Galaxy Note9 leak points at bigger battery and revamped stylus

Galaxy Note9 leak points at bigger battery and revamped stylus

Considered the de facto gold standard for phablets, the Galaxy Note series are the eminent business phones in Samsung’s annual line-up of offerings with each year bringing with it a successive, refined update that invariably integrates a stylus into its design along with the best hardware available from their foundries.

This time around for 2018, Samsung is slated to launch the Galaxy Note9 this coming August 9 in New York though leaks ahead of the launch offer possible insight into what improvements Samsung has in store for their latest phone.

The August 9 launch date is earlier than other previous Galaxy Note Unpacked launch events. As a yardstick, the Galaxy Note8 global launch last year took place on August 23 and the local Malaysia launch happening slightly later. Even with the launch date still effectively a month away, quite a few leaks have gotten out as to how the phone looks like and what it will have under the hood.

Song ji-hyo

Song Ji-Hyo taking a wefie with the Galaxy Note8 with a lucky fan at the Samsung Galaxy Note8 launch in Malaysia

This time around, veteran tech journo Eldar Murtazin from Mobile-Review has gotten an up-close look in the US with a pre-production sample of the Galaxy Note9. The original article is in Russian but a translation yields interesting gems and titbits about what is going into the Galaxy Note9.

So what does the Galaxy Note9 look like?

The Note9 doesn’t deviate all too far from the Galaxy Note8 and has a similar design with thin side bezels ensconcing a curved Super AMOLED display, a smidgen of a top and bottom bezel and curved edges all around with a glass hewn back. The biggest difference though is that the fingerprint reader has been moved, in keeping with this year’s Galaxy S9 design language to below the dual camera array. Naturally, the phone will retain water and dust resistance, which puts it a notch above the competition.

The battery on the Note9 is also getting a bump up to 4,000mAh which is a bit more than the Note8’s 3,500mAh battery. According to Eldar, the Note9 will have improved endurance too with 23 to 25 hours of video playback with screen brightness cranked up to maximum. Naturally, a larger battery also means a heavier phone but the tradeoff is worth it for extended endurance in the field. That and the repositioned fingerprint reader aside, the Note9 won’t deviate all too far from the Note8’s established design language though what colours are available at launch and which will come to Malaysia are still up in the air of course.

What specifications will the Galaxy Note9 have?

Historically, the Note packs the best hardware that Samsung has to offer in a given generation of Galaxy series phones. According to Eldar, the Note9 is one of the fastest devices available in synthetic benchmarks as well as in terms of the hardware available.

Following prior examples of Galaxy Note deployment, the Note 9 will likely come with two different processors depending on region that will have seen service first on the Galaxy S-series phones deployed in that year. This time around, it’s likely the Note9 will get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 for devices destined for the US market while phones shipped to the rest of the world will likely get Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 octacore processor. Both chips currently power their Galaxy S9 and S9+. The curved Super AMOLED display itself has been inferred to be brighter than ever before and will also have some upgraded form of Always On functionality.

According to Eldar, the Note9 will ship with 6GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage for the stock configuration with an 8GB RAM/256GB memory and possibly an 8GB RAM/512GB storage variant later on down the line. He further pegs the price at about 70,000 rubles for the basic configuration Note9 which is about RM4,494 give or take some change.

The rear camera will likely be configured around a refined version of the dual camera array seen on the Galaxy S9+ which will have 2x optical zoom and their mechanically unique Dual Aperture as well as optical image stabilisation, though for the Galaxy Note9 this is aligned horizontally, forming a T-shape with the fingerprint reader at the bottom of the cameras. Eldar infers improved optical image stabilisation for both captured video and stills which is a likely possibility seeing the timeline between deployments as Samsung will have had time to refine or improve the firmware before the phone enters mass production.

What about the S Pen stylus?

The cornerstone of the Galaxy Note series gets a number of improvements. The S Pen stylus has been, according to Eldar, redesigned with Bluetooth support including the quaint ability to unlock the phone with the stylus itself though in what fashion remains open to speculation.

In any case, it’s all up in the air at this point until Samsung officially unveils the design to the world this coming August 9 and it should make for an interesting show indeed.

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