The next big thing from Samsung is the Galaxy S9 and it’s only a few weeks away from launch. The Korean company will be at the MWC 2018 event later this month to take the wraps off the S8 successor, but this will only be the beginning of what is expected to be an even more interesting year for Sammy fans.
Even as all attention is now on what Samsung is planning for the Galaxy S9, this hasn’t stopped the company from commencing works on the Galaxy Note 9, a phone that should be unveiled this summer. So far, we’ve already stumbled into some details regarding the Galaxy Note 8 successor, including the specs and features to expect alongside the release date and price. Read on.
Galaxy Note 9 specs and features
- No drastic design changes expected
- 6.4-inch display rumored
- 4000mAh battery unit in tow
- Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 on the cards
- Intelligent Scan feature for facial recognition
- May support in-display fingerprint sensor
Given the Galaxy Note 9, codenamed Crown, will not be here until August 2018, it for sure seems too early to start even talking about it. But hey, we don’t make the rules.
Looking at what Samsung has been doing over the years, we can deduce a good number of things about the Galaxy Note 9 based on all that we know about Galaxy S9 specs and features. Just about everything about the S9 is in the public domain, which also means that we know a lot of details regarding the Galaxy Note 9.
It’s almost certain that the Note 9 will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset paired with at least 6GB RAM. It’s unlikely that Samsung will make the swift shift to 8GB RAM after having only used the module once on its Note flagship. This is despite the fact that the Galaxy S9+ is also expected to come with a standard RAM of 6GB.
Galaxy Note9 (SM-N960U) codename is Crown. pic.twitter.com/5WIF6FbtiP
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 14, 2018
The Galaxy Note 8 is already blazing fast and considering the upgrades the Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 have over their predecessors, the Note 9 should take this already impressive performance to the next level. You can also expect more markets to get storage options of up to 512GB.
The first benchmarks of the Galaxy Note 9 have also appeared online, all but confirming a number of our previous hunches. As you’d expect, the model number is SM-N960 and under the hood, the benchmarks, which were spotted on Geekbench, point to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB RAM, and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. With these specs, the Note 9 was able to manage a single-core score of 2190 and a multi-core score of 8806.
Like the Galaxy S9 with respect to the Galaxy S8, we expect that the Note 9 will stick to the same design language as the Note 8, including screen size and resolution. Samsung is also lining up a feature known as Intelligent Scan, which is believed to be the answer to Apple’s Face ID.
April 11: Galaxy Note 9 to sport a huge 4000mAh battery and a 6.4-inch display
It recently emerged that the Galaxy Note 9 may see an early launch compared to the Note 8. Now, finer details of the phone are showing up from various tipsters. Apparently, the Galaxy Note 9 will ship with a slightly bigger 6.4-inch display screen, up from the 6.3-inch panel used on the Note 8.
Samsung GALAXY Note9:6.4inch
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) April 10, 2018
This development corroborates a previous rumor that pointed to a slightly bigger 6.38-inch panel for the Note 9 compared to the 6.32-inch unit on the Note 8.
4000mAh or 3850mAh
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) April 11, 2018
Even more interesting is that the Note 9 may also get a bigger battery of between 3850mAh and 4000mAh. Cool huh! This would be a massive step up from the 3300mAh unit on the Note 8 and even the 3500mAh unit on the S9+ and it’s a change that would be welcomed with open arms.
May 4, 2018: More Galaxy Note 9 details surface from China
More details about the Galaxy Note 9 are showing up, just as we would expect at this point in time. Ice Universe, the same person responsible for the previous rumor, now claims to have had access to clearer details about the phone. Unlike before where he was split between a 3850mAh and 4000mAh battery, the tipster now says the former will materialize.
To add on that, the leaker says the Galaxy Note 9 will come with a new S-Pen, but how exactly new is what he fails to mention. But we do know the Galaxy Note 8’s S-Pen brought a set of new features, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was the case for the next-gen S-Pen.
