samsung galaxy note 9 buyers guide

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the latest smartphone released by the company and everyone is talking about it. Note 9 is the most anticipated big-screen Android phone of the year.

Every year, smartphones are getting more ‘smarter‘ with incredible features to make your life easier.

If you’re considering buying a smartphone this year with incredibly ‘smart’ features, then it’s a perfect timing coming across this post as I take you through the various features of Galaxy Note 9 that’ll influence your decision to buy or not.

Here is a rundown of 9 items of interest for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 buyer – just before buy, once you’ve bought, and once you’ve got the device in your hand.

1. Prices and release

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was launched on August 9 2018 at a Samsung Unpacked event in New York, after an invite was sent out by Samsung on June 27.

The handset should be available in five colors:

  • Arctic Silver,
  • Coral Blue,
  • Lilac Purple,
  • Midnight Black and
  • Teddy Brown – at launch, with more set to be introduced in the future.

The device come in two variants. 128GB and 512GB.

The 128GB version costs $1,000, while the 512GB version is priced at $1,250, making it the most expensive handset in Samsung’s history.

2. Virtual assistant

In Feb 2018, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh has already confirmed the next iteration of the company’s virtual assistant, Bixby, will debut on the Note 9.

Bixby will include the ability to recognize individual voices.

Bixby 2.0, on the Galaxy Note 9 will offer enhanced natural language processes, improved background noise resistance, quicker response times and support for third-party applications, according to Gary G. Lee, head of Samsung Research AI Center.

That means more than one person will be capable of interacting with the virtual assistant and it can intelligently respond based on that person’s preferences.

Samsung has also entered a partnership with Spotify so you can link your account to Bixby and make the service the default music player when you ask the assistant to play a song.

You’ll also be able to use this on non-smartphone Samsung products, such as its smart television.

Even if the user doesn’t have a Spotify account, they’ll be able to stream music from the service.

While Samsung has acknowledged that the first-generation Bixby has some work to do and even offered some updates in the Galaxy S9, like real-time language translation.

It’s still far behind the market’s leader, Amazon Alexa.

3. S Pen

galaxy note 9 pics
Note 9 with improved S pen

One of the major upgrade of the Note 9 is the Bluetooth equipped S-pen stylus.

The S Pen is improved upon and gets a bright yellow look.

There’s a button visible on the S Pen which is the Bluetooth connectivity that Samsung added to the stylus.

The feature will apparently let you use the S Pen as a remote control for the Note 9 – taking pictures and controlling music playback from afar.

With Bluetooth, the range of the S-pen also suddenly increases from a few millimetres to 10 metres. This means you could also use the phone to find the S-pen in a room if you misplace it. Perfect…right?

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen presentation
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen demonstration

Other features or uses of the S Pen are as follows:

  • Control music with the S Pen. This will allow you to control music like you can with earbuds by pressing the play/pause button. The S Pen button will probably let you play and pause music while also allowing you to skip music tracks.
  • Use the S Pen as a remote camera shutter. This could be useful in situations where you want to take a picture of yourself and prop up your phone.
  • You will be able to remotely unlock your phone if the S Pen was removed from the phone and then the phone locks.
  • You will be able to press the S Pen button to do more in a range of apps.
  • Press and hold the Pen button to open any app or S Pen feature.
  • Set up single and double press Pen actions.

The S Pen does need to be charged, but Samsung claims 40 seconds of charge time will net you 30 minutes of standby battery.

4. Camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rear camera and fingerprintAs a phone lover, camera isn’t really my thing when it comes to buying phones.

Instead, I pay attention to specs such as aperture (lower numbers are better) and special features such as image quality, dual lenses and optical image stabilization.

I usually ignore the megapixels. However, I would not buy any phone with cameras below 8 Megapixels.

Galaxy Note 9 comes with interesting specs when it comes to the cameras. The camera packs 12-MP dual cameras with variable aperture. Similar to the S9 but have a horizontal placement to accommodate a larger battery.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is equipped with a dual-rear camera setup. The Note 9’s front-facing camera does selfies at 8MP and includes autofocus, a first for a Note phone.

