As DJ Koh and his team get ready to open up the latest Samsung Unpacked experience and present the Galaxy Note 9 to the world, what can the geekerati expect from the latest South Korean phablet?
There will certainly be step forwards from previous devices, but anyone looking for a massive change of direction should look elsewhere. The Note 9 is going to be a highlight polished upgrade of the Note 8, but don’t expect it to upset the apple cart (or Apple’s cart).
What should not be a surprise is the Note 9’s basic specifications. As well as details from the porous supply chain and online benchmarking, the final details have been leaked through network partners around the world. Expect the handset to stay at 6 GB of RAM (with the move to 8 GB held back for next year’s Galaxy S10) and various options of storage up to 512 GB. Throw in support for 512 GB microSD cards and your phablet can be set up to carry 1 TB of information.
Although other manufacturers are moving to triple-lens cameras on the read, Samsung is also expected to hold this back for the Galaxy S10, so a dual-lens camera will be on show, along with a much improved forward facing camera.
The Galaxy Note 9 will also continue to have two SoC variants, with the Qualcomm SnapDragon equipped models heading to the US as the rest of the world picks up the Exynos powered handsets. The suspicion is that the Exynos will be throttled back to offer similar performance to the SnapDragon units, but offer a little bit more in terms of battery efficiency.
And that battery is likely to be a 4000 mAh monster. Paired up with Samsung’s quick charging circuits and the multi-format wireless charging receiver in the rear, there’s lots of power and lots of ways to get the phablet charged.
Of course the screen will be much talked about. It should come in at 6.38 inches, sporting the Super AMOLED technology of previous devices. Although it will not have an under-screen fingerprint reader, it will continue to feature the curved edges and minimised bezels that have come to be hallmarks of the South Korean manufacturer.
The S-Pen remains one of the biggest points of differentiation between not only the Note 9 and the rest of the high-end Android phablets, but also with the Galaxy S handsets. This year’s S-Pen is going to be packing more active technology as well as integrating with Bluetooth. Expect there to be a lot of talk about the S-Pen and the benefits of the system. It’s the one area Samsung will be able to sell heavily, and also the one
And sell it must. The Galaxy Note 9 has the potential to be the last Note device from Samsung. With the Galaxy S Plus handsets picking up the large-screen smartphone demographic and the new technology being held back for the S launch, there’s not much for the Note to do (except run some interference on the iPhone).
If the Note 9 does not have stellar retail performance, this could be the end of the line. The line that once heralded the phablet, polished to perfection, leaving on a high note with an iterated design that does the job it needs to do.
It’s not quite ‘leave them wanting more’ but it’s a lot ether than going out in a burst of fire.
Now read more about Samsung;s plans to release the Galaxy S10…