Weekend Tech-Talk: Note9 is out, but is it enough?
The Samsung Note9 was just released with thunderous applause from the audience at Samsung’s keynote. The company also released a smart speaker that is powered by Bixby, which to our knowledge, is the worst assistant on the market.
It was a good day for Samsung towards distinguishing themselves while improving on an already good product, the Note 8. FYI: Apple, on the other hand, is ready to take the reigns and show off their latest iPhone iterations next month.
Let’s take a look at the Note9, Bixby Home, and the Galaxy Watch to see what did Samsung do?
Looking at the Note9, at first glance, it is the same as the Note8.
Note9 (Courtesy of Samsung) (Left), Note 8 (Courtesy of Samsung) (Right)
However, a closer look reveals: The new fingerprint placement, larger-better cameras on the back (like the S9+), and better software and hardware performance.
Here’s how Samsung achieved better performance. If you look at the images below you can see the extra copper in the Note9 which help with heat throttling which bottlenecks your CPU and slows the phone down.
Samsung also focused on what matters: Software. It has plagued Samsung phones for years and has caused lag and infamous slowdowns. Samsung is boasting this in its Note9 infographic.
Here are the key points where speed is a focus:
The specifications are also upgraded; hardware prices have fallen throughout the year allowing the company to put in more for less.
To start off, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 has mostly retained the footprint of its predecessor but added a bigger 6.4-inch screen and a 20% bigger 4,000mAh battery.
The display is the biggest flagship screen Samsung has ever put on a phone at 6.4-inch with 1440x2960px resolution. The Super AMOLED unit is HDR10 compliant and supports Always On Display. There’s no under the display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Note9, but the rear-placed sensor moved to a better center position under the dual camera module.
The camera array was bumped up to the Galaxy S9+’s system of a 12MP dual-aperture f/1.5-2.4 wide and 12MP f/2.4 telephoto cameras; both of which are optically stabilized and include Samsung’s new Intelligent Camera; which will detect scenes, optimize colors and contrast and detect flaws such as a dirty lens or someone that has closed his eyes.
Other carryovers from the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ include the chipset, an “Exynos 9810 Octa,” and the inclusion of stereo speakers. The Galaxy Note9 is, of course, IP68 water resistant, as is the S Pen itself, which now includes Low Energy Bluetooth for extra functionality.
Samsung knows that the S Pen is probably the biggest reason people buy Galaxy Note phones, so they made the newest one much better.
This is the first Bluetooth-enabled S Pen and it can act as a remote shutter for the camera. The S Pen has a range of 10 meters and a battery power of about 30 minutes or 200 clicks, according to Samsung. It recharges in only 40 seconds when inside the phone. The S Pen also now supports three inputs: A short press, long press and double press.
The Galaxy Note9 comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage ($999). If that doesn’t satisfy you can always expand it through the microSD card slot. The highest spec’d Galaxy Note9 comes with 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM ($1250).
The company finally released their smart speaker Samsung Galaxy Home. It doesn’t seem like much especially when we are reminded that Bixby is a failure as a smart assistant.
How it compares to other smart speakers only time will tell but otherwise, that’s all it is: A weirdly circular smart speaker.
“Galaxy Watch, what’s the time?”
The Samsung Galaxy Watch was also released, and underwhelmingly, the watch looks just like the S3 frontier.
Hands-on during the release, most reviewers said the watch functioned smoothly so the consensus is that they upgraded the software.