Ever since Samsung’s Note 7s started exploding, the Note series has been losing popularity. The brand has been working hard at getting rid of the stigma, putting everything into the line-up. The Note 9 is dynamite (not literally). Let’s talk about it below.
Place the Note 8 and 9 side-by-side, you’ll notice that they’re almost identical. In terms of the few things Samsung changed, our favourite is the position of the fingerprint sensor. It’s much easier to reach in the Note 9. This time around, it’s underneath the camera.
The Note 9 is somewhat rectangular. Holding it in your palm can be uncomfortable. It’s large and in charge. You’re looking at a 6.4-inch device. It’s big, but not as slim when compared to the Note 10. Its dimensions are 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm.
The handset feels well built. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s very expensive. It comes with a premium 201-gram body. The fact that it has a sturdy Gorilla Glass 5 back helps as well. Gorilla Glass will protect you, but it’ll also collect smudges.
We love the colours it comes in. They all have a metallic look to them. They are:
If you look at its bottom, you’ll see its S-pen nestled away. Its S-pen feels great in your hands. It is very ergonomic. This might not matter to you, but the pen is a banana yellow. How cool is that?
Near where its S-Pen is, you’ll see a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The Note 9’s one of the few premium devices that still come with the jack.
What about a microSD slot? It’s also available.
It comes with a Super AMOLED panel. If you’re not aware, Super AMOLEDs are extremely vibrant. They pack a punch and are everything you want from a phone.
Not only is it colourful, but the Note 9 is incredibly detailed. Its screen resolution is pin sharp at 1440 x 2960 pixels.
Its display is a gift that keeps on giving. It barely comes with any bezels, providing an 83.4% screen to body ratio. It’s good, but is it the best? The cheaper Samsung A51 comes with an 87.4% ratio.
The phone’s also very bright. It has a 1050 max nit screen. 500 nits are the gold-standard, which it easily out-does.
Let’s not forget that its sides are curved into its frame. This amps your viewing experience up.
Its front is durable too. Not only is Gorilla Glass 5 on its rear, but it’s also on its front.
If that’s not great enough, know that you get an HDR10 device. This means the phone can stream HDR content.
If you read our Note 8 review, you’d know that it’s a large phone with a seriously small battery. Samsung didn’t want to make this mistake twice. The Note 9 comes with a 4000 mAh unit.
The device lasts well into the day. You can squeeze it into the next if you want.
The phone’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, so great charging capabilities are expected. You’re getting a 15-W charger that takes it around an hour and a half to go from 0-100%. By today’s standards, it’s alright.
If you’re expecting wireless charging, know that the Note 9 comes with the capability. You should know that it’s really slow, though. Wireless charging takes the former flagship around 3 hours to fully charge. Unlike newer flagships, the phone doesn’t come with reverse charging.
When we said that it’s a beast of a device, we weren’t kidding. You’re getting the Exynos 9810 chip inside. It’s incredibly smooth. It’s especially great for gaming. This is what you want as its display was made for Asphalt 8.
Its storage capacities are impressive. The handset comes with either 128 or 512 GBs of space. Remember how we mentioned that it comes with a MicroSD slot? You can expand its storage if you want. In terms of RAM, you either get 6 or 8 gigs.
You will be using Android 8.1 out of the box. It’s old, which is why we appreciate that the phone can be upgraded to Android 10.
How could we not talk about its S-pen? It makes life much easier. It comes with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
It also comes with a Bluetooth mode. It transforms the S-Pen into a remote. We found it especially useful when taking pictures.
There’s a dual set-up on its rear. The primary sensor is a 12 MP wide lens, while its secondary sensor is a 12 MP telephoto lens. The phone’s camera is stunning. Samsung flagships are known for their vibrant, detailed shots. The phone’s a beast in low-light too.
With the s-pen as a remote, taking photos is easier than ever.
It’s more than clear that the Note 9 is an amazing phone. Let’s wrap our review up by comparing it with a few alternatives.
The S10 is a flagship like the Note device. It’s smaller, though. You’ll find the hand-set snug at 6.1 inches. It’s very durable. It’s made from Gorilla Glass 5. It comes with an aluminum frame too, wrapping things up.
We’re huge fans of its display. To begin with, it has a Dynamic AMOLED screen. Dynamic AMOLEDs pack a bigger punch than their Super AMOLED counterparts. They offer the deepest blacks.
Unlike the Note, the S10 has no top bezel. Instead, there’s a punch-hole for its selfie camera. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that it has a great screen-to-body ratio – it’s 88.3%.
Like the Note 9, the sides of its screen are curved. This allows for a very immersive viewing experience.
Sharpness wise, its Note counterpart doesn’t stand a chance. The S10 has a 1440 x 3040-pixel screen. If this isn’t enough, know that it produces more colour. It’s an HDR10+ device.
