In this post, which will be updated regularly, we take a closer look at the latest rumors surrounding Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9 smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 8 was a smash hit. Despite being the most expensive Samsung smartphone to date and having a weirdly positioned fingerprint scanner, the flagship outsold previous Note devices. Its large 18.5:9 display, dual-camera setup, and stunning design were apparently good enough reasons for consumers to forget all about the Note 7 fiasco.
Whether Samsung can manage repeat with the Galaxy Note 9 depends on how much of an upgrade the handset will be over its predecessor and its price tag. Although the specs and price haven’t been officially revealed yet, various rumors on these topics give us an idea of what to expect — check them out below.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Release date
- The Note 9 could go on sale as early as July, two months sooner than its predecessor.
- The alternative is a September release, just like the Galaxy Note 8.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may hit the shelves sooner than its predecessor, which was unveiled at the end of August last year and released on September 15. According to The Investor, Samsung Display will kick off production of OLED panels for the smartphone in April — two months earlier than for the Galaxy Note 8. This means the Galaxy Note 9 could go on sale as early as July.
The reason why Samsung may want to speed things up is to release the Note 9 before the new iPhones make their debut.
The reason why Samsung may want to speed things up this year is to release its flagship before the new iPhone generation hits the market. As usual, that’s expected to happen in September.
Nothing has been confirmed yet. It’s possible Samsung will stick with the same strategy as last year, which proved successful based on the Note 8’s sales numbers. The Note 9 could be announced at an Unpacked event sometime in August before going on sale in September — we don’t expect to see it any later than that.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Specs
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 could sport a dual-camera setup with variable aperture.
- The smartphone should be powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset.
- It will come with the S Pen stylus, which could have a few new tricks up its sleeve.
According to The Investor, the Galaxy Note 9’s display will be larger than that of the Note 8 — but the difference will be so small that you’ll hardly notice it. The smartphone is said to come with a 6.38-inch display, up from the Note 8’s 6.32 inches. The screen should be curved on both sides and sport an 18.5:9 aspect ratio like last year. No word on resolution for now, but we expect it to be the same as the one on its predecessor at 2,960 x 1,440 pixels. Some rumors suggest a 4K display is also an option.
The Note 9 will probably be powered by the latest Snapdragon 845 — or Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 chipset, depending on the region — just like the Galaxy S9 series. Like the Note 8, the Note 9 will likely pack 6GB of RAM under the hood, which means it will be able to handle anything you throw at it. However, there’s also a chance Samsung will announce a beefed-up version of the device.
Chinese leaker Ice universe claims it will come with 8GB of RAM and a whopping 512GB of storage, but only “if you are lucky.” What exactly that means is anyone’s guess right now. It could be that Samsung hasn’t made a final decision yet, or that this variant will be exclusive to certain markets, like China.
If you are lucky, you will see 8GB RAM and 512GB ROM Galaxy Note9
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 26, 2018
We expect to see a few improvements in the camera department. Like its predecessor, the Note 9 will probably come with a dual-camera setup on the back, offering digital zoom and a bokeh effect. There’s a good chance the camera setup will sport a variable aperture like the S9 series, which is especially handy for low-light photography. Unfortunately, we haven’t come across any reliable leaks about the camera’s specs like the megapixel count, aperture size, and what have you.
Read next: What is variable aperture?
The ability to capture super slow-mo videos at 960fps could make its way from the S9 to the Note 9. AR Emoji feature, which lets you turn yourself into animated emoji with the help of the camera, could also cross over. It’s not perfect, but it is a lot of fun. Check out a few AR emojis of our very own Jimmy Westenberg and Joshua Vergara below.
According to leaker Ice universe, the Note 9 will have a larger battery than its predecessor — possibly as large as 3,850mAh, up from 3,300mAh. Samsung has been playing it safe when it comes to battery sizes since the Note 7 fiasco. Maybe it will finally close that chapter and take a step forward.
Other specs and features expected include 64GB of base storage in the U.S., which you’ll be able to upgrade for an extra 400GB via a microSD card. Then there’s facial recognition, an iris scanner, and the Intelligent Scan feature already seen on the Galaxy S9, which merges the two biometric options.