Another thing he mentions that you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the Note 9 rumor mill is the in-display fingerprint scanner. It has been touted that this feature will make its debut in the Galaxy S10, but Ice Universe believes the Note 9 is the device to debut the elusive feature.
As rumored before, the Galaxy Note 9 will also debut with Bixby 2.0, but we still don’t know what the company has in store for its next-gen version of the digital assistant.
May 10: Galaxy Note 9 will be a tad smaller than Note 8
According to known tipster Ice Universe, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will follow in the footsteps of S9 with respect to S8, where the phone is said to come with a body that is identical to the Galaxy Note 8, only that it’ll be 2mm shorter. This isn’t strange because as already pointed out, the S9 did come with similar tweaks when compared to its predecessor.
Note9 is 2mm shorter than Note8, and nothing more.
You can't distinguish between them without careful observation.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 10, 2018
However, what’s even more interesting about this latest development is that unlike some of what we’ve heard before (including some info from the same tipster), the Galaxy Note 9 will reportedly skip the in-display fingerprint scanning technology in favor of a fixed rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, again, just like the S9 twins. Also, the tipster denies claims of a 3D scanner for facial recognition, similar to Apple’s 3D sensors, meaning Samsung will keep using the hybrid combination of facial recognition and iris scanning technologies.
Like any other rumor, though, we still cannot guarantee that this is the final design of the Note 9, especially since we still have several months between now and the expected August release date. If you ever played Tetris, there’s something cool here for you too.
The design of Samsung Note9 certainly draws on Tetris, haha. pic.twitter.com/UeWmcuOKaT
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 21, 2018
May 28: Exynos variant surfaces in benchmarks
A while back, a Galaxy Note 9 handset appeared on Geekbench giving us a hint of what to expect when the phone goes official later this year. However, this was only for the Snapdragon variant of the phone. As we all know, Samsung uses two processors for the U.S and global variants, where the latter is the subject of this post.
Through the same benchmarking platform, we now have details of the Exynos 9810-powered variant and like others before it, the numbers are much better than the Snapdragon variant, as shown below.
In both cases, the benchmarked Galaxy Note 9 had Android 8.1 Oreo and 6GB RAM, which are what we expect to see on the device out of the box. While we also expect the 64GB base storage to be retained, it’s also emerging that there will be a 512GB storage variant that will be paired with a whopping 8GB RAM, but this will likely be a limited edition.
If you are lucky, you will see 8GB RAM and 512GB ROM Galaxy Note9
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 26, 2018
512GB version of Galaxy Note 9 will use 8GB RAM.
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) June 20, 2018
Update [June 13]: Notorious tipster Ice Universe has once again popped up with some new info on the upcoming Galaxy Note 9. While he had hinted at this before, the Chinese tipster now says he’s dead sure that the Note 9 will rock a massive 4000mAh battery, up from the 3300mAh used in the Note 8.
100% sure, Galaxy Note9 battery 4000mAh
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 13, 2018
Now, this is a serious upgrade and even if the design doesn’t change a lot, this battery size will be enough to lure most people into buying the Note 9. But of course, we’ll have to wait and see if this actually materializes later on in August, where the same tipster points to August 2 or August 9 as the expected launch dates.
Update [June 14]: To add to the rumor that the Galaxy Note 9 will rock a massive 4000mAh battery, it is now emerging that the device will also support faster wireless charging in order to reduce the wait time or maybe keep it same as the Note 8 with its 3300mAh battery.
This comes after a fast wireless charger with codename EP-N6100 stopped by the FCC, revealing an input of 25W compared to the 15W found on the current-gen charger.
Let us look forward to a faster and more accurate AI experience with Bixby 2.0.
Samsung Experience9.5 based on Android 8.1.0 will not disappoint you
These are all implemented on the Galaxy Note9.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 14, 2018
While we already knew that the Galaxy Note 9 will be used to debut Bixby 2.0, we’ve just learned that the Note 9 will also debut with Android 8.1 Oreo alongside an upgraded Samsung Experience 9.5 skin atop.
