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15 min read 55 comments

Galaxy Note 9 spotted in the wild with Samsung CEO DJ Koh

There's no longer any doubt: Samsung will unveil its new phablet on August 9 in New York during the Unpacked event. Note 9 is getting closer, and soon all will be revealed. The device has just been spotted ahead of schedule in the hands of none other than DJ Koh!

Samsung CEO DJ Koh was just seen at a media event where he confirmed that the Note 9's S-Pen would offer "many new features". We could have guessed that little factoid, so what's the real news here? He was actually carrying the device and using the S-Pen! Someone got a shot of the scene and posted it to Weibo, later picked up by SamMobile, and we can confirm from the cutouts that it's the actually Note 9 since it matches up with leaked renders and the fingerprint sensor is placed differently than on the Note 8. 

samsung galaxy note9 djkoh leak weibo
Here's the Note 9 in the wild! / © Weibo user ShungNin

What do you think of the Note 9 so far? Let us know in the comments!

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Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9


To be presented in New York on August 9

The appointment with Samsung is official: August 9 at 11:00. Where? The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event will take place in New York City, more precisely at the Barclays Center.

The fact that Samsung will actually show the Note 9 is clarified by a small teaser video that the Korean manufacturer has made available online. In the video you can see the presence of the S-Pen, the characteristic stylus of the Note line, which according to the latest rumors, should benefit from a major update

Delayed by design changes

In today's image-conscious world, we've all felt the pressure to slim down before a big event when we know the eyes of friends and rivals will judge our appearance. As it happens, even top smartphones are not immune to this phenomenon.

According to the latest reports, including The Bell, the Galaxy Note 9 will not follow the most hated trend of the moment. So don't worry, the design change to which they refer doesn't concern the controversial cutout, or notch, on the display.

The launch of Samsung's next S-Pen-enabled phablet was expected by the end of July but has apparently been delayed by a couple of weeks to allow the company to reduce the thickness of the glass on the display by 0.5 mm.

galaxy note 8 bottom
Does thinner mean more fragile? / © AndroidPIT

The reason for this choice was Lee Jae-yong's meeting with representatives of OPPO and Vivo. The Samsung Vice Chairman apparently found the Chinese devices more manageable and therefore mandated this small change on the Note 9 to adapt to the competition. We hope that this reduction in the thickness of the glass will not affect the resistance of the device.

What will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 look like?

With the Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Samsung put aside big design innovations in order to focus on improving the hardware specifications of its flagships. With renderings produced by the reliable @OnLeaks in collaboration with 91Mobiles, we can now take a first look at how the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 should look like. Spoiler: nothing shocking to see here.

On the front, the smartphone will have the usual Super AMOLED panel slightly curved at the sides, most likely with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and a diagonal of 6.3". Once again, there is the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C and the ever-present S-Pen.

The only innovations visible from this render are on the back of the smartphone. The cameras would change slightly in layout, although still aligned horizontally, and the fingerprint reader will move underneath underneath them. The shape of the fingerprint reader leaves us a bit perplexed, as has already happened on the Galaxy S9, but only an in-person test can remove any doubt about the comfort and speed.

A case manufactured on the basis of the latest renderings of the Galaxy Note 9 shows the new positioning of the fingerprint reader. As with the Galaxy S9, it is now located below, which makes it easier to use

It remains to be seen whether Samsung will also offer a fingerprint reader under the screen on its device. This particular option is one of the most hotly anticipated innovations by smartphone fans, but Samsung has a very cautious approach to integrating the new technology, preferring to take its time to perfect it before rushing to market.

Will there be a new physical button?

According to the Korean Herald, the Galaxy Note 9’s new button will appear on the lower side of the phone. This lines up with an earlier image leaked by Android Headlines purporting to show a protective case with five cutouts for buttons instead of four.

We don't know exactly what this button will be used for but the Herald notes that Samsung recently filed a trademark for “perfect capture technology",  suggesting that the button could either be a camera shutter key or a shortcut to perform a screenshot.

