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Finally, the Samsung Note 9 is released and I can’t deny the fact that I love every bit of the device. Over the course of years, Note phones have evolved, increasing the productivity level of the S-Pen but the pricing also increased with it. Note series has become the most premium smartphone series that Samsung offers. Let’s take a closer look at what Galaxy Note 9 has to offer.

What’s Best

Well, Galaxy Note 9 is one of the major phones which is released this year. The device itself looks phenomenal. With Glass and Metal build, Note 9 can turn heads anytime anywhere. There is a huge OLED display which is easily one of the best display in any smartphone right now. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 also comes with a much heavier battery than its predecessor. The storage options are massive along with SD card support. It also comes has superior cameras, now with AI as an internal part of it. At last, Galaxy Note 9 comes with a much required 3.5 mm audio jack.

What’s not so Good

Galaxy Note 9 comes with every single feature that a user desires. However, Galaxy Note 9 costs $1000 and more for upper models making it an unbuyable device for many users. After iPhone X, Galaxy Note 9 is the first device to reach the most premium $1000 price tag. What’s interesting is that the Galaxy S9 comes with all the features that Galaxy Note 9 has except the S-Pen. Hence,  if S-Pen is one of the priority features for a user, Galaxy Note 9 is an expensive but undeniable deal. Also, the device is really big and box-shaped leading to people with small hands feel uncomfortable while using the device.

What’s Inside The Box?

For starters, the unboxing experience is very similar to that of the Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus. The device comes in a small black box with a bluish tone running all over. On the top, there is a sliding cover with nothing but a vertical image of the new yellow S-Pen. Removing it up reveals a similar color box with online the word “SAMSUNG” embedded on the front.

Turning it around we get some of the major specifications about the Note 9 along with a bunch of other info. To open the box you have to lift the lid up from the right-hand side which goes all towards the left. Galaxy Note 9 comes with a long list of stuff inside the box. For info, here is a list

  • Main Device

  • Fast Power Adapter

  • USB Type C Cable

  • AKG Earphones

  • Type C to Micro USB Dongle

  • Warranty Card

  • User Manual

  • Extra Tips For S-PEN

  • Extra Tips For Earphones

Although the list is quite long, some of the things which felt missing include a screen protector and a cover for the device. But that's how it goes with all the Samsung’s premium device. Some of the nice things that can be found are the top quality AKG earphones along with some extra ear tips. It also comes with extra tips for the S-Pen. Remember there is no wireless charger in the box so you have to invest some few extra bucks for that.

Wrapping up the unboxing experience, I can say Samsung knows how to provide premium unboxing experience to their users with best-quality stuff inside.

So What's New With The Design Of The Note 9?

Honestly, Note 9 looks very similar to its predecessor, the Note 8. There are some design elements which are different but overall, it’s a similar box design. One of the major change which was required in the design of the Note 8 is the placement of the fingerprint scanner. The scanner is just beside the rear camera on the Note 8 leading to accidental smudging if the rear camera lens. Samsung has now placed the fingerprint scanner below the rear camera module. However, the placement still isn’t feasible enough but it's a good change.

Galaxy Note 9 is a tad heavier and thicker. It is 0.2mm thicker than its younger brother which makes it 8.8 mm in thickness. Also, the device has a weight of 201 gm which is slightly higher to that of 195 gm on the Note 8. There are 4 color variants which include Metallic copper, Lavender Purple, Ocean Blue, and Midnight Black.

                    Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review | Closer To Perfection Photo 1

Holding the device feels a bit uncomfortable because of how huge it is. For most, if the users, single-handed usage is surely going to be a concern. Since the device has a Glass back, using a skin or a back cover is undoubtedly recommended. Also, it comes with an IP68 dust and water resistance which makes it a durable smartphone which can shot images inside a pool (but not for long).

On the front of the Galaxy Note 9, we have an infinity display which curves on the sides along with proximity sensor, front camera, Iris scanner and an earpiece. It is not completely bezel-free as there are bezels on the top and bottom. Coming to the rear panel which is non-removable, we have a dual camera sensor along with LED flash, heart-rate monitor, and a fingerprint scanner. The rear panel is also protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Volume keys and the power key can be found on the left while the Bixby button is on the right. At the bottom, there is a Type-C charging port along with a single down firing speaker, 3.5mm audio jack, and the exclusive S-Pen. Sim-Tray can be found on the top of the device.

Galaxy Note 9 is a solid device when it comes to build quality. There are no flaws in the design making it close to a perfect smartphone.

Big and Crisp Display

Galaxy Note 9 sports a 6.4 inch Super AMOLED infinity display. There is no notch as there are minor bezels on the top and bottom. Samsung managed to shrink the bezels more when compared to the Note 8. This means Note 9 gets a bigger display in a similar form factor to that on the predecessor.

