Samsung Galaxy Note 9 "Crown" rumor review: Design, specs, camera, price & release date

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the next high-profile handset that Samsung's prolific presses will churn out in early August in another bid to rule the high-end Android market for the remainder of the year. And from what we're hearing, the Note 9 is unlikely to disappoint.

Samsung has been riding the high wave since it released the Galaxy S8, and it looks like the Note 9 will be another successful chapter in its history. To be honest, the Note 9 wouldn't be much different from the Note 8, but that is not a big issue - after all, the Note 8 was already an exceptional device, and there's very little Samsung could do to improve it's exceptional champ.

Time to delve in and explore what the phone will be all about. Of course, all the info below is based on rumors and might not correspond with the truth.

Design



Unsurprisingly, we don't expect Samsung to redesign the Note 9 in any major way. The Infinity Display design language that got introduced alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ back in 2017 is as contemporary and fresh-looking as they go and is in no need of a redesign at this point. Samsung was among the first manufacturers to kick-start the bezel-busting trend, and it did that without resorting to notches or other unorthodox solutions.


We would bet good money that the Note 9 will be as different to the Note 8 as the the Galaxy S9/S9+ was to the Galaxy S8/S8+: almost exact carbon copies with merely an important change here and there to reflect Samsung's advancements in device design. Here's how the two might stack against one another:


A slightly slimmer chin at the bottom, as well as a slightly slimmer top bezel are what we expect, but it remains to be seen if Samsung will deliver these changes. One aspect of the phone that would likely be redesigned is at the rear - the fingerprint scanner is likely getting moved just beneath the camera sensor. In retrospect, the Galaxy Note 8 had it positioned to the side, which was not very user-friendly, but seeing that Samsung revisited this with the Galaxy S9, it's fair to say that the Note 9 will also introduce such a change.


Of course, given the high-profile role of the device, tons of leaks can be expected, even official renders. We recently got hold of a slew of such images, which seem to show the upcoming Note 9 in its hot blue paint, dubbed Deep Sea Blue. This color scheme is using deep vibrant blue for the body of the phone itself and snazzy gold for the S Pen, probably. The wallpaper is also designed in blue and gold.


The leaked real-life pictures of the device don't look as sexy, but anyway, here they are. 



Display


A 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio is rumored to be making an appearance on the Note 9. That's what the rumor mill claims and it's hard to argue with it this time since the predictions sounds so believable. A 2960x1440-pixel resolution is again extremely likely, and judging from our past experience with Samsung, the display will most certainly be another benchmark for color accuracy and overall quality.

One way Samsung can definitely surprise us when it comes to the display of the Note 9 is by throwing an in-display fingerprint scanner. We know for a fact that the technology is on the verge of going prime time and it all comes to ironing the quirks and being capable of supply meeting the demand. Devices like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro Porsche Design, Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, Vivo NEX, and other exotic devices already have such fingerprint scanners, but needless to say, these devices are not mainstream.

While it's mostly everyone's expectation that in-display fingerprint scanners will become the norm one day, it's still too early to say if the Note 9 will be the one to carry such a sensor. It's more likely that next year's Galaxy S10 will be the first mainstream Samsung phone to come with such an in-display fingerprint sensor according to the rumor mill.

Camera



Doubtful that Samsung would introduce a very different camera setup from what we've seen on the Galaxy S9+. The handset will most likely retain the dual-camera setup of its precursor and the large Galaxy smartphone, introducing some notable software improvements and algorithm refinements to make even better use of the already fantastic hardware that feels under-used. 

The Galaxy S9/S9+ came up with variable aperture cameras that are able to switch between F/1.6 and F/2.4 apertures based on the shooting scenario, but the wider aperture didn't necessarily meet the hype and expectations we had, especially in low-light conditions.

If you want to talk numbers, the Note 9 will probably inherit the same 12MP + 12MP camera combo that graced the back of the S9+, while the front would likely get the very same 8MP camera, which yielded quite good results.

Samsung got a pass back with the Note 8 given that it was its first crack at the trendy dual-camera thingy, but after having the chance to perfect the technology with the Galaxy S9+, there will be no get-out-of-the-jail-for-free cards with the Note 9: fans will have expectations and Samsung better play along nicely.

