Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is officially here. After a host of leaks that outed the price and specifications of the newest member of the Galaxy Note family, the phone was unveiled at a gala launch event in Brooklyn, New York. The highlights of the smartphone are an upgraded S Pen with Bluetooth support, a bigger battery, and the biggest display yet in the Note series. Additionally, the Galaxy Note 9 supports a total of 1TB internal storage, with the top-end model that comes with 512GB of built-in storage and also supports microSD cards of up to the same capacity. As you would expect, you get other flagship-grade specifications like up to 8GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC in the US and other markets, while the phone will ship with Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chipset in India. While there's no official word yet on the India launch date of the Galaxy Note 9, given the past trends, we expect Samsung India to send invitations for the launch event pretty soon.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be available in Midnight Black, Metallic Copper, Ocean Blue, and Lavender Purple colours, though the exact availability of colours may vary by region. Interestingly, the Ocean Blue model will come with a yellow-coloured S Pen, while with others the colour of the stylus will match that of the phone. The smartphone will be available in single-SIM and dual-SIM (hybrid) configurations, depending upon the markets, with India likely to receive the latter.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price starts at $999 (roughly Rs. 68,700) in the US for the variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage, with the model with 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage priced at $1,250 (roughly Rs. 85,900). Pre-orders in the US will begin on Friday, August 10, with the phone slated to become available on August 24. At the time of filing this report, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price in India had not been revealed.
As rumoured, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 packs a Quad HD+ (1440x2960 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 516 pixels per inch. At 6.4 inches, it's the biggest display we've seen in a Galaxy Note series smartphone till date. The Galaxy Note 9 is marginally wider, thicker - and thanks to a larger 4,000mAh battery - heavier than its predecessor. At over 200g, it will be interesting to see how this impacts long-term usage, as we found weight to be a bit of a concern with the Galaxy Note 8 itself.
The all-new S Pen stylus now packs a Bluetooth Low Energy module, which enables use cases we haven't seen before. Apart from the functions we've seen the S Pen perform in earlier Galaxy Note models, you can now use the stylus as a remote to control presentations as well as apps like Gallery and YouTube. Perhaps most interestingly, you can now use the S Pen to click pictures as well, pressing the button once to trigger the shutter, and pressing it twice to switch between the front and rear cameras. The Bluetooth functionality requires the S Pen to be charged, which happens automatically when you secure it inside the smartphone. Should you run out of charge, Samsung says, just 40 seconds of charging lets it be used for 30 minutes, or for 200 button clicks.
As we mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz) in markets like the US, while countries like India will receive the Exynos 9810 (2.7GHz + 1.7GHz) variant. Samsung has announced two variants of the smartphone - one with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of storage, and the other with 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB of storage. The built-in storage can be topped with microSD cards up to 512GB capacity.
The Galaxy Note 9 packs a dual camera setup at the rear with dual optical image stabilisation. The wide-angle super speed dual pixel 12-megapixel (f/1.5-f/2.4) autofocus sensor is paired with a telephoto 12-megapixel (f/2.4) autofocus sensor with 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel (f/1.7) autofocus sensor.
Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Gigabit LTE (Cat. 18) with support for speeds up to 1.2Gbps. The IP68-rated Galaxy Note 9 supports wireless charging, packs AKG Harman speakers, and runs Android 8.1 Oreo.
DeX is now built into the Galaxy Note 9, which means you can get a desktop-like experience with your smartphone by just plugging in a monitor via a Type-C to HDMI adapter.
Disclosure: Samsung sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the launch event in New York.
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