The OLED screen comes with a resolution of 1440 x 2960 which evaluates to ~515 pixels per inch. This means that the display is enough crisp and sharp to be enjoyable under any conditions. Colors are amazingly saturated with deep blacks which means a solid viewing experience. Sunlight visibility is top-notch which means using the device under direct sunlight isn’t gonna be an issue.

Note 9 also supports the HDR10 which enhances the multimedia experience to the next level. Samsung is using Gorilla Glass 5 protection to reduce the chances of scratches and damage. No doubt Samsung Note 9 comes with one of the best display in the market right now.

Will Blow You Up With The Performance

Galaxy Note 9 is one of the premium smartphones which undoubtedly means that the specifications are going the best available in the market. Specifically, it is powered by the latest 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core processor which can reach a maximum clock speed of 2.8 GHz. Apart from that, Adreno 630 GPU is used to handle graphics-intensive tasks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review | Closer To Perfection Photo 2

I guess the name of the processor is enough for most of the users. However, for better understanding let me give you some examples of real world usage. Browsing the web, using social media apps like Facebook, watching movies etc wasn’t able to slow down the device at all. It can play heavy games like Asphalt 9, PUBG, Modern Combat 5 etch which breaking a sweat. What else can you expect from the performance of a $1000 smartphone?

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes in two different variants

  • 6GB RAM / 128GB Storage

  • 8GB RAM / 512GB Storage

Even the basic model comes with enough amount of storage and RAM to handle multitasking and storage requirements easily. Apart from that, it also supports Memory expansion through MicroSD up to 512GB. Combining this capability with the 512GB storage model will lead to a total storage of above 1TB making it one of the few smartphones in the market with such a ridiculous amount of storage.

Software Enhancements

On the software front, Samsung always uses their own custom version of Android. It is quite similar to those found on other Samsung devices. Although, there are some exclusive software changes for the S-Pen.

Galaxy Note 9 can be found running on Android 8.1 Oreo right out of the box with Samsung Experience UI 9.5. Although I am not a fan of Android skins that doesn’t make Experience UI any bad. There are various useful features and tweaks to boost up the productivity. However, Samsung always pre-install their own apps with Google apps which leads to duplicate apps. Like Google has Gmail and Samsungs also pre-installs their own email app. This makes the overall software quite heavy. Another such example is the Bixby Assistant, in spite of the fact that it comes with Google Assistant by default. There is no doubt that the software is pretty smooth and fast but it isn’t close to the feel of stock Android.

Regarding upgrades, Galaxy Note 9 will definitely receive Android Pie update. However, there are no official dates as of now. Overall, if you have already used a Samsung device before, you will feel like home here. However, if this is your first time, it will take some hours for getting used to.

Improved Camera with AI

Well, the camera hardware on Note 9 is similar to the one on the Galaxy S9 Plus. On the rear, we have two 12 Megapixel sensors, one with a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4 and the other one with a fixed f/2.4 aperture. Both the sensors are optically stabilized so no matter which lens is used, the video will turn out to be stable. The camera app is very similar to the camera apps on other Samsung devices with all the features like Panorama, HDR, Slo-mo recording, Manual mode etc. However, there are two new features this time. One is “AI scene optimizer” while the other one is “Flaw Detection”.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review | Closer To Perfection Photo 3

When you open the camera and move it towards the object the AI will detect the object. It is capable of detecting up to 20 scenes like text, flowers etc. So when even you point the camera to a particular scene, the AI will automatically adjust the settings for the best possible shot. Although, the difference between normal photos and the one clicked with AI scene detection isn’t night and day. Hence I really can’t exaggerate it as a useful feature. On the other hand, the “flaw detection” is actually a handy feature. Whenever you capture an image, it will show you a tooltip on the captured images regarding the flaws like closed eyer or insufficient lighting. This will help users to actually capture some great looking images. Talking about the normal image quality of the sensors, the images turn out to be really amazing. The hardware was already one of the best in the market. Images which are captured contains a great number of details with slightly oversaturated colors and sharpness. Portrait images are almost perfect with minor edge detection issues.

With f/1.5 aperture, low light images turn out to be the best you can get on any smartphone. Video recording is superb with the capability of recording 4K videos @ 60fps.

For selfie, Note 9 comes with an 8 Megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture. It is capable of capturing impressive looking images also it also supports portrait selfie. Low-light images turn out to be good. It is also capable of recording 1440p videos @ 30fps.

