Well Samsung did a great job rejuvenating the Galaxy Note series in 2017 with the amazing Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and since then, the series had seen a seen the good sides of fans especially with the massive features encompassed within the flat 6.4 Inch device.
After Samsung was brave enough to create a new line of big form devices back in2011 and that would be using a Stylus Pen, then you should know that’s a genius move in the first place and that paid off after all. Though there is the flagship Samsung Galaxy S which had garnered a big audience especially last year when the S8 was unveiled with it’s sleek design and nice functionalities.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is like a Can-Do-It-All type of smartphone that you put in your bag to compliment your creativity and smart days.
When I first saw the new Galaxy Note device, I couldn’t really differentiate any difference between it and the older version because they were very similar in their looks and feel.
But a closer look while convincing myself that “Damn! this is supposed to be a new device” made me find some mini differences between the two devices.
The Aluminium band around the sides are sort of more prominent and quite smaller than the previous device while bezels are getting slimmer and YIKE! the camera doesn’t need to rival with the fingerprint scanner anymore because the dual camera now have a bigger room to itself while the scanner is being relocated to their base.
Though that might not be a big change but that was a big complaint for many users over the last year’s release whereby you accidentally touch the camera covering thinking you’re touching the fingerprint scanner.
Samsung had always excelled in good quality displays where colors are bright and angle viewing are great. So the massive display conveniently displays high resolution graphics and videos without a stutter. It is one great feature I’ve always enjoyed on Samsung devices.
The downside to the massive screen is that your single hand might be too small to touch extreme opposite sides of the screen while operating the device. Although most male with big hands might not have this difficulty but I usually have to use my other hand to slide down the notification area because the first finger i’m using the hold the device can’t possibly reach the top with ease. Using the keyboard isn’t a bad move but for fast typing, you need both hands to be able to do better.
The phone shipped with a different processing unit based on market where the device is being targeted. For example, the European version of the device features Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 Chip while those shipped to the North American market has Snapdragon 845 Processor which is also featured in the OnePlus 6 and many other big smartphones being marketed this year and the previous.
Believe me or not, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the best Android smartphone based on performances as far as the market share is concerned for a high-end phablet.
Even after the rigorous usage of the device, it’s endurance capability made it work well without overheating and that’s a great news which nearly stop the product line back in 2016 when the then Samsung Galaxy Note 7 were exploding.
And don’t forget the device can be used as a desktop using the Samsung DeX System whicj connects the device to a monitor via a standard USB-C to HDMI cable. Doing so showed a brilliant result.
Another beautiful thing i noticed was the battery of the smartphone which was great enough for it’s huge pile of features (Which you can’t just get bored of)
Running a 4,000mAh capacity battery, the performance is a great one and believe me, my mini trip with the device was very smooth and it did accompanied me while being heavily used. For example, inside the broad day lighting I had to set the screen resolution to it’s maximum which was a QHD+ and despite this, the batter lasted well…(More on that later on)
Then the Stylus, Bixby and the general Android performances of the phone was a really great one. Although I still think a dedicated button specially for Bixby might not be a bad idea but well, it still looked old-school. But the Stylus pen is very awesome and you can use it to do variety of things.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a big 6.4 QHD+ display
THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 9 EXPERIENCE
I started my tour de Samung Galaxy note 9 at around 9 am in the morning in Lawrence Ave, Chicago. All was set. I got my mini phone tripod, lunchbox, charger cable, Bluetooth and wired headsets along with other apparels to set out on the journey. Well, it wasn’t a bad planning though it was impromptu.
I got the device already charged to 100% and then i turned it on around that same time. While the booting time for a new device that barely have any third party application on it could load that fast, I knew the Snapdragon 845 was a real wonder. Don’t mind the fact that device has 6 GB RAM (There are 8GB RAM variants).
While the default screen was bright, sharp with lots of applications on the homescreen, I knew I was about embarking on some really nice trip. The first thing I did was plugging in my wired headset and then got the internet on while I’ve got couple of my favorite recreational songs on the device.
Smooth internet and smooth music. I then walked down the avenue until i got to the main road where I decided to get a taxi. Though my walking didn’t take too much time, I still got to my destination, (A Cafe) at around 9:48am.
While I was right there sipping my hot coffee, I was consistently surfing the internet reading the latest news on Washington Post and still listening to music. About half an hour, I had decided to switch my actions to getting forecasts about the day. I told Bixby and the response was quick.
Although my experience with Alexa still felt like a real human to human communication, Bixby is at least getting more matured everyday. I also did some booking at the nearest restaurant it could find me (That wasnn’t totally cool) but Bixby sounded friendly.
Surfing the internet and then downloading couple of games to ease myself of boredom made me feel well. I also wrote some sticky memos using the Stylus which I pinned to the top of the screen so I could get reminded to go back to office at 12PM..