The current screenshot method on Samsung phones is kind of awkward. Either you have to press power and volume-down, or drag the side of your hand across the screen. I know that the former method especially tends to lead to accidentally adjusting the volume instead.

But perhaps this potential "perfect capture" button could do more than capture simple screenshots. There are plenty of features that could do with a fast button shortcut, such as to quickly activate slow motion video, or perhaps Samsung is making a bid for the now trendy market of mobile gamers, with a button for on-screen recording to capture gaming sessions.

So is it a new button or not?

Not everyone is convinced by the Korean report. Notably both Ice Universe and Steve H, both reliable smartphone tech leakers on Twitter, have called it out the "button" as nothing more than a lanyard holder.

One thing's for sure, as soon as the new Galaxy Note 9 gets within reach of our fingertips, our digits will be all over it to find out the truth. What's the worst that could happen? Perhaps Samsung has integrated a second Bixby button, because the first one isn't easy enough to accidentally trigger.

At last! The Note 9 may have a fingerprint reader in the display

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).

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Samsung at least relocated the sensor, but with the Note 9, it could be in the display / © AndroidPIT 

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 its arrival at the end of August. 

A new button on the next Samsung device? An interesting move from Samsung, given that the Bixby button, introduced on the Galaxy S8 isn't exactly well-loved. Nonetheless, it looks like Samsung is pushing ahead with its vision for special buttons on the Note 9.

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.

samsungpatentindisplay
Samsung's diagrams place the fingerprint reader under the display, but when will we be seeing it? / © Weibo

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.

What other features will the Galaxy Note 9 bring?

Chinese leaker, Ice Universe, talks us through the features that will be offered by Note 9 with a post published on Weibo. The S-Pen is confirmed, and there were no doubts about that. However, the brand may offer some new features on the software side as well as being more sensitive and accurate during use. A previous rumor stated that the S-Pen may even have a microphone this time around, enabling phone calling.

weibo note9
Rumors about the Note 9 from China. / © Weibo, Ice Universe

In the post it talks about several other features, too. These include UX Crown, a new version of the software platform as well as Bixby 2.0, which was already announced by Samsung's CEO during MWC. Also mentioned is a fingerprint sensor under the display, a 3850mAh battery and 18w fast charge. In addition, we can expect some innovations for the camera, although we don't know exactly what just yet. The Note 9 will also come in a brand new color called Teddy Brown.

The S-Pen will bring more surprising new features

Once again the rumors come from, you guessed it, the renowned @UniverseIce, who has now revealed almost every aspect of the next Samsung flagship. The latest tweet details exciting new features about the inimitable S-Pen: the signature stylus of the Galaxy Note line.

The source says that the new S-Pen would be an active Bluetooth device capable of many additional tasks such as starting and stopping remote timers, controlling music playback and other non pen design related functions. This will probably be one of the most important changes that will affect the new Galaxy coming in August.


Benchmarks show the power of the Galaxy Note 9

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:

note9benchmark
A familiar display size. / © Galaxyclub

The Note 9 also 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)

Note9 geekbench
The Note 9 shows signs of life on Geekbench. / © Geekbench

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.

Will the Note 9 come with the latest Android version?

The browser benchmark test shows the US-version of the Note 9 (SM-N960U) running Android 8.0.0.0 Oreo, the same version the Galaxy S9 launched with, and that the Galaxy S8 has been updated to. But the Geekbench test has the test device running Android 8.1.

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.

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.

Superfast Exynos chip beats the Snapdragon in benchmark

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is getting ready for its launch slowly but surely. It is to be expected that the Koreans will conjure their new XL smartphone out of the hat before Berlin's IFA. The alleged Galaxy Note 9 with its Exynos 9810 has finally appeared on Geekbench's results lists. The device with the model number SM-N960N scores 2,737 points in the single-core evaluation and 9,064 points in the multi-core test for Geekbench.

Over 9,000 points in Geekbench's multi-core ranking is a real record. The current top smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy S9+, does not quite make the leap over this hurdle with 8,923 points in our test, the OnePlus 6 also just fails with 8,970 points. What is striking, however, is that 2,737 points in the single-core ranking are not exactly impressive, with the Galaxy S9+ scoring over 1,000 points more than the Galaxy Note 9.

