I know many of my friends has been waiting for this. Some have even asked me when will I be reviewing the new Samsung Galaxy Note9. Well here it is boys and girls. This is my personal and honest review of what I think about the new Galaxy Note9.
I have reviewed the A8, S9 and S9+ these past few months and I can say that I have fallen in love with Samsung all over again. Honestly, I was not a fan. Then in comes the S8 with the new slim modern design. That model set the bar really high for phone ergonomics and comfort. After that, the S9 came in with similar aesthetics. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that?
And now the biggest and baddest of them all landed on my table from a galaxy not so far away. The Galaxy Note9 yells beauty and brains to those who seek the latest and most sophisticated hand held device.
Unboxing and First Look
The review unit that I received is said to be the most popular one. The colour Ocean Blue is very popular because you will get the yellow S-Pen with it. I love the colour and it’s a good thing that I got this one.
The Ocean Blue Galaxy Note9 is a head turner. People will be able to recognise the phone easily because it appears almost everywhere like in printed advertisements, on billboards and even in webpage ads.
Why not? It’s bold, it’s beautiful and it’s how the now should look like.
What you will get in the box is pretty similar to what you’ll get in S9 and S9+ box. The same earphone tuned by AKG is in there, the same fast-charger and cable is in there, the same SIM card slot pin is in there too…pretty much the normal stuffs. Well, to be it’s kinda normal because I have reviewed the rest of the flagships before this but to other people who just bought this, those things are awesome premium stuffs.
Galaxy Note9 Specifications
- Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back; IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm, 201g. Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple color schemes.
- Display: 6.4″ Super AMOLED ‘Infinity Display’, 2,960x1440px resolution, 18.5:9 (2.06:1) aspect ratio, 516ppi; HDR10 compliant (no Dolby Vision).
- Rear camera: Primary 12MP, Type 1/2.55″ sensor, f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length, dual pixel PDAF, OIS; Secondary 12MP, Type 1/3.4″ sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 52mm equiv. focal length, autofocus, OIS; 2x zoom. 2160p/60fps, 1080p/240fps slow motion, 720p/960fps super slow-motion video recording.
- Front camera: 8MP, f/1.7 aperture, autofocus; 1440p/30fps video recording.
- OS/Software: Android 8.1 Oreo; Samsung Experience 9.0; Bixby virtual assistant; Smart Connect, Smart Connect Home.
- Chipsets: Samsung Exynos 9810: octa-core CPU (4x3rd-gen Mongoose 2.7GHz + 4xCortex-A55 1.8GHz), Mali-G72 MP18 GPU.
- Memory: 6/8GB of RAM; 128/512GB of storage; microSD slot for cards up to 512GB.
- Battery: 4,000mAh Li-Po; Adaptive Fast Charging; QuickCharge 2.0 support; WPC(Qi)&PMA wireless charging.
- Connectivity: Single-SIM, Dual-SIM available in certain markets (hybrid slot); LTE-A, 4-Band/5-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.18 (1.2Gbps/150Mbps); USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac MU-MIMO; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0.
- Misc: Bluetooth-enabled S Pen stylus with 4096 pressure levels and multimedia controls; fingerprint/iris/face recognition; stereo speakers tuned by AKG; 3.5mm jack; bundled AKG headphones; DeX dock compatibility.
The unit that I got (for SEA) is based on Samsung Exynos chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal space. Even with the 6GB of RAM, the phone shows no lags and it outperformed my other phones by a thousand mile. The internal space goes up to 512GB of space with the 8GB version, plus you’re able to add in up to 512GB of external MicroSD card. So imagine having a total of 1TB of space in your phone.
Design & Look
I love the infinity display, full-stop. The display is clear and vibrant, like how Samsung’s AMOLED has been all these while. Not a problem in that area.
The size of the phone is a little big for my liking. For the Galaxy S9+, I feel that it is just the right size for my hand but the Note9 is a tad too big. That is in-fact how the Note is intended to be since the first Note. But the slim factor of the phone made it feels comfortable. The Note9 is narrow as opposed to being wide, like the S9+, so that’s great.
The location of the dual camera at the back is at the top center with the fingerprint scanner right below it. The overall look at the back is tidy and symmetrical. Scanning my fingerprint to unlock the phone feels just okay because I would sometimes miss the spot. I had to reach a little higher to hit the right spot in order to get an accurate reading. But that’s fine. I can also rely on the face and retina recognition to unlock the phone which only take a few milliseconds.
The buttons at the sides are comfortable to press. Everything is in place and nothing feels loose or odd. The SIM slot at the top fits perfectly in place while the headphone jack at the bottom is a welcome sight. I do prefer it being at the bottom rather at the top. The overall weight of the phone is not too heavy despite the 4000mAh battery.
The S-Pen is well hidden at the bottom right. You have to press it inwards before it pops out and activating the on-screen quick S-Pen menu functions. From here you can chose to create new note, write on the screen, do a selection with the smart select and many others. The responsiveness of the S-Pen is great, accuracy is excellent. Graphic illustrators or animators would love the Note9 because of this.
It is also good to note (pun intended) that the S-Pen is Bluetooth enabled. This means you can remotely press the button on the S-Pen to take a picture from up to 9 meters away (maybe more if there’s no obstructions). There’s also a tiny battery inside the S-Pen as well because of the Bluetooth and will be charged when you put the S-Pen back into it’s slot.