Today at the Unpacked Event at the Barclays Center in New York Samsung launched alongside a new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch and a new home speaker, the Galaxy Home, the main subject of the show, the new Galaxy Note 9.

Samsung’s marketing focus for the Note 9 focused primarily on two new improved features: An increased battery capacity, and an increase in the storage capacity of the phones.

Let’s go over the specifications to see all of the new internals of the new summer flagship;

Samsung Galaxy Family
  Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 9
SoC (US, China, Japan)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 
4x Kryo 280 (CA73) @ 2.35GHz
4x Kryo 280 (CA53) @ 1.90GHz
Adreno 540 @ 670MHz
(Americas, China, Japan)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 
4x Kryo 385 (CA75) @ 2.8GHz
4x Kryo 385 (CA55) @ 1.77GHz
Adreno 630 @ 710MHz
 (Rest of World)
Samsung Exynos 8895
4x Exynos M2 @ 2.30GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.70GHz
ARM Mali-G71MP20 @ 546MHz
 (Rest of World)
Samsung Exynos 9810
4x Exynos M3 @ 1.8-2.7GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.76GHz
ARM Mali-G72MP18 @ 572MHz
Display 6.3-inch 2960x1440 (18.5:9)
SAMOLED (curved edges)
6.4-inch 2960x1440 (18.5:9)
SAMOLED (curved edges)
Dimensions 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm
195g
161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
201g
RAM 6GB LPDDR4X 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4X
NAND 64GB / 128GB (UFS)
+ microSD
128GB / 512GB (UFS)
+ microSD
Battery 3300mAh (12.7Wh)
non-replaceable
4000mAh (15.4Wh)
non-replaceable
Front Camera 8MP, f/1.7 8MP, f/1.7
Rear Cameras 12MP, 1.4µm pixels,
f/1.7,
dual-pixel PDAF, OIS
12MP, 1.4µm pixels,
f/1.5 / f/2.4 adaptive aperture,
dual-pixel PDAF, OIS
2x zoom telephoto
12MP, f/2.4, OIS
2x zoom telephoto 
12MP, f/2.4, OIS
Modem Snapdragon X16 LTE (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 16/13)
Snapdragon X20 LTE (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 18/13)
Samsung LTE (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 16/13)
Samsung LTE (Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 18/13)
SIM Size NanoSIM
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 MU-MIMO,
BT 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Galileo/BDS
Connectivity USB Type-C, 3.5mm headset
Features fingerprint sensor, heart-rate sensor, iris scanner, face unlock, fast charging (Qualcomm QC 2.0, Adaptive Fast Charging, USB PD),
wireless charging (WPC & PMA), IP68, Mobile HDR Premium
Launch OS Android 7.1.1 Samsung Experience Android 8.1 Samsung Experience

In terms of SoC, the Note9 follows in the steps of the Galaxy S9 and employs the same Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810. We’ve extensively covered the two new chipsets in our review of the S9 earlier in the year. The Snapdragon 845 is a fantastic chipset for 2018 – while the Exynos 9810 showed some weakness in terms of performance as well as power efficiency – showcasing a particularly large gap this year.

It’s been some time that Samsung actually talked about the internals of its Galaxy devices, so it was particularly surprising to hear an emphasis on the performance of the chipsets this year round. Gaming was one topic where Samsung pulled in outside help to promote the Note 9 – Tim Sweeney was on stage unveiling the early Android beta launch of Fortnite for Samsung Galaxy phones, as well an exclusive in-game skin for Note 9  users.

Both the Snapdragon and Exynos S9 showcased thermal throttling in 3D games, and it seems Samsung took note of this and actually introduced a new beefier thermal dissipation solution in order to better cool the SoC and maintain higher performance.

The Note 9 comes in 6 GB or 8GB RAM variants, tied together with doubled base storage capacity of 128GB and with an enormous 512GB in the higher tiered variant.

In terms of display, we see the same resolution as on the Note 8 and S9 – employing a 18.5:9 2960x1440 AMOLED screen. The diagonal has increased this time around to 6.4”, and indeed this has increased the footprint of the device as the width has widened 1.6mm to 76.4mm.

A notable increase in comparison to the Note 8 is the Note 9’s battery capacity. Here we see a 21% increase to reach the 4000mAh mark. While this is certainly a psychologically large number, the 14% boost versus the Galaxy S9+ is still within reasonable levels of improvements, and I think Samsung’s taking a bit of a heavy-handed marketing approach here when it comes to the battery promises – especially for the Exynos variants in EMEA and SEA markets.

The camera of the Note 9 is the same as on the S9+ - this includes again the main 12MP sensor with 1.4µm pixel pitch with full dual-pixel PDAF layout, and a variable aperture of either f/1.5 or f/2.4. The telephoto lens also is the same with a 2x optical zoom capability. Both modules support OIS.

The one point where the Note 9 promises to improve camera capture in is through the introduction of neural network based inferencing and scene recognition. The Note 9 is said to recognize 20 scenarios and apply a respective image processing such as colour temperature adjustments. Again, this is something we’ve seen in the past introduced by various vendors, but if one thing we’ve come to discover over the last few months is that the implementation can be a hit & miss – so Samsung will have to focus on getting this right.

The fingerprint sensor sees the same design change as on the S9 and is now located centrally below the camera modules.

Finally the biggest feature improvement on the Note 9 is the new S-Pen: The new unit is no longer just a passive component, but now is an active remote working over Bluetooth LE and has its own little battery incorporated. The phone is said to be able to charge the S-Pen in 40 seconds for 30 minutes of usage – or when it’s actually discharged then it doesn’t limit the traditional functions which still work as passive components. In addition to the new remote functionality, the new S-Pen has a finer tip and increases the pressure sensitivity to 4096 levels.

The Note 9 is now available for preorder with availability on August 24th at prices of USD $999 for the 6GB/128GB base variant and $1249 for the 8GB/512GB version.

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  • ** A - R ** - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    Andrei, Whats the Kernel Version ? Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    Nate is currently doing the hands-on at the event, I haven't had opportunity to have the device in hands yet. It's likely we'll see the same BSP as on the Galaxy S9. Reply
  • ** A - R ** - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    Thank You, Andrei. Reply
  • milkywayer - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    Can someone pass this on to Samsung execs.

    STOP putting curved edges on the phones. They keep cracking even with phone cases for this gargabge.

    My wife's s8 cracked for the 3rd time. With a case.

    My pixel 2 xl flat screen works just fine and works as good.
    Reply
  • timecop1818 - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    I wish I could +1 this shit a million times.

    Stopped using Samsung after S7 flat. That and rear-mounted fingerprint, as long as these 2 things exist I will not buy another Samsung phone.

    Who the fuck actually finds edge screen usable anyway? Not to mention more fragile/shittier cases/not being able to apply proper screen protectors etc.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Saturday, August 11, 2018 - link

    The curve makes no sense. The banana curve from the GNex and the LG G Flex 2 was great.

    The back fingerprint will be around until they can put them inside the screen.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    I think it makes even less sense on a Note than it does on their S phones. Reply
  • K.Masters - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    You can always buy a curved glass protector. I moved over from S7 to S9 and I have zero complaints about it thus far about the curved glass. I think it actually helps with protecting the glass better. Curved glass has more strength then flat glass. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    Gotta agree after owning a Note 8. Makes it really hard to handle, easy to drop without case, and virtually impossible to use when holding the phone landscape oriented in front of you. Reply
  • s.yu - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    Note 8 user here, also use rhinoshield, curve is no issue at all. Reply

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