Technical specs leaked early

The first hands-on impressions are already available in advance, because the Russian leaker Eldar Murtazin has spoken to people who have already used the Note 9. And the leaker has a lot to say.

Visually, the Note 9 can hardly be distinguished from the Note 8. Only the camera section will now be updated to the style of the Galaxy S9+. Of course it remains the case that the S Pen becomes the most important differentiating aspect of the Galaxy S series. This year, Samsung wants to focus even more on productivity. 

Murtazin emphasizes that the battery will grow to 4,000 mAh; depending on use, up to two days of battery life can be achieved. Therefore, the Note 9 will be a little heavier than its predecessor. As usual, the Exynos version of Note 9 is reserved for Europe, with the American market receiving the model with a Snapdragon 845 chipset. The smallest memory configuration will have 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory. There are two further models with 8 GB RAM, and the internal memory then grows to 256 or 512 GB.

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The camera section of the Galaxy Note 9 should be similar to that of the S9+ (pictured)./ © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

On the camera side, Samsung continues to rely on a dual camera - the triple camera will be held back by Samsung for a model in 2019. The Note 9 inherits the variable aperture from the Galaxy S9+. However, Samsung is said to have optimized the quality of the camera especially in dim light. There will also be new video functions, although no details are given in Murtazin's report.

Two more details of the report are also interesting: Samsung has decided to no longer offer the Note 8. For some time now, dealers have only been selling off their stock, and there is no longer any supply. Also, the fingerprint scanner remains on the back and will not be integrated into the display on the front.

Note 9: Technical specifications

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Technical specs
Display 6.4 inches, 18:5:9
OS Android 8.1 Oreo
Chipset Snapdragon 845
RAM 6GB-8GB
Memory 128-512 GB
Camera -
Battery 4000 mAh

What do you expect from the Galaxy Note 9?

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Readers' favorite comments

  • Mark
    • Admin
    3 months ago

    I do not want an in-display finger print scanner. I like it on the back where LG puts it, about a 1/3 of the way from the top. It is just more natural for me, I rarely use my phone laying it down. An in-display sensor will just make me use 2 hands to unlock my phone which is the only thing I do not like about my Note 4

  • Mark
    • Admin
    5 months ago

    I much rather have the finger print scanner on the back of the phone. Just better positioning than their current models. It is just much easier and more natural for me.

55 comments

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  • Wave the magic wand my way. This upgrade is a welcomed feature for all of us note fans. Plus the 4000mamp battery. I am very excited for this release.


  • storm 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Bluetooth s pen? The magnetic induction wizardry of the earlier pens sounds more useful than becoming a Bluetooth stylus with the security and power issues for the signal and pen itself. If I have to keep plugging the pen in to charge so I can control music without being plugged in....


  • Instead of people waiting to what the Note 9 differs from the Note 8,its going to be what Samsung as done to the S-Pen,and what you can do with the S-Pen,can you make a call using the S-Pen this time or not?plus other options as well,but will consumers really want to invest in the Note 9 or wait for the Future S10 phones,as the S10 Plus with offer Triple Cameras and a Larger screen than the Note 9,i would definetly wait and save my money


  • storm 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Dump the curved edges. I have no interest in the differentiation gimmick.


  • At least 6000 mAh battery is a must. Have it on my Ulefone power 3, not going back to 3300mAh no way in hell.


  • well i just got through makings my last payment on my N8 so im just in time for the N9 HaHa yea right me jump back into a 1500$ contract for a cellphone nope dont think so love the speck on the n9 but no im gana have to pass pls


  • Extra button, well, that should be worth at least a $50 dollar increase in price LOL.


  • it's rumored but not certain, the note 9 can't come with in finger print in the screen, Samsung can only feature an in display finger print in the s10, if u ask why, I would say because it will be Samsung's 10 anniversary for the s10 which leave the note 9 hanging as well.


