A Look at the Samsung Galaxy Note9

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+

Just two years ago, the Samsung Galaxy Note line of super-sized smart phones faced an uncertain future after Note7s across the world exploded and caused Samsung to put an abrupt end to Note7 sales.

Now, after successfully rescuing the brand with 2018's Galaxy Note8, the Galaxy Note9 has hit store shelves across the country. Buy a Samsung Galaxy Note9 As with every new smart phone launch, the differences between old and new models can be ambiguous, and sometimes leave consumers wondering if it's time to upgrade or wait for the next iteration. What is new with the Note9, and is it worth your hard-earned bucks? BFAds breaks down what is different and what is the same in our Look at the Galaxy Note9.



Under the Hood: Hardware Specs and Performance

Under the Hood: Hardware Specs and Performance

Here's a quick rundown of the Samsung Galaxy Note9's hardware specifications:

• Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
• 6GB/8GB RAM
• 6.4” 2960 x 1440 516ppi Super AMOLED Screen
• 128GB/512GB Storage, microSD expandable to 512GB
• Dual 12MP Cameras (wide angle + telephoto)
• 4000mah battery
• S Pen Stylus
• Android 8.1 Oreo

There are two major upgrade factors to consider when comparing the Note8 to the Note9, the first of which is the massive battery upgrade from 3300mah to a massive 4000mah, a 21% increase. This is particularly eyebrow-raising, not only because this is the largest battery ever to be crammed into a Samsung flagship, but because the 3500mah battery found in the infamous Note7 was said to be the cause for that phone's tendency to catch fire, which led to a battery downgrade in last year's Note8. Thankfully, Samsung has managed to safely exceed that battery capacity, giving Note9 owners ample battery capacity to enjoy heavy usage without being tethered to a charging cable or wireless charging pad.

The second major upgrades are in storage capacity and system memory, or RAM. The baseline storage for the Note9 is 128GB, double that of the Note8, with the option to add up to 512GB of storage via microSD. If that isn't enough, Samsung has also made available a more premium version of the Note9 that quadruples the internal storage at 512GB, which can then be expanded by an additional 512GB via microSD for a whopping 1TB of total storage. Anyone needing up to 1TB of storage is obviously a power user of the highest order, so to further accommodate heavy users, the 512GB Galaxy Note9 also includes 8GB of RAM, a full 2GB more than the 128GB Note9.



Design and Form Factor

Design and Form Factor

The Note9 is nearly identical to the Note8 in size and appearance, but there are some design changes worth mentioning.

Changes in the size and weight of the phone would be hard to miss at first glance. The screen size has been increased ever so slightly from 6.3” to 6.4” measured diagonally, which no doubt accounts for the shifting in the overall phone dimensions to 6.37” x 3.01” x 0.35”, which makes the Note9 slightly shorter but also slightly wider and thicker than the Note8, which measured 6.4” x 2.94” x 0.34”, with a slight weight gain to 7.09oz from 6.88oz, which is undoubtedly attributed to the increase in battery capacity.

Speaking of the screen, while the renowned Samsung Super AMOLED display has increased in size, the resolution of 2960 x 1440 has remained the same as the Note8, leading to a slight decrease in pixels per inch, down to 516ppi from 522ppi. This is still, however, a high-density screen, and to the naked eye, it's all but impossible to miss those 6 pixels per inch, especially when the Note9 keeps the industry-leading contrast, brightness, and color accuracy that fans have come to expect from a Galaxy flagship.

The Note9 retains the premium look and feel of the Note8 with an aluminum frame backing the gorilla glass protected screen, but is now available in 4 colors: Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, and Metallic Copper.


Camera

Camera

While the Note9 did receive some significant upgrades in performance, battery life, and storage, the cameras found in the Note9 are nearly identical to those found in the Note8.

Continuing the trend of dual cameras, the Note9 sports a wide-angle 12MP f/1.5 camera, alongside a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto camera that work in tandem to deliver dramatic separation and detail to pictures taken by even the most amateur phone photographer.

As with any smart phone camera, the hardware specs only tell part of the story, as software features have become nearly if not equally important. The Note9 camera has a bevy of software enhancements to help you get the best shots possible, but there are two in particular that Samsung is especially proud of in the Note9.

The first is the Scene Optimizer, which attempts to detect what type of photo you're trying to take and adjusts the camera settings to match. This includes just about everything from sunsets, trees, animals, street scenes, and of course, food detection that ensures your Instagram followers know exactly how good your meals look.

Flaw Detection works to make sure you aren't disappointed when going through your camera roll by recognizing when you've taken a photo that's blurry, has poor lighting, or has someone with their eyes closed, and will automatically give you a pop-up notification to suggest that you snap another photo.

On the video front, the 4K video capability has been upgraded from 30fps to 60fps in addition to standard recording modes like 1080p and 240fps slow motion.



S Pen Features

S Pen Features

Screen size aside, the Note line of Samsung Galaxy phones have always been set apart from the S line primarily by the inclusion of the Samsung S Pen stylus. The S Pen adds a layer of convenience for Note users, who can easily crop photos and videos, scribble down notes or draw on pictures, and even jot down reminders from the lock screen.

Samsung has taken S Pen functionality to the next level with the Note9 by adding Bluetooth connectivity which allows the S Pen to double as a remote. This new super-charged S Pen can be used to snap photos, play or pause music and videos, or switch apps, all of which are configurable in the S Pen menu. Speaking of charging, the S Pen will charge while its docked inside the Note9, and will give 30 minutes of use before it needs charging, and recharges in only 40 seconds.



Price and Final Thoughts

The last and final upgrade to the Note9 is the price, and it's a hefty one if you're after the top of the line 512GB/8GB version which retails for $1249.99, a full $249 more than both last year's Galaxy Note8 and the 128GB/6GB Galaxy Note9, which is available now for $999.99. So which is right for you? The answer might come down to whether or not you plan on recording a lot of 4K 60fps video, which would absolutely require more than 128GB of storage, even with a microSD expansion. If you're a power user who subscribes to the old adage that free RAM is wasted RAM, having an extra 2GB of memory to fill up with running apps is likely well worth the premium cost over the baseline Note9.

Shoppers after a new Note9 or another 2019 flagship should keep their browsers pointed at BFAds.net, where our Black Friday team is already working to stay at the forefront of every smart phone deal, price break, and bonus offering from retailers across the country throughout the holiday season!

September 11, 2018
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