Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: Samsung’s best ‘everything’ phone. But…

    I choose up the Galaxy Observe 9, come out the S Pen stylus and begin to write on the black display in tart lemon-colored digital ink. It hits me: This telephone is extra enjoyable to make use of than your telephone. After I’m utilizing the Observe 9, I really feel extra impressed to write down, draw, take exact screenshots utilizing the device, snap selfies with the S Pen’s distant shutter, and playfully annotate images to ship to associates.

    However the Observe 9 is not any mere toy. It is also highly effective as hell, with a 6.Four-inch display, Four,000-mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and both 128GB or a whopping 512GB (!!!) of on-board storage, plus a microSD card if you would like extra, extra, extra. 

    But the fizzing query on the middle of all of it, the one which’s pounding away at your gray matter, is that this: Are the ability and enjoyable of Samsung’s new Galaxy Observe 9 value $1,000 of your hard-earned money? (That is £899 and AU$1,499 — or $1,250, £1,099 and AU$1,799 for the 512GB model.) It is the identical query Apple followers have been asking themselves for the reason that iPhone X ($1,000 at Cricket Wireless) first hit the $1,000 mark final 12 months.

    For Android followers who need the most effective, the reply is “sure.”

    Angela Lang/CNET

    The Galaxy Observe 9’s specs are top-notch. That is an every thing telephone, one of many very best you should purchase with All The Issues. It should carry you thru the following two or three years of wonderful images, Android updates and all that jazz.

    And whereas the value is eyewateringly excessive in comparison with final 12 months’s Observe eight (until you reside in Australia, through which case it prices the identical), promotions, preorder financial savings and future vacation offers can knock tons of off the Observe 9’s value, making it out of the blue rather more “inexpensive.”

    Learn: Sorry, your iPhone or Android phone is getting more expensive

    So, is there any cause to not get the Observe? Nicely, sure. For starters, it lacks a sure “wow” issue. Other than the tad larger battery capability and double the storage, there’s not all a lot totally different from the Galaxy S9 Plus ($800 at, or actually from the Galaxy Note 8 ($750 at earlier than it.

    Bonkers storage is sweet, however you might additionally purchase a less expensive telephone and scoop up exterior reminiscence for a lot lower than the price of a brand new Observe 9 — there are fewer telephones with this feature, however the Galaxy S9 ($690 at and S9 Plus have it. And whereas the Observe 9’s battery life will take you from morning to late night time on a single cost, is it actually well worth the worth of 300 cappuccinos? Or may you discover two hours every day to cost from zero to 100 % and 15 minutes between if you happen to want an emergency top-up?

    As for the Observe 9’s new, cool S Pen stylus that use Bluetooth to show the S Pen right into a distant management, a lot of the issues you’ll be able to management this fashion really feel compelled in day-to-day life.

    We did not get a rumored in-screen fingerprint reader that another Android telephones have, or a 3D front-facing digital camera just like the iPhone X and Oppo Find X. And the Observe 9 won’t ever latch on to insanely quick 5G knowledge speeds as soon as these networks begin effervescent up in 2019. This telephone appears like Samsung holding again for subsequent 12 months’s Galaxy S10.


    The Observe 9’s S Pen will get a Bluetooth antenna for a mind.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Learn now: ‘Missing’ Galaxy Note 9 features that Samsung may be saving for the Galaxy S10

    So sure, purchase the Galaxy Observe 9 if you happen to’re upgrading from an older telephone at the moment and need probably the most feature-rich, tremendous highly effective, large-screen Android telephone you should purchase. But when your present telephone is in fine condition and you do not care two clicks in regards to the S Pen stylus, then wait. 2018’s iPhones and Google’s Pixel three are on their means in weeks, not months, and subsequent spring’s Galaxy S10 ought to assist kick off a larger revolution with 5G.

    Maintain studying for the Observe 9’s new options, and the way it compares to rival telephones just like the iPhone X. Listed below are the Galaxy Observe 9 specs compared with the Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and Note 8.

    Observe 9 highlights

    • Battery life is robust in real-world testing, and I will proceed to control long-term drain.
    • The S Pen stylus’ new Bluetooth options work as marketed.
    • As a pure word taker, I like with the ability to jot issues down. I’ve made so many lists to pin to the lock display.
    • I examined in each blue and purple, and the Observe 9’s daring colours stand out. It additionally sells globally in black and metallic copper.

    Each Observe telephone (besides the recalled Observe 7) from the very starting.

    Angela Lang/CNET

    Observe 9 low factors

    • You will not be capable to write or draw to the display edge with out the S Pen falling off the curved sides.
    • The fingerprint reader is just too near the digital camera array. Why hasn’t Samsung found out the optimum placement but?
    • The Observe 9’s new AI digital camera device works extra slowly than I might wish to establish scenes and optimize settings to get you the most effective shot.
    • Bixby is expanded, however the button on the Observe 9’s left aspect nonetheless solely maps to Bixby, as with the Galaxy S8 and newer.
    • In the event you write on the telephone display with the S Pen’s signature coloration (yellow, purple or copper), any notes you save will save in that coloration “ink” on a white background, which will be laborious to learn.

    The place and find out how to purchase the Galaxy Observe 9

    You possibly can preorder the Galaxy Observe 9 now. The telephone goes on sale typically on Aug. 24. Maintain a watch out for trade-in offers, promotions and bundled items. These values can change area by area.

    Here is every thing it’s essential to learn about buying the Galaxy Note 9 in the US.

    Galaxy Observe 9 appears to be like easy and oh-so-familiar

    I have been utilizing the Galaxy Observe 9 in ocean blue and lavender purple, and I like them each. This telephone is traditional trendy Samsung, with deep coloration and shine, a shiny end that picks up prints on the merest suggestion and gracefully curved edges. It is a beautiful system, even when little or no of the Observe’s design feels contemporary.


    The Galaxy Observe 9 is the one Galaxy telephone to pack a digital pen.

    Angela Lang/CNET

    That is as a result of the telephone’s 83 % screen-to-body ratio (18.5:9) hasn’t modified all that a lot from final 12 months’s Observe eight. There are a number of minor exceptions, together with the fingerprint reader that now sits just below the digital camera module and a barely bigger S Pen holder for a barely bigger S Pen.

    I discovered the tall, slender Observe 9 straightforward sufficient to carry and use in my smaller fingers, however I actually needed to lunge to hit that fingerprint reader. These with bigger fingers can have extra luck, however could discover the goal somewhat small. It is a good suggestion to unlock the telephone interchangeably with the iris scanner as properly (each are safe sufficient for cellular funds).

    Multiple coworker or good friend has warned me that the towering Observe 9 threatens to drop out of my again pocket, the place I sometimes carry it round if it is not hitching a trip inside a handbag pocket.

    I maintain inadvertently hitting the Bixby Voice button on the telephone’s left edge, which calls up Samsung’s model of Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. It is a minor design downside, however nonetheless.

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