How time has passed - we're at nine now. Seven years after the original, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 stands before us. The numbers don't add up, no, because Samsung chose to skip the 6, and it didn't really quite work out splendidly with the Note7. But that's all in the past and we're looking ahead.
What we see here are spec bumps, some more impressive than others. For one, it was about time a big-name top-end phone shipped with 128GB of base storage, and isn't the optional 512GB just plain overkill? With a card slot ready to offer an extra 512GB (a card that Samsung is yet to announce, and you're unlikely to be thrilled about the price, but still) you're looking at a potential 1TB of storage on your Note9.
Battery capacity is a generous 4,000mAh flat, some 20% more than the outgoing model and 500mAh than the Galaxy S9+ - you can say we're liking where the added 0.2mm of thickness went.
The 6.4-inch display is now a whopping 0.2 inches larger than the current plus-size S-series model, as opposed to just 0.1 inches last year making for some slightly more meaningful segmentation in the lineup.
But in all fairness, all the segmentation you need comes with the S Pen, and it's a conceptually upgraded unit even if it does look just like the old one. This one is active and can interact with the phone from a distance via Bluetooth - think remote shutter release or a presentation remote, you get the drift. Of course, once you hover it over the display, it's still the good old stylus that makes the Note a unique proposition.
The rest is, more or less, a Galaxy S9+, indeed. No real surprises in the camera section where we see the familiar dual aperture main module, accompanied by a telephoto shooter (a seemingly different 1/3.4" vs. 1/3.6" sensor, what's that about?), and an 8MP selfie cam. All the connectivity you could ask for is also present, headphone jack included, and it's the first Galaxy Note smartphone with stereo speakers.
If you're going to be upgrading from a Pixel 2 XL to a Note9, you'd be downgrading the Android version - the Note9 comes with 8.1 Oreo, though a Pie is surely in the making. As Qualcomm QuickCharges go, the Note9's 2.0 is pretty dated too - another non-dealbreaker, but a point worth mentioning. And... that seems to be all we can think of to complain about before ripping that box open.
Surprise, surprise - no surprises in here. You'd be getting the same Adaptive Fast Charging AC adapter, that's been around since S5 days (9V/1.67A and 5V/2A) and a USB cable to go with it. There's a couple of USB-C adapters (Type A and micro-B on the far ends), too.
An AKG-branded headset with some nice braided cables is included to get you started. This being a Note, there are also replacement tips for the S Pen and a tool to get the job done.
Increase the brightness and reduce it again often, it will clear off
Samