Test of the Samsung Galaxy Note9, the Same as Last Year Without the Flaws.


Almost a year after Note8, here is the new Samsung Galaxy Note9. Without being a revolution, Samsung has revised its copy to meet the expectations of its users with not only new features around its S Pen but also an ever larger screen and a battery worthy of the name.


The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is not here to revolutionize the world of smartphones, let alone those of the Korean brand. But it allows Samsung to push the expectations of Galaxy Note users a little further.

Over time, the differences between Galaxy S and Galaxy Note are smaller, but it is precisely these small differences that differentiate Galaxy Note users from others.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 at the best price

Specifications and Packaging

Here’s the spec sheet of the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 :

Name

Samsung Galaxy Note9

Screen size

6.4 inch Super Amoled

Screen Definition

QHD+ (2960 × 1440)

Resolution

516 dpi

SoC

– Exynos 9810

– 4 × custom cores @ 2.9 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.9 GHz

– GPU Mali-G72 MP18

– 10nm FinFET Etch

Software

– Android 8.1 Oreo

– Samsung Experience Overlayer

RAM

6 GB / 8 GB

Internal memory

128 GB / 512 GB

Micro-SD port

Yes (up to 512 GB)

Battery

– 4000 mAh (non-removable)

– Wireless Charging

Backpack Camera

– 12 MP main sensor

– 12 MP secondary sensor (optical zoom ×2)

– Wide angle: dual aperture f/2.4 and f/1.5

– Dual Pixel Autofocus

– Auto HDR

– Captures video up to 4K at 60fps

– Slows down to 960fps at 720p

– Optical stabilization

Front camera

– 8 MP

– Aperture f/1.7

– Smart Autofocus

– Face recognition

– Automatic HDR

– Iris sensor

S Pen

4096 pressure levels

Bluetooth

30 minutes of autonomy for 40 seconds of charge

Dimensions

161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm

Weight

197 g

201 g with stylus

SIM card

– 2 x nano-SIM (or 1 × nano-SIM + micro-SD card)

Fingerprint sensor

Yes (dorsal)

Connection system

– USB Type-C

-NFC

-Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

-Bluetooth 5.0

GPS

A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo

jack

Yes

Watertightness

Yes (IP 68)

Colours

Deep Black, Cobalt Blue, Orchid Purple

Introductory price

1,009 euros

On the packaging side, there is the rectangular cardboard box containing the USB-C to USB-A cable, a USB charger, AKG in-ear earphones/hands-free kits worth €99, leads for the S Pen and instructions for use for a first time use. Nothing very original.

For its price, like the Galaxy Note8 at launch, count 1009 € from this Friday 24th August 2018 for the 128GB version and 1259 € for the 512GB version (with 8GB of RAM). So you can see, if you add a 512GB memory card, you’ll have no less than 1TB of storage space on your smartphone, which is still impressive. Now, to be honest, I may store a lot of stuff, but 128 GB is more than enough, especially when you use cloud services a lot.

Design

When I talked about evolution in the introduction, the word has too strong a meaning when it comes to design. Indeed, while the Galaxy Note9 gives the impression of being a more angular and larger version of the Galaxy S9+, the Galaxy Note9 looks very much like Note8. It’s so similar that from the front, you can barely make out the two devices. It is necessary to linger on small details such as color to make the difference between the two Notes. Why change a winning formula? The Galaxy Note9 is an XL smartphone and claims to be one. Using it with one hand is somewhat complicated and it is really better to use it with two hands.

The level of finish is excellent with a very successful glass back, but which takes all the fingerprints of the world. Yeah, that’s the price you pay for a glass back. Despite a 6.4-inch screen, the overall volume remains relatively contained and only its weight can betray it compared to the Galaxy S9+. Small novelty compared to Note8, the fingerprint sensor is finally well located, I still find it a little high, but it’s day and night compared to what Note8 proposed. Samsung still retains the jack plug and now offers a 4000 mAh battery, thus correcting one of the only defects of Note8

Display and Sound

We’ll make it short, every year Samsung offers on its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note the best smartphone screens on the market. This was the case with the Galaxy S9 and S9+ last March, it is also the case with the Galaxy Note9. And to our delight, it’s a little larger than the S9+, which allows us to enjoy our content more pleasantly. Similarly, Samsung remains one of the few manufacturers still not to offer a notch at the top of the smartphone’s front panel. Some like it, some don’t. Very personally, if it doesn’t bother me especially on a daily basis, I prefer Samsung’s no-nonsense approach.

The HDR Premium technology is found on this screen in 18.5:9 format with a diagonal of 6.4 inches and Quad HD+ definition. The OLED slab is still excellent. In terms of finesse of display, if it’s all about the numbers, I defy you to find a difference to the naked eye in the finesse of the texts and so on. The blacks are very deep and the colours jump out at you. And to keep it that way, Samsung gets away with the honours in terms of colour. Colorimetry is mastered. The angles of vision are very good and I had no problems with visibility in full sun. I even find the slab of the Galaxy Note9 brighter than the S9+.

Because the Galaxy Note9 is based on the Galaxy S9+, Samsung offers you AKG speakers, stereo and with the support of Dolby Atmos, the whole can simulate sound at 360°. Of course, we’re talking about speakers and the uses that go with them, you can’t power a movie theater either, right? And compared to a Galaxy Note8, the difference is obvious and it’s so much better to enjoy your multimedia content. Finally, we were bluffed by the power and clarity of the sound when using headphones (wireless or not).

Samsung Experience, DeX and S Pen

This time, I won’t dwell on the subject since there are very few differences in the Samsung Experienceoverlay. This is similar to what we already knew with the newest Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The overall experience is quite close to Android Stock, even if Samsung tries to impose some features like Bixby that I still don’t use. Not all applications are preloaded and that’s nice. On the pane on the left side of the home screens, you can enable or disable Bixby, Samsung’s PDA. French is still not available so it was quickly disabled for my part. On the other hand, on the Galaxy Note9, the dedicated button is no longer disabled ! Why Samsung? Why? Or allow me to assign it to another useful function…

Like Note8, the Galaxy Note9 is entitled to its S Pen still located in the thickness of the smartphone in the bottom slice. The S Pen is of course offered in a new version that still supports up to 4096 pressure levels. But the big news is that the S Pen now supports Bluetooth with a 30-minute (40-second recharge) autonomy. As a result, the stylus can now be used as a remote control for presentations, the photo gallery or YouTube, but also as a trigger for taking pictures, for example. There are also functions such as Live Message (handwriting transmitted in GIF mode), Screen Off Memo which allows you to take notes without having to unlock the Galaxy Note9 and the possibility to customize a little more the AR Emojis that appeared with the Galaxy S9. Note that the Galaxy Note9 in its Cobalt Blue version features a yellow S Pen. Being a big fan of the Galaxy Note, I have always appreciated the S Pen and it is true that with its new features, the S Pen has proven to be very handy, especially for photos. You can always blame the S Pen’s small size, but that’s the price you pay for not having an S Pen that you could possibly lose if it wasn’t stored in your smartphone.

Finally, the DeX mode which, this time, does not require a dedicated accessory. Indeed, as for the Galaxy Tab S4, the Galaxy Note9 does not need a DeX Station to be able to switch to desktop mode. Simply connect it to a screen with a Bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse and you’ll be able to work in desktop mode. Whether it’s via the official Samsung USB-C to HDMI adapter or any other solution, it works. We tried the mode with a USB-C <-> HDMI cable of the Choetechbrand, we had no problem. By using the DeXmode, it is still possible to use the Galaxy Note9 with its smartphone display or to use it as a mini keyboard or trackpad. Now, I’m not a big user of this mode since at home or at the office, I already have my computer, but maybe on the road, now that we don’t need a dedicated accessory, I’ll be able to get started.

