Consumer Reports recently took a close look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and after subjecting it to its usual testing procedures, the Korean OEM's stylus-enabled flagship became the highest rated handset ever to be reviewed by the organization. Although not perfect, the Galaxy Note 9 gave Consumer Reports enough reasons to place it at the top of the list, overtaking other Android devices from the OEM itself and its close competitors, as well as Apple's iOS-powered solutions. However, the organization also reminds that the list contains only products that are commercially available at the time of testing, which means that the Galaxy Note 9 did not compete with the upcoming iPhone XS series, so its position may still be threatened. But as the market stands at the time of this writing, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is seemingly the best flagship phone money can buy.
The nonprofit organization tested the Galaxy Note 9 in various categories including battery life, the quality of the camera setup, display, durability, and the stylus. Using its own battery life testing methods which involve a robotic finger designed to simulate different tasks like Internet browsing, GPS navigation, phone calls, and picture capturing, the unit tested by Consumer Reports managed to last for 29 hours, according to the official report, outperforming the vast majority of devices. Durability was also tested by subjecting the smartphone to a tumbling machine able to simulate 100 drops from a height of almost 1 meter (around 2.5 feet), and according to the report, the tested unit managed to survive the ordeal with only minor surface damage and its glass unscathed. Moving on to the camera, the report mentions that the Galaxy Note 9's dual sensors perform very well in terms of autofocus and bokeh effects, all the while delivering very sharp and detailed photos in daylight, but with some of the details being lost in slightly darker conditions. The review also touched on the new and improved S Pen stylus, mentioning features like the welcomed shutter button functionality for the camera, and the fact that the new stylus' remote features have been opened to third-party developers, which might lead to some interesting applications in the future.
So far, so good, but evidently the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is not a perfect device primarily because it's somewhat of a niche product given its large footprint. It's not for everyone, and consumers with smaller hands might find it too cumbersome. Other shortcomings noted by Consumer Reports include the smartphone's weight of 201 grams (around 7oz) and the $1,000 price tag attached to it. But when all is said and done, the Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung's best smartphone to date, capable of topping Consumer Reports' rankings possibly until next year when the Galaxy S10 will hit the shelves.