Review: Samsung Galaxy Note9

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note9
Samsung leads the pack with the Galaxy Note9.


The Pros
Let’s get straight to it. I’m a generational Note user. My primary phone is currently the Note8 and my Note5 is tucked away for safe keeping because I’ll never part from it. Each iteration of the phone offers new, cutting edge features that are worthy of an upgrade and this time, it’s the stylus that I’m most impressed with. (More on that later) My other favs include the new color combinations and enhanced camera technology.


Design and Aesthetics
Note9 comes in four fabulous colors which include midnight black, cloud silver, lavender purple and ocean blue. At first sight, the shiny, monochrome metal body in lavender purple was my favorite but that changed. My personal favorite is now ocean blue which comes with a constructing bright, yellow stylus. Perhaps this color combo works so well for me because the stylus – which I used more with this iteration of the device – stands out.


The metal frame is seamless and smooth while the edge-to-edge infinity display gives you an uninterrupted view of whatever is on the screen. I particularly appreciate that the iris scanner, sensors and cameras all blend with the surface. Note9 is beautifully designed but let’s face it, it’s large. The long, rectangular shape can make it a bit top-heavy and it is more cumbersome to manage with one hand than my old iPhone 7 but there’s an upside. The 6.4 inch display gives you more; more surface area to use the S Pen and the capacity to capture more in photos and screenshots. Measuring 6.37 x 3.01 x 0.35 inches, it’s perfectly shaped for use with the latest social media trends like vertical video. Consequently, the Galaxy Note is my go-to device when updating my Instagram stories.


Side note: with all this real estate, I still accidentally launched Bixby at least ten times a day. We’ve got to relocate that button.


Performance and Functionality
Note9 is a big device and it has a 4000 mAh battery that is equally as big. It charges fast via wired and wireless charging. I recharged it using the Belkin Boost Up wireless charger and didn’t notice any difference in the amount of time it took to charge. The battery lasted for 20+ hours on a single charge with refuse use. That’s longer than I’m awake each day so I’m good with that.


Regarding the cameras, Note9 has one of the most reliable camera systems around – meaning that you can expect to always get a good shot. Both cameras performed well and the photos were good.


The S Pen is my absolute favorite upgrade on the Note9. Aside from its spring enabled storage in and removal from the device, the stylish new stylus has “real” functionality. The S Pen is now a remote for the Note9. You can remove it from its compartment and press a button to snap photos, control a slide show, pause a video or even set custom controls. To do all of this, the S Pen now requires charging but you do it by simply putting it back into the Note9 because the storage compartment doubles as a charger. 40 seconds of charging gives the S Pen 30 more minutes of power. I particularly enjoyed this feature as someone who takes a lot of my own photos. Using the S Pen more often also gives you more chances to lose it but the phone will warn you if it’s been without the S Pen for too long. That’s a nice little safety net to have. I found this easier to use than my tripod which I have to connect to my smartphone via Bluetooth, IF I remember to charge the remote. With this new functionality, the Note9 can very easily become a blogger’s best friend.


The Wrap-up
The Note9 is big, beautiful device that’s also powerful. With a 6.4-inch screen, 4,000-mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and either 128GB or a whopping 512GB of onboard storage, plus a microSD card, what more could you ask for? A discount, perhaps because all of this doesn’t come cheap. Note9 retails for about $1000 USD.

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