After weeks of speculations, Samsung has finally the pulled the wraps off the flagship Galaxy Note9 with a boatload of new features taking a notch up over last year's impressive Galaxy Note8.
The design language is almost the same but we are not complaining as the company has made some valuable cosmetic changes including the translocation of the fingerprint sensor below the camera.
In the 2017-series Galaxy Note8, the biometric sensor was placed beside the camera. This had caused the users to accidentally smudge the camera lens. This time, there are fewer chances of the issue.
One of the key upgrades in Galaxy Note9 includes S Pen. For the first time, Samsung has incorporated Bluetooth modem inside the stylus. With this, device owners can use S Pen to control music and volume, take photos, flip cameras from main to front for selfies without having to physically touch or open the smartphone.
The company has added that third app developers will also able to code functionalities for S Pen and roll out new functionalities later this year.
However, S Pen, which now has a modem, has to be charged. That's not a problem, as it gets automatically charged wirelessly inside the phone and the company claims that just 40 seconds of charging is enough to power the S Pen for an hour.
Another upgrade is the battery. Galaxy Note9 houses a 4,000mAh cell, 700mAh (21 percent) more than Galaxy Note8 (3,300mAh). It boasts fast charging and wireless charging capability.
Like the previous iterations, Galaxy Note9, depending on the region of sale, will be deployed with different chipsets. The Galaxy Note9 model bound for Europe and Asian markets, including India, will house Samsung's in-house built Exynos 9810 Octa-core CPU chipsets.
The company will pack Galaxy Note9 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core for the US, China, Japan and select other nations.
The new Galaxy Note9 series comes with a base memory configuration of 6GB RAM and 128GB storage and also top-end will have 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. Both the models can be upgraded to more storage via microSD up to 512GB.
As far as the camera is concerned, it houses the same camera hardware as seen in the Galaxy S9 series. The Galaxy Note9 comes with an 8MP wide-angle sensor having F1.7 aperture and is complemented by several facial recognition sensors, which enables the device capture Augmented Reality photos of the user to create 3D emojis, Samsung's answer to Apple iPhone X Animoji feature, but the latter's utility is very limited, as it can only be used on the iMessage app, whereas the former allows users to share them on all messaging apps and social media sites.
On the back, it houses two horizontally placed 12MP sensors with LED flash (and heart rate sensor). It boasts dual aperture (F1.5 and F2.4), AR Emoji capability, slow-motion video recording and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
Galaxy Note9 will be available from August 24 in select markets and will be offered in Midnight Black, Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper with matching S Pen, and Ocean Blue with a Yellow S Pen.
Besides the new Galaxy Note9, the company also unveiled the new Galaxy Watch with LTE capability.
It comes in two sizes — 46mm and 42mm — with the same circular dial design but different battery capacity. The former comes in 472mAh and the latter houses 270mAh, but they are capable of offering close to 80 hours of battery life.
With a longer battery life, untethering from their smartphone has never been easier with Galaxy Watch's LTE connectivity. It will be available across 30+ carriers and 15+ countries – and offer true standalone experience across devices through messaging, calls, mapping and music. Users can also start and end their day with morning and evening briefings to help stay on top of reminders, weather and their latest schedule, the company claims.
Another key aspect of the Galaxy Watch is the health management feature. It offers a new stress management tracker, which automatically detects high levels of stress and offers breathing exercises to help keep users centred and focused. In addition, a newly advanced sleep tracker monitors all levels of sleep, including REM cycles, to help users adjust sleeping habits and get the rest they need to take on their day.
With sleep and stress under control, Galaxy Watch also helps users achieve other health and wellness goals, including fitness. Galaxy Watch adds 21 new indoor exercises, tracking a total of 39 workouts that allow consumers to customise and change up their routines. Because balanced nutrition is as important as exercise, Galaxy Watch makes it easier than ever with intuitive calorie tracking and personalized alerts. In addition, users can stay on track of their meals using Bixby Vision on their Galaxy device. To take a photo of each meal and instantly log nutritional information in Samsung Health and on Galaxy Watch for better calorie management.
The new Galaxy Watch also comes with military certification both in terms of security (Knox) and also the build quality-- with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ and industry-leading water resistance with a 5 ATM rating allows for long-lasting use.
Samsung plans to release Galaxy Watch initially in the US on August 24 at select carriers and retail locations, in Korea on August 31, and in additional select markets on September 14.
Prices of both Galaxy Note9 and Galaxy Watch are expected to be announced during local launches later this month.
Samsung also showcased the Galaxy Home smart speaker, which will be competing with the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod. It comes with an oddly shaped design with tripod stand. It houses six speakers and sub-woofer. It also boasts far-field voice recognition that makes the device take command even when the music playing in the speaker or the surrounding environment is noisy.
The company will be announcing the price and launch details in coming weeks.
Key specifications of Samsung Galaxy Note9:
|Model||Samsung Galaxy Note9|
|Display||6.4-inch Quad HD+ (2960×1440p) Super AMOLED
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo-based Samsung Experience UI|
|GPU||Model 1 bound for US, China and Japan: 710MHz Adreno 630Model 2 bound for Europe, India and rest of the world: 572MHz ARM Mali-G72MP18|
|RAM+ storage||6GB RAM + 128GB storage/ 8GB RAM + 512GB storage (UFS)Note: Storage can be further upgraded up to 512GB via microSD card|
*May differ by market and mobile operator
|Security||Lock Type: Pattern, Pin, Password
Biometric Lock Types: Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, Facial Recognition
Intelligent scan: Combines iris scan and face recognition for convenient unlocking and in some cases provides enhanced security for certain authentication services
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor,
Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor
*May differ by market and mobile operator
|Audio||MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE|
|Video||MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEB|
|Add-ons||IP68 ( can sustain up to 1.5 meters underwater for 30 meters) Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, MST, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)*Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited. Stereo speakers, which are tuned by AKG, and ability to deliver Dolby Atmos® immersive audio|
|Dimensions||161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm|
|Colours||Midnight Black, Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper with matching S Pen, and Ocean Blue with a Yellow S Pen|
Key specifications of Samsung Galaxy Watch:
|Model||Samsung Galaxy Watch|
|OS||Tizen-based Wearable OS v4.0|
|Processor||1.15GHz Exynos 9110 Dual core CPU|
|Connectivity||3G/LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n. NFC (Near Field Communication), A-GPS/GLONASS|
Note: Activation feature for Mobile Network of Galaxy Watch with non-Samsung smartphones may not be available in some markets
|Durability||5ATM+ IP^8/ MIL-STD-810G|
Both have WPC based wireless charging capability
|Size and weight||