Without any doubt, Samsung Note 9 is one of best camera smartphone in the market right now.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with a heavy 4000 mAh non-removable battery. It is a much better and required improvement over the previous years Note 8 which only had a 3300 mAh battery. With such upgrade, Note 9 easily lasts a day or more depending upon the usage. For testing purpose, frequent gaming sessions were done along with some calls, multimedia consumption, and social media. With such stress, the device manages to last a full day which is more than sufficient. The overall Screen-on-time was 7-8 hours.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review | Closer To Perfection Photo 4

Samsung has also taken care of the situation in case you run of battery juice at an important time. Note 9 support fast wired and fast wireless charging so you can recharge your device quickly. Yeah, the device supports wireless charging which is a real convenience. With such great battery life and fast charging solutions, Note 9 is one of the perfect devices when it comes to battery backup.

Connectivity and Features

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with a Hybrid Sim slot which can either support 2 Sim cards or 1 Sim and 1 MicroSD card at a time. Both the Sim slots support VoLTE functionality. Other connectivity features include NFC, Bluetooth v5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, A-GPS, BDS, and GALILEO. Just like other premium Samsung smartphones, Note 9 comes with a bunch of sensors like

  • Iris scanner

  • Fingerprint

  • Accelerometer

  • Gyroscope,

  • Proximity

  • Compass

  • Barometer

  • Heart rate

  • SpO2

Well, one thing which disappointed me is that the device doesn’t come with an in-display fingerprint scanner as the rumors pointed out. Note 9 has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner which is in much better position compared to the predecessor. No complaints from the scanner whatsoever. It is blazing fast and very reliable. Along with it, Note 9 also comes with a front facing Iris scanner which is a really reliable way to secure the device. The Iris scanner is capable of working in the night to which is a convenience.

The single bottom firing speaker is loud and clear but it for $1000 they should have gone for stereo speakers. What great is that Samsung is still including the 3.5 mm audio jack. Hence, you don’t have to carry an extra dongle to connect you wired earphones with the Note 9.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review | Closer To Perfection Photo 5

Moving to the most anticipated feature of the device, the S-Pen. You can perform all the functions that previous S-Pens provide like off-screen memo etc. However, this time there are some major changes. The new S-Pen comes with its own battery which can charge from 0 to 100 in just 40 seconds by the staying in the device itself. This power allows the S-Pen to connect with the device using Bluetooth. The button on the S-Pen can now be mapped to perform various functions for each app. One such example is long press the button on the S-Pen to open the camera, double press to open front camera and single press to capture the image. Convenient isn’t it? You can also use it to play and pause music or skip tracks. Even if the battery drains out, the S-Pen can still be used just like an old regular S-Pen.

Although the functionality of the S-Pen is increased, you have to really define the usage for your own. Otherwise, The Samsung S9 Plus will be the most perfect option for you.

So Is Note 9 Worth The Cost?

Well, Galaxy Note 9 is everything a smartphone is 2018 wants to be. It has a super amazing display, a new camera with AI, bigger battery, beastly performance, fast charging, S-Pen and what not. However, the major downfall here is the price. Starting at $1000, Note 9 doesn’t look like an option for everyone. Moreover, Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with all the similar features without the S-Pen at a much lower price.

So is the Note 9 worth? Until the priority of having an S-Pen is really high, I don’t think buying a Note 9 over the S9 is a great option. Also, more devices like Pixel 3, new iPhone X will be launched soon so there can a price drop. Another thing is if you already have a Note 8, buying a Note 9 isn’t a great option as there aren’t any major upgrades. However, if the price tag isn’t a concern and a phone bigger than usual doesn't bother you than Galaxy Note 9 is going to be the most perfect device you can get right now.


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Comments ( 37 )

Dale J. Marpa

Whatever field of work you're into, from a regular waiter in a bar to an executive of a big company,this will absolutely make your job easier

Sep 21 Reply
N K J technical

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Sep 21 Reply
BHANU CHAUHAN 001

I have used a lot of various types of smartphone with various types of companies having different types of features. I think I can write a review about this smartphone by using it personally and also by the public opinion by telling them the features of the smartphone on socially and personally

Sep 20 Reply
Thepretty._. Mess

Well.. I am a constant samsung user and could tell about samsung phones well. Would like to give a review on it. But I would love it more when I will share my review with 2k more people. For that .. you have to give me this product.

Sep 20 Reply
Sep 20 Reply
Ritik Purswani

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Sep 19 Reply
TS TECH

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Sep 19 Reply
krish.jain

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Sep 18 Reply
dinesh_the_star

Awesome Mobile , sir I want this smartphone for giving reviews and for making Unboxing video of Samsung Note 9

Sep 17 Reply
Monster Nithin Reddy Chinni

Plz I want this mobile I wnat have this phone

Sep 17 Reply

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