2018 is clearly the year where the $1000 flagship phone became the norm, but unlike other phones in this price range, Samsung isn’t forcing users to compromise on one component or another. Instead they’re offering what’s easily the most full-featured, well-rounded design of any smartphone, even if you have to pay a significant premium to get it. What in the world is so expensive? Samsung is offering the Galaxy Note 9 in two main models: one version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for £899/$999/€999, and an upgraded model with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for £1099/$1250/€1250. The leap in storage amounts between each model is pretty insane by most accounts, and the likelihood that even power users will ever fill this phone up is pretty small.
The S Pen doesn’t appear much different from previous years, looking and feeling essentially identical to previous models, but it’s inside where Samsung has made some very important changes. While all previous S Pen models have been fully passive devices, requiring no power at all to work their magic, this year’s S Pen features a Bluetooth radio inside, as well as a supercapacitor to power it. The Bluetooth features are all extra though, as the base writing functionality is still the same fantastic performance we’ve seen from the S Pen for 6 years now, and this writing functionality requires no extra power at all. Rather the Bluetooth functionality in the phone is used completely for remote control features, and a handful of apps are able to utilize this at launch too.
Samsung has thankfully designed the S Pen’s power source in an incredibly intelligent way, as that supercapacitor inside only takes 40 seconds to charge and is done so while resting inside the body of the Note, rather than plugged in some awkward way or having to change the batteries out. It’s rated to last about 30 minutes or 200 clicks per charge, whichever comes first, and while that doesn’t sound like a long time, the likelihood that you’re holding the S-Pen for 30 minutes at a time and are still clicking the button is probably pretty low. Check out everything else that’s new, and see if the Galaxy Note 9 is truly worth the price Samsung is asking in our video below. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to see everything when it’s added!