Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: all major differences to expect

Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: all major differences to expect
While Samsung is leaking and pulling promo videos and even has a pre-order page up for the Galaxy Note 9 already, the thing on every Note 8 owner's mind is "is it worth switching?" We can't announce an upgrade verdict with absolute certainty before the next best thing in the S Pen line is announced next week and launches two weeks later, but most everything about the Note 9 is known by now in terms of design and specs, so let's make a crack at comparing it with the Note 8 to gauge what will be new and exciting, at least on paper.

Larger display

We kid you not - the Note 8 is officially listed with a 6.3" screen, while the Note 9 carries a 6.4" panel, and it's not a rounding error. A little while ago we had CAD factory schematics of the Note 9 sent to us, and made a render out of them, comparing the Note 8 vs Note 9 dimensions. Well, as you can see below, the Note 9 is a tad shorter, and more than 1mm wider than the Note 8, which explains the increased screen diagonal.

Does that mean we are getting new screen tech or a next-gen OLED panel on the Note 9? Remains to be tested, but we'd be remiss not to point out that the Galaxy S10+ display is expected to grow to 6.4 inches in order to chase the eventual iPhone X Plus diagonal, so that might very well be the same panel that the Note 9 is now carrying. Moreover, there is speculation that Samsung may merge the Galaxy S and the Note lines into one S10+. There is a great deal of overlap between the S8+ and Note 8 or the S9+ and the Note 9 now, so we wouldn't be surprised if it does indeed.

More storage, way more storage

In this day and age of 4K 60fps video recording, we are delighted to hear that Samsung has bumped the basic storage amount of the Note 9 twofold - from the 64 GB of the Note 8 to 128GB for the same launch price. What's more, however, is that the Note 9 will be a terabyte phone, meaning that there will be a 512GB model that will cost about $200 more and will carry support for 512GB microSD cards, so you can carry an expensive laptop worth of storage with you at all times.

Variable aperture camera and 960fps slow-mo

As you can see from the leaked retail box of the Note 9 above, the phone is poaching the dual camera setup of the S9+ almost verbatim in terms of specs, albeit in a horizontal, not vertical orientation. 

That still means that the Note 9 will one-up the dual camera of the Note 8, though, what with the unique variable aperture lens that can go from f/2.4 to f/1.5 in a jiffy when light conditions demand it. 

Thus, if you are coming from an S9+, there is not much point in upgrading for the camera alone, but if you have a Note 8, the leap will be wider, moreso given that the Note 9 will borrow the 960fps slow-motion video abilities from the S9 as well.

Gorilla Glass 6

While Corning sent us a press release yesterday to inform us about the first phone with the tougher Gorilla Glass 6 - some future Oppo flagships that is expected to land in the coming weeks - we hold our hopes high that the Note 9 will also sport Gorilla Glass 6, but Samsung hasn't had the idea to push it as something exclusive through Corning's PR department yet. Note line phones are usually some of the first to get any new generation of Gorilla Glass, and Corning announcing its 6th-gen effort so near the Note 9 unveiling is probably no coincidence. Note 8 comes with Gorilla Glass 5, and the next generation promises multiple drops from waist height without cracking, though we'd have to see this to believe it.

'Remote control' S Pen

The Note 9 will have active, Bluetooth-laden and battery-equipped S Pen stylus this time. You will be able to control music with the S Pen, use it as a camera shutter, remotely unlock the Galaxy Note 9 with the S Pen, play shooter games with it, and many more actions that can be used by third-party apps now, or assigned to single and double press of the Pen button.

Gaming enhancements

Better cooling? Check. Exclusive games like Fortnite for Android? Check. The Note 9 is expected to sport a lot more copper piping for heat dissipation under the hood, allowing it to run its graphics processor at higher speed, and eke out every small bit of performance out of it because of better cooling and higher frequencies. 

Moreover, Samsung has apparently entered agreements with devs like Epic and Bethesda for providing exclusive gaming content for the phone, and first in line will be none other than Fortnite, the massively popular game that is still to make an Android cameo. Not that you won't be able to play the same games on the Note 8, but the cooling optimizations alone are worth it for other tasks, too.

