Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review

In my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review, I check out all the best bits and updates to the S Pen that are bound to impress Note fans.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 design



The overall look of the Galaxy Note 9 hasn’t strayed much from previous versions. The phone feels solid and high-quality thanks to the metal frame and it comes in a new Copper colour. The usual purple, blue and black colours are also available. The S Pen matches the colour scheme of each option, other than the blue one which gets a yellow S Pen.



The phone weighs in at 201g and measures 8.8mm which is a little thicker than some other flagships.


Samsung Galaxy Note features


The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4-inch Infinity Display which includes automatic contrast adjustment. This big screen is ideal when using the new and improved S Pen.



The phone is IP68 certified which means you don’t need to worry about splashes or being caught out in the rain. This certification means the phone will be OK after being in water up to 1.5 metres deep for up to 30 minutes.


The security features have been enhanced on this latest Galaxy Note with the usual fingerprint sensor bolstered with Iris and face recognition. The face and iris recognition software work together so that it works well in low light conditions too.



The performance on the Note 9 is impressive and that’s thanks to the powerful package that Samsung has put under the hood. You get a 2.8GHz octa-core processor that has been clocked as a 53% faster CPU than the Note 8. The memory options on the Galaxy Note 8 are a 128GB model with 6GB RAM or an impressive 512GB memory with 8GB RAM.


The phone has Android 8.1 on board so you have all the familiar apps from Google. You also get a few extras from Samsung including the Bixby Assistant and S Health.


Samsung has made this big screen smartphone optimised for gaming with a water-carbon system that cools the phone and prevents overheating when gaming for long periods. AI technology delivers lag-free gaming and you can choose to switch off notifications when playing.



The battery is wireless charging compatible, although you will have to buy wireless charging accessories. The power pack is a big 4,000mAh battery. This delivers lots of use before you need to plug in and recharge.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen features


The S Pen is one of the unique features of the Note series and every new release sees a whole host of new features. This time Samsung has added Bluetooth functionality to the S Pen. This means you can interact with the phone from a distance of up to 10 metres. The S Pen can activate the camera shutter or act as a remote when playing music or watching video clips. The S Pen can be used to move onto the next slide in a presentation as well as the usual on-screen interactions of previous models. This includes taking notes or adding captions to photos and playing games.



Should the S Pen run out of battery power you can slide it back into the phone and within 40 seconds you have another 30 minutes of usage time.



Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Camera


The rear camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a dual-lens configuration. There are two 12-megapixel cameras one of which has an aperture that adjusts like the human eye. This means it will let more light in during low-light shots and make bright shots more clear. The second lens gives you up to 2x optical zoom for bringing distant objects closer.



The camera has scene recognition software that can detect 20 different scenes, such as a sunset or flowers. This will then adjust the appropriate settings to make sure you get a beautiful shot each time. Live Focus lets you create bokeh effects and you capture Super Slow-motion video at 960fps.



The selfie camera is an 8-megapixel lens with face detection to keep everyone in focus. AR Emojis have become a bit of a trend with selfie cameras of late. Samsung has taken this a step further by allowing you to design your own AR emoji based around your facial features. When you use the AR emoji it will keep up with your facial expressions and movements of your mouth as you speak.




I have long been a fan of the Galaxy Note series and this latest one delivers everything I would expect. The amazing display, powerful processor and superb user experience make this a phone to consider for your next upgrade. The S Pen has got better and better with every release and the addition of Bluetooth is a real asset to this version.

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