– Galaxy Note 9 launch event to be held on 9 August 2018
– Similar to last year’s design, fingerprint sensor on rear
The leaks surrounding Samsung’s next big smartphone launch have reached fever pitch, meaning it’s not long until the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in early August.
Here are all the leaks, rumours and confirmed details for the 2018 Galaxy Note 9, codenamed “Crown”.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date
The Galaxy Note 9 will be launched on 9 August 2018.
Samsung has sent out invites to its Unpacked event (which is what Samsung calls its mobile launch events), complete with a close-up of a yellow/gold S Pen button. The event will be held live in New York, with the show starting at:
- 11:00 EDT
- 16:00 BST
- 17:00 CEST
Samsung has also posted a teaser on its mobile Twitter feed, which reveals more of the S Pen, leaving absolutely no doubt that it’s the Note 9 that’s being launched.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) June 27, 2018
A model number for the new handset has also leaked – SM-N960U. The current Note 8 has the model number SM-N950U (at least in the US that’s its model number; the international Note 8 model we have is SM-N950F which has a Samsung Exynos processor).
A leaked FCC filing from June refers to a model number SM-N960F – as we mentioned the ‘F’ suffix is usually the international version, so things are all coming together nicely.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 design doesn’t change much
- Fingerprint sensor on rear in new arrangement
- Premium and waterproof build expected
- Familiar curved glass design
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features a metal and glass build with a dual-edge design, a dual-rear camera and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It is similarly-styled to the Galaxy S8 and S9 models, but it has a wider stance with a built-in S Pen. We’re expecting much the same from the Note 9, although we don’t yet have measurements.
We’ve seen a mock-up video from a reliable source, @OnLeaks which gives us a good idea of what this phone will look like – and there are few surprises. These computer renders are produced from leaked specs destined for case and accessory manufacturers. You’ll notice the dual camera horizontally arrayed on the back, but with a fingerprint sensor sitting beneath them, which looks like the biggest design change.
We’d expect the same aluminium core, glass front and rear, with IP68 waterproofing for the Note 9 as it was in the Note 8.
As we get closer to the Note 9 launch, we’ve been treated to what looks like a real marketing photo of the device via reliable leaker, Evan Blass. He shared the photo, which shows the phone alongside the same yellow S-Pen we think was depicted in the launch event’s invitation.
We’ve seen colours appear too, and we’re looking at blue, brown, black, lavender and grey. We’re yet to see anything official from any of the heavy leakers to reveal exactly what those colours might look like, but we’re pretty sure these colours are correct, as they are the colour of the S Pen, derived from another leak.
The invite shows a yellow/gold S Pen, suggesting there could be a version in that colour. This was mocked up by Phone Arena, but we suspect the gold/yellow S Pen belongs to the blue version, which is said to have a gold frame by some sources.
You can expect slim bezels at the top and bottom of the display for an almost all-screen front, along with a premium build. We’re not expecting a “notch” like the iPhone X – that just doesn’t appear to be something that Samsung is prepared to countenance.
Screen Panel of Galaxy Note9 pic.twitter.com/OPcMOhGVSN
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 19, 2018
Some sources – such as the Korea Herald – were adamant that we would be getting an in-display fingerprint sensor, with an unnamed source saying to the Herald: “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.” These hopes have now been dashed. It has been confirmed by Samsung to be coming to the S10, however!
What about the new S Pen?
- Will be Bluetooth-enabled
- Could act as a camera shutter or pause music playback
We’ve known for some time that Samsung is planning S Pen improvements according to this interview with Samsung execs. In reality, with the Galaxy S9+ being essentially the same phone as the Note 9, it’s in the S Pen that the difference has to lie. With the S Pen on the invite, it’s very much the topic of conversation.
According to renowned tipster Ice Universe, the new S Pen is Bluetooth-enabled and so the button can be used to do other jobs. And this is borne out in the marketing image we’ve shown above.
The Bluetooth connectivity of the S Pen has been confirmed by an FCC filing, but that does raise other questions about powering it. Will the current system (which uses power from the display) be enough, or will the new S Pen have its own battery?
We’d also expect the new S Pen to be even more sensitive than before – this seems to be the way with styli these days.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 display
- 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display likely
- 18.5:9 aspect ratio will probably stay
- Resolution could increase
The Galaxy Note series is Samsung’s big-screen device and it always has been so this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. It was the series that made phablets fashionable after all, so fashionable that no one even bothers to call them phablets anymore, with them sliding into the norm for phones these days.
