Here’s the lowdown on one of 2018’s most powerful smartphones 💥
It’s finally here. After relentless leaks, rumors, and more, Samsung’s finally unveiled the Galaxy Note 9.
Even though we already knew a lot about the phone prior to its official announcement, there’s still plenty to talk about. What colors does it come in? What are the final specs? Were we impressed during our hands-on preview?
All those questions and more are answered right here, so without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
The latest Galaxy Note 9 news
February 4, 2019 — Android Pie with One UI comes to the Note 9 on AT&T and Sprint
If you’re rocking a Note 9 and have it on either AT&T or Sprint in the U.S., your wait for Android Pie has ended. According to tips from multiple readers, the Pie/One UI update is now arriving to the Note 9 on both carriers.
We haven’t seen the update size for the AT&T update, but the Sprint one shows up as 1840.5 MB. It’s also rocking the January 1, 2019 security patch.
The updates are widely rolling out now, so if you haven’t received it yet, you should see it soon.
January 27, 2019 — Android Pie update with One UI scheduled for February 4 on Rogers
Samsung’s One UI update with Android Pie has been graduating from betas to stable release in countries around the world, but we should soon be seeing the update rolling out in North America with the announcement that Rogers will be updating the Samsung Galaxy Now 9 to Android Pie on February 4, a week before Rogers pushes the Android Pie update for the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
While one Canadian carrier may not seem like a big deal, this is a great sign for all American and Canadian Note 9 users, as these software variants are developed side by side. If the version for Rogers is rolling through its final testing, hopefully the update will be ready soon for the rest of the US and Canada carriers. Bugs could still arise in the next week before the rollout, but hopefully the One UI update will be here in just a few short days!
November 24, 2018 — "First Snow White" Note 9 launches in Taiwan
There have been whispers and wishes of a Note 9 as white as snow, and Samsung has official launched a "First Snow White" Note 9 in Taiwan, and wow, it’s pretty! The name homages the first snowfall of the year, which is what the Taiwan launch coincides with.
This Note 9 features an all-white back, including the camera and fingerprint module. The S-Pen is also snow white, while the front of the phone is the same deep ebony black as the current color line-up, and inside, everything else matches the other Note 9 colors. The Snow Fall White model was unveiled in Taipei and will be exclusively sold by Samsung in Taiwan beginning in December.
It’s not clear if or when this color could make its way to other markets, but this beauty has me dreaming of a White Christmas.
September 19, 2018 — Latest Bixby update for Note 9 has a new press twice to open option
Ever since we were first introduced to Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung’s virtual assistant has proven to be an annoyance rather than genuinely helpful more times than not. Users have previously been allowed to disable the physical Bixby button if they don’t want to use it, but with the Note 9, Samsung removed this option.
A new Bixby update is rolling out now to Note 9 owners, and while there’s still no way to disable the Bixby button entirely, you can make it more difficult to accidentally trigger the assistant.
Under the new Bixby Key setting, you can now choose to open Bixby by pressing the button once or twice. By switching over to twice, it’s far less likely you’ll unwantingly open Bixby when you mistake its button for the power/lock one.
What do you think of this update? Is it enough to keep Bixby at bay or do you still want a way to turn it off completely?
September 17, 2018 — A woman is suing Samsung after her Galaxy Note 9 caught on fire
Ever since Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle from a couple years ago, the company’s been under a fine microscope when it comes to the safety of its devices. A little less than a month since the Note 9 officially went on sale, there’s already one report from a woman in New York claiming that her Note 9 randomly caught on fire while it was in her purse.
Diane Chunge is a real estate agent in New York City, and according to her recently filed lawsuit against Samsung, she was in an elevator when she noticed that her Note 9 was unusually hot. She put the phone in her purse, but shortly after, she says "she heard a whistling and screeching sound, and she noticed thick smoke."
Chunge did make it safely out of the elevator (someone in the lobby she exited the elevator from threw the Note 9 in a bucket of water) and is now suing Samsung for unknown damages and wants it to cease further sales of the phone.
Following this, a Samsung spokesperson said, "We have not received any reports of similar incidents involving a Galaxy Note9 device and we are investigating the matter."
