Normally when we do roundups like this ahead of a new smartphone launch, we include something along the lines of “everything we think we know” in the title. In the case of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, however, we know practically everything there is to know… to a certainty. It would take 10 hands to count all of the times information has leaked from reliable sources with great track records. On top of that, Samsung itself has accidentally leaked a ton of information about the upcoming Galaxy Note 9. In fact, the company even went as far as to mistakenly publish the Note 9’s introduction video on YouTube. In doing so, Samsung confirmed just about all of the leaks we’ve seen so far.
So no, this article is not a roundup of everything we think we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It’s a roundup of everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
First and foremost let’s discuss the one important detail we don’t know, and that’s the new flagship phablet’s price in the United States. We’ve seen a ton of pricing leaks for other markets, but nothing specifically for the US. Thanks to a leak from just yesterday, however, we can say with quite a bit of confidence that we have a good idea of how much the phone will cost in the US. Last year, the Galaxy Note 8 launched at £869 in the UK and $950 in the US. This year, we now know that the model Note 9 with 128GB of storage will cost £899 in the UK when it’s released later this month. With that in mind, we can expect the Galaxy Note 9 with 128GB to cost just under $1,000 if it’s released here in the US, though Samsung might decide to only offer the 64GB model and the high-end 512GB model here. How much will the 512GB version cost? Well, it’s going to cost a whopping £1,099 in the UK, so let’s not even go there.
Now, let’s talk about what we do know.
Like Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ from earlier this year, the Galaxy Note 9 will essentially be an “S” upgrade. Remember how Apple used to release brand new iPhone models every other year, and in between we would get “S” models with the same design and upgraded specs? Yup, the Galaxy Note 9 is basically a Galaxy Note 8s. Here’s a look at the design:
Image Source: Roland Quandt, Twitter
As you can plainly see, the Galaxy Note 9 looks almost exactly like the Galaxy Note 8. We showed the back of the phone here because the two models are practically indistinguishable from the front. On the back, at least you can see that the fingerprint sensor has been moved from next to the camera on the Note 8 to beneath the camera on the Note 9.
Where specs are concerned, we’re basically looking at a Galaxy S9+ in a slightly different housing that’s still IP68 dust and water-resistant. The Galaxy Note 9 will feature a beautiful 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2960 resolution. The version for the US and China will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset while the rest of the world gets Samsung’s Exynos 9810 processor. Leaked benchmarks suggest that Samsung has made additional optimizations since it released the Galaxy S9, and the Note 9 is actually a bit more powerful despite having the same chips and the same 6GB of RAM.
Dual 12-megapixel cameras will be found on the back of the Galaxy Note 9, just like the S9+. Well-known leaker Ice Universe says that Samsung has made software upgrades that will further improve image quality on the Note 9 compared to the S9+. Around front, the Note 9 will also have the same 8-megapixel selfie camera we saw on the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
Apart from the new color options — Black, Silver, Lilac Purple, Brown, and Coral Blue, though it’s unclear which colors will be available in the US — there are two main areas where the Galaxy Note 9 is actually a big upgrade from the Note 8. The first isn’t exactly sexy, but it is a huge deal: the Galaxy Note 9 will have a massive 4,000 mAh battery. That’s right — despite being about the same overall size and thickness of the Galaxy Note 8, which has a 3,300 mAh battery, the Note 9 gets an extra 700 mAh. Coupled with more efficient chips, the Galaxy Note 9 should handily outlast last year’s Note flagship.
The other big upgrade on the Galaxy Note 9 is the new S Pen. 2018 marks the first year that Samsung’s S Pen stylus will have built-in Bluetooth, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Here are just a few of the capabilities that xda-developers found hidden in the firmware from Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 tablet that was just launched:
- Control music with the S Pen. This will probably allow you to control music like you can with earbuds by pressing the play/pause button. The S Pen button will probably let you play and pause music while also allowing you to skip music tracks.
- Use the S Pen as a remote camera shutter. This could be useful in situations where you want to take a picture of yourself and prop up your phone.
- You will be able to remotely unlock your phone if the S Pen was removed from the phone and then the phone locks.
- You will be able to press the S Pen button to do more in a range of apps. We don’t know about what other integrations with apps the S Pen will have, though, as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 hasn’t launched.
- Press and hold the Pen button to open any app or S Pen feature.
- Set up single and double press Pen actions.
Bluetooth connectivity obviously means that the Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen has a battery, so what will battery life be like? Don’t worry, a leak from a source with a proven track record revealed all the little secret details surrounding the Galaxy Note 9, so we now know that docking the S Pen stylus for just 40 seconds will charge it enough for 30 minutes of use. Ahh, the beauty of Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
Beyond that, you can expect all the same bells and whistles we’ve seen on the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9 to be present and accounted for on the new Galaxy Note 9. That of course includes things like an iris scanner, Samsung DeX support (though you won’t need a dock anymore), fast battery charging, Bixby, Samsung Knox security features, and so on.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 will be officially announced on Thursday, August 9th, during an Unpacked press conference in New York City. Preorders are expected to open soon after the event, and the Note 9 will be released on Friday, August 24th.