Opinion

6 things Samsung should have done to improve the Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is among us, the company’s ultimate smartphone of 2018. This is the device that is supposed to show the world why Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor and is here to compete with other top phones from the likes of Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, Sony, and so on.

Does the Note 9 have what it takes to go against the best in the market? Definitely. Is it the best device on the market? It’s definitely up there. But is it the perfect phone or rather the perfect upgrade, especially for anyone coming from the Galaxy Note 8? Probably not!

Samsung could have done more and considering it has the resources and finances to do so. With this in mind, here’s what we think Samsung could have done to make the Galaxy Note 9 even more exciting.

RelatedGalaxy Note 9: List of new, first time ever features

Android Pie out of the box

Android 8.1 Oreo is not the oldest Android OS in current use and neither is it the newest in town. It’s ironic that Samsung thinks of the Galaxy Note 9 as the most advanced smartphone on the market yet it still runs on software that the Google Pixels received 8 months ago. With a small company behind the Essential Phone managing to get things rolling on the same day as the big G, it’s a shame that Samsung still couldn’t manage to debut the Note 9 with Android Pie out of the box. That would have really made a big deal out of the Note 9.

Related: Will we see Android Pie updates roll out as easy as pie?

Better super slow-mo video recording

One of the major USPs of the Galaxy S9 is the ability to record super slow-motion videos. While this is definitely a nifty addition to what is already an amazing camera, it’s not the best the market has. Where Sony’s Xperia XZ2 can record 1080p videos at 960fps, the S9 can only manage the same frame rate with 720p videos. However, the latter manages to capture double the amount of time the former captures, which is just 0.1 seconds.

With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung had the opportunity to better these figures from both the Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2, but it didn’t. Instead, the Note 9 is getting the same slow-mo video recording capabilities as the S9, albeit with twice the recording time on the S9, which is kinda disappointing from Samsung.

Related: Smartphones that support 960fps video recording

Huawei P20 Pro-like colors

Huawei P20

Smartphone vendors have often used unique color variants to spur sales and we saw it with the Huawei P20 Pro, especially the Twilight color variant that gives different shades depending on the type of lighting you are in. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has new color variants in Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple, but there’s nothing pretty much interesting about them other than them being, well, new color variants. The Note 9 could have done with a Twilight-like color finish if you ask us.

Three camera lenses like the P20 Pro

Huawei P20

We know that the number of lenses or even megapixel count doesn’t necessarily affect the quality of photography, but the implementation. However, we saw all the hype that the Huawei P20 Pro got all because of donning three camera lenses on the back. In practice, the P20 Pro is a great photography companion, which also means that having three lenses can be a good thing.

With the Note 9, Samsung has definitely missed out on the hype by sticking to the mainstream dual-lens camera setup that we see everywhere, including on the Galaxy Note 8, the phone it’s supposed to upgrade. Heck, it would have been even more interesting if the selfie camera got a second lens or even bumping it up to close to the 24MP used on the front of the Huawei P20 Pro.

120Hz display for better gaming

Best Razer Phone Android Games

Although keeping it low-key, Samsung is also pushing the Galaxy Note 9 as a gaming device and given its massive 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD+ resolution, a 4000mAh battery and up to 8 gigs of RAM, why not? The company says the Note 9 has a water-carbon cooling system meant to keep the device cool and in optimal performance during intensive gaming, but one thing that would have transformed the Note 9 into a deserved ROG Phone or Razer Phone alternative is the inclusion of a 120Hz refresh rate. Maybe we’ll see this in the next Note.

RelatedThese Android games are optimized for 120Hz display screens

Lower price point

The Galaxy Note 9 is a good phone, but is it worth 1000 bucks? That’s up for debate and from this side of the table, the debate rages on. Anyone coming from the Galaxy Note 8 will probably feel cheated upon spending this amount on the Note 9 only to get the same design, just about the same display screen, a bigger battery, powered S Pen, variable aperture, super slow-motion video recording, USB-C DeX support alongside camera tricks and a Bixby upgrade that will eventually end up on the Note 8 via software updates. If anything, it would have been a welcome idea if Samsung repeated what it did with the Galaxy S9 vs S8 by sticking to the same price tag as the Note 8, which came valued at $929.

Related: Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9 (India, USA, UK, and Europe)


Despite all the rants, we’ll at some point have to agree the Galaxy Note 9 is a great phone. In fact, it’s easily the best there is on the market right now. However, the decision of buying one will eventually rest with you, depending on how deep you are willing and able to dig into your pockets.

What do you think?

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Each one Reach one Teach one. Football Droid. Email: hillary@theandroidsoul.com