The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be next in the Korean company's popular premium phablet range, and although it is still some months away, rumors are already heating up about the upcoming device. Lately, the Galaxy Note 9 showed up on Geekbench, confirming several rumors regarding its specifications.
The Note 9 appears on Geekbench under the SM-N960U model number, the same number previously associated with the device. The results on the platform confirm that the future South Korean phablet should integrate the Snapdragon 845 in the US market. As is traditional, the model intended for other markets will opt for Samsung's own Exynos chip.
Benchmarks also show the presence of 6GB of RAM and Android 8.1 Oreo. Geekbench also shows the device scores in Single-Core (2190) and Multi-Core (8806).
While the Note 9 racks up some impressive scores, that's only to be expected from such a premium device. Numbers in themselves don't say much at the moment. Only when the Note 9 is actually completed on the software side, will it be possible to get an idea of the real performance.
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Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Galaxy S9 turned out to be an iterative improvement over the S8, so many are hoping the upcoming Note 9 will bring some more exciting innovations to the table. The Galaxy Note 9, assuming it follows the tradition of its predecessors, will be released in August 2018. Hopefully that's enough time for Samsung to cook up something really groundbreaking.
This week, a report from the Korea Herald on March 22 had information apparently from an industry source, informing them of three to four different options that Samsung Display is developing to implement the fingerprint sensor inside the main display. This explains the delay in the finalization of the Note 9 concept due to its efforts with this technology. According to its source, a final decision will be made towards the end of this month.
"Samsung Display has prepared three or four solutions for Samsung Electronics to embed the fingerprint sensor inside of the main display, and both are seriously considering one of the solutions"
It does make sense that Samsung will use the technology in its new addition to the Note series, in order to make it stand out from competitors such as Huawei, which will be presenting its new smartphones at the end of the month. With no outstanding new design or feature choices in the S9, a move like this from the brand is overdue. In our interview with Mark Notton, it was revealed that the technology simply wasn't ready in time for the S9 launch, and they prefer to test it thoroughly first.
By the release of the Note 9 then, Samsung should have enough time to perfect it, but, there are still problems. The mass production of devices can be both complicated and costly, with sources saying that the "technological capabilities to mass produce those phones are still lacking". Rushing the process could certainly backfire with the possibility that users will be disappointed, or problems could arise that would damage the brands reputation (such as the Note 7 fiasco).
We have previously seen some conflicting information. But regardless of this, the new information sounds promising, and there should be enough time to improve the technology ahead of it's arrival at the end of August.
Potential problems with the optical fingerprint sensor
The main feature in question so far is of course the "under-display optical fingerprint" sensor. A previously published patent from the South Korean company suggests that a scanner could take up the bottom fifth of the screen, and will vibrate to alert users in the case of unsuccessful authentication attempts.
Although fingerprint sensors are fast becoming the norm on smartphones, the next generation of high-end phones might not have any visible sensor at all. Instead of having the sensor as a separate hardware piece, future flagships could feature the "under-display" or optical model, where the fingerprint reader comes built into the screen. A smartphone with an optical reader does already exist—the Vivo X20 Plus UD in China, but Samsung, with their resources and market reach, could be the first to make an international splash with the technology.
Previous speculation was based on a note sent to clients by respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, known for his understanding of the Asian electronics market. Kuo's note, originally seen and reported on by Business Insider, mentioned that Samsung may put an under-display fingerprint reader on 2018's Galaxy Note 9. Kuo says Samsung is "likely" not to implement the new technology due to technical difficulties with screen protectors and accuracy in some environments.
Nonetheless, it is clear that Samsung has its ambitions on integrating this feature. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to integrate the technology in time for the Note 9's release.
Samsung's whale surfaced in a benchmark test, providing a tantalizing glimpse of the device that we don't expect to see until summer. Take a look at the following benchmark score, first brought to our attention by Galaxyclub.nl:
Will the Note 9 come with the latest Android version?
Last year, the Note 8 was launched with Android 7.1, while the Galaxy S8 was launched with Android 7.0. The Galaxy S9 just launched with Android 8.0 , so it seems logical to expect the Galaxy Note 9 to come out with Android 8.1 later this year.
Even through Android 8.0 Oreo is being used in the test, there's still plenty of time left for Samsung to get it ready for Android 8.1, so there's a good chance that the Note 9 will be up-to-date on launch. Otherwise, that would be pretty embarrassing for Samsung.
Nothing spectacular to see on the software side, but in any case it is a sign that the next Galaxy Note is progressing on its long journey to shop shelves and consumer pockets. Of course the device will be broadly comparable to the Galaxy S9 Plus, including a fast processor and enhanced camera. It would be nice if Samsung can present us with more than just incremental improvements on last year's Note, but we'll have to wait and see for the time being.
18.5:9 Infinity Display
Software isn't the only thing shown by the test. In addition, we can see that the screen has the familiar aspect ratio of an Infinity display: 18.5:9. Sadly, still no indication of whether the display will have an optical fingerprint sensor, as suggested by Samsung's patents.
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