Samsung has presented in New York the new Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, the latest in its premium phablet series. The new phone offers a similar design to its predecessor the Note 8 from last year and the specifications of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S9+ released earlier this year, with increased memory and battery and a new S Pen stylus with Bluetooth.
The Note 9 will be available in shops from 24 August, in a choice of 6 GB RAM and 128 storage for USD 1,000/EUR 999 or 8 GB RAM and 512 GB storage for USD 1,250/EUR 1,249. The internal storage can be doubled to up to 1 TB with a microSD card.
The Note 9 comes with a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with QHD+ resolution (1,440×2,960). With slightly smaller bezels than the Note 8, the screen covers more of the display without increasing the overall size of the phone. Samsung has enhanced the signature S Pen stylus in the Note series with Bluetooth, so it can now be used to activate the camera, in presentations or to control music or video playing on the device.
The camera on the Note 9 has changed little from last year’s model. It comes with a dual 12-megapixel lens on the back, with OIS and support for 2x optical zoom, and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. The same as the S9, it offers artificial intelligence features such as scene optimizer to enhance the photo based on the subject, as well as flaw detection alerts and advanced noise reduction.
The battery is significantly larger than the Note 8, at 4,000 mAh versus 3,300, in order to support the large screen and increased processing power. The same as the S9 and S9+, the European version of the Note 9 runs Samsung’s Exynos 9 processor built on 10-nm technology, while in other markets the company uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845.
Other features of the Note 9 include wireless charging, the Bixby digital assistant, IP68 dust and water resistance, and facial, iris and fingerprint recognition. The Note 9 will come with Android 8.1 installed, and the standard version is offered in blue, black or purple, and the larger model only in black. Samsung also announced a new tie-up with Spotify to make it easier to access the streaming music services from the Note 9.
Pre-order starts on 10 August, and Samsung is offering an extra incentive to order early with EUR 100 additional credit on any trade-in, in addition to the old phone’s value. The trade-in of an old Galaxy Note results in EUR 200 credit towards a new model.
In the US, Verizon and AT&T announced a buy-one-get-one-free offer on the Note 9. New customers will receive bill credits over the life of the contract to cover the cost of a second Note 9, or a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+. T-Mobile US and Sprint are offering 50 per cent off the Note 9 for customers who pre-order and trade in a qualifying device, and US Cellular is offering USD 150 off, credited to the customer’s bill.
Samsung also previewed at its event a new smart speaker called the Galaxy Home. This is expected to run the Bixby digital assistant and allow users to control other Samsung devices, such as the Note 9. The company said more details on the speaker would be announced at a developers conference in November.