The Note 9 has been leaked and rumored to death, but today was the day that Samsung Unpacked it’s 2018 edition of the Note. Samsung made it a point that users want a phone that can do anything they throw at it. It was a pretty blatant knock on the iPhone’s shortcomings, and the company obviously thinks the Note 9 is the device for those users. Honestly, Samsung might have succeeded with an incredible spec sheet.
- 6.4-inch end to end display
- Bold colors: ocean blue, lavender purple, midnight black, metallic copper
- All-day battery with 4000mAh capacity
- 128GB minimum of internal storage with a max of 512GB
- Expandable to 1TB of storage with microSD
- 1.2 gigabit per second network
- Exclusive with Epic Games and Fortnite availability with beta and custom game Galaxy skin
- AKG stereo speakers
- Water carbon cooling system for gaming
- Intelligent camera with scene and error recognition
Samsung really knocked it out of the park with the internals. I love this return to cramming everything they possibly can inside the Note. The original version was a proof of concept that pushed the envelope of what a smartphone could do and Samsung takes us back to that with the Note 9. They are adding just two models to the US with the Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple. The Midnight Black and Metallic Copper will only be available internationally. The Note 9 will be available for pre-order at all major US carriers, Samsung’s Store, and even Infinity Mobile starting August 24th for a whopping starting price of $999 USD for the 128GB variant.
There were multiple sideshows to today’s event, but one of the most important would be the expanded functions of S-Pen. Gone are the days of the S-Pen simply adding an input onto the Note’s screen. The S-Pen is now Bluetooth-enabled with additional functionality like camera remote, presentation mode, music controls, ￼and a new SDK for developers to implement their own ideas. Added “notes” around the S-Pen is that it charges via the port on the Note 9 and does so rapidly in under a minute for 30 minutes between power. Also, the traditional usage case with the Note hasn’t changed and doesn’t require a charged S-Pen.
Much like the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, the company’s DeX platform was also brought on stage today at Unpacked 2018. Just like other devices you see the PC like UI when the Note 9 is attached to an external display. One new feature is it no longer requires the DeX dock and can be attached and launched via standard USB-C to HDMI adapters. The Note 9 can still be used during this time as well as a notepad, keyboard, and touchpad. This makes the Note 9 a pretty powerful pocket PC.
If the phone wasn’t enough, Samsung had a few other announcements in the bag for this Unpacked event. One of which was the new Galaxy Watch. This is the next generation of Gear devices with Tizen OS, but Samsung is streamlining the device into the Galaxy brand. Samsung has increased battery life with “multiple days” away from the charger being promised on the Galaxy Watch. It also comes with LTE built in for you to take calls and texts while still on the go without the need of being tethered to your smartphone. The Galaxy Watch is available for pre-order on the same August 24th date as the new Notes and comes in both a 46mm and 42mm sizes.
Lastly, Samsung had a huge portion of the Unpack event surrounding Bixby and the new Galaxy Home. Yes, Samsung made a smart home speaker. They made a deal of new Bixby features like making it more conversational and intuitive on making contextual decisions based off past usage, but the Galaxy Home was the big sound bite during this portion of the event. Also, it kinda looks like a rocket kit you might have put together as a kid mixed with a Google Home design.
The Galaxy Home is an expansion of Bixby from the phone and will come with voice-enabled features like we see on other devices. Samsung didn’t let on much about what that exactly means other than there’s more to come at the 2018 Samsung Dev Conference later this year. However, one big partner was announced for the Home and Bixby: Spotify. Moving forward Spotify will be a first-rate partner for Galaxy devices and offer seamless streaming from one device to another in the Galaxy lineup.
Samsung unpacked a lot of new items today at their live event. From the headlining Note 9 to the tease of the Galaxy Home, the Korean giant reminded us that they are the top-tier OEM in the Android world and possibly the only true competitor to Apple in the mobile market right now. What do you think of today’s announcements? Do any of these great devices look like your next gadget purchase?