Features and functionalities



It seems like the S Pen could be the Note 9's biggest upgrade. Donning Bluetooth functionality and a built-in battery, the stylus will reportedly have the following functionalities:

  • Control music with the S Pen. This one we expected. We still don't know how it's going to work exactly, but our guess would be that pressing the S Pen button once would serve as play/pause, while pressing it twice in quick succession would skip to the next track.
  • Use the S Pen as a remote camera shutter. This is another feature that we expected and it could come in handy if you're taking group shots and have your phone propped somewhere.
  • Remotely unlock the Galaxy Note 9 with the S Pen out of the phone. This could save you a couple of taps.
  • Expanded AirCommand integration. In other words, more apps will have support for unique S Pen features (or at least shortcuts) that should be accessible from the AirCommand menu and change on a per-app basis.
  • Press and hold the Pen button to open any app or S Pen feature.
  • Set up single and double press Pen actions.

Hardware


Due to the lack of a better alternative, Samsung will certainly use the Snapdragon 845 chipset for the US-based version of the Note 9. Meanwhile, we suppose the international version of the device will carry the Exynos 9810 chipset which surprisingly has a worse battery life than the Qualcomm offering. Normally, it would be the reverse situation. Hopefully, Samsung will look into the Exynos' problems with battery life and account for the irregularities.

Rumors call for 6GB of RAM in the most basic version of the phablet, and we'd go as far as tell you right here and right now that an 8GB version will certainly make an appearance, if not right from the bat then sometime down the line. 

One big rumored change that will surely tickle the fancy of power users will be the inclusion of a large 4,000mAh battery inside the Note 9. Rumor has it the upcoming S-Pen toting phablet will carry a 20% larger battery unit than before, which would bring it closer to the coveted by consumers two-day battery life. Samsung hasn't had a particularly great track record when it comes to battery life, especially considering the latest conundrum that had its Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 suffer greatly behind its Snapdragon counterpart and come up with noticeably inferior battery life. Aside from developing better chips, one other way to easily boost up the battery life is by throwing a larger battery pack at the rear, and it seems this is just what Samsung could be doing. As a reminder, the Note 8 came with a 3,300mAh battery which proved to be struggling to power the device for more than a day and somewhat hurt the power-user appeal of the handset.

Finally, we've caught wind of a 512GB Note 9 version, which would definitely please data hoarders and those gunning for the highest spec phone version out there. Logically, this one will certainly be the most expensive Note 9 variation,

Price and release date 


The Galaxy Note 9 is coming August 9. Save the date.

As usual, we will keep our eyes peeled for a possible announcement date, but we are probably in for a bit of a wait.

In terms of pricing, the handset will likely cost as much as the Note 8, if not slightly more. That one launched at $929, so it would be realistic of us to expect a $900 - $949 price for the Note 9 in the US. Other markets, such as Europe, may actually see a slightly higher price.

Here's a more profound take on the possible pricing.

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)

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53 Comments

1. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Still hope next Note to be a bit smaller device than Note 8. Even if display is same size(or bigger) Note 8 is a tad overlarge device even to me.

2. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 765; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Even if they trim the bezels further & keep the screen the same size (we both know the screen won't be smaller), the overall device wouldn't be meaningfully smaller. You can keep hoping, but it's probably pointless.

6. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Well the Note 8 was really kinda tall :| hoping that they'll trim the top and bottom bezels, It'll be a lot sleeker if it happens

19. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 765; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Realistically, how much smaller do you expect them to be? Sure, the device would be decently smaller if they got rid of the bezels, but we know that won't happen. So realistically, maybe both bezels are 2/3 as big as they were last year. That barely makes the device smaller.

34. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

I haven't held a Note in my hands in almost 2 years, but I think the Note 7's size with today's design factor would've been perfect. I'm 6'3" & sometimes I feel my Note 8 is too tall.

29. kennva1

Posts: 18; Member since: May 17, 2014

I agree. I got rid of my note 8 because it was just a hair to tall, and I'm 6'5. Hoping they shave it a little, however they have to do. Reduce the screen size instead of the bezel, just get it done.

38. Phullofphil

Posts: 1832; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Unless there is no camera or a design witch a notch of sorts you get what you get

4. Phonehex

Posts: 768; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

I am such a big fan of the note , but the Note 8 was too tall. Never comfortable in the pocket. Happy with S9 plus. Might not switch to note 9 if its the same height .

10. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

If you want a smaller device, then why don't you buy the Galaxy S9 or S9+? The Note series is meant to be have the largest screen out of them all, as it's suposed to be the ultimate multimedia experience/productivity experience.

18. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

LOL. I don't want whatever smaller device. I want Note!!!! That's device in different category, and only who knows what Note can do, can understand what I mean. Same display size and screen ratio, but a tad smaller device. I have no problem with the tall screen ratio, cause that's the point of split-screen. BTW I was the the first person on tech blogs, who said the large phones are the future.(most of you and the tech media said 3.5'' is the best size display, ant 4'' absolute border):) I love large phones. But everything has a border. Now I say Note 8 crossed it, by about 5-6mm. And and again - I'm right , you and the tech media - wrong, as usually. Hope Samsung listen.

13. ReticentHamster

Posts: 158; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

Well, the screen size increase is only purported to be 0.06" or, a little less than a 1/16 inch. It would be quite easy to trim the bottom bezel a la the S9 and make it tbe same height, or shorter. It would likely be a hair wider, but only by about a half millimeter. I think it would be a winner if they go with that option.

39. Phullofphil

Posts: 1832; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Then get the regular s9

40. LiveFaith

Posts: 493; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

I'm with Klinton on this. The device, especially the length, is beginning to get unwieldy with the Note8. Would welcome the same design with 5.8-5.9 instead of 6.3-6.4 inch display.

46. power21

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 15, 2015

the Note suppose to be big it's a PHABLET.

3. shield

Posts: 870; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

The Galaxy S9/S9+ came up with variable aperture cameras that are able to switch between F/1.6 and F/2.4 no f/1.5 :D

8. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

The Galaxy S9 switches between F1.5 to F2.4. I have the box right next to me from my Galaxy S9.

5. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Going to be a great phone as always.

7. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

hhmm gonna wait for this or the Mate20, then I'll decide which phone to get on my recontract before the year ends. :)

9. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

It's awesome if Samsung is going to dive their feet into finally equiping their phones with massive batteries with the Note 9, as that will surely help the battery life of their smartphones, which isn't even that bad, as they're just as good as the other flagships as it is. However, just because they're as good as other flagships doesn't mean that they shouldn't strive to to be better in battery life, which is why i'm definitely looking forward to larger battery capacities.

11. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 946; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

A bigger battery isn't going to be enough for me to get the Note 9. The need to add more for me to get it over the S9 +

12. gd761

Posts: 215; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Since Samsung is going to have the S9 & S9+ available for sale on their website that will have 128GB and 256GB, then Samsung Should make the Note 9 Available from All points of sale whether it be on Samsung's website, All of the Carriers, as well as BestBuy, Amazon, or anywhere else, with the 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, & 512GB Versions Starting from the Pre-order Date of the Note 9. What do You Think?

15. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 946; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Yes but I think only Apple can manage that at Launch.

14. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

It will be a Note 8 with f1.5-f2.4. Same 8-bit giant pentile screen. In my opinion the Note line should have exclusive hardware like different cameras from S. Higher clocked cpu, better front cam than S, front speakers, flat screen.

16. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Flat screen!!! Yes please!!!

47. thedizzle

Posts: 202; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

Agree. Curved screens look nice, but just so damn annoying lol

17. jameslapc

Posts: 9; Member since: May 26, 2014

Here's to hoping the Note 9 isn't as tall as the 8 I love mine but damn is it too tall. I'm also hoping maybe just maybe we can have a proper bootloader so I can use my $1k device as I please.

41. LiveFaith

Posts: 493; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Ditto on the length. Getting hard to carry this device.

20. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

The note line started getting neutered at the 5. It's now a shell of itself. STILL A BEAUTIFUL DEVICE, but not nearly what it used to be

21. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1173; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I know a lot of folks here are hoping for a smaller Note but I personally want a 6.5 to 6.8 inches display. It should definitely not be smaller or even the same as Note8. Size would also help it differentiate from the S line and a lot easier to put a bigger battery.

22. jasaero

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

As a landscape phone user...would actually prefer more 16:9 setups. That and price probably mean I won't return to Samsungs.

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