Galaxy Note 9 probably won’t come with an in-screen fingerprint reader

Galaxy Note 9: Release date, price, specs and all the latest news

The Galaxy S9 has only just hit the shelves, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung from commencing development of the Galaxy Note 9 – the handset set to steal its latest flagship’s thunder. Here’s everything we know about it to date, including all the latest Galaxy Note 9 news, rumours and leaks, plus speculative release date, specs and pricing details.

Galaxy Note 9 Latest News: Galaxy Note 9 probably won’t come with an in-screen fingerprint reader

It’s looking increasingly likely that the Galaxy Note 9 won’t ship with an in-screen fingerprint reader.

Esteemed tipster Ice Universe noted on May 9 that he’s almost certain the coveted optical biometric tech will not be on board the Galaxy Note 9, leading rumour-spinners to conclude that it will instead debut on the Galaxy S10 or maybe even the elusive foldable Galaxy X – though that’s far from confirmed.

Galaxy Note 9 could hit the shelves much sooner than expected

The Galaxy Note 9 has been certified for commercial sale by the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, adding substance to an early report claiming that Samsung – which usually refreshes its Galaxy Note series in September – will launch the handset in July or August to beat the next iPhone to the market.

Galaxy Note 9 codename confirmed by reliable tipster

Mobile tipster Evan Blass, who has a somewhat reliable record when it comes to this kind of thing, has revealed that Samsung has internally codenamed the much-rumoured Galaxy Note 9 (SM-N960U) ‘Crown’ – a fitting moniker for a handset that’s tipped to sit at the very top of the firm’s 2018 range of smartphones.

But let’s forget that’s nothing more than an internal codename Samsung is using for correspondence pertaining to the upcoming handset. It’s looking like the handset will be branded the Galaxy Note 9 when it hits the shelves, though there’s a chance, albeit a small one, that it will break away from the norm.

This Galaxy Note 9 concept render puts the iPhone X to shame

Samsung has done a commendable job at keeping the Galaxy Note 9 under wraps (it’s still early days), but that hasn’t stopped one fan from piecing together all the rumours we’ve heard to date to create a render highlighting what the firm’s next flagship could look like, if it were to feature an in-screen fingerprint reader.

The end result is a handset that looks like the Galaxy Note 8, but has been subjected to some refinements. The rear fingerprint sensor, for example, has been removed. The designer kept what matters the most, though: the dead space at the top and bottom of the screen – which Apple replaced with a notch on the iPhone X.

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We should be responsible and note, however, that the renders are speculative: they aren’t based on schematics, CAD files or anything of the sort. But that’s not to mean they aren’t similar to what Samsung’s working on behind the scenes. For all we know (and that isn’t a lot at present), they could be bang on the money.

Galaxy Note 9 Design: What does it look like?

Our first credible hint at the direction Samsung’s headed in for the Galaxy Note 9 comes from esteemed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has reason to believe that it will sport a similar design to the Galaxy Note 8, while the firm focuses its attention on improving the unit’s dual-camera and S Pen stylus.

That’s not to mean it won’t have a trump card, though – it may well do in the form of an in-display fingerprint scanner. But that’s looking less likely than it did this time last month, with a number of renowned tipsters backtracking on earlier reports claiming that the unit will ship with the coveted authentication tech.

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In a note sent to investors back in September, Kuo – who has an unrivalled track record when it comes to predictions – revealed that the Galaxy Note 9 will come with an “optical fingerprint scanner,” as corroborated by a recent patent filing, letting users unlock their handset by resting a finger on its Infinity Display.

Such a feature is likely, he adds, because two of the three main companies – one of which is thought to be Samsung subsidiary Samsung LSI – competing for the contract to make the 6.3-inch high-resolution panel for Samsung’s next Galaxy Note have already shipped sample parts to the South Korean chaebol.

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Galaxy Note 8

But now he’s not sold on the idea.

In a statement issued to investors on March 8, Kuo revealed that Samsung could be forced to shelve the optical fingerprint reader amid subpar performance in recent testing procedures – though he did note that it’s possible that the firm could iron out the creases between now and the handset’s manufacturing deadline.

