Today, the FCC (US Federal Communications Commission) approved an unannounced Samsung smartphone that goes by the model number SM-N960F. This has to be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 9, as its model number is in line with the model numbers of previous Samsung Galaxy Note handsets (for example, last year's Note 8 is also known as SM-N950). UPDATE: The FCC documents state that the device uses a stylus, making it even more likely that the SM-N960F is the Galaxy Note 9.
(non-US) variant of the Note 9, just like the SM-N950F is an international version of the Note 8.Unfortunately, the FCC does not share too many details regarding the features of the upcoming Galaxy Note, save for stuff that you'd expect to find on board anyway - like a multitude of LTE bands, Wi-Fi, and NFC. What we're pretty certain of is that the SM-N960F should be an international
US variant of the Galaxy Note 9 likely goes by the model number SM-N960U, as suggested by a recent benchmark test. This version didn't show up at the FCC, but we assume it's going to be approved soon, as Samsung needs a pass from the FCC in order to start selling the handset in North America.The
While the FCC revealed the approval of the SM-N960F only today, it received the device back in April. This means that Samsung had a nearly-final version of the Galaxy Note 9 two months ago - thus, there's a high chance that these recently-leaked Note 9 renders are pretty close to the real thing.
In addition to an SM-N960F, as you can see above, the FCC mentions an SM-N960X and an SM-N960F/DS. The latter should be a dual SIM Galaxy Note 9 - again, an international variant that we don't believe will be officially released stateside. As for the SM-N960X, that's probably an Asia-only Galaxy Note 9 (we're saying this while looking at the Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950X, which can only be found in Asia).
Samsung seemingly plans to announce the Galaxy Note 9 in August (possibly in the first half of the month) and could launch it soon after that. Today's FCC approval supports this idea, even if the Commission has yet to reveal a US variant of the phone.
Design-wise, the Galaxy Note 9 might not be too different from the Note 8, but there are plenty of improvements that the next-gen smartphone is expected to bring, including a larger battery, newer and faster processors (likely a Snapdragon 845 on the US version), better cameras, and an enhanced S-Pen experience. For a closer look at what the new handset could offer, you should read our Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumor review.