Performance and Autonomy

On the performance side, the Galaxy Note9 offers the same processor and the same amount of RAM as the Galaxy S9+. As a result, it is almost similar in terms of performance. Unsurprisingly, we find results at the various benchmarks at the top of the basket. I remind you that the French version of the Galaxy Note9 does not include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC (despite the recent partnership with Qualcomm), but a SoC Exynos from Samsung. Of course, I’ve tried all the recent games like Asphalt 9, Fortnite or PUBG Mobile and there’s not much to say if it wasn’t perfectly fluid. Speaking of Fortnite, don’t forget that Galaxy Note9 owners get a dedicated costume, Galaxy Man.

And because we’re talking about video games, if the Galaxy Note9 hasn’t been presented as a gamer’s smartphone, it still has all the features with a big screen, big performance and good battery life. And because gaming is synonymous with high power consumption and heat, the Galaxy Note9 is equipped with a new cooling system, the Water Carbon Cooling System , which makes it up to 3.5× more efficient thanks to carbon fiber against more traditional silicone. In our tests, while the Galaxy Note 9 heats up nicely under heavy use, the smartphone never reached unbearable temperatures. Also noteworthy is the presence of the On Device AI technology, which makes it possible to understand the applications in memory and therefore to close some or reduce performance according to use and avoid unnecessary energy consumption.

The weak point of Note8 with a lower battery than the S8+, the Galaxy Note9 now offers a 4000 mAh battery. There is also quick charging as well as Qi and PMA compatible wireless charging (PowerMat). As you might expect, wired charging will go much faster than wireless charging. But where the Galaxy Note9 shines again is in the range that fully ensures a day’s full power in Power User mode. In the week I’ve had it on test, I’ve recharged it four times. It’s still nice to think that your smartphone, at 40% when you get up, can largely hold up until mid-afternoon without changing your habits.

Here is the battery status of the Galaxy Note9 after more than one day of use :


Now for a busier day:


Photo and Video

For the photo, we’ll keep it simple. If the Galaxy Note8 was different from the Galaxy S8+ with the arrival of a second camera, the Galaxy Note9 takes exactly the same photo block as the Galaxy S9+. The treatment has been revised to be a little less cold. If you lose a little detail by pixel-peeping, the result is more flattering. The contrasts are always well accentuated, which should please the general public, but the colorimetry is mastered, at least more than on the Galaxy S9+. If it doesn’t show when the conditions are good, in low light conditions, it’s better.

The rear sensors are equipped with DRAM, which allows slow-motion up to 240fps at 1080p and 960fps at 720p. It includes the “Automatic Motion Detect” function, which appeared with the Galaxy S9, which simplifies the capture at the right time. TheDual Pixelautofocus is super fast and together with theDual Aperturetechnology allows the main camera to have two apertures, F/2.4 when the brightness is above 100 lux and F/1.5 when it is below. I remind you that, according to Samsung, having two mechanical openings limits the risk of aberrations and overexposure. Like the Galaxy S9+, the Galaxy Note9 offers a second camera with a telephoto lens with autofocus and an aperture of F/2.4. All sensors are 12 Megapixel sensors and all lenses incorporate optical stabilization. For the front, one finds an 8 Megapixel selfie camera, F/1.7 aperture, Smart Autofocus and Face Recognition.

There has been a small change in the photo application of the Galaxy Note9 compared to the Galaxy S9+, it’s the integration of theArtificial Intelligence for a better scene recognition. From my tests, I found some inconsistency in the results, which forced me to finally disable the function. On the other hand, this AI can analyze your photo and will detect for you if there is motion blur or closed eyes in a portrait. Very practical. There is also a better controlled HDR mode which, together with the AI, allows for use in low light conditions.

Here is a gallery of pictures taken with the Galaxy Note9 :

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 at the best price

You May Also Like