Stereo speakers

The leaked Note 9 box from a Russian retailer reads that the phone will sport the Galaxy S9/S9+ AKG-anointed stereo speakers and earphones setup, which is one leg up against the Note 8's single unit. That one can't be saved even by the shady mod that added the earpiece as a second faux stereo speaker. 

Better battery life

We saved the best for last, as the Galaxy Note 9 is listed with a 4000mAh battery, which is a whopping 20% increase compared to the Note 8 and will go straight into more screen-on time. All other things being equal, the Note 9 will have a slightly more efficient chipset than the Note 8, and a much larger battery, so QHD+ display resolution or not, it is bound to perform much better in the battery life department, arguably the Achilles heel of modern flagships.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 9
  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(29h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 8
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(22h talk time)



1. D34ever

Posts: 236; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

I wonder if it will have "stereo" speakers and Dolby Atmos like the S9.

7. haikallp

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Very sure it'll have those features.

3. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Both are very bad phones! Throw them all away and get an iPhone instead. The best phone!

4. Tipus

Posts: 905; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Trolling time ?

23. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

It is indeed :-)

11. fastfreddy123

Posts: 67; Member since: Mar 25, 2017

Really? GO home if thats all you can troll . Getting senile? Better call the nursing home they are going to need restraints for you.

24. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Can you give them a call. I have a Samsung and it keeps crashing LMAO!

15. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

iphones are garbage. Apple rips consumers off so bad. Easily breakable glass, super small batteries, no fingerprint scanner on the X. No headphone jack. No headphone jack dongle (lol) cord in 2018. You pay extra for that. iphones are a shell of what is in a Samsung Galaxy/Note.

25. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

iPhone's have moved on from that inferior technology. Samsung is stuck in the past trying desperately to catch up the superior technology Apple has in their phones. (Yes Samsung provided the screens but it was according to Apple's spec and Apple tuned the screens, that why they are soo much better than the ones Samsung has in their own phones.)

18. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

If you really think that, you should throw yourself away!

26. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

I'm not a Samsung phone tho.. LMAO

5. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 193; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

I can see the Bluetooth capability as a mouse where the button might work as a mouse click. I can see this coming in handy when I packed a keyboard and not a mouse while traveling to use the Dec feature in a hotel room. Lots of potential uses.

8. talon95

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I like the extra battery and cooling. I'd really like to see some improved camera algorithms. If they're taking multiple shots and merging them then I expect more HDR, supersampeling, and noise reduction. I'd also like better bulb modes that last up to 10 minutes that merge many exposures, tripod support, sensor shift noise reduction, B&W mode pixel binning, and if they had all that maybe we could go back to 16-20 Mpx. I'd actually rather have a P20 style monochrome dual sensor than a wide angle so that we could get a huge bump in detail without adding a bunch of noise. Then really leverage all that data, multiple exposures, multiple sensors, OIS, and machine learning AI, to create next level images.

9. gcappa

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

I wish you could stream Bluetooth audio and record video at the same time, that's my only gripe with android so far.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31600; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Trying not to lick my lips, but damn this phone is looking like a plate of hot wings, drenched in ranch, with steak fries. One thing I’d like to see, is the ability to record video while on a phone call. Neither my Note or X can do it, and the only phone I owned the ever could, was the HTC Evo 4G.

16. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

problem is how is a camera going to record audio when you are on the phone?

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31600; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

On the Evo, it didn’t interfere.

12. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

4000 mAh is not a big deal. Samsung should work on "quick" battery draining issues. Even if its 5000mAh , whats the point if it drains in 7 hours.? I am having similar issues with my s7 edge and s8.

17. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

4000 is not a big deal. Its a HUGE deal!!! iphone does even have 3000. LOL

20. fyah_king unregistered

Definitely getting this to go with my note 8.:)

21. redmd

Posts: 1948; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I think I will Wait for the S10. Note9 is for those who have the the Note5 and Notes prior to it.

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