The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 builds upon the huge improvements made with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from the disastrous, exploding Note 7. The Note 9 features a large 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, a long-lasting 4,000mAh battery and an exciting Bluetooth S Pen which allows remote control of the camera.
- Innovative Bluetooth-connected S Pen
- Two excellent cameras
- Stunning high definition display
- Large 1TB storage option
- Similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Hefty price tag
- No HDR video recording
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: in more detail
Samsung's latest device in the Note series builds upon everything that was right about its superb predecessor to create a real challenger to the iPhone X - although the price is similarly high. Noteworthy additions include the new Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, which can be customised for remote controlled shortcuts. TechRadar called it 'a contender to unseat the Galaxy S9 Plus as our top smartphone recommendation', while Tech Advisor said 'the Galaxy Note 9 is looking to be one of the best phones of 2018 stuffed with every feature imaginable'.
The Note 9 is definitely an attractive phone. Fans of the Note 8 will spot that it's pretty similar in style, with the same Infinity Display and elegant curved edges.
The most keen-eyed may also detect that the Note 9's screen is a tenth of an inch larger than its predecessor - although this new release comes in at slightly shorter and wider than the Note 8. Plus it weighs a bit more: 201g v.s. 195g. Changes also include a relocated fingerprint reader, which is still on the back, but in the middle rather that off to one side - a seemingly minor change that marks a vast improvement as you won't now smudge the camera every time you go to unlock your device.
The monochrome metal frame comes in chic black, lavender or blue with an S Pen to suit the phone.
Samsung's brilliant Super AMOLED display consistently leads the market in terms of quality. With the Note 9, Samsung have, once more, improved upon an already fantastic product.
The edge-to-edge screen produces a record-breaking level of quality with the most colour-accurate display available, according to displaymate.com. Tech Advisor agreed, calling it 'still the best you can ask for on a phone'.
Performance and battery
The new 4,000mAh battery capacity is, undoubtedly, one of the centrepieces of the phone, with Mashable praising it as a 'stamina champ'. Samsung boasts that the Galaxy Note 9 can make it through the whole day on a single charge, while drained phones can be topped up with fast wireless charging.
The phone's storage is also a true highlight. The standard model comes with 128GB of internal storage. However, plump for the upgraded 512GB model and add a 512GB microSD card and you've got 1TB available - making mass photo deleting sessions a thing of the past!
The chipset of the Note 9 is - as one would expect - world-leading. The Exynos 9810 CPU (or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 for the US markets) is about 33% faster that the Note 8's CPU, and is paired with either 6GB or 8GB RAM depending on whether you pick up the 128GB or 512GB model.
Samsung has also included a water-carbon cooling system into the phone, which will help prevent overheating and deliver more consistent performance. An added gaming bonus includes first access to Fortnite on Android for all Samsung smartphones above the Galaxy S7.
The Note 9 brings a 12MP rear camera with dual aperture, which automatically adjusts between f-stops for a better photo in low and bright light scenes.
The phone's front-facing 8MP camera also comes with facial detection for the perfect selfie.
The camera app is laden with a number of great features including the new Flaw Detection and Scene Optimiser plus Super Slow-Mo, which records at 960 frames per second.
The Note 9 builds on the success of the rebranded Samsung Experience software featured in the Note 8. It will start with the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system, but as a flagship Samsung phone, it's reasonable to assume that it will be receive Android 9 Pie, the latest version of the OS, in the coming months.
The Note 9 also includes Samsung's Bixby personal assistant, which debuted on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 devices.
Another sweetener to the Note 9 is the Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, which brings a number of fun tricks to the phone. One of the most interesting features is the ability to create customisable shortcuts for the phone, which can help control the camera, music player or a PowerPoint presentation.
A number of reviewers including IGN have praised the S Pen for its ability to take selfies with just a click of a button. However, while TechRadar did say the function is a nice idea it added that 'the business-class Note 9 may not be the right audience for that'.
While the stylus does need to be charged, this is easily done by inserting it into the phone the natural place for it to rest when you aren't using it.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was released in the UK on 24 August 2018.