  • The Note 9 might attract a few buyers, but loads will be saving there money for the future S10 phones ,that Samsung will really want to Stand out from there others, to celebrate the 10th year producing phones,so with the fingerprint scanner under the screen,and www.phone arena .com as shown that Samsung want to build the speakers under the screen as well,so the Top and Bottom bezels can be Fully be Removed,so the S10 might be Fully Bezeless phone from Samsung,and no more worry about getting dust into the Top speakers seems a very good idea from Samsung


  • lol they just made the same mistake with the fingerprint sensor, again! it looks like samsung ppl refrain from using it before deploying.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    1 month ago Link to comment

    It is a better location being under the camera, but is it still to close to it. An extra 1/2 inch of space between them would have been better.


  • Samsung is getting the critics pulling them down by not changing the designs of there phones,but what can they really do with there infinity screens that nearly offer full view display,not much ,just cut the bezels down a little until they are full bezeless free which they might be preparing for the future S10 phones,its only the Back of there phones and software and chips they can really change,so glad Samsung as not joined the Stupid Notch idea on there phones and kept the 3.5mm headphone jack,and the stereo speakers they are offering are Superb,some Note 8 users who make the switch to the Note 9 might be happy,with the tempered glass they have with fit on the Note 9,as the S8 plus ones i bought do fit on the S9 Plus


  • Last minute changes to the design? Dont you mean last minute problems with software and other things😂


  • All hail the king of phablets!! The one that started it all.


    • No, that actually would be the Dell Streak 5, which launched about a year before the Galaxy Note1. I had one, and for me it was a great smartphone, but it was an "at&t" exclusive, and at&t never marketed it because their heads were too far up the backside of Apple to give a crap about the device. Dell never pushed it, at&t never pushed it and no one in the stores offered it. It died a sudden death for not being pushed.
      At the time, smartphones (Apple) had 3.5" screens. The screen on the Streak 5, was LARGER than the entire Apple iPhone. I remember getting laughs and "why would you want a screen THAT big" from people. Ummm because I don't like squinting at a tiny 3.5" screen?
      The streak 5, died an early death, but, I had one and still do in my drawer of "forgotten technology. ;)


  • Upgrading to Note9 is only worth it for people with the Samsung S7 and below


  • in my opinion it still wont be a good upgrade from galaxy s8. Now Galaxy s10 will be another story. Samsung is saving the best features for that model.


  • I've been interested in upgrading to a new phone recently, and I have heard great things about the Samsung Galaxy line. The general consensus is that they are some of the best out on the market. For those who have bought this phone, would you recommend it?


  • Dan 3 months ago Link to comment

    1. put fingerprint scanner on back like Pixal phone. 2. Have a user replaceable battery. 3. have a bigger battery. 4. don't make the case out of glass. 5. keep headphone jack. 6. keep stylus. 7. water resistant. 8. have separate softkey and indicator for gps like on older phones (s8+ turns off gps when power cycled, sucks). 9. quit trying to be so thin, 0.3 inches would be fine if good battery life.


    • 1. Finger print scanner on the back is useless when in a car cradle. 2. Replaceable battery will never happen. After the Note 7 debacle Samsung wants complete control over batteries in their phones. 3. Agree. 4. Glass is a must as many of us rely upon wireless charging. It's either glass or plastic and they're not returning to plastic ever again. 5. Yes 6. Yes 7. Yes 8. Don't care.


  • Samsung might be bringing out the Note 9 early because of weak S9 sales,the headlines i really want to see and read,they should not have gone on the same path as there main competitor Apple,using the S8 body with updates in Chips and Camera on the S9 Plus,but there big mistake Over Pricing there S9 models,but what if Samsung do the same with the Note 9,use the Note 8 body and use the same chips and cameras on the Note 9 and Over Price the Note 9,loads of Galaxy phone users might get feed up the attitude Samsung is showing to please them,and switch to more affordable phones instead,Huawei will be really pleased that the S9 models are struggling and soon over take Samsung


  • I don't care, carrier financing works well for me. Samsung continues to have everything I will ever need in a phone. Headphone jack & no stupid notch. At least their bucking the trend. I will take a long look at the note9!