It’s believed that this was a one-time fluke seeing as how Samsung’s phones now go through a rigorous battery safety check following the release of the Note 7, but even so, it’ll be interesting to see if any additional reports come to light following this.
August 27, 2018 — Samsung’s now offering free Gear VR adapters to Note 9 owners
While there was a lot of hype and fanfare surrounding the Note 9 when Samsung announced it, something that was noticeably absent was a new Gear VR. Last year’s model doesn’t currently work with the Note 9 due to the phone’s larger size, but thankfully, Samsung’s announced a small fix.
If you call 1-800-SAMSUNG and give the company your Gear VR’s serial and model numbers, you’ll be sent an adapter within 10 business days that allows the Note 9 to properly fit inside the headset.
There’s currently no way to purchase the adapter online or in-stores, and as a quick reminder, this only applies to the Gear VR headset that was released last year alongside the Note 8.
August 21, 2018 — Google names the Note 9 as the best phone for YouTube
The Note 9’s 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is one of the best you’ll find on a smartphone in 2018, and thanks to this, Google’s deemed it as the best phone for binging YouTube on.
YouTube’s Signature Devices list recently launched as a way to highlight Android phones that offer the best experience for all things YouTube, and as part of it, it’s noted that:
With this transition from TV screen to phone screen, YouTube has announced its Signature Devices for a best-in-class YouTube experience. Ranked against a variety of key attributes, YouTube endorsed a variety of devices as best-in-class for the platform.
Their top choice? The Samsung Galaxy Note 9
August 21, 2018 — The 512GB Note 9 saw more pre-orders than the 128GB model in Korea
Pre-order numbers for the Galaxy Note 9 are slowly trickling out, and according to a report from The Investor, Samsung’s highest-end 512GB model was the most popular in the country.
SK Telecom, Korea’s biggest wireless carrier, notes that "users mostly preferred to buy the 512GB version" which costs 1.35 million won (or $1,208 USD). At this time, it’s unclear if the 512GB preference carriers over to the U.S. and other markets.
Korean pre-orders for the Note 9 have also been stronger than that of the Galaxy S9, but not as high as last year’s Note 8.
August 17, 2018 — Galaxy Note 9 already getting a software update that adds August 2018 security patch and more slow-mo video options
The Note 9 won’t officially be released until Augst 24, but even so, Samsung’s already pushing a software update to the phone that adds a couple goodies.
This update changes the software version number to N960FXXU1ARH5 and allows users to record Super Slow-Mo video for moments that last either 0.2 seconds or 0.4 seconds when in manual mode. 0.2-second shots are still in glorious 960 FPS while 0.4-second ones are limited to 480 FPS.
Additionally, this update also brings the more recent August 2018 security patch.
August 15, 2018 — Samsung talks about what it took to make the Note 9 so darn pretty 😍
It’s no secret that Samsung makes stunning phones, and with the Galaxy Note 9, the company put all of its design prowess on full display. However, as much fun as it is to look at and hold the Note 9, it’s even more exciting to take a closer look at just what goes into crafting a device of its caliber.
Samsung’s Infinity Display is once again being used on the Note 9, and measuring in at 6.4-inches, is the biggest the company’s created to-date. Samsung also says that the Note 9’s screen is an ever deeper black compared to past handsets, which "allows it to blend in with the bezels when the device is off and enhances the overall aesthetic."
A process called Die-cutting was used to craft the Note 9’s frame, and as a result of this laborious process, the frame of the Note 9 " features an interplay of glossy and matte finishes that complements the Galaxy Note9’s premium design cues."
To read more about the Note 9’s design and the time/attention that went into its S Pen, check out Samsung’s full deep dive below.
All the big details
Check out our written and video reviews
Before you do anything else, be sure to check out our full review of the Galaxy Note 9!
This is Samsung’s biggest and most powerful phone of the year, and as a quick spoiler, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The Note 9 has a gorgeous display, insanely fast processing tech, a massive battery, and much more.
Get the full lowdown in the video review above and our written one below.
Here are the specs
Like past Notes before it, the Galaxy Note 9 is packed to the gills with all of the latest available tech. That means it has the latest processor, a massive battery, an insane amount of RAM, and much more.
