• Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • System on Chip: Samsung Exynos 9810
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB, expandable with microSD
  • Display: 6.4-inch 1440 x 2960 IPS
  • Camera: 20+12MP (rear), 20MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 + A2DP + LE + aptX, 802.11ac, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Dimensions: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight: 201g
  • Pros:
  • Great display
  • Battery life
  • Cons:
  • Price

A Screen Worth Noting

Samsung continues to impress, by virtue of consistency in sheer device quality – if nothing else. The latest out of its stable is the Galaxy Note9, which we have for review this time.

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 doesn’t look all that different from the Note8. You still have that slightly rounded corners, curve on the edges, and near edge-to-edge screen on the front. The back is where you see some changes, with the fingerprint sensor brought back down below the camera, while the extra space there is now used to make the LED flash bigger.

As common with the designs of 2018, the Note9 features a bezeless 6.4-inch screen with massive pixel-per-inch density of over 510. The glass body looks and feels magnificent, though grip isn’t the best and it collects fingerprints easily. As for buttons, other than the power button on the right, the remaining volume and Bixby buttons are actually on the left. This shifts the SIM tray from the common left side to the top, while the 3.5mm audio jack is at the bottom. You can also find the S-Pen here, which you can easily retrieve by pressing on it.

The Note9 is a phone designed for entertainment, largely due to its large, high-resolution screen. With this device, you get to watch crisp videos that have vibrant colours, as well as high brightness and contrast levels. In addition, it comes with the same setup of two speakers (stereo) on the Galaxy S9, providing you with ample volume and a decent soundstage for the audio.

Performance for devices at this level can no longer be questioned, and the Note9 is easily one of the best we’ve seen this year. It scores well in the CPU and GPU department, so you can be assured that it’ll run any app or mobile game you throw at it, while the 8GB RAM allows it to multitask like a champ. The large 4,000 mAh battery is another excellent upgrade, as it allows the Note9 to run longer even with the high resolution.

For photography, the dual 12MP cameras (one is for telephoto) can achieve really good details in daylight. Low-light shots also have decent detail and good colour balance, though some noise can be seen. It’s also now possible to use the S Pen as a remote for the camera, allowing you to snap a shot with a press, or toggle between front and back cameras with a double-press. Like any Note device, the S Pen can also be used to write notes on the screen.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Top performance, a useful stylus and a boatload of features makes this one of the best devices of the year – assuming you can afford it, that is.

(to be published in issue October 2018)