Update [June 25]: The Galaxy Note series has always remained unique mainly because of the presence of the S Pen. With each iteration, Samsung makes a few touches here and there, be it in terms of design or features. Last year, for instance, we saw the S Pen take after the Galaxy Note 8 in rocking the IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. This year, Samsung is reported to be preparing massive changes to the stylus, but this time it’s about the features on offer.
Tipster Ice Universe claims the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen is “a pen with a soul” and it’s “worth the wait”, essentially because it might be “the biggest update in the history of the S Pen.” It remains to be seen how true these rumors are, but to give them some weight, we’ve heard other talks before that the Note 9 S Pen may be the first to support extra features such as making phone calls, meaning it will come with a built-in microphone, speaker and support Bluetooth for connecting to the Note 9 during the said calls.
Galaxy Note9 S Pen is a pen with a soul. It may be the biggest update in the history of the S Pen.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 25, 2018
There’s even talk of an S Pen that can actually write on a piece of paper, but it would require the special Galaxy Note 9 display screen to see what’s written on the paper because, well, the S Pen is inkless. But of course, take these with a grain of salt for they are just rumors. Still, it will be interesting to see what changes Samsung is planning to make to the S Pen when the Note 9 goes official in a few weeks’ time.
Update [June 27, 2018]: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is indeed a thing thanks to an FCC filing that has revealed a device with model number SM-N960F. Traditionally, this listing should represent the European or international version of the Note 9, but strange enough, it’s appearing on a U.S. agency. For the U.S. market, we expect to see something like SM-N960U, but whatever the case, we now know the Note 9 exists.
Update [July 2]: According to reports surfacing from Korea, the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen will come with support for Bluetooth technology. With this comes lots of possibilities and among them, as per the reports, is the ability to take photos remotely by simply pressing a button on the stylus. This means taking a selfie will be as simple as pressing the button on the S Pen and that’s it! This feature is said to work in long-range, something that should be very useful when taking group selfies.
Other functions of the Bluetooth-totting S Pen will be to control music (by pressing the button), where one can stop, play, or select next song without touching the phone. Samsung is also said to be working on integrating S Pen signatures, where the device can be used to store your personal signature and use it for authentication purposes, just like a fingerprint.
Update [July 5]: As the launch date of the Galaxy Note 9 nears, more pieces of evidence keep showing up. We recently saw the device go through the FCC, but little did we know it was also accompanied by its most distinguishing feature: the S Pen.
Thanks to the FCC listing, we can now confirm that the Galaxy Note 9 will indeed ship with a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen. It had already been leaked, that the S Pen will support Bluetooth in order to carry out functions like capturing photos and controlling music playback, but there was no official evidence to back up this claim. Well, we have it now.
Even more evidence comes from the Samsung Sweden, where the Galaxy Note 9 page is live with model number SM-N960F/DS, meaning this market will also get a dual-SIM variant.
Update [July 18]: We’ve heard rumors that the Galaxy Note 9 will stick to the same design language as its predecessor and like the Galaxy S9 with respect to the S8, there will be a few tweaks here and there. This is what we see in the leaked images, confirming that the Note 9 will indeed be identical to the Note 8 in terms of design.
One noticeable design change, though, is the arrangement of the dual-lens camera and fingerprint scanner on the back, where the latter now lives just below the former, as seen in the clear image below.
Well, none of this should be a surprise for anyone who has been following Galaxy Note 9 developments closely.
Now that we know much about the appearance of the Note 9 as well as the internals, what only remains is the company to unveil the device and reveal the price and availability details, with reports suggesting that sales will begin on August 24 alongside the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy Watch.
In-display fingerprint scanner?
A report from The Investor claimed that Samsung has finally decided to house an in-display fingerprint sensor on the Note 9. In fact, the publication says that Samsung’s display division has handed its Electronics division — one that is responsible for the Galaxy Note 9 — as many as 4 designs for testing and things look optimistic with one of them. This is the reason the Note 9’s design has not been finalized yet.
