Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions

Galaxy Note9 will be available in 128GB and 512GB variants and will be priced at Rs. 67,900 and Rs. 84,900, respectively.


Samsung is all set to unveil the latest Galaxy Note device in the Indian market. The company called media for a hands-on event yesterday in New Delhi and showed us the latest phablet. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was launched in New York on August 9, 2018. From a design point of view, it might look like the previous generation Note phablet, but there are some notable improvements to boost up productivity and multimedia performance. The newest member in the Galaxy Note family brings a bigger battery, extra storage and the smartest stylus ever bundled with a Note device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 also features the biggest Super AMOLED display ever used by any Samsung Galaxy device. Besides, Samsung has improved the camera, Bixby and audio performance on the new Note 9 phablet. Importantly, the company has ensured that the pricing remains the same. The Galaxy Note 9 will launch at the same price at which Galaxy Note 8 made its debut in the Indian market last year. It will be available in 128GB and 512GB variants and will be priced at Rs. 67,900 and Rs. 84,900, respectively.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2018: Key takeaways from Samsung's grand event

I couldn't wait to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as my daily driver and here's what I found out in my short stint with the new Galaxy Note 9. Have a look.

Design and Audio

Design and Audio

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the company's biggest smartphone to date. It's even bigger than the last year's note and sports gigantic 6.4-inches screen. If you prefer a compact mobile device that perfectly fits in your palm, this is not a phone for you. The design hasn't changed much over the last generation. The rear panel features a horizontally stacked dual-lens camera setup along with LED flash-light, fingerprint sensor, and some other important sensors.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note9 pre-order in India to debut on August 19

The new Note feels slightly thicker and heavier as it is powered by a bigger battery unit. Samsung has also added new stereo speakers on the new Note to enhance your multimedia performance. The company says that the new Note 9 features the Loudest AKG tuned stereo speakers ever fitted on a Samsung Galaxy device. These speakers can render Dolby Atmos immersive audio for a life-like experience. We played some audio files and found that the new stereo speakers produce clear and loud audio. You can watch a movie or an episode of your favorite series even if you are not carrying a pair of headphones with you.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at both front and back. The smartphone is also IP68 dust-water resistant. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be available in four different colors- Midnight Black, Metallic Copper, Ocean Blue, and Lavender Purple colour variants.

Display: Largest Super AMOLED screen on a Samsung Note device

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a display beast. It sports a massive 6.4-inch Quad HD+ (1440x2960 pixels) Super AMOLED Infinity Display. The Quad HD+ screen comes in 18.5:9 aspect ratio format and offers a pixel density of 516 pixels per inch. It's a brilliant display for gaming and video playback. Like previous Galaxy devices, the AMOLED display on Note 9 offers deeper blacks and impressive viewing angles for daylight content consumption. The big display will beautifully serve for multimedia and productivity tasks.

New smarter S Pen

Samsung is known for adding new features and improving the overall performance of S Pen stylus with every new Galaxy Note device. This year, the S Pen pushes the limits and come out as the smartest accessory for the Galaxy Note 9. The phablet ships with a smarter stylus that has some new tricks under its sleeves. It works on Bluetooth low energy module and can perform a number of tasks. You can use it as a remote control to play-pause videos, flip through slides in PPTs, lead presentations and even show the content on a big screen with in-hand control movements. Moreover, the new smarter S Pen can also control Note 9's camera. Long press the pen button to fire up the camera, single press to take a shot and double to switch the cameras. You can also press and hold the pen button to open any app or S pen feature depending upon your usage. To simply put, S Pen is customizable. Interestingly, you don't need to enable the Bluetooth mode all the time to execute all of these mentioned tasks as the S Pen works on low energy module. However, S Pen ships with a battery of its own that gets charged automatically in the Note 9's stylus holder.

Dual-Pixel AI enabled Camera

The camera on Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a dual-lens affair featuring two 12MP sensors. It is technically the same camera setup that was previously seen on the Galaxy S9+. One of the two 12MP sensors is a wide angle lens with 2x optical zoom. The camera setup uses dual-aperture technology enabling the camera lens to expand and contract just like the iris of a human eye. The ‘Dual Aperture' works in the range of ‘F1.5 / F2.4' and automatically lets in more light when it's dark and less light when it's too bright. Samsung has also modified the camera software on the new Note 9 and promises to deliver better images than the Galaxy S9+. The camera on Galaxy Note 9 comes with intelligent scene recognition and can identify up to 20 different scenes. The camera module then adjusts the basic settings to improve the end results. During my brief usage, I found that the camera can recognize architecture, food, humans for portrait shots, flowers, trees, etc. It was not able to recognize the watch on my wrist. Samsung has also added Super-slow motion on Galaxy Note 9. I will put the camera to a detailed analysis for an in-depth review. For the selfies, Galaxy Note 9 sports an 8MP sensor with autofocus.

Bigger battery and seamless DEX connectivity

One of the most appreciated changes in the new Note device is the big battery unit. Samsung has provided the first-ever 4,000 mAH battery unit on a Note device. The battery unit on Galaxy Note 9 seems promising and also supports both fast-charging and wireless charging. As far as connectivity is concerned, the smartphone comes with NFC, Samsung Pay, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C port, Hybrid SIM card and wireless charging.

Samsung DeX also gets new improvement for seamless connectivity. It is built-in in the new Galaxy Note 9 and you would just need a Type-C to HDMI adapter to project your smartphone's display on a big monitor.

Snapdragon 845 CPU, 6GB RAM, and Android 8.1 Oreo

The Indian version of Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by Exynos 9810 processor, the Snapdragon 845 equivalent SoC. The smartphone will be available in two storage/RAM variants; 6GB RAM+ 128GB storage and 8GB RAM+ 512GB of onboard storage, first ever in the Galaxy Note line-up. You will be happy to know that the 512GB internal memory can be expanded to up to 1TB via a 512GB microSD card. So technically, you can have a total of 1TB storage on the Galaxy Note 9, which is simply amazing.

Galaxy Note 9 is also a very capable gaming handset. The smartphone also initiates the arrival of the Fortnite game for Android platform. If you have a previous Samsung device (Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and even on Tab S3), you can install the game and experience some console-level graphics on brilliant Super AMOLED screens. I tried Fortnite game on the new Note 9 and the performance is completely lag-free. I also played ‘The Amazing Spiderman 2' on the new Galaxy Note device and experienced lag-free gameplay. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 runs on Samsung's Experience UI 9.5 deployed on Android 8.1.0.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is not an entirely new product; however, it improves a lot on some basic feature sets. There's a bigger battery unit, smarter S Pen and double the storage as compared to last year's Note. I wanted to see a new camera setup on the new Note 9 but sadly it's the same camera that I have tested on Galaxy S9+ with some software improvements. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will face a tough fight from Google in the next few months as the Search Engine Giant is also set to introduce the new Pixel 3 XL with a massive screen and new camera hardware. But if your use case involves a stylus, Note 9 seems like the best handset out there in the market. Things are going to get interesting in the premium smartphone segment and I recommend you keep a close watch on for all the exciting technology news and our comprehensive review of Galaxy Note 9.

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