But when you really lean in to take a look is when you can really appreciate the engineering and precision that goes into creating such a powerful, beautiful computing device.
Like the pixels you can now see in this high-resolution screen.
You can really begin to see how those curved edges meet along the phone's slim spine.
The speaker grille looks matte black when you see it from afar. Up close, you can make out the cross-hatch pattern set into the phone's glass face.
Peering in reveals the metal contacts on either side of the USB-C port.
Although the Note 9 has boxier edges than the Galaxy S9, there's still plenty of curve here.
Look at the way the edge tapers into the side.
From this distance, you probably can't see any scratches the phone picked up.
This close up, it's plain how the abrasion cuts into the Note 9's Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass.
Here you have the volume rocker and Bixby button, which calls up Samsung's take on the virtual sidekick.
You can almost see the finish next to the button.
The Note 9 is so reflective, that lighting can change the way the color appears. In studio lighting, this dark blue phone appears purple.
The camera mount isn't perfectly flush with the phone.
There's a bumper, a ridge even, that rims the camera module as it rises from the backing.
Your Note 9's camera is watching you.
Here's what the front-facing camera looks like up close.
You'd never guess there was so much texture on a smooth glass backing.
Here's what the S Pen looks like when it first pops out of its holster.
It must be perfectly measured and machined to fit.
The color on the blue pen top glitters with purple undertones.
You can see how the gap around the S Pen button could catch dust, crumbs and other gunk.
The S Pen's plastic pen tip looks almost fuzzy. It has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The S Pen isn't perfectly round. You can see the planes that help keep it from rolling off a table or desk.
The S Pen's empty holster looks like a deep, dark pit.
The Note 9 has a second speaker (the four vertical pill-shaped holes you see), just like the Galaxy S9 phones. This helps make audio like speakerphone and music playback loud.
Another look into the top of the S Pen (left), second speaker grille (middle) and USB-C port.
Samsung is one of few phonemakers to keep the headphone jack. You can see the metal contacts inside.
The area to the right of the two camera lenses contains the LED flash and the heart rate monitor.
Here's what's really going on in there.
Can you see the yellow X inside the lens?
Viewed from the side, the heart rate monitor has quite a bit of circuitry stuffed into a teeny tiny space.
While the fingerprint sensor feels smooth to the touch, you can see that it's not entirely slick.
You eyes can't focus this closely on the logo printed on the Note 9's back.
I did not expect to see all those horizontal lines to show through the smooth glass on top.
Pop! The SIM card slot once you've pushed in the SIM card ejector tool.
This open slot could fit a microSD card, or a second SIM, in some markets.
This is what the belly of your SIM card really looks like.
The Note 9's seriously reflective.