Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung has unveiled its Galaxy Note 9, which boasts more powerful hardware, a bigger display, and an improved stylus.

[Read all about the Galaxy Note 9 here]

The device sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440, paired with a 4,000mAh battery.

It also features the dual-camera set-up in the Galaxy S9+, including a dual-aperture lens which dynamically adjusts.

An 8MP camera is placed on the front of the device, and the new Bluetooth S Pen holstered in the bottom right of the Note 9’s chassis.

The 128GB model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be available in South Africa from 24 August 2018 for R18,999.

Samsung said the 512GB version would launch later this year for a recommended retail price of R23,999.

First impressions

Samsung kindly provided MyBroadband with a Galaxy Note 9 to test following the Unpacked launch event last night.

We received the Ocean Blue model, which boasts 128GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM.

The Galaxy Note 9 is a large device – especially when compared to the Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone X – and packs an impressive array of hardware and features.

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Galaxy S9 and Note 9.
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Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X.

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The Note 9’s rounded edges and thin chassis make it comfortable to hold, however, even with it being one of the largest flagship smartphones on offer today.

Its fingerprint sensor has also been placed below the camera system on the rear, making it easily reachable.

Its new Bluetooth S Pen, though, is where it really stands out from competing devices.

The new S Pen sports a bold yellow colour on this model and features Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) connectivity, which allows you to use it as a remote control for the smartphone.

Several intuitive functions are built into the device’s software, such as holding down the S Pen button to open the camera app.

Off-screen memos also return with the Galaxy Note 9, allowing you to make notes using the S Pen without unlocking the device.

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Other attractive features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are its display and performance.

Multi-tasking is a breeze, with the smartphone refusing to falter no matter how many apps I had open. Additionally, the camera app proved to be smooth and responsive when recording everything from 4K video to 960fps super slow-motion clips.

This is thanks to its 6GB of RAM and 10nm 64-bit octa-core processor, which runs underneath Android 8.1.

Coupled with the powerful hardware is what Samsung calls a true “all-day” battery – a 4,000mAh unit which should let users do whatever they want without the fear of running out of power.

On top of this, the Note 9 boasts an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, making it far more durable in a variety of situations.

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If you are a Samsung Note fan, this device will not disappoint you, and as a Samsung Galaxy S9 owner myself, I was surprised how quick and easy it was to get used to the larger body and screen.

The S Pen was another great surprise, and using it as a stylus or a remote control was a cool experience.

The fact that the top-of-the range version – set to launch later this year in South Africa – packs 8GB of RAM and can support up to 1TB of storage means power users may already be lining up for pre-orders.

Now read: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – South African pricing and release date

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Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9