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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is here! Get the specs, price, sale date and more in real time

Samsung's biggest phone for 2018 is launching right now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Check out photos, videos and first impressions at CNET's Galaxy Note 9 hands-on first take.

After months of Galaxy Note 9 rumors, video teases and leaked specs, Samsung's latest phone has finally emerged from the shadows and into the light.

Samsung's event is going on now. Here's what we know so far:

  • It starts at $1,000 for the 128GB version.
  • Samsung touts an "all-day battery," the largest ever on a Note.
  • Starts at a minimum of 128GB storage, and comes in a 512GB version.
  • Up to 1TB with expandable memory cards.
  • It's the most powerful phone Samsung has ever made, with a faster 10nm processor
  • It has a 6.4-inch screen, the largest it's ever produced.
  • The fingerprint scanner is now in the middle of the back behind the device, further from the camera lens.
  • The S-Pen comes in different colors, including yellow, purple and brown.
  • Along with other Galaxy phones, thye Note 9 will get exclusive first access to the Fortnite app.
  • There's a new water carbon cooling system to help performance during games.
  • It has a dual-aperture camera like the S9 with added "intelligence" in software.
  • You'll receive automatic notifications for blurry areas and other flaws.
  • Can optimize shots by recognizing subjects and improving color and other characteristics automatically.

The Galaxy Note 9 launch is a big deal for Samsung, the world's largest phonemaker. With its trademark stylus and large screen, the Note represents the Korean company's most powerful, innovative phone for the year, and its last high-end model until next March's anticipated Galaxy S10. The Note 9 represents Samsung's best chance at taking on Apple's 2018 iPhones, expected in September, and Google's next Pixel phones, expected in October. 

Worldwide, the Note 9 could help Samsung stave off Huawei's relentless approach, after the Chinese company overthrew Apple to become the world's second-largest phonemaker. Huawei is nipping at Samsung's heels.

Samsung must also outrun the spectre of 2016's Galaxy Note 7, units of which disastrously caught fire as a result of multiple flaws in the battery design. Samsung was forced to recall both the first batch of Galaxy Note 7s, as well as a replacement run when those devices' batteries overheated and caught fire, and finally, stop making the Note 7 altogether.

Since then, Samsung has instituted tighter testing on all its phone batteries, including the Galaxy Note 9, though phone fans have not forgotten the Note 7 debacle.