The Note 9 will likely sport a headphone jack and may come with a free pair of AKG headphones.
Let’s not forget about the IP68 rating for protection against dust and water and the Note’s signature S Pen stylus, which should have a few new tricks up its sleeve. The Note 9 will also likely come with a headphone jack and may ship with a free pair of AKG headphones in the box like its predecessor.
The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to run Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung’s Experience skin on top. The smartphone will likely also launch with the much anticipated Bixby 2.0 on board, which is an upgraded version of the company’s digital assistant.
Based on the rumored specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the smartphone sounds like a slightly larger Galaxy S9 Plus with the added S Pen. That’s why it’s possible Samsung will add a few extra bells and whistles to the device to differentiate it from the S9 series.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumored specifications|
|Display||6.38-inch Super AMOLED panel
2,960 x 1,440 resolution
18.5:9 aspect ratio
|Processor||Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810|
|Storage||up to 512GB|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 400GB|
|Camera||Dual-camera setup with variable aperture and super slow-mo video at 960fps|
|Software||Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience|
|Other features||S Pen stylus, facial recognition, iris scanner, and AR Emoji|
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Design
- The upcoming flagship could look similar to the Galaxy S9, with a few minor changes.
- Alternatively, it’s possible Samsung will surprise us and opt for a brand new design.
- Some rumors claim the Note 9 may come with an in-display fingerprint scanner, while others suggest the opposite.
Chinese leaker Ice universe shared two alleged images of the Galaxy Note 9 on Twitter, showing that the smartphone might be similar to its predecessor — at least from the front. They reveal the flagship could sport a curved display with minimal bezels surrounding it. However, the images appear a bit sketchy, so do take them with a grain of salt.
We haven’t come across any images showing the back of the device, but we assume it will look similar to the Galaxy S9 Plus. That means a glass back with vertically-positioned dual-camera setup and a fingerprint scanner placed below it. This would be a big improvement over the Note 8 that had the fingerprint scanner to the right of the camera sensors, which looked weird and was unpractical.
That being said, we’ve also heard rumors the Note 9 will sport an in-display fingerprint scanner, just like the Vivo X20 Plus UD. This would allow you to unlock the device by placing your finger on a certain part of the screen. It would also give the back of the device a cleaner, less cluttered look. However, the latest speculation, which arrives from Chosun, claims the opposite. While Samsung has apparently finished development of the tech, it wants to improve its accuracy — which will take some time. That means the first Samsung device with an in-display fingerprint scanner could the Galaxy S10.
Fingerprint scanner-related rumors are conflicting, so it could go either way. We can at least be sure it won’t be located on the chin of the device (below the display), as there won’t be enough room in the smartphone’s thin bezels.
On the other hand, Samsung might surprise us all this year with a brand new design. This would make some sense, as it would allow the company to differentiate the Note 9 from the S9 Plus. It would be especially important if the two devices will be similar in terms of specs.
Both options are possible, but we think Samsung will play it safe and opt for a design similar to the S9 series, with a few small changes here and there. This also means the smartphone won’t sport an iPhone X-like notch, which is still a divisive feature.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Price
- The Galaxy Note 9 could cost the same as its predecessor or more.
- It might set you back at least $950 unlocked.
The unlocked version of the Galaxy Note 8 launched with a $930 price tag in the U.S., making it the most expensive Samsung smartphone to date. What’s more, its price has since increased — now $950.
The Galaxy Note 9’s price remains a mystery for now, but we do know this: it won’t lower. Samsung doesn’t decrease the prices of its flagships, and we don’t expect that to change this year. In fact, the Note 9 could be more expensive than its predecessor. Samsung increased the price of the Galaxy S9 Plus to $840 unlocked — $15 more than the Galaxy S8.
The Note 8 outsold its predecessor, despite being more expensive, which might give Samsung the confidence to bump up the price again this year. Pushing the price up too high might have a negative effect on sales, especially if the handset will only be a minor upgrade over last year’s model, but a small increase could be in the cards.
These are all the rumors we’ve come across so far about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. We’ll update this page as soon as we hear more.
In the meantime, share your thoughts on Samsung’s upcoming smartphone with us. Will it outsell the Galaxy Note 8? Let us know in the comments!