Traditionally, the Note series came with a 5.7-inch display, but that all changed with the Note 8, which pushed a new size of 6.3-inches, fractionally larger than the Galaxy S8+. It was only the screen size that saw the jump though, with the Note 8 offering a very similar footprint to the previous 5.7-inch devices thanks to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio compared to the standard 16:9. We’d expect the Note 9 to stick to the same ratio.
Twitter user @MMDDJ reckons the screen size will increase to 6.4-inches, up from 6.3-inches on the Note 8. This snippet of information has come from Chinese social site Weibo, which is so often the source of many smartphone leaks. The slight increase in screen real estate may come from even slimmer bezels, suggested from leaked display parts – so the device might be a little smaller than before.
We’d also expect Mobile HDR to be on board the Note 9 as on the previous devices, as well as a Super AMOLED panel for rich and vibrant colours.
In terms of resolution, there is always the possibility of an increase and no doubt we will see rumours suggesting a 4K resolution for the Note 9 at some point over the few months. For now, there are no reports speculating what the Note 9’s resolution will be but expect it to be at least the same as the Note 8, which is 2960 x 1440 pixels for a pixel density of 522ppi.
What will the Galaxy Note 9 camera be like?
- Dual rear camera likely to remain
- Improvements expected
- Iris scanning also expected
The Galaxy Note 8 was the first Samsung device to offer a dual-rear camera setup. Early renders suggest this is the case that the Note 9 will continue with two cameras. We’d expect the dual-camera setup on the Note 9 to be the same format as the Note 8 with one telephoto lens and one wide-angle, as well as a similar camera to of S9+, which has a variable f/1.5 – f/2.4 aperture.
It is not yet clear whether Samsung will increase the resolution of its rear cameras or the front-facing camera, but no doubt there will be some processing enhancements for the new device even if the megapixels don’t see a jump.
An interview published by Samsung Newsroom said the camera was one of the main features people buy a Note for and therefore it is likely the company will continue to pay close attention to it.
Expect AR Emoji to debut on the Note series with the Note 9. There’s rumoured to be another sensor to support this in this year’s Note.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 hardware
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or latest Exynos chip expected
- At least 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage expected
- Focus on audio likely
The Samsung Galaxy Note is a flagship device and therefore flagship specs are pretty much a given, even if we don’t yet know what these might be.
As with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, we are expecting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor inside the Note 9 too, with some models opting for the latest Samsung Exynos instead depending on region.
The Note 8 has 6GB of RAM under its hood so we’d expect the Note 9 to have at least this, along with at least 64GB of storage (maybe 128GB) and microSD support for storage expansion. There have been some early benchmarks, but prior to launch, benchmarks don’t tend to reflect the final device performance.
Twitter user Ice Universe has said the Note 9 will get a 4,000mAh battery, a big improvement over the Note 8’s 3300mAh cell. This has been backed up by Eldar Murtazin who claims to have seen the device (and probably has).
We’d expect the Note 9 to have USB Type-C for charging and both Quick Charging and wireless charging supported.
You could also put money on the Note 9 placing some focus on audio, especially considering Samsung’s acquisition of Harman and the fact that the S9, S9+ and Note 8 all came with AKG headphones in their boxes. The S9 features Dolby Atmos-enhanced audio so expect that, too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 software
- Android Oreo and Experience UX probable
The Galaxy Note 9 is likely to arrive on Android Oreo with Samsung’s TouchWiz software over the top.
Samsung mobile CEO DJ Koh confirmed during Mobile World Congress 2018 that the latest version of company’s own voice-assistant Bixby will launch with the Galaxy Note 9 and we expect AI to be big part of the story.
Samsung’s head of AI Centre Gray G Lee recently told The Korea Herald that the new and updated version will feature improved natural language processing, faster performance and better resistance to interfering noises.
Koh said that Bixby 2.0 is currently being tested by around 800 partners and so will be able to support a “wider scope of voice assistant features”.
He added that Samsung wants Bixby 2.0 to evolve within its own ecosystem of products too, and as such, the company plans to launch a Bixby-enabled TV and has already confirmed a Bixby-enabled smart speaker will launch in the second half of 2018.
All will shortly be revealed and we’ll be sure to bring you all the details as and when they happen.