That lines up with a recent report from Korean outlet The Bell, which reportedly obtained information suggesting that Samsung has informed manufacturing partners that the Galaxy Note 9 will most likely be equipped with a centre-mounted rear-facing fingerprint sensor, like the all-new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.

The Korea Herald disagrees, however, reporting on March 23 that four in-screen fingerprint readers have been presented to Samsung to date and it’s “seriously considering” at least one of them. There’s a chance that could be the scanner Kuo’s talking about though, so we’re going to reserve judgement for now.

Galaxy Note 9 Specs: Is it powerful?

The rest of the chatter we’ve caught wind of indicates that the Galaxy Note 9, which Samsung trademarked in Columbia on March 12, will be an iterative upgrade, meaning most of the internals will be similar to those found on the Galaxy Note 8, save for a more modern processor and a small increase in RAM.

A listing spotted on benchmark tool Geekbench’s online database on March 29 cast a light on some of the changes the firm has made under the hood. The documentation revealed that the North American variant of the Galaxy Note 9 is equipped with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 CPU and 6GB of RAM.

In the benchmark itself, the Galaxy Note 9 performed about as well as expected from a Snapdragon 845 CPU, scoring 2190 in the single-core and 8806 in the multi-core test – though there’s a chance those numbers will increase by the time the handset, which was tested running Android 8.1 Oreo, is released.

The Galaxy S9 Plus, for comparison, racked up 2182 and 8190 points, respectively.

Samsung found itself in a strange position after the world-famous Galaxy Note 7 debacle, having to decide whether to axe the Galaxy Note range altogether or make a comeback with a safe bet to win some then-former customers back– it chose the latter, opting to create the stylus-toting Galaxy Note 8.

It would appear the firm has once again found its confidence, though, as reliable tipster Ice Universe has caught wind of chatter claiming that the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 will ship with either a 3850mAh or 4000mAh cell – superseding the minute 3300mAh power pack found on the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7.

And it makes sense for Samsung to want to increase the size of the cell. The Galaxy Note 9, according to another renowned tipster, will ship with a 6.4-inch screen, outshining the 6.1.-inch screen on the Galaxy Note 8, and that added real estate will draw more power – so there needs to be a larger reserve.

Galaxy Note 9 Release Date: When does it come out?

SamMobile received confirmation from its sources that Samsung has commenced development of the firmware that’s set to ship on the Galaxy Note 9, and has even started testing two builds – N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5 – indicating that the handset could be a further along the production line than we anticipated.

Galaxy Note 8

There’s no official word on when the Galaxy Note 9 will hit the shelves, though The Investor noted that there’s a chance Samsung could launch the device in April, three months earlier than usual, to compensate for the less-than-adequate interest in the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus – but that’s, of course, far from confirmed.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note – Announced: Oct 27, 2011 | Released: Oct 29, 2011
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Announced: Aug 29, 2012 | Released: Sep 26, 2012
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Announced: Sep 4, 2013 | Released: Sep 25, 2013
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Announced: Sep 3, 2014 | Released: Oct 17, 2014
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – Announced: Aug 13, 2015 | Released: Aug 21, 2015
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – Announced: Aug 2, 2016 | Released: Aug 19, 2016
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Announced: Aug 23, 2017 | Released: Sep 15, 2017

Galaxy Note 9 Price: How much will it cost?

We also don’t know how much the Galaxy Note 9 will cost when it launches. That said, we expect it to be somewhere in the region of £850 to £950. The Galaxy Note 8, for comparison, was priced at £869 when it was released in September 2017, so there will likely be a small premium in place to cover the cost of the upgrades.

Galaxy Note 9 Summary: What you need to know at a glance

Here’s a summarised version of what you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Galaxy Note 9 Design: The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to look near-identical to the Galaxy Note 8

Galaxy Note 9 Specs: 6.4-inch Infinity Display, Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 845 CPU, 6GB of RAM

Galaxy Note 9 Price: £850 – £950

Galaxy Note 9 Release Date: August/September 2018

What feature are you hoping to see on the Galaxy Note 9? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.