Samsung has finally made the Galaxy Note 9 official, after many leaks and rumors surrounding the device. The Galaxy Note 9 will arguably be the biggest smartphone of the year – both in terms of size and the amount it will sell – and for good reason. There’s a lot going for the Galaxy Note 9, but it is not perfect, and that’s because the perfect smartphone does not exist, still. So we’ve broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of the Galaxy Note 9, and you’ll want to take a look before you pre-order or buy the Galaxy Note 9.
The Galaxy Note line used to be known for pushing the envelope in terms of design, specs and features. In recent years, it has moved closer to the Galaxy S lineup, and the line between the two has really been blurred, especially since the Galaxy S9 Plus is almost the same size as the Galaxy Note 9. But this year, the Galaxy Note 9 returned to what made the Galaxy Note popular in the first place. Samsung is packing 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage inside the Galaxy Note 9, which really makes it a spec powerhouse, especially with the Snapdragon 845 chipset inside. Not to mention the fact that it does have that 6.4-inch Quad HD+ display here. From a specs perspective, the Galaxy Note 9 has everything you could want, including that 4000mAh capacity battery.
Samsung has also updated the S Pen a bit, and given it Bluetooth. While that might seem silly, it actually provides some pretty interesting features for the Galaxy Note 9. With the S Pen having Bluetooth built-in, you are able to do things with the S Pen, like take pictures without touching your phone, or move between pictures in the gallery and much more. Essentially, the S Pen is a remote control for your smartphone. It’s a pretty interesting feature to have on the Galaxy Note 9, and will definitely be a popular feature for Galaxy Note 9 users.
With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung really upped the capacity of the battery. Bringing it from 3300mAh to 4000mAh capacity. And this was done without really making it all that thicker – in fact it’s the same size as the Galaxy Note 8, other than the thickness (8.6mm vs 8.8mm). That’s pretty impressive, especially since the S Pen does take up a pretty large amount of space in the Galaxy Note 9. But with 4000mAh capacity, the Galaxy Note 9 should last a full day, and possibly even longer. However, the Galaxy Note 9 does not need to recharge the S Pen since it’s Bluetooth-enabled, but that still shouldn’t use much juice from your smartphone.
First off, the price. While many more smartphones are coming in at the $1000 mark, and the Galaxy Note 9 is arguably the one that’s most worthy of that price, that’s still a lot to pay for a smartphone. But people are paying that much for one, considering the Galaxy Note 8 was that price last year, and so was the iPhone X. It would have been a nice gesture if Samsung had still made a 64GB model here and offered it around $850, giving those that want a Galaxy Note 9 a slightly cheaper option, without watering down the “premium” aspect of the Galaxy Note 9.
Even though the Galaxy Note 9 sports many of the latest high-end specs on its spec sheet, it is still sporting Quick Charge 2.0 for some reason. This means that the large-capacity battery inside the Galaxy Note 9 is going to take quite a while to charge, especially compared to something like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro which also has a 4000mAh capacity battery, but it has a faster quick charging standard. While the Snapdragon 845 does support Quick Charge 3.0 and 4.0 (even Quick Charge 4+), the Galaxy Note 9 will not support it, so you are stuck with the slower 2A charging speed here.
Samsung went “bold” with the Galaxy Note 9 colors this year, offering four colors – Metallic Copper, Midnight Black, Lavender Purple and Ocean Blue. But Samsung is only bringing two of these colors to the US. That’s the Lavender Purple and Ocean Blue colors, and the reasoning is the carriers. The wireless carriers don’t want to carry multiple colors and multiple storage variants, as that means more SKUs that need to be on-hand at every store within the US, which results in a whole lot of inventory for one smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 9 is also not running on Android 9 Pie. Now this isn’t a big surprise, but it does mean that the latest and greatest from Samsung is running on – what is now – an old version of Android. This is quite common and will continue to happen for the next month or so (especially with IFA later this month). But it also means that Galaxy Note 9 users will be waiting for quite a while for the update to Android 9 Pie. If it even comes this year, it’ll be around the holidays at the very earliest. It is unfortunate, but for Samsung users, it’s not that big of a deal, since most of the changes are already included in the Samsung Experience skin on Samsung smartphones.
The Galaxy Note 9 is a pretty impressive phone, so far. Obviously, many people haven’t spent a whole lot of time with the phone yet, so things might change. But on paper, the Galaxy Note 9 has just about everything you could want. Loads of storage, a high-capacity battery, and a great camera. Not to mention the Galaxy Note 9 has one of the best displays out there. The only real downside here is going to be the price, especially since carriers have broken the price of your phone out of your monthly bill. Despite that, Samsung is still going to sell a ton of Galaxy Note 9s over the next few months.