Samsung started distributing the first-ever software update for the Galaxy Note 9, having done so a week before the smartphone is scheduled for its global release. The new firmware has so far only been sighted on the international variants of the Android phablet, identified by the version number N960FXXU1ARH5. The main novelty that's now hitting review units around the world and should be available on retail devices from day one is a more granular control scheme regulating the super slow-motion functionality of the Galaxy Note 9.
Following the update, Galaxy Note 9 users can choose between shooting 0.2- and 0.4-second videos at 960 frames per second in manual mode, whereas the original software only supported 0.4-second slow-motion videos at 480fps. The same limitation still applies to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, though at least the latter device should eventually be updated with the same functionality given how its imaging setup and the rest of relevant hardware internals are virtually identical to those found inside the Galaxy Note 9. The over-the-air package doesn't ship with a new security patch but that's because the Galaxy Note 9 already runs the August Android Security update out of the box.
When used in the Auto mode, the super-slow motion feature of Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 is still entirely dependent on the motion-sensing capabilities of the device, meaning you won't be able to decide exactly when the smartphone will start capturing 960fps footage, though it's possible to have numerous such slo-mo segments within one clip. The super slow-motion clips recorded by the Galaxy Note 9 are also capped at a 720p resolution, so they are primarily useful in the context of social media posts and not much else, though Samsung is likely to continue improving the technology with its future Android flagships. The Galaxy Note 9 can currently be pre-ordered in most parts of the world and will start retailing on Friday, August 24, starting at roughly $999.