It's Wednesday, and, the successor to the Galaxy Note 9. The Note, a line aimed at power users, typically represents the best Samsung has to offer, but depending what Samsung trots out -- and how much it costs -- the Note 9 could also benefit from a boost of attention.
It's a strange year for the Note line. While Samsung is expected to show off a phone with a new and improved design, S Pen stylus and internal specs, the Note 10 is also, much of it coming from among Samsung's ranks. There are four Galaxy S10 phones, including the 5G variety, and the , whose screen problems Samsung said are now fixed, and which .
If the, and Samsung, carriers and retailers slash the Note 9 price enough, 2018's device could pick up additional sales, especially if potential customers who were on the fence decide they'd rather save a hundred bucks or two than invest in Samsung's next big thing.
We'll report on the specs Samsung plans to tantalize us with in its Note 10, but the Note 9 was an excellent device in its own right. Sure, we felt that Samsung was holding back some of the finer points that turn a phone from good to great or great to fantastic, but all in all, we'd happily use a Note 9 to do everything from navigate around (hello, less smudgy screen) to jot down memos in the conference room or on the go.
Follow along with Galaxy Note is the reason phone screens today are so big.. Until then, remind yourself that the
Update, Aug. 7, 2019: Below is CNET's Galaxy Note 9 review, originally published March 8, 2018, and last updated Aug 24. 2018.
I picked up the Galaxy Note 9, popped out the S Pen stylus and started to write on the black screen in tart lemon-colored digital ink. It hit me: This phone is more fun to use than your phone. When I'm using the Note 9, I feel more inspired to write, draw, take precise screenshots using the tool, snap selfies with the S Pen's remote shutter, and playfully annotate photos to send to friends.
But the Note 9 is no mere toy. It's also powerful as hell, with a 6.4-inch screen, 4,000-mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and either 128GB or a whopping 512GB (!!!) of onboard storage, plus a microSD card if you want more, more, more.
Yet the fizzing question at the center of it all, the one that's pounding away at your grey matter, is this: Are the power and fun of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9 worth $1,000 of your hard-earned cash? (That's £899 and AU$1,499 -- or $1,250, £1,099 and AU$1,799 for the 512GB version.) It's the same question Apple fans have been asking themselves since thefirst hit the $1,000 mark last year.
For Android fans who want the best, the answer is "yes."
The Galaxy Note 9's specs are top-notch. This is an everything phone, one of the absolute best you can buy with All The Things. It will carry you through the next two or three years with excellent photos, Android updates and all that jazz.
And while the price is eye-wateringly high compared to last year's Note 8 (unless you live in Australia, in which case it costs the same), promotions, preorder savings and future holiday deals can knock hundreds off the Note 9's cost, making it suddenly much more "affordable."
So, is there any reason to not get the Note? Well, yes. For starters, it lacks a certain "wow" factor. Apart from the tad higher battery capacity and double the storage, there's not all much different from the, or really from the before it.
Bonkers storage is good, but you could also buy a cheaper phone and scoop up external memory for much less than the cost of a new Note 9 -- there are fewer phones with this option, but theand S9 Plus have it. And while the Note 9's battery life will take you from morning to late night on a single charge, is it really worth the price of 300 cappuccinos? Can you find two hours each day to charge from 0 to 100 percent? And 15 minutes extra if you need an emergency top-up?
As for the Note 9's new, cool S Pen stylus -- Bluetooth turns it into a remote control, but it feels forced to use it in day-to-day life.
We didn't get a rumored in-screen fingerprint reader like what some other Android phones have, or a 3D front-facing camera like the iPhone X and Oppo Find X ($678 at Amazon). And the Note 9 can't latch on to insanely fast 5G data speeds whose networks will start bubbling up in 2019. This phone feels like Samsung's holding back for next year's .
Keep reading for the Note 9's new features, and how it compares to rival phones like the iPhone X. Here are the Galaxy Note 9 specs.
Note 9 highlights
- Battery life is strong in real-world testing. I'll continue to keep an eye on long-term drain.
- The S Pen stylus' new Bluetooth features work as advertised.
- As a natural note taker, I love being able to jot things down. I've made so many lists to pin to the lock screen.
- I tested in both blue and purple, and the Note 9's bold colors stand out. It also sells globally in black and metallic copper.
Note 9 low points
- You won't be able to write or draw to the screen edge without the S Pen falling off the curved sides.
- The fingerprint reader is too close to the camera array. Why hasn't Samsung figured out the optimal placement yet?
- The Note 9's new AI camera tool works more slowly than I'd like for identifying scenes and optimizing settings for the best shot.
- Bixby 2.0 is expanded, but the button on the Note 9's left side still only maps to Bixby, as it does with the
- If you write on the phone screen with the S Pen's signature color (yellow, purple or copper), any notes you save will save in that color "ink" on a white background, which can be hard to read.
Where and how to buy the Galaxy Note 9
You can preorder the Galaxy Note 9 now. The phone goes on sale generally on Aug. 24. Keep an eye out for trade-in deals, promotions and bundled gifts. These values can change region by region.
Here's everything you need to know about buying the Galaxy Note 9 in the US.