Samsung’s latest, the Galaxy Note 9 has finally seen the light of day and surprise, surprise, the leaks were right. Very little has changed about the Note 9 compared to last year’s Note 8 but taking a closer look shows that Samsung actually thought about this one.
The Galaxy Note 9 is more like an evolution and not a revolution but all in all, the changes are where it matters. First, we get a huge battery. Bigger than the explosive Note 7 and to put to bed any issues consumers might have over safety, Samsung put the new 4000mAh battery through vigorous tests including involving third parties to verify its safety.
Second to that is the new S-Pen. Well, it’s not new in design but new in functionality. Samsung has bundled Bluetooth functionality on the S-Pen to make it more useful. With the new stylus, one can use it as a remote control, actually, Samsung refers to it as the ultimate remote control. Due to this added functionality, the S-Pen has an inbuilt battery that recharges when you put it back into the device.
With the new S-Pen, one can take photos by simply pressing the button once while in the camera. You can also map app shortcuts where a long press of the button opens a specific app, by default, this action opens the camera app. Other functions that can now be controlled using the S-Pen include play and pause music and as a controller during a presentation.
Speaking of presentations, this is possible thanks to the new DeX interface that is now accessible without the need of a dock. Similar to Huawei’s implementation, DeX can now be activated by simply connecting the Note 9 to a display using a special USB-C cable. There are no new features that have been added into DeX, so there’s nothing to dwell on there.
The camera has also received a fresh coat of paint. Bringing back dual lenses but with a similar implementation that we had on the S9+, where we have a lens with a variable aperture and a secondary wide-angle lens. The megapixel count is 12MP on both lenses and yes, we do have OIS on both. The selfie camera is an 8MP shooter that is more or less the same lens we got on the S9 and last year’s Note 8.
Samsung could not help themselves but had to buzz A.I when it came to the camera. Samsung have now built-in A.I powered scene recognition and a feature that they call, “flaw detection” that is meant to detect blurry photos or things like someone who blinked while you’re taking the photo and it will notify you of this and you can take another shot.
As usual, we have some minor spec bumps to justify the leap in number from the 8 to the 9. There’s now a slightly larger 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, the new Exynos 9810 processor powering the device, an interesting water carbon cooling system that is meant to keep the device evenly cooled when performing heavy tasks. Just like the S9, we have dual stereo speakers on the Note 9 and they have been tuned by AKG.
Bixby still lives on, with a dedicated button and now, the Note 9 comes with 128GB of internal storage as standard with 6GB of RAM. There’s a higher spec’d version with 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage for those who feel like they need it.
Here comes the big ball. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 starts at $999, which means that in Kenya, it will cost over Kes.100,000 when it launches later on in the month, probably August 24.