Galaxy Note9 is the phone to beat in 2018

The Galaxy Note9 completes Samsung’s two-punch combo in the flagship smartphone space in 2018. But is worth upgrading over devices like the Galaxy S9?

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Smartphone makers have long been defined by their flagship offerings. These devices are a proof of a company’s capability to innovate and bring something new to the market. This is also the reason why some smartphone makers rely on a ‘two-punch combo’ for this purpose. The ‘two-punch combo’ is a simple reference to a company coming out with two flagship smartphones in a year, one after another. Two most prominent names in this regard are LG and Samsung. LG does this by first offering a G-series phone (first punch) and then later a V-series device (second punch). Samsung is at it now. It first came out with the Galaxy S9/S9+ and now there is the Galaxy Note9. But is it really worth the investment, considering the Galaxy S9/S9+ aren’t that old?

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Note9
Price Rs 67,900/Rs 84,900
Processor 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 with Mali-G72 MP18 GPU
RAM 6GB/8GB
Display Super AMOLED, 6.4-inch with Quad HD+ (2960x1440p) resolution and 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Internal Storage 128GB/512GB (expandable up to 512GB with a microSD card)
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo
Rear Camera 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel
Front Camera 8-megapixel
Battery 4000mAh with fast charging
Dimensions 161.9mm x 76.4mm x 8.8mm
NFC Yes
Fingerprint Scanner Rear-mounted
Water/Dust resistance IP68-certified

What’s new about the Samsung Galaxy Note9?

There isn’t much to write about for Samsung Galaxy Note9’s design. It is more of an update than an upgrade over 2017’s Note 8. Some of them are welcome but their execution leaves something to be desired. The fingerprint scanner is one such update. While it is a nice update to relocate from the rear camera’s side to under it, its size will not be to everyone’s liking. The Bixby button is still there and does not look like to have been updated to act as a quick launch button for one programmable app. The last questionable update is the screen. At 6.4 inches, it is just 0.1-inch bigger than Galaxy S9+’s. Since the Galaxy S9+ and Note9 aren’t much different from each other where it counts (power and size), why not offer just one? Food for thought, it seems.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-3

 

What is not in question though is that this phone looks stunning. Yes, some bits do not look great in isolation (I am talking about that fingerprint scanner specifically). The sum of the parts though? Samsung has nailed it and anyone who faults this phone for its design and looks has simply no regard for good design. It looks expensive, luxurious, ergonomic, and futuristic, all at the same time. In front of this phone, almost every smartphone will look pale and dated. I am yet to see the ones that will hold their own against this phone when both are kept side-to-side.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-5

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is powerhouse, just like its predecessors. It packs a 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 chip (no Snapdragon here as that is limited to US, Latin America, and China markets). This chip has paired with a Mali-G72 MP18 GPU and gets two RAM options – 6GB and 8GB. The former RAM option is paired with 128GB internal storage while the latter is mated to 512GB internal storage space. It can accommodate a microSD card of up to 512GB in its hybrid SIM tray. The phone gets a Super AMOLED Infinity Display measuring 6.4 inches and has Quad HD (2960x1440p) resolution, 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung own UI skin on top.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-2

The Galaxy Note9 gets a dual rear camera setup made up of 12-megapixel primary lens with variable aperture (f/1.5-2.4), Phase Detect Autofocus, and Optical Image Stabilization. The secondary lens is also a 12-megapixel unit and has f/2.4 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization, and offers 2x optical zoom. The front-facing camera has an 8-megapixel lens with f/1.7 aperture. Connectivity options on the phone include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 (Type-C), 3.5mm headphone jack (yay!), NFC, and GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-4

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is powered by a 4000mAh battery which also gets fast charging and wireless charging features. Security features on the phone include iris scanner, facial recognition, and fingerprint scanner. The phone measures 161.9mm x 76.4mm x 8.8mm and weighs 201 grams. It will be sold in three colours options – Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Metallic Copper (only available in 6GB/128GB version). With the phone, owners will also get a back protector, a USB-C to micro-USB connector, and a few more tools.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Note9 worth consideration?

For this, let’s consider the most important feature of a Note series phone – the S Pen. With the Samsung Galaxy Note9, the S-Pen is a Bluetooth-enabled functional accessory. Users can control various apps’ functions with the S-Pen or program it with their custom controls. The Bluetooth functionality of S-Pen is perhaps a factor in Galaxy Note9 shipping with a 4000mAh power cell. To charge the S-Pen, dock it back into the phone and within 40 seconds, one will get 30 minutes of S-Pen usage time.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-6

Users will also be able to write with the S-Pen on display when it is off. Programmable settings for the S-pen include long and short button presses to trigger actions like app launches. In the box, S-Pen tips are also included. Lastly, with Midnight Black and Metallic Copper colours, the supplied S-pen comes in body colour finish. With Ocean Blue Galaxy Note9 though, it comes finished in gold.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note9-1

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is not going to be inexpensive. However, Samsung is throwing in extras to make the hole in the pocket burn less. These extras include getting a Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch for Rs 4,999 when pre-booking the Galaxy Note9. Buying it on PayTM mall will get buyers Rs 6,000 cashback. Those with HDFC cards (debit+credit) or with HDFC consumer durable loans will also get Rs 6,000 cashback. Lastly, availing the Samsung Upgrade program will earn users Rs 6,000 bonus over and above their old phone’s exchange value. Will it be worth consideration now? Let’s wait and watch.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 – Synopsis

  • Priced at Rs 67,900 (6GB/128GB) and Rs 84,900 (8GB/512GB)
  • Powered by a 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 chip with Mali-G72 MP18 GPU
  • RAM – 6GB/8GB; internal storage – 128GB/512GB (expandable up to 512GB with microSD card)
  • Has 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with Quad HD (2960x1440p) resolution and 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung’s custom UI skin on top
  • Has dual rear camera setup with dual-aperture wide-angle primary lens and telephoto secondary lens
  • Front camera has an 8-megapixel lens
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and 3.5mm headphone jack among connectivity options
  • Gets AKG-tuned dual-speaker system
  • Powered by a 4000mAh battery with fast charging and wireless charging support
  • Is IP68-certified for  water and dust resistance
  • Has fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, and iris scanner for user security
  • S-Pen a Bluetooth-enabled user-programmable accessory that charges when docked in the phone
  • Three colour options available – Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Metallic Copper (6GB/128GB variant only)
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