Samsung has quite a lot riding on the Galaxy Note 9 after lower-than-expected sales of the S9 and S9+ so far this year and the prospect of three new iPhone models launching next month. The gadget’s general release date is 24 August.
There’s no denying that the Note 9 is a polished phone that’s popping with exciting features. But it also costs a whopping £899 for the basic 128GB model. And if you want the spiffing 512GB version, that’ll be £1099.
Right from the off, it’s clear that this is one of the most powerful devices around at the moment. It’s got a Snapdragon 845 processor and either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on which of the two aforementioned versions you go for. In fact, it’s so powerful, you can turn it into a desktop replacement with Samsung’s DeX feature. The little accessory (sold separately) lets you plug the phone into an external monitor and attach a keyboard and mouse and use it as a PC.
Despite all this power, if you’re the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy S9, there’s not any need to upgrade unless you’re desperate for the latest and greatest.
First things first, it comes in a choice of four colours: purple, black, coppery brown or blue. And although the screen measures in at 6.4-inches, it’s not got a notch on the top. The whole phone is a sleek, polished slab of glass that feels comfortable in your hand because, although it’s tall – it’s not too wide. Samsung’s screens have always been one of the best things about its phones and this time is no different.
The metallic sheen looks mighty impressive, even if it is prone to a few greasy fingerprints. Like previous Note phones, this one comes with the S Pen stylus that slots right into a tidy little gap on the bottom of the phone. Next to the USB-C charging port and the old-school 3.5mm headphone jack. But unlike previous Notes, the S Pen now has Bluetooth on-board which means you can use it as a remote control. A long-press of the button along the side launches the camera app, while a double tap toggles between rear-facing and front-facing cameras. Tap it again and you take a picture.
Instagrammers pay attention
Amusingly, there’s something called ‘flaw detection’ which lets you know if a picture has come out right or not. If it’s blurry or the subject has their eyes closed, you’ll receive an instant pop-up notification letting you know you need to take picture again. ‘It uses intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and instantly optimise it based on the category,’ Samsung reportedly said.
The Note 9 is also a big phone – so if you’re a fan of smaller screens then you’ll probably want to stick with the iPhone 8.
It’s a formidable powerhouse that can handle anything you throw at it. It’s also beautiful to look at with the sleek, reflective design and the S Pen now works really well.
It is a phone that will easily last you through a two-year contract.