The handset even has a stronger display. Its front is Gorilla Glass 6.
Out of the box, you’re met with Android Pie. Being a recent flagship, knowing that it received the Android 10 update isn’t mind-blowing.
The device has the Exynos 9820 inside of it. It’s fast. It outdoes the Exynos 9810 easily.
There’s an S10 variant with the Snapdragon 855 chip. Considering that it’s faster than the 9820, the 9810 gets eaten up.
The handset offers expandable storage. You might not even want to expand its storage. The S10 offers impressive memory variants. You get 128 and 512 GBs of space, along with 8 gigs of RAM.
Its battery isn’t as big as its Note counterpart. You’re only getting a 3400 mAh unit. How does it do? You can squeeze more than a day out of it.
There are many ways to charge it. Its 15 W fast charger takes it from 0-80% in half an hour. There’s wireless charging too, as well as reverse wireless charging.
It’s a great device, but it doesn’t come with the S-pen. This is a major blow.
Camera-wise, there is a triple set-up on its rear. The primary sensor is a 12 MP wide lens, the secondary sensor is a 12 MP telephoto lens and the tertiary sensor is a 16 MP ultrawide lens. Its front camera is a 10 MP wide shooter.
The phone is huge. It stretches 6.67 inches across. It’s durable as well. You’re looking at a Gorilla Glass 5 device. Of course, it has a premium aluminum frame around it.
It comes with an AMOLED display. However, it isn’t just any AMOLED. It’s a Fluid AMOLED. It packs a punch while offering a smooth viewing experience. Its display is 90 HZ, making animations buttery.
Its display is sharp. The OnePlus device has a 1440 x 3120-pixel screen. It has less bezel than the Note 9, leading to an 88.1% screen-to-body ratio. Not only does it barely come with any bezels, but it doesn’t have a notch. A punch-hole isn’t present either.
It can produce more colours than its Note counterpart. The OnePlus 7T Pro is an HDR10+ device.
The phone’s display is as durable as the Note 9’s. You’re looking at a Gorilla Glass 5 front again.
What about its insides? The handset comes with Android 10 out of the box. It has the Snapdragon 855+ inside of it. It not only beats the Note 9 but the S10 too.
Unfortunately, you don’t get expandable storage. The storage capacities it offers are not as extensive as the Note 9’s, but it offers better RAM options. You get the handset only in 256 GB space. Along with this, 8 or 12 GBs of RAM are by your side.
There’s a 4085 mAh battery in it. How does it do? It can last around 2 days. It charges fast. The phone uses 30 W fast charging and warp charging capabilities to go from 0-100% in a little over an hour.
The device has a triple camera on its rear. The primary sensor is a 48 MP wide lens, the secondary sensor is an 8 MP telephoto lens, and the tertiary sensor is a 16 MP ultrawide lens. As it doesn’t have a notch, you probably guessed that its selfie camera is motorized. It’s a 16 MP wide shooter.
The Mate 20 Pro is a bit smaller than the Note 9. It’s built as well, coming with a Gorilla Glass 5 body.
It comes with an OLED screen. OLEDs pack a punch but pale in comparison against Super AMOLEDs. The flagship has a better screen-to-body ratio, though. It’s 87.9%.
If you’re a notch hater, you probably won’t like the device. Thankfully, you can hide its notch through the phone’s settings.
Like the other alternatives, the 20 Pro has a sharper screen. Its screen resolution is 1440 x 3120 pixels.
Yes, it can stream HDR content. However, it’s not HDR10+. Like its Note counterpart, it’s HDR10 rated. The glass on its front is also Gorilla Glass 5.
Onto its insides, it comes with Android 9 out of the box. The device can be upgraded to Android 10. What chipset will Android be powering? The Kirin 980. It’s a beast, outdoing its Exynos counterpart.
You get some impressive memory variants. You can choose from 128 and 256 GBs of space, along with 6 and 8 GBs of RAM. Its storage is expandable, but there’s a catch. You’ll have to insert a nano microSD card.
Its battery is 200 mAhs larger than the Note’s. It lasts as long as the S10. We have to say its, charging capabilities are really good. You can get 70% of charge in 30 minutes, from its 40 W fast charger. There’s fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging too.
In terms of its camera, there is a triple set-up on its rear. Its primary sensor is a 40 MP wide lens. Its secondary sensor is an 8 MP telephoto lens and its tertiary sensor is a 20 MP ultrawide lens. Front camera wise, there’s a 24 MP shooter for you to play with.
What do we think about the Note 9? It’s a phone that’s still popular today. It comes with a powerful processor, display, and great build. Its camera is amazing too. However, its battery is standard.
When compared to alternatives, they outdo it. The S10 left the Note 9 in the dust. Considering that it’s cheaper than the Note phone, purchasing it instead may be a better move.
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