But there wasn’t much of battery draining here because the time of use was just 2 hours elapsed. Although I played lots of games and then began taking pictures of random people in the hall. Someone even thought I was showing off my new Galaxy Note 8 but had to look at the back to believe it was a newer version.
Fast forward to 6PM, After I have been writing my articles on the the device and also posting to my social media accounts especially Twitter, Battery was 40% by now and don’t forget I was using the device in High Resolution display. (Tadd Leung’s own was 43% by that time because he was using low resolution display).
By 10PM, I had to connect the phone back to the charging ports because the battery was just 10% (Tad Leung’s version was 2%) And that is where personal usage comes in. Even though I’m not naturally a heavy phone user, I prefer doing my things on a tablet but if you’re a heavy user, the battery might not last that long before you’ll need to recharge it.
Better camera, nice resolution displays, smooth processing for games and applications, nice and fast internet connection and also great Stylus and young Bixby all made the device great and the general experience was really great. And that takes me to the…
There is a newer placement of the Fingerprint Scanner on the rear side of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The designs of the smartphone isn’t touched that much as far as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is concerned. Just like the Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, the visible difference can be seen at the back of the devices.
Although there is now a thinner bezel and slimmer frame, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is still actually beautiful.
While the device is segmented into two varieties, the 128GB version with a 6GB RAM being sold at $1000 and then the 512GB Version on that comes with a bigger 8GB RAM is being sold for a whooping $1200. While that price might appear too much, Apple’s devices will be lit more pricey if they do that with their next flagship.
But the good news with the large memory space is that you can do almost anything on your phone as if it was a pocket PC.
While putting it on the DeX for Android Desktop, it worked way smoothly even better than most laptops.
Apart from this, the device also feature an amazing design from its sleek thin frames and then the new finger print scanner.
This is all amazing though not very. But at least Samsung did just what we’d expect.
While that is great enough, the sides of the device houses the power, volume and Bixby dedicated buttons which are well intact even though I still wouldn’t support the fact that a dedicated key was made for Bixby.
The front of the device has the nearly bezel less design with the screen curving from edge to edge. Then the curved corners makes display more appealing especially when you’re surfing through the web. It makes mobile pages more likeable.
At the top of the device are the Camera, the Ambient sensor and the Face scanner sensor, the speaker and then LED.
And the bottom of the front screen is just smooth making holding the device with a single hand more interesting eventhough you might have problems reaching the screen’s notification area without having to move your hand.
Compared to the iPhone X, the designs are just sleek and I get Samsung will never join the Top-notch design bandwagon that major Android phone makers are currently on. The Galaxy smartphone lines are unique in their respects and Samsung is keeping it like that.
There is Headphone jack and memory card slot so you can totally do with the device anything you want.
The design makes it waterproof and dust proof. So you can still go underneath the water to take some quick selfies while you can. It’s Corning Gorilla Glass covering makes the screen strong enough against key scratches while you might place it in your bag or getting ripped apart at the slightest touch on the ground.
The device is also very lightweight and so putting it in your pocket won’t really draw your trouser to one side.
You’ll just be fine living with the Galaxy note and it’s beautiful enough to be recognized as a premium device.
There are two 12 megapixel enabled camera lenses with each perfecting every shots taken with the device
It’s no news that Samsung had adopted dual cameras on their high end devices. The same with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 where each of the camera are 12-Megapixel where one of the camera features wide-angle lens with dual aperture and the other has a 2X telephoto camera lens.
To make everything more interesting, the device features an AI camera functionality which help to auto optimize scenes for a better photo shots. For example, it’s able to recognize objects like foods and plants which will then help create some saturation to add coloring that fits right well into the scene where it’s being taken though it can be overdone (that happened when i took the photo of my coffee cup).
Although the AI is a really nice assistance especially when it comes to correcting shaky hands during shots or auto correcting picture shots.
But aside the over/under – Performing AI camera, the camera is great. It can also record a 4K resolution video which you can put on your Youtube channel (But be mindful of large spaces).
The 8 MegaPixel front camera was great for selfie and Snapchat shots. Even in low light, I still appeared great enough without having to apply any external filter or use photoshop to enhance the picture in any way.
Samsung’s HD display combined with their powerful camera is a good buy and that’s the truth.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 4000mAh capacity battery
Don’t forget that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ships with a 4000mAh battery which means you get a lot of power supplies to do everything you want to. Although there are some shortcomings here, none is obvious as far as I am concerned.
The New Galaxy Note 9’s battery is such a good thing from Samsung. considering the fact that the device has way lots of features and the massive screen to display those high quality pictures and videos, then a 4000mAh batter was a necessity.
Now unless you’re so much into your Note device, it can still successfully be used for at least 25 hours in a day straight on.
