The rumor mill season for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 has finally come to an end with the company officially taking the wraps off their latest iteration of the Note line. I wouldn’t say there’s anything totally off-the-wall or groundbreaking here, but I think there’s more to get excited about than what we saw last year.
The key feature of Samsung’s Galaxy Note family is the S-Pen, and that’s getting some very fancy new features this year. The camera is better than ever, and power users will be very happy to hear that you can grab a Galaxy Note 9 with up to 512GB of storage. Let’s dig in.
New Note, new S-Pen
The Galaxy Note 9 is packing a new 10nm CPU, which is most likely Samsung’s latest Exynos 9810 chip. It’s capable of pulling down 1.2 gigabits/second under the right network conditions, and that’s not considering the raw horsepower that the phone will have locally. It will pair with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on your model, and a massive 4,000mAh battery for all-day power. Usually we have to complain about companies cutting corners, but I don’t think Samsung did that this time.
The S-Pen has learned some new tricks thanks to its new Bluetooth Low Energy capability. You’ll be able to use the Pen independently of the screen to click through presentations or snap photos, and control music, and the phone will fully recharge the S-Pen battery in under a minute to keep you going all the time.
It’s 2018, so of course the camera software in the Galaxy Note 9 will be integrating some automagic AI processing. Some of it we’ve seen before in other phones, like the camera’s ability to detect the scene you’re trying to shoot so it can set up the settings properly for you without much input, but the Note 9 will also have what Samsung is calling Flaw Detection.
If there’s something wrong with your shot, like poor lighting, a blurry image, or someone blinking, the phone will give you a notification to let you know you need to reshoot the picture before the moment is gone.
It’s a great new feature that should well complement the powerful camera on the Galaxy Note 9. It’s using the same dual aperture technology that’s on the Galaxy S9+ to adjust light on the fly, plus some serious noise reduction and a little bit of optical zoom.
The screen on the Galaxy Note 9 has grown just a bit, offering a 6.4-inch Infinity Display with slightly less curved edges to better fit in your hand. It’s still super high resolution, and Samsung is sticking with their AKG-tuned speakers which I really, really loved on the Galaxy S9. That’s a combination for a stellar media experience.
But if you’re less interested in the entertainment side of the fence, Samsung will allow the Galaxy Note 9 to take advantage of DeX features without the dock. Now you’ll just need a single cable to plug into a screen and your phone becomes an extremely powerful productivity tool that’s fit for home use or more involved business use cases.
Everything else you love is still here, too; the phone is IP68 rated, it features fast wireless charging, Samsung Knox is present alongside all of Samsung’s suite of software features like S Health and Samsung Pay, and there are more biometric security options than you can shake a stick at.
Oh, and Fortnite
But really, what everyone is most curious about is that rumored Samsung/Fortnite limited exclusivity. The game will only be available on a select few Samsung models for an undisclosed amount of time. I can’t imagine that will last for more than a few months, max, but up front you’re going to need a flagship Samsung phone or tablet dating back to the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy Tab S3 to play it before everyone else.
However, the worst part of this device is going to be how you pay for it. The 128GB variant of the Galaxy Note 9 will be available in Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple for $999 on August 24th, either as an unlocked device or through your US carrier of choice. The big four plus US Cellular and Xfinity Mobile are all onboard, and most retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Amazon, so you won’t have a hard time finding somewhere to buy it.
But for those of you itching for that 512GB, you’re going to have to search a little harder. The bigger capacity will cost you a whopping $1249 and will only be available at select locations, limited to Samsung directly, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Most retailers are axed off that list, as well as Sprint. Although for the price of a used car, I’m not sure how well it’s going to sell, anyway.
Keep an eye out for pre-order links, and let us know how you feel about Samsung’s latest and greatest in the comments.
And no, I don’t know where that Midnight Black model went.