 9 would have a Super AMOLED that is slightly brighter than the Note 8, with the screen staying at 6.3 inches. Also of note are the USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille, S Pen silo, and microphone which will still be fitted on the bottom edge of the unit.
The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to sport a metal frame, glass back and a dual-lens camera. The impressive specs don’t stop there: the unit is also expected to be dust and water-resistant.
More to Look Forward to
As mentioned, reports of Samsung signing a deal with Epic Games are still up in the air. These suggest that the deal was struck to offer Fortnite for 30 days exclusively to Galaxy Note 9 users. If these reports ring true, this will be the first time the game will be accessible on Android. It’s quite puzzling, though, as to why the Android version of Fortnite would be launched here, considering that the phablet is primarily targeted towards productivity rather than entertainment.
WinFuture also expects the Note 9 to be the first Samsung phone to use DeX mode without a dock or pad. DeX allows users to turn their device into a makeshift computer by attaching it to an external monitor via USB-C or HDMI cable. The AR Emoji to is also expected to debut on the Note 9, as it has already made waves on the S9 and S9 Plus units.