We're gearing up to hear about the successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in a couple of months. We're not expecting the Note 9 to be a massive leap on from the Note 8, just a subtle introduction of a few new features.
Here are all the leaks and speculation surrounding the 2018 Galaxy Note 9, rumoured to be codenamed "Crown".
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Release date
- Likely to launch in August with availability in September
- 2 or 9 August reveal reported
- Be the first to hear about Samsung Galaxy Note 9 deals on Mobiles.co.uk - Carphone Warehouse
The Galaxy Note 9 is not expected to arrive until later in the summer. Bloomberg has reported the Unpacked event for the Note 9 will take place on 9 August in New York, which if true would see the new device launching a couple of weeks earlier than the Note 8.
This date has been given credence by well-known leaker Ice Universe who says the Note 9 will be unveiled in New York on either 2 or 9 of August. Its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 8, was revealed on 23 August 2017 and hit shelves on 15 September, with the disastrous Note 7 launching around a similar time.
If the dates ring true, we'd expect the Note 9 to be available in late August 2018.
A model number 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 UK Note 8 model we have is SM-N950F which has a Samsung Exynos processor).
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Design
- Fingerprint sensor on rear in new arrangement
- New S Pen likely
- Premium and waterproof build expected
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'd expect the new S Pen to be even more sensitive than before - this seems to be the way with styli these days.
Interestingly, the S9+ was 1.4mm shorter than the Galaxy S8+ because of the smaller bezels so this could well carry across to the Note 9 - some reports suggest it could be up to 2mm shorter. Certainly, Samsung is planning S Pen improvements, as according to this interview with Samsung execs, although we don't know exactly what they will amount to.
We've now seen a follow-up on the design from a reliable source, @OnLeaks. These computer renders are produced from leaked specs destined for case and accessory manufacturers. Typically they are accurate, although some details can change - and they don't really show surface textures or colours accurately.
What's interesting about these CAD models is the arrangement on the back, showing the dual camera horizontally arrayed, but with a fingerprint sensor sitting beneath them, the same colour as the body of the phone.
We've now seen colours appear - including brown. Again, the rear arrangement looks the same as in the previous render. Rumours suggest that the horizontal camera arrangement will enable Samsung to fit in a larger 4,000mAh battery. Space is already a difficulty within the Note series chassis because it always needs to house the S Pen stylus as well.
Sammobile says lavender, black and blue will be the key colours for the Note 9. Lavender looks to be a lighter version of the Lilac Purple Galaxy S9, while grey will be darker than the titanium Galaxy S9. The blue is said to have a gold frame while black will be the same piano black seen on the previous Galaxy flagships.
Brown was first seen on the Galaxy Note II and reappeared on the Galaxy S6 as a UK exclusive. But it hasn't been around for a while.
Expect very 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, upcoming iPhone XI and others - that just doesn't appear to be something that Samsung is prepared to countenance.
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!
Also expect the Note 9 to be IP68 water and dust resistant as its predecessor is and as is expected of flagship devices now.
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, or the overall size of the phone may need to increase.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Camera
- 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, despite competitors jumping on the bandwagon a long time beforehand, including Huawei, LG and Apple. Could the Note 9 be the same as the Huawei P20 Pro and feature a triple camera? Or will it stick with two?
Our money is on two and early renders suggest this is the case. We'd also 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. It's likely the Note 9 will feature a similar camera to that of the S9 duo, 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.
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.
Twitter user Ice Universe has said the Note 9 will get a 3,850mAh or 4,000mAh battery, a big improvement over the Note 8's 3300mAh cell. 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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is still a long time from launch meaning there isn't much to go on as yet, though this will no doubt change over the coming months.
We will update this feature as soon as any rumours or reports appear surrounding the Note 9 but for now, don't expect anything official until the end of the summer.