Samsung started developing the firmware for its upcoming Galaxy Note 9, SamMobile reported Thursday, claiming the South Korean tech giant is presently working on two Android software builds meant to be running on its next-generation phablet, with the pair being identified by version numbers N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5. The dual-firmware strategy indicates the Galaxy Note 9 will be launched in two main variants which will likely mimic the product release strategy of Samsung's other Android flagships introduced in recent years, wherein the model meant to be sold in the United States, Canada, and China will sport a Snapdragon chip, whereas the international version of the device will have an Exynos-branded silicon.
In practice, the Galaxy Note 9 will likely use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 and Samsung's own Exynos 9810 which were already implemented into the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The firmware development for the Galaxy Note 9 started two weeks before Samsung initiated the same process for the Galaxy Note 8 last year which may impact the phablet's release schedule and see it debut in early August, though there are no guarantees for such a turn of events. The Galaxy Note 8 was officially announced on August 23, 2017. Not much is known about the upcoming device, with recent reports only indicating it will retain a dual-camera setup, 6GB of RAM, and Android 8.0 Oreo-based Samsung Experience 9.0 of the Galaxy S9 Plus.
Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh recently suggested the Galaxy Note 9 may debut with Bixby 2.0, a significantly revised edition of the company's artificial intelligence assistant meant to introduce improvements across the board. The handset is unlikely to sport an in-screen fingerprint reader and will most likely debut with another rear-mounted one, whereas its overall aesthetic should be similar to that of the Galaxy Note 8, according to previous reports and widespread predictions. A new version of the S Pen should also be part of the package, together with a slightly curved 18.5:9 Super AMOLED panel advertised as yet another "Infinity Display." The Galaxy Note 9 is likely to be the final ultra-premium product based on Samsung's initial bezel-less design philosophy, with both the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 lineups being expected to debut radical changes next year. The phablet is also expected to be Samsung's last Android flagship without 5G capabilities.