A new addition is that both rear cameras have OIS and AI features.

It comes with an improved Super Slow Motion camera that will be able to capture videos at 960fps for 0.4 seconds, which is twice as long as the slo-mo video recording capabilities of the Galaxy S9.

What can you do with these dual shooters? For starters, you get a 2x optical zoom with a simple tap on the screen.

You also get a new Live Focus mode, which is similar to the Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus and Note 8, which blurs the background and makes your subject pop.

5. Internal storage

galaxy note 9 storageRAM, is critical when it comes to multitasking. Try to avoid phones with just 1GB of system memory.

On midtier devices, 2GB is good and standard. But you’ll often find 4GB on the latest flagships, and 6GB/8GB on ultrapremium phones like the Galaxy Note 9.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came with 6GB RAM packing 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card.

Note 9 however comes with two variants which are 6GB and 8GB RAM. Which means more space for apps and other important stuff pre-installed on the phone.

Just like the RAM variants, the storage also comes in different forms. 128GB and 512GB which is expandable up to 2TB via microSD.

Nowadays many phones give you zero option of Micro SD expansion. Even if it’s available, it is probably not enough. The Note 9 is so generous in this respect, you might as well make the most out of it.

6. Performance

galaxy note 9 performanceA good processor inside a phone should translate to faster open times for apps, smoother gameplay and quicker photo editing.

According to a research from Tom’s Guide, the fastest mobile chip (by far) is Apple’s A11 Bionic processor, which is inside the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Among Android phones, the Snapdragon 835 processor is the class-leading chip. It’s the processor to get if you want the best possible virtual-reality and gaming performance, as well as better efficiency, which translates to longer battery life.

The Note 9 has a Snapdragon 845 processor more than other current Android flagships, and it ups with 6GB/8GB of RAM.

In everyday use, the Note 9 is very swift, whether jumping right into the camera from the lock screen instantly or playing games with silky-smooth frame rates.

7. Durability

If you’re considering buying Samsung Galaxy Note 9, you’re assured of its durability.

Note 9 is also dust and water resistant, which isn’t a surprise as all of Samsung’s top-end handsets have this.

8. Battery

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 slots in a 4,000 mAh battery and has a fast wireless Charging (15W). That is good for a 700-mAh increase over the power pack in the Galaxy Note 8 but only slightly larger than the 3,500mAh one in the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

Of course, size isn’t everything.

The iPhone x battery (2,716mAh) may look small in comparison to some of the Android handsets on the market, but Apple’s end-to-end control over both the software and hardware in its devices means that it’s more efficient.

As a result, it measures up far better in practice than it does on paper. But we can be sure that Samsung will come out with a more efficient large battery this time around.

9. Security

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 come with these security features:

  • One-touch fingerprint sensor
  • Iris scanner
  • Samsung KNOX

A fingerprint sensor makes it easier to unlock your phone without having to enter a password or PIN.

But one problem I have faced especially with Infinix phones is that they can give you errors and tend to vibrate continuously if you have sweat or crumbs on your fingers.

This is where the iris scanner play the big role.


If you’re thinking about buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, be sure to come up with a game plan for your current phone sooner rather than later.

Familiarize yourself with case manufacturers and other phone accessory makers. This way, you’ll know exactly what to buy and how much to spend on Galaxy Note 9 accessories.

If you’ve had issues keeping your phone in one piece, make sure you start looking into Samsung’s Premium Care warranty.

Samsung Premium Care covers accidental damage with a low deductible of only $99, extending your warranty for as long as you’re enrolled.

And whether you need a repair or a replacement, you’ll know you’re getting original Samsung parts and expertise, so your phone is guaranteed to work like new.

I recommend reading Samsung Premium Care reviews and gathering feedback from Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 users about their experience with the service to see if it’s worth it for you and your next device.

Care to know more about this device? Here is a Note 9 review from Mr. Mobile