News: Samsung Unveils the Galaxy Note 9 with a Focus on Gaming & a Brand New S Pen

Samsung Unveils the Galaxy Note 9 with a Focus on Gaming & a Brand New S Pen

Samsung hopes to make a splash with the new Galaxy Note 9 to make up for the underwhelming sales of its signature Galaxy S9 series. This flagship is a radical departure from its predecessors — it's now optimized for gaming and paired with the most advanced S Pen stylus to date. Here's everything you need to know.


  • OS Version: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US models) or Exynos 9810 (overseas)
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • RAM: 6 or 8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB (with 6 GB RAM) or 512 GB (with 8 GB RAM)
  • Expandable Storage: MicroSD up to 1 TB
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED
  • Screen Size: 6.4"
  • Resolution: 2960 x 1440
  • Dimensions: 6.37" x 3.0" x 0.35"
  • Rear Camera Resolution: Dual 12 MP sensors
  • Rear Camera Aperture: Variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4 (primary), and f/2.4 (secondary)
  • Front Camera Resolution: 8 MP
  • Biometrics: Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and iris scanner
  • Speakers: Stereo speakers
  • IP Rating: IP 68
  • Charging: Fast charging and Qi wireless charging
  • Dual SIM: Yes
  • Micro SD slot: Yes
  • I/O: 3.5 mm headphone jack

Optimized for Gaming

The Galaxy Note 9 is bringing gaming phones to the mainstream. It has a specially designed water and carbon cooling system to keep the processor from overheating during extended gaming sessions. This, coupled with its larger display and massive battery capacity, gives you a worthy alternative to the potent, but relatively obscure Razer Phone.

Image by Jennifer Welsh/Gadget Hacks

Exclusive Fortnite Access

Fortnite Battle Royale made its Android debut alongside the Galaxy Note 9, though you can already install the game on other phones with a workaround.

Epic Games will be giving away $150 worth of V-bucks (the in-game currency) with all Note 9 preorders. For fans of the game, this will be hard to pass up. To enhance Fortnite Mobile gameplay even further, the game will feature Samsung DeX support, giving you a full desktop gaming experience to get a leg up on your competitors.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

6.4" Super AMOLED Screen

Samsung will once again include a display larger than 6 inches. The Galaxy Note 9 will feature a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED and have the same 2960 x 1440 resolution as its predecessor. The pixel density will be slightly lower than the Note 8, however, at 516 ppi compared to the Note 8's 521 ppi.

Massive 4,000 mAh Battery

Samsung certainly didn't skimp when it comes to the Note 9's battery — the flagship sports an impressive 4,000 mAh battery to ensure you're never short on power when you need it the most. And if the Note 7's infamous battery debacle is still fresh in your mind, fret not, Samsung has put more care into engineering the latest Note.

The Note 9 is considerably larger than the Note 7 to help account for battery expansion that led to the Note 7's demise. The newest Note is longer (6.37" vs. .6.04"), wider (3.0" vs. .2.91"), and thicker (0.35" vs. .0.31"), confirming that the company has learned from its past failures.

The Galaxy Note 8 (left) compared to the Galaxy Note 9 (right). Image by Jennifer Welsh/Gadget Hacks

Dual Rear Cameras with Variable Aperture

The Galaxy Note 9 will feature the same variable aperture feature found on the S9, and it will utilize a dual camera setup consisting of a pair of 12 MP (wide-angle and telephoto) lenses for its rear mounted shooter. The primary lens has variable aperture that can adjust from f/1.5 to f/2.4, while the second lens has a fixed aperture of f/2.4. Other notable features include OIS and zoom capabilities of 2x optical and 10x digital.

The flagship features new intelligent camera capabilities that will help you achieve high quality photos on a consistent basis, such as Scene Optimizer that helps create eye-popping photos, and Flaw Detection that alerts you of undesirable elements like blur to help you make adjustments and ensure a high quality photo or video.

Faster Wireless Charging

Samsung will be introducing a new wireless charger known as the Wireless Charger Duo. As its name implies, it can charge two items at the same; specifically, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Watch alongside your new Galaxy Note 9. This charger is the most powerful wireless charger from Samsung, with a power output of 25.2 W (12 V/2.1 A). With this much power, the base supports fast charging on both pads, so you don't need to wait too long for either device to be fully charged.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

As to be expected, the Note 9 will utilize the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 for the US market, while employing the latest Exynos 9810 elsewhere. And while Exynos typically outperforms its Qualcomm counterpart, the Snapdragon 845 is still the best SoC found in Android phones in the US market. This SoC will provide you flagship performance and is a noticeable upgrade from last year's Snapdragon 835.

The Snapdragon 845. Image via Qualcomm

Bluetooth S Pen

The S Pen has received a significant makeover with the arrival of the Note 9, and now comes standard with a slew of new features to make it a true companion to the flagship. The biggest upgrade by far is the S Pen's support of Bluetooth Low-Energy, which effectively makes it a handy remote to let you control your Note 9 from a distance. With the New S Pen, you're now able to do the following:

  • Control your music
  • Act as a camera shutter button, allowing you take a picture away from your phone
  • Unlock your phone remotely
  • Access a selection of apps
  • Open a specific app
  • Assign actions for single press and double press

New Colors

The Note 9 will be available in a new finish to to make settling on a particular color even more difficult. Besides the traditional Ocean Blue and Black, the latest flagship will also arrive in Lavender Purple and Metallic Copper. Interestingly, the Ocean Blue variant will be the only version with a stylus finished in a different color, and sport a yellow S-Pen to contrast its deep blue finish.

We've received confirmation from Samsung that only two of these colors will be available in the US: Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple.

Image by Jennifer Welsh/Gadget Hacks

Pricing & Availability

The Galaxy Note 9 will be available for pre-order on 12.01 a.m. EDT on August 10, 2018, and will be available for sale on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular on August 24, 2018. Pricing starts at $999.99 for the 128 GB variant, and $1249.99 for the 512 GB Model. It's worth noting that the latter won't be available for Sprint when it launches.

Image via Samsung

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Cover image by Jennifer Welsh/Gadget Hacks

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