After the recalls that plagued the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung delivered a killer device in the Galaxy Note 8. Now that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are poised to be announced at Mobile World Congress on February 25, it's time to shift our attention to the Galaxy Note 9.
The Galaxy Note 8 sold like "hotcakes," selling over a million units in South Korea alone. Samsung isn't exactly keen on being outdone (especially by themselves), so expect the Galaxy Note 9 to be even better than its predecessors.
As with all rumors, you should take these with a grain of salt. Once we know more about this device (and we don't know a ton right now), this roundup will be updated accordingly. However, we likely won't receive a ton of new information until the after the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Now, let's get down to brass tacks and go over everything we know.
As you can see, this rumored spec sheet isn't quite filled out yet, but we'll keep updating this list as we find more. We're highly confident that the Note 8 will ship with Android Oreo (either 8.0 or 8.1), and we're all but certain about the processors it will use in certain regions.
- OS Version: Android Oreo
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US models) or Exynos 9810 (overseas)
- RAM: Unknown
- Battery: 4,000 mAh
- Storage: Unknown
- Display Type: 6.4 inches
- Screen Size: Unknown
- Resolution: Unknown
- Dimensions: Unknown
- Rear Camera Resolution: Unknown
- Front Camera Resolution: Unknown
- Fingerprint Sensor: Rear-mounted
- Connections: Unknown
- Dual SIM: Unknown
- Micro SD slot: Unknown
We may have earliest sighting of the Note 9 in action, courtesy of a seemingly nondescript benchmark. The HTML benchmark from Niels Leenheer's test website shows the performance results of a Samsung SM-N960U with an unreleased model number running on Android Oreo. This is interesting, because the US variant of the Note 8 is also known as SM-N960U.
Given this, there's a decent possibility that an updated variant of the Note may be the device being tested on the site. The web performance-based test gave the phone in question a score of 522 out of 555 points. To put it into perspective, the Galaxy S9 scored 517 points on the same benchmark.
Perhaps the Battery Wars are finally upon us and MKBHD can revel in his full day of smartphone usage. The Note 8 was "only" outfitted with a 3,300 mAh battery, which is pretty large in its own right. Still, it takes a lot to power a 6.3 inch display. With Samsung reportedly adding another tenth of an inch to the screen size, they'll be beefing up the battery to a whopping 4,000 mAh. This increase should last around 2 full days of use, but we'll need to wait for benchmarks to confirm that.
While not leaked yet, we're very confident in this SoC arrangement. The latest Samsung Galaxy Note flagships almost always use the same processors as their older brothers, the Galaxy S series — and it's been all but confirmed by BGR that the S9 will be rocking a Snapdragon 845 in the United States.
As is tradition, the Exynos model will likely be reserved for non-US Note 9s. This is due to Qualcomm's patents on CDMA systems that are only used by Verizon and Sprint — in other words, we get the lesser processor (even on AT&T and T-Mobile, who don't use CDMA) just so all Note 9 models will have the same performance on all carriers in the US.
Initially, it seemed as if Samsung would integrate a front mounted fingerprint sensor that lived underneath the screen for the Galaxy Note 9, but that idea was likely shelved — as the tech isn't quite there yet.
Now, reports are emerging that it will likely sport a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, like the Galaxy S9 will.
While reports are still popping up from time to time that have the Note 9 with an in-display fingerprint reader, we'll need more rumors to feel comfortable spouting this as gospel. There's just so much noise out there right now.
Samsung is usually very methodical regarding their phone launches. The new Galaxy Note model is usually announced in August and released in September, ready to battle Apple's offerings. While no details have been confirmed or even rumored, it'd be surprising if Samsung deviates from their system here.
The Note 8 debuted at $929, and the Galaxy Note 9 likely won't be much cheaper than that. With the iPhone X clocking in at $1,000, that's probably the upper bound for the Galaxy Note 9's pricing.