REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy Note9
One of the most expensive Android phones on the market and, in our opinion, one of the best this year. Samsung is a global powerhouse and it’s with these phones it can flex its muscles along with charging as much as it does. If you want the best of the best, then with Samsung you have to pay. Some are saying it’s just an incremental upgrade but with sure a jump in battery size, it’s not really fair to judge the Note9 like that.
A flagship device and flagship build quality. The form factor is distinctive because of its size but with the infinity display, the overall “in the hand feel” is very impressive. It is IP68 water resistant and also has a headphone jack. The feel of the buttons and the volume from the speakers all makes for a very nice package. It’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet but what glass sandwich phone isn’t? A nice touch was the moving for the fingerprint reader down slightly to be more reachable.
The S Pen is now Bluetooth and this comes in very handy for remote picture taking or using it for presentations. This all ties into the professional aspect of this phone Samsung DeX turning it into a mobile PC and Knox making sure that your secrets stay secret.
The best OLED display out there. Slightly bigger than last year’s model and it can be viewed with ease outside. It is vibrant, bright and spot on with colour and contrast. No notch in case you didn’t notice as it’s all some are talking about lately. It’s a big screen and two-handed operation is definitely recommended. The infinity display has already been mentioned above and it’s hard to knock it.
The onboard Snapdragon 845 and the different level of GB of RAM make sure that this phone is not phased by the latest graphics intensive game or multiple of tasks going on at once. If you need local storage, then the fact you can get a 512GB of storage on a phone is insane. The new larger copper heat sync will make sure it doesn’t get too hot under the hood either.
A top 3 camera and it deserves a medal spot with such tight competition amongst smartphones at the moment. It essentially has the same camera set up as the S9+ that we reviewed a few months ago here. The visible difference is of course the orientation of the lenses to a horizontal layout. The only difference is the AI or as Samsung calls it their “Scene Optimiser”. The colour “improvements” can sometimes be hit or miss but the flaw detection is very handy ie when someone blinks.
The introduction of the ‘Dual Aperture’ lens from the Galaxy S9+ is also a welcome addition and definitely helps with better low light captures. Round front, you’ve got your usual 8MP selfie shooter with an f/1.7 aperture, allowing you to capture pretty respectable lowlight selfies as well.
Below are a few sample images captured with Note9.
Let’s not mention the past and just applaud the 4,000mAh battery. It’s all needed to run such a large screen. It lasts all day and that’s the best we can expect. It doesn’t have the best performance when you compare it to the likes of a OnePlus but a full day cannot be sniffed at.
A really great phone, what bothers me is that we don’t see too many of them around. Who should buy this flagship? Is it the super business professional looking for a productive powerhouse? Is it the social media savvy looking for a great screen to absorb all the online contact out there? Our final guess is could it be the online gamer that doesn’t want to be seen with a gaming specific phone? Let us know when you see this bad boy out in the wild and who was using it at their daily driver. Are there still ‘Power Users’ out there?
PS, please let us remap the Bixby button.