I've spent the last 24 hours with Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9 — here are my first impressions

Galaxy Note 9

The latest $1,000 smartphone has arrived in the form of the Galaxy Note 9. 

Unveiled at Samsung’s Unpacked event on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York, the Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung’s biggest, heftiest device yet: It has a 6.4-inch screen, a gigantic 4,000 mAh battery, and up to 1 terabyte of storage.

Samsung wants you to live your life on the Galaxy Note 9 — to take all your photos on the phone’s advanced camera, to write important notes and sign important documents using the phone’s S Pen, and to hook it up to a screen and turn it into a desktop computer using to Samsung’s DeX technology.

In short, this phone is a beast — or at least Samsung wants it to be. 

Over the past 24 hours or so, I’ve been playing around with the new Galaxy Note 9. I’m not a Samsung user — and my own iPhone 6s feels puny and incompetent next to this thing — so I’m looking at the Galaxy Note 9 with fresh eyes. It’s important to note that I haven’t run the Galaxy Note 9 through all its paces, and I can’t give a full review of the phone after just 24 hours of usage. After we have a few more days to try the device, we’ll post a comprehensive breakdown. 

But until then, here are a few initial impressions of the new Galaxy Note 9:

SEE ALSO: Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Watch, its $330 answer to the Apple Watch — here’s everything we know about it

The design feels stale, but there are a few things I love about the look and feel of the Galaxy Note 9.

At first glance, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the Galaxy Note 9 and its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 8. The design is a near-duplicate of last year’s phone, which is disappointing for anyone looking for an iPhone X-like innovation from Samsung. 

That being said, there are two subtle changes that I appreciate, and that I think will make a difference for users.

For starters, Samsung moved the fingerprint scanner, so it’s underneath the camera instead of next to it. One of the flaws of the Galaxy Note 8 (in my opinion) was that the fingerprint scanner lived next door to the dual lenses on the back of the phone. For a left-handed user, this was no big deal; it was right next to where your index finger would naturally lie. But for a right-handed user, this was obnoxious, since anytime you went to scan your finger, you’d most likely smudge your camera lenses. 

Samsung also improved the outer color of the phone: This year’s blue finish is much better-looking than last year’s model. There isn’t a major difference between the Galaxy Note 8’s „deep sea blue“ and the Galaxy Note 9’s „ocean blue,“ but I prefer the 2018 version; the color is simply prettier and looks more high-end. 

Other than that, Samsung didn’t change a whole lot when it came to the design. One thing that didn’t change that I actually really appreciate is the headphone jack — you’ll find one on the Galaxy Note 9 and for that, I’m grateful. 

The Galaxy Note 9’s display didn’t change much, but I’m blown away nonetheless.

Anyone who currently uses a recent Samsung smartphone probably won’t be impressed by the AMOLED display. It’s the same resolution as last year’s Galaxy Note 8, and only a hair bigger — 6.4 inches compared to 6.3 inches. 

That being said, there’s no denying it’s gorgeous. Of course, any OLED display would look incredible compared to my iPhone 6s, but the Galaxy Note 9 is particularly impressive because of the size. This comes into play when you switch to full-screen mode when taking a photo, or when you’re scrolling through Instagram during downtime. Watching videos feels like a whole new experience — I like to watch makeup tutorials on YouTube, and I could see way more detail and much more vibrant colors than I’ve ever seen on my own device. 

Samsung may not be doing anything wildly innovative with the Galaxy Note 9 display, but just because it’s not new and exciting doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive. 

The S Pen is innovative and incredibly useful.

I’ve never owned a phone with a stylus before, so trying the S Pen for 24 hours opened up a whole new world. Taking notes, drawing, and tapping around the device using the S Pen is surprisingly fun, and gave me this automatic feeling, real or not, of increased productivity.

But the new S Pen that comes with the Galaxy Note 9 has a new, key feature that differentiates it from previous versions: Bluetooth Low Energy. 

BLE lets you use the S Pen in a variety of ways. It works as a photo remote, so you can take selfies or group photos without having to be near your phone (the S Pen works with your phone from up to 30 feet away). It can also become a remote for a presentation, although I haven’t needed to try that feature yet. 

Beyond that new functionality, the S Pen just looks great. The Galaxy Note 9 I’m using is blue, an the S Pen that comes with it is bright yellow. The only strange thing about that is that all the other colors of the phone — lavender, black, and copper — have S Pens that match the device. I found myself wishing Samsung had made the contrasting S Pen standard across the board. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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