This is a welcome development as regards Note 9 because this gives something new to look out for the Note 9, something we cannot say for the Galaxy S9 — so much that it’s been said that S9’s sales in the US are 40% less compared to the Galaxy S8.
Earlier, the Bell had reported that the Note 9 might not feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, which led to some disappointment for Samsung fans as companies like Vivo have already outed one such device in Vivo X21 UD.
Now, in another report by The Bell, the publication has echoed its earlier stand that the Galaxy Note 9 will not feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, claiming that Samsung feels the current crop of sensors isn’t of the top-most standards to match what is required for the Note 9. For this reason, the Note 9 may still get the same treat as the S9 and S9+ – a rear-mounted scanner, arranged vertically to a dual-lens camera, and an iris scanner, probably with 3D capabilities like Apple’s Face ID.
Even more interesting is the claim that the Galaxy Note 9 may house a slightly bigger 6.38-inch panel compared to the 6.32-inch panel used on the Note 8. But since the Note 9 is expected to shed off some of the bezels like the S9 did with respect to the S8, it’s possible the slightly bigger screen will be accommodated in a slightly smaller body compared to the Note 8 – or a similar sized body.
5G support in tow
A new rumor coming out of Korea, as reported by The Bell, reveals that Samsung is contemplating support of 5G Network for the Galaxy Note 9. It’s being said that the main antenna responsible for the transmission and reception of data has been changed from LDS (Laser Direct Structuring) to HRC (High-Frequency Range) — of course, the HRC is required for 5G.
The report further says that the chipset that supports the HRC antenna is being considered and that local companies working such products would benefit from this.
Galaxy Note 9 price and release date
- More expensive than Galaxy Note 8
- August 2 or 9 2018 release expected
There are reports that Samsung will up the price of the Galaxy S9 by about $100 compared to the S8. Although not confirmed, the latest trend in the flagship smartphone market adds more weight to this argument. With this in mind, you can expect the Galaxy Note 9 to come in valued at about $1000 or even more. The Galaxy Note 8 came in priced at $950.
As for the release date, The Bell reports that the Galaxy Note 9 will be available for purchase in August 2018, a month or so earlier than the Note 8, which started selling on 15 September 2017. Mass production of the Note 9’s display screen will kick off in April, paving way for a potential launch in July.
May release a bit sooner
The ever-trusted publication on Samsung-related news, Sammobile, is now reporting that the firmware development has begun for the Galaxy Note 9. That it’s started already may mean that Samsung could launch the Note 9 earlier than usual, given the timing of Galaxy S8 and S9 launches and their firmware development.
Even more interesting is the development from South Korea (via Korea Herald) that claims Samsung may be planning to launch the Galaxy Note 9 in late July and start selling in mid-August. This would give the phone a month’s headstart compared to the Note 8. While it’s hard to back this up, the publication says that the early production of parts and subsequent poor sales of the Galaxy S9 are reason enough to back this supposed early launch of the Note 9.
Anyway, if that’s the case, we will be more than happy to see Samsung put in 5G and in-display fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy Note 9 to go toe to toe with Apple’s new lineup of three iPhone X like models, but only if it’s fit for use and not some half-baked product!
June 11: Galaxy Note 9 may be released on August 2 or 9 in New York
According to the increasingly reliable tipster Ice Universe, Samsung has plans to release the Galaxy Note 9 at an event in New York to be held on either August 2 or 9. Whether this will be the event that will unveil the Note 9 to the world or one that will bring the handset to the U.S. market ready for purchase is still unknown, but the former is more likely than the latter.
Update [June 28, 2018]: After numerous rumors about the release date, Samsung finally confirmed that the Galaxy Note 9 will be launched on August 9. The Korean is already sending out invitations to an Unpacked event scheduled for August 9 with availability set for two weeks later on August 24.
What do you think?
If Samsung gets the tech for 5G and in-display fingerprint sensor right, should they also release a Galaxy Note 9 Mini handset to target more audience as the Note 9 is already rumored to cost more than the Galaxy Note 8?