Although the way I used the device during my mini interaction with it, I so heavily used it to the point that if i had done the same to an iPhone 8, the battery would have been drained out way longer than that.
Although the new Note 9’s battery might seems to be better than the previous Note 8, the difference as I’ve said earlier isn’t very significant…at least from my own point of view. It is just better.
And another disappointing thing about the Galaxy Note 9’s battery is that there seems to be no power saving AI BOT behind the scene that is auto regulating power usage based on the way way the device is being used by its owner which is part of things I’d say should’ve been included with Bixby.
Streaming and downloading large files from the internet while playing some big games (I Love PES 2018 so much) all worked well.
I also did recorded some videos then took pictures while the flash was on. Also do note that the device’s display which is QHD+ is a real power drainer but well, the result still wasn’t awful as a matter of fact.
And while majority of the Galaxy Note 9 users might be extreme users (business or entrepreneurs) who might want some companions anywhere they are (to jot contents, take great event pictures, or just some random tasks) then majority of those people will nearly have their device plugged sometimes (once or twice daily) to get the maximum result needed from the device which from my point of view isn’t a bad move from Samsung.
THE STYLUS PEN
The Bluetooth-enabled S Pen is a very great addition to the device. And while it’s a great addition to unleash your creativity, You can be rest assured that this mini device tucked right below the device do way lot for you than you might think.
For example, taking sketches looks like drawing in a paper because it offers you all the features needed to do that. You can also write with this like a real pen.
The S Pen uses a supercapacitor for it’s operation which can function away from the main device for about 30 minutes. And while the S Pen gets tucked back into the device, it starts getting charged again and is full within 40 seconds.
Other than the usual scribbling on screen, you can now press the button to trigger actions on your phone, such as taking a picture in the camera app, pausing music or presenting the next slide in PowerPoint. Hold down the button and you can launch an app too.
I didn’t find it overly useful, but I know that the feature has been on the wish lists of Note users for some time.
Bixby isn’t very better yet despite the call for improvement by Samsung Galaxy fans last year
Last year, we talked about the BixBy being too young to be called a production application (Calling it BixBy BETA would have been better) But well, Samsung’s Bixby is at it again this year. It’s not as great as it’s supposed to be. I wouldn’t blame Samsung about this because they seems not to be great at making AI software that much so it’s not a shame.
But comparing Bixby with Alexa or Google or Siri, nope. Because those AI Bots are far more refined and better. A better example is the new Google Duplex that mimics a real human accent and very conversational. Alexa speaks back at you as though you’re talking with someone right in front of you (Though sounds like a robot)
Well, Bixby is quite new and still young. So it will take time to adjust to become a true human friend. But this are what I noted down in the Bixby.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 9 PRICE
EXPENSIVE! Yeah an d the so-called high end smartphones are getting on the bandwagon right now. Although I’d like to say the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s price for a thousand dollar might not be an overprice, but well that could be it in some sense.
But anyway, the device costs a whooping £899 for 128GB of storage or £1,099 with 512GB of storage (Apple’s smartphones will be much more expensive for those large storage) Although the bigger the memory, the more you’re likely to pay.
In comparion, the 6.2in Galaxy S9+ costs £869 with 128GB of storage, 6.1in Huawei P20 Pro costs £799 with 128GB, the 6in Huawei Mate 10 Prowith 128GB costs £699, the 6in Google Pixel 2 XL with 64GB costs £699, the 6.3in OnePlus 6 with 64GB costs £469, the 5.8in Honor 10 with 128GB costs £369, and the 5.8in iPhone X with 64GB costs £999.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is waterproof
Like I’ve said earlier on, the device is an all in all device which has lots of features. It is able to go out with you and accompany you on many occasions.
While it’s beautiful large screen might be a curse to the device in some case, you should know that is the compromise you’d reach if you really want to own one of the device. The device not withstanding is still great in one hand if you have big hands.
Aside that, Bixby isn’t an issue unless you really want to rely on some AI to dictate for you. Basically, there is still Google Assistant within every Android devices and so that is a great thing.
Camera is great as well as the video resolution making it seems like you’re using a real digital camera. The stylus pen can be of real assistant to you in this respect especially when you’re thinking about distances while trying to take pictures from afar (Self timers can be a good option)
The device’s battery is great and lasts long enough no matter how heavy user you might think you are. While it doesn’t overheat thanks to the casing (and Samsung learning from the past)there isn’t going to be any much issue as far as that is concerned.
It still runs on Android Oreo although there is every possibility an upgrade to the newer Android P to be a possibility and that will be a really great thing.
As for the differences between the device and the previous Samsung Galaxy Note 8, I would say that isn’t much any difference. Even from the look and feel, they both look alike and I shouldn’t have to be showing the device’s back cover before people should know that I am holding an upgraded device but well, Let’s hope there is something newer next year. But still, it’s got all the features you need as a true gadget lover