We go hands-on with Samsung’s most powerful smartphone ever, the Galaxy Note 9!
The Samsung Note has always been a trendsetter for the industry: it was one of the first big screen phones, one of the first phones with a stylus and made dual cameras popular.
Now, the Galaxy Note 9 has an even smarter camera and some of the most powerful specs ever seen on a smartphone.
Samsung unveiled their best smartphone ever in front of a crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, just outside New York City.
The Note 9 has nearly every feature you could want – a giant 6.4-inch screen, dual cameras, wireless charging, water resistance and even the headphone jack is still there.
Thankfully, Samsung came to their senses and put the fingerprint reader in a better position, right under the dual cameras. It’s way easier to reach on this device versus last year’s Note 8.
The spec that has many drooling – the Note 9 comes with 128 gigabytes of storage standard – that’s double last year’s model and enough to hold over 20,000 pictures. Another version of the phone has a whopping 512 gigabytes of storage built in. There’s even a memory slot for more, so if you add (an upcoming) 512 GB microSD card, you would have 1 TERABYTE of storage in your pocket.
Cameras on the Note 9 are similar to the S9+ but with smarter algorithms that detect what you’re taking a picture of. The camera can detect 20 different scenes – from food to flowers – and adjust the settings for the best shot.
Another feature called flaw detection notifies you right after you take a picture if something went wrong like someone blinked or the shot’s blurry.
The S-Pen comes in a fun color to complement your phone, and when you write on the screen in screen off memo mode, it will also write in that same fun color. It’s a fun little addition.
The S-Pen is now equipped with Bluetooth so it can be used as a remote control. This means you can snap a photo up to 30 feet away from your phone. The battery inside the S-Pen lasts 30 minutes, but the good news is that it only takes 40 seconds to recharge it to 100 percent. You do that by sticking the stylus back into the phone.
Note 9 has a huge battery on board – 4,000 mAh to be exact – bigger than last year’s Note 8 and larger than many popular smartphone models. Samsung says they did multiple safety checks and even had the third party organization UL verify the battery.
Note 9 will come in two colors at U.S. launch: Lavender Purple and Ocean Blue. The 128 GB model will cost $1000, while the 512 GB model is $1250. The device will be in stores August 24.
NOW LISTEN: Here's the episode of my podcast where I talk about first impressions of the Note 9.
Here are some of the first photos I've taken with the Note 9. Overall, it does a great job of capturing shots with a lot of detail. Selfie camera still needs some improvement as it often takes a few tries to get a great shot. If I had to rank the best smartphone cameras right now it would be Pixel 2, Note 9 and then iPhone X (which is only in third due to the fact that it struggles in low light situations).