Here are all the specs you can look forward to.
|Operating system||Android 8.1 Oreo
Samsung Experience 9.5
|Display||6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (18.5:9)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|Expandable||MicroSD up to 2TB|
|Primary rear camera||12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel, OIS, f/1.5 or f/2.4|
|Secondary rear camera||12MP, OIS, f/2.4, telephoto lens|
|Front camera||8MP, f/1.7, auto focus|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO, 1.2Gbps (Cat-18) LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 LE
ANT+, NFC, GPS, Glonass
|Security||One-touch fingerprint sensor
|Colors||Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple (U.S.)
Midnight Black, Metallic Copper (intl)
Should you upgrade from the Note 8?
As exciting as the Galaxy Note 9 is shaping up to be, last year’s Note 8 is still one heck of a smartphone.
The Note 9 offers the expected improvements in regards to RAM, camera performance, etc., but really gets a strong edge over its predecessor thanks to its improved S Pen and a massive battery.
Then again, if you already have the Note 8 and don’t feel like throwing down $900 (?) on a new phone, maybe upgrading isn’t the right move for you?
How’s it compare to other phones?
That’s fine and dandy, but how’s the Note 9 hold up against other non-Note devices?
Without a doubt, one of the Note 9’s biggest competitors comes from Samsung itself with the Galaxy S9+. A lot of features are shared between the two phones, including a large Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845, Samsung’s custom software, excellent dual cameras, and more.
The Note 9 is obviously the only one of the two that uses the S Pen, but is that reason enough to make the pricey upgrade?
Similarly, there are still plenty of other phones that are scheduled to come out before 2018 is over — most importantly the Google Pixel 3 XL. Rumors and leaks are hinting at a phone with considerably slimmer bezels, an even better camera package, and an all-glass back (not to mention the ginormous notch).
A lot is new with the S Pen
The S Pen is easily the biggest reason so many people flock to the Note series year after year, and this time around, Samsung’s giving the S Pen one of its biggest upgrades in years.
For the first time, Samsung’s adding Bluetooth Low Energy to the S Pen. With this new connectivity, the S Pen picks up a heap of new features that allow you to control the Note 9 from a distance.
Some use cases include being able to use the S Pen and its button as a camera shutter, navigating through presentations, and more. The presence of Bluetooth also means this is the first S Pen to have a battery, and as with all things that have a battery, the S Pen will need to be charged.
Thankfully, seeing as how the S Pen seamlessly charges in the background when stored inside the Note 9, this shouldn’t ever prove to be an issue of any sort.
Get the official wallpapers right here!
New Samsung phones always come with striking wallpapers to help jazz up your home screen, and even if you don’t have the funds/interest to get a Note 9 right now, you can still bring its look to your exisitng handset with its official wallpapers.
We’ve got all 12 listed above for your viewing pleasure, and if you want to throw one (or all) of them on your phone, feel free to download ’em as you see fit.
What color should you get?
Samsung’s typically one of the better OEMs when it comes to offering a good variety of colors, and with the Note 9, that’s no different.
In the United States, buyers will be able to choose from Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple. In other parts of the world, Samsung’s releasing Midnight Black and Metallic Copper.
Don’t forget about the cases!
The Note 9 has a striking design that combines metal and glass into one gorgeous package, but as great as the phone might look, it’s certainly not the most durable handset you’ll find.
Thankfully, to help keep your Note 9 looking as good as can be through all sorts of wear and tear, there are already a number of cases being sold.
Here are our favorites!
Here’s everything you need to know about buying the Note 9
There are a lot of reasons you may want to pick up the Note 9, and whatever those reasons may be, you’ve got a lot of options for deciding where to get it.
In the United States, pricing starts at $999.99 for the 128GB model and goes up to $1249.99 for the 512GB one. You can get the phone at Best Buy, Amazon, Samsung’s website, all of the major carriers, and more.
However, there are some questions that pop up when thinking about buying the Note 9. Should you buy it unlocked or through a carrier? What storage size is the best to pick up? You’ve got the questions, we’ve got answers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
- Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
- Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
- Galaxy Note 9 specifications
- Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
- Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums
Updated August 16, 2018: Updated this guide with a news-roll and the latest available info!
February 4, 2019 at 12:22PM