Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features, release date, specs, price and all the latest news
Samsung’s current Galaxy S9 flagship has been on shelves for a few months now and that means Samsung is now turning its attention to the Galaxy Note 9. Here’s everything we know about the next phablet including all the latest Galaxy Note 9 news, rumours and leaks, plus speculative release date, specs and pricing details.
For almost a decade now, Samsung has released two flagship phones each year. We’ve already seen this year’s Galaxy S9, so now it’s time to look forward to the Galaxy Note 9, which is due to be announced on August 9th.
While the Galaxy S range of devices focusses on being the best and fastest phones around, the Note devices make a couple of sacrifices in order to pack in a stylus (or ‘S Pen’) that lets you draw or take notes on the device.
We imagine the Galaxy Note 9 will follow a very similar blueprint to previous years. The Galaxy S9 was a very iterative handset from Samsung, and we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 9 to be similar.
But that doesn’t mean that we’re not expecting a couple of surprises. Read on for everything we’re expecting from the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Galaxy Note 9 Release Date: When will it come out?
We have quite a good idea of when the Galaxy Note 9 is going to hit the shelves. Samsung has all but confirmed that it will take the wraps off the handset on August 9, with pre-orders rumoured to open on August 14. The unit will then start shipping the following week on August 24, according to Korea’s ETNews.
- 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
Samsung received permission from TENAA to sell the Galaxy Note 9 in China on July 12. That’s important because the firm is known to seek approval from the Chinese government a mere matter of weeks before it intends to launch a new device in the region; while it typically requests approval elsewhere two to three months in advance, seemingly corroborating the August 9 launch date.
Galaxy Note 9 Price: How much will it cost?
Polish website Spider’s Web has learned that the base model of the Galaxy Note 9 will retail for €990 (£874) when it hits the shelves. Let’s be clear, though: that’s far from confirmed and seeing as we, nor most other people, have heard of the outlet before, we’d suggest taking the information with a considerable pinch of salt.
That said, we expect the handset to be priced somewhere in the region of £850 to £950. The Galaxy Note 8, for comparison, commanded a steep £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 Specs: Will it be powerful?
The chatter we’ve caught wind of thus far indicates that the Galaxy Note 9 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 suggests 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 to be 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 international model of the handset is also indexed on Geekbench’s database, though instead of bundling a Snapdragon 845, it was recorded as sporting an in-house Exynos 9810 CPU, which outperformed its Snapdragon counterpart, racking up a single- and multi-core score of 2737 and 9064, respectively.
In terms of storage, the latest rumours suggest that in the West we’ll see a maximum of 256GB of storage, while South Korea and China will be treated to a supersized version with 512GB.
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 Design: What will it look like?
Despite Samsung’s best efforts to keep the Galaxy Note 9 under wraps, Ice Universe has obtained a render highlighting the design of the handset and much of what’s visible bears a striking resemblance to the Galaxy Note 8, with everything from the near-edge-to-edge screen to the bezel surrounding it matching up.
The firm has made a number of cosmetic changes, though. For starters, it’s repositioned the fingerprint sensor, nestling it beneath the camera, rather than next to it. Some analysts also claim it’s ditched the horizontal camera configuration found on the Galaxy Note 8, in favour of a vertical one à la Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
But a render reliable tipster Evan Blass shared a render (below) on July 17 that pours cold water on that particular rumour, showcasing a handset – believed to be the Galaxy Note 9 – with a similar horizontal camera setup to that of the Galaxy Note 8, save for some new sensors, one of which is significantly larger than the other.
Blass’ camera orientation discovery was later corroborated by a batch of hands-on images that surfaced online on July 18, showcasing the back and front of the unit, as well as the start-up screen – indicating that the device is in a somewhat working state ahead of its rumoured August 9 reveal.
The handset should be available in five colours – black, blue, copper, silver and violet – at launch, with more set to be introduced in the future.
Galaxy Note 9 Fingerprint Reader: In-display version shelved
It’s looking increasingly likely that, contrary to earlier rumours, 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.
In a statement issued to investors on March 8, reliable industry insider Ming-Chi 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.
Korean outlet The Bell has since learned, however, that Samsung has informed manufacturing partners that the Galaxy Note 9 will be equipped with an almost-centre-mounted rear-facing fingerprint sensor, like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
And let’s not forget: the onslaught of leaks we’ve seen to date have all specified or depicted a rear-facing fingerprint reader, with no mention of an in-screen alternative.
Galaxy Note 9 Camera: A big upgrade could be coming
Although it doesn’t look like the Galaxy Note 9 is going to be a major upgrade, there’s one section of the handset that could be treated to some significant improvements.
There has been some chatter claiming that Samsung is toying with a couple of camera enhancements on the Galaxy Note 9, including the introduction of a variable aperture that lets users control the amount of light that enters the sensor, in order to take better pictures in low-light environments.
The second rumour we’ve heard is a little less likely, professing that Samsung will bundle its ISOCELL Plus sensor, which is much more effective at dividing light, thus delivering more colour-accurate and sharper images, on the handset. We aren’t going to rule out the possibility of it being on board, though.
Galaxy Note 9 Features: S Pen will have Bluetooth on board
Finally, we’ve got a couple of miscellaneous features. Samsung will bundle a new build of Bixby on the Galaxy Note 9 that will offer enhanced natural language processes, improved background noise resistance and quicker response times, according to Gary G. Lee, head of Samsung Research’s AI Center. It should also include support for more IoT devices.
But the most notable tidbit we’ve uncovered is that the handset will come with an all-new S Pen that has Bluetooth on board, with a view to offering users the option to use it as a remote trigger for taking pictures and controlling music playback from afar – a detail that was later all but confirmed by an FCC filing.
Ice Universe shared a leaked promotional poster for the S Pen in question on July 12, showcasing a stylus that’s a lot more angular (and colourful) than the one bundled on the Galaxy Note 8. It also appears to be a little thicker. There’s no mention of the rumoured remote trigger option, however – or any other features, for that matter.
Samsung CEO DJ Koh confirmed that the S Pen has picked up some new tricks at a recent media event, where he was spotted using the Galaxy Note 9, though he understandably kept his cards close to his chest.
What feature are you hoping to see on the Galaxy Note 9? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.
Senior News Writer Jon Porter also contributed to this article.