  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is certainly a device that gives you every reason to rejoice. Large screen, intelligent features, and lot more are there to make your experience worth mentioning. Recent news indicates that Samsung Galaxy Note 9 could have a big battery and an in-screen finger scanner read here smartphonesupdates.com/samsung-galaxy-note-9-with-latest-leaks/


    • I'll the Samsung phones, why because there the most features packed of any. While other OEM'S are getting rid of the headphone jack Samsung continues to have it. And no ridiculous notch. Plus stereo speakers and ear buds in the box!


  • Mark
    • Admin
    3 months ago Link to comment

    I do not want an in-display finger print scanner. I like it on the back where LG puts it, about a 1/3 of the way from the top. It is just more natural for me, I rarely use my phone laying it down. An in-display sensor will just make me use 2 hands to unlock my phone which is the only thing I do not like about my Note 4


  • Well if Samsung go on the same path of the S9 phones by using the S8 phones body with updates,if they use the Note 8 body to updates the Note 9 will not be to popular,and people will be saving there money for the future S10 or X phone,which Samsung will be making more spectacular to celebrate the 10th year in the Mobile Market,Plus Samsung better start to realise that making there phones to expensive for consumers,all it will do start Galaxy phone users looking elsewhere for a more affordable phone and Galaxy phones will start to be less popular,even in Korea the S9 models are not as popular as the New Galaxy A8 phones because the A8 is a phone the Koreans can afford that is why


  • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

    As far as the phone goes, no, I don't think either of them are worth it. These have turned in prestige items; more about bloat and bling than actual usefulness to most consumers.

    Yes an underscreen thumbprint reader is nice but it's not that much nicer than one on the back really. Certainly not 500 to $700 more price than one that doesn't do that. It's kind of like turbos in small engines. if you're using it for power the mileage is terrible. Same with the phone if you're using these kinds of phones for hard core processing the battery life is useless. It's way overkill for what people really need in a new phone. Big little architecture helps but why pay for that power for such little use.


    • Linked 4 months ago Link to comment

      The thing averages more battery life and and better performance than stock Android.

      Every year Google rushes out a stock Android device a few months early to beat everyone else to market to be first on the next development cycle, but other OEMs particular Samsung take their time and add refinements, hardware integrated optimizations and functionality and the best mobile security currently on the globe.

      The S7 demolished the 6P in terms of performance, functionality and efficiency, the S8 did the same thing to the pixel, and the S9 kicks the pixel 2s ass.

      In terms of functionality the value of a fully optimized device pays for itself if you actually use the functionality. The same thing can't be said about other devices besides the iPhone.

      Youre right if you are a user who just calls, texts, browses the web and uses basic apps, galaxies might be overkill for you. But if you're a musician, artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, NSA agent or head of state etc etc what others options do you have but Apple or Samsung these days?


    • Yep, the top tier phones, are the "porche" of the smartphones. It's about bling, gimmicks, style over function. Other than benchmarks, pretty much any phone from the lower end, to the top end, will run the majority of apps (save for high end games which is a small market) without any issues. Most people are using these for web, streaming, photos...not trying to solve some mathematical puzzle.


  • Not far away from the S9 announcement,and very curious about the pricing of these phones,with the S9 being released early,will Samsung be releasing another Top Class phone later in the year?to compete with the New iPhones from Apple later in 2018,with it being 10 years of Samsung producing phones,that might offer better options than the S9 phones?


  • The Note is a different breed. No comparison


  • Mark
    • Admin
    5 months ago Link to comment

    I much rather have the finger print scanner on the back of the phone. Just better positioning than their current models. It is just much easier and more natural for me.


  • I think incorporating the fingerprint scanner underneath the display would be a wonderful thing & be my choice!


  • I prefer face recognition and a fingerprint beneath the display. So in the style of Samsung we will have all the extras. :-)


  • The Only trouble with offering this function,its going to add more value of the Note 9 after the Shocking pricing of the Note 8,so i bet it will be over a £1,000 for the Note 9


    • Andrew your correct the price will be high especially with the FPS embedded within the display. Samsung will make sure you pay for that technology, without a doubt!