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Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 9 at Galaxy Unpacked 2018

We’ve heard a lot about the Galaxy Note 9, from Samsung forgoing the divisive notch to the firm releasing the world’s first 1TB handset. Fortunately, all of this is true and then some, as Samsung has a lot riding on its newly announced smartphone.

While Samsung took to the stage at its Galaxy Unpacked 2018 event to unveil its return to the smartwatch market with the Galaxy Watch and breaking new ground with its Bixby-powered Galaxy Home smart speaker, the headline event was of course the Galaxy Note 9.

The handset sports the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, with Samsung targeting a premium experience across gamers and video enthusiasts. YouTube has dubbed the Galaxy Note 9 a Signature Device for its premium super AMOLED display, while gamers will be able to enjoy the phablet’s refined GPU, kept cool thanks to a supposedly state-of-the-art “Water Carbon Cooling system.” Given its sound, this could entirely be a marketing ploy, however it’s a little too early to tell until we see the smartphone in action. Containing the biggest battery seen in a Note device to date, the 4,000mAh charge should keep the 6.4-inch edge-to-edge display lit for an entire day without charge, according to Samsung.

Using Samsung’s proprietary DeX software, the Galaxy Note 9 can use its powerful hardware to act as a computer attached to a larger display without the need for the firm’s DeX Dock. This works by plugging the external display directly into the phone via a HDMI adaptor. This is fully compatible with a keyboard and mouse, as the Galaxy Note 9 retains its standard functionality, however the device can be used as a trackpad and/or keyboard if necessary.

As previously speculated, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes in 128GB / 6GB RAM model and 512GB / 8GB RAM. The top-tier combined with expandable storage up to 512GB makes the handset the first smartphone to achieve up to 1TB, more than a lot of laptops. Both versions sit at 1.2Gbps for streaming and downloading.

Samsung has opted to reuse the same 12-megapixel dual camera found in the Galaxy S9 Plus, with “dual-aperture” technology that supposedly switches between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending on the detected lighting of the user’s surroundings.

The true improvements of the Galaxy Note 9’s camera are found within the software and AI, which can now notify the user of blemishes that would be in a picture before the picture is taken. No longer will snap-happy users be disappointed at a smudged lens ruining the outcome of a photo thanks to Flaw Detection. Brightness, contrast, saturation, and white balance are all automatically adjusted with Samsung’s new Scene Optimizer mode, detecting the surrounding scenery.

All of this can be controlled remotely by the Bluetooth-powered S Pen, which is charged by slotting it into the Note 9. It takes just one minute to get to full power, which should last the owner up to 30 minutes of use. Not only has Samsung increased the functionality of the S Pen to be able to help snap a photo or pause a video without touching the device itself, it has also refined the pen for artists. This is said almost every time a new smart pen is released, however Samsung claims that increased pressure sensitivity really does make for a more authentic writing and drawing experience, with 4 million artists attesting to exactly that in the company’s Pen Up creative community.

Also making a return is Samsung’s water resistance chassis, the divisive Bixby button and the celebrated headphone jack. The Galaxy Note 9 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo at launch, likely with Google’s brand new Android 9 Pie just on the horizon.

Fans can pre-order the Galaxy Note 9 tomorrow, August 10th ahead of its release on the 24th, costing $999 for the 128GB / 6GB RAM model and $1,250 for the 512GB / 8GB RAM variant. Users will have the choice of the flagship blue version with a yellow S Pen, an all-black variant or lavender. Those that pre-order the Fortnite package will get access to an exclusive skin called Galaxy, while owners of other Samsung devices will be among the first Android users to get their hands on the battle royale title as of tonight.

KitGuru Says: The Galaxy Note 9 certainly packs a punch with its specs sheet, sporting a water cooling system, however unless you’re productivity-focused or a serious storage enthusiast, it’s uncertain as to whether this will help Samsung out of its sales slump. Do you like the look of the new phablet?

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