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(Pocket-lint) - The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is now available, joining the company's Galaxy S9 and S9+ in the 2018 line up of flagship devices.

We've compared the Note 9 to the Galaxy S9+ in a separate feature, but how does the new model compare to the Galaxy Note 8 that it replaces? We've crunched through the numbers to draw out a comparison. 

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Design

  • Similar design
  • Note 9 shorter but wider and heavier
  • Rearranged camera and fingerprint sensor
  • Exciting new colours for Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 measures 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm and weighs 195g. The Note 9 shares almost identical measurements, but it is 2mm shorter, 2mm wider and a little heavier, measuring 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weighing 201g. That's come from Samsung shrinking the top and bottom bezels but making the screen a little bigger.

Otherwise though, the construction and design of the new phone is very much the same. As we for the Galaxy S updates in 2018, it's not a huge year of change for Samsung. 

That said, there is a small change on the rear, with a reorganisation of the camera and fingerprint scanner, to make the scanner separate and sit below the cameras. The Note 9 also brings some new colours, and the S Pen doesn't match the body colour in all models available, allowing for some variety - it's a bit fun for the new Note, bringing a little refresh.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Display 

  • Note 9 has a slightly larger display
  • Same display resolution and aspect
  • Mobile HDR on both

As with the design, there's little change from the Infinity Display on the Note 8 to the Note 9, with curved edges to either side on the new device too.

Samsung sticks to Super AMOLED and a Quad HD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, with the main changes in the display on the new device only to improve performance of the panel.

You'll find a 6.4-inch panel on the Note 9 though, which is fractionally larger than the 6.3-inch panel on the Note 8 with the bezels having been slightly reduced on the Note 9 to accommodate this.

You still get the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio, as well as Mobile HDR Premium though so expect the same great display experience on the new Note, just an extra 0.1-inches of it.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Hardware

  • Upgraded Qualcomm and Exynos versions on Note 9
  • Note 9 battery 4000mAh
  • 8GB RAM/512GB storage model on Note 9 available

Samsung puts out two versions of most of the flagship devices it releases. There's a version that sits on the latest Qualcomm hardware and one that uses Samsung's own Exynos. In the UK we get the Exynos version. 

The Note 8 had the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895 with 6GB of RAM. In 2018, we're looking at the Snapdragon 845 and the Exynos 9810, along with 6GB of RAM, as well as 128GB of internal memory. There is also an 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage model though and both models offer microSD expansion up to 512GB.

As we've seen from other devices we've used in 2018, this new hardware makes for a more powerful phone; it is better at handling your games and media, smoother in scrolling and faster in switching apps, and this makes everything smoother and more pleasurable. While it's better, it's only an incremental step-forward.

What is a huge jump forward is the battery life. The Galaxy Note 9 has a 4000mAh battery, making it one of the largest out there. The Note 8 only has a 3300mAh battery so this is a considerable change and in use, that's very obvious. The Note 9 battery can last you through a weekend in light use, which the Note 8 can't.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: S Pen shake-up

  • Note 9 S Pen gets Bluetooth
  • Remote control features on Note 9

It's the S Pen that really sets the Note apart from the Galaxy S. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9's S Pen is now Bluetooth equipped, which allows the S Pen to do more than the previous model, such as remote controls of some phone functions. 

This will let you use the S Pen to progress through galleries or flip through slideshows. You can also use it to control the camera. It will launch the camera, switch cameras and take photos - making it easy to grab shots from afar. It's surprising how useful it is.

The Note 8's S Pen is fabulous, but all the Note 8's functions are offered on the Note 9, so there's only one real winner here - the Note 9's S Pen is better.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Cameras

  • Note 9 to adds dual aperture camera
  • Both have dual 12MP sensors
  • Both have 8MP front camera

The Note 8 was (pardon the pun) notable for adding the dual camera system with a zoom lens. The Note 9 evolves this, adding the same dual aperture system found in the Galaxy S9+, meaning better low light performance over the Note 8.

The megapixels remain the same, with two 12-megapixel sensors on board, one telephoto and one wide-angle on both the Note 8 and Note 9, both offering bokeh functions and lots of fun features.

The Note 9 offers AI tech to optimise images based on the scene, as well as a few detection feature to inform you if a picture has imperfections. Then there's AR Emoji (perhaps not the main reason to get it), but overall, the Note 9 is the better camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Price and availability 


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was one of the most expensive phones when it launched, then trumped by the Apple iPhone X. Samsung kept the prices high with the Galaxy S9+ and the Note 8 still sits at £869, although there are some good deals to be had

The Note 9 starts at £899 for the 128GB model, or £1099 for the 512GB model. Pre-orders start on 10 August and the Note 9 will hit stores on 24 August.

Writing by Chris Hall and Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 5 July 2018.