August 9th, 2018. That's when the world will see the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone for the first time, as Samsung holds one of its regular Unpacked events. Here's what you need to know about this future best-selling smartphone.
Note 9 Features
When it comes to the Note 9, expect the camera to be a big focus (haha!). Samsung recently showed off its new ISOCELL Plus sensors, which could be incorporated into the Note 9 to boost its colour accuracy and sharpness. We may also see the same variable aperture design that debuted on the W2018 flip phone and was then brought to the S9.
Of course, an upgraded S Pen is always a safe prediction, particularly given that the invite this year is nothing but a close-up of an S Pen stylus. (In fact, one mobile rumour monger called the S Pen "a pen with a soul. It may be the biggest update in the history of the S Pen." Wow.
Note 9 Design
We're expecting a slightly larger 6.4-inch display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, with smaller bezels than last year's Note 8. The display will meet the HDR10 standard and will be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Expect the usual Bixby button on the left side with a headphone jack and USB-C charging at the bottom.
The strong metallic butter colour used in the event invite suggests that new colours may be available as well; this shade certainly looks different to the champagne gold that we got on earlier Galaxy smartphones.
Note 9 Hardware
Internally, the Note 9 should resemble this year's Galaxy S9 smartphone, but with a larger amount of RAM in order to justify its greater expense and attract the 'productivity' crowd. That means we'll see an Exynos 9810 Octa processor in the UK, backed with 6GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage. That should make the Note 9 comparable to the fastest Android smartphones on the market. Rumours have suggested that the RAM and storage count may even be higher, at 8GB and 512GB, respectively, but this seems unlikely for the standard version of the device.
Its standout feature may be something else, though: a 4,000mAh battery designed to offer two-day battery life. Samsung previously ran into trouble when it expanded the batteries beyond safe limits on its Note 7 flagship, which was eventually recalled in a move that cost the company millions of dollars. That meant it played conservatively with the Note 8, launching with smaller 3300mAh battery. If we see a 4000mAh battery this year, it would be a significant boost for the new model.
Note 9 Software
The Note 9 should ship with Android 8.1 Oreo, but with the forthcoming release of Android P then we should see an update to Google's latest and greatest eventually, and hopefully by the end of the year. Of course, the Note 9 will also be chock full of Samsung-branded apps and services, including the much-maligned Bixby personal assistant, the Samsung Pay contactless and magnetic stripe payments service and so on.
Note 9 accessories
A Bixby powered smart speaker, along the same lines as the Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo and Google Home, may also be unveiled at Samsung's Unpacked event. Other accessories are likely to include cases, covers, docks and wireless chargers.
Note 9 UK release date
The Note 9 will be released in the UK about two weeks after it is announced, which would put it in mid to late August. That's significant for Samsung, as it allows them to offer their Note before the new iPhone models go on sale in September -- especially as Apple are rumoured to be introducing a new larger iPhone X model called the iPhone X+.
Note 9 UK price
The Note 9 doesn't yet have a confirmed UK price, but its similar specifications to last year's model should ensure its price is similar as well. The Note 8 retailed for a whopping £869 last year, so we would expect Samsung to set the UK price between £869 and £909.
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What do you think of the Note 9? Will you be watching the Unpacked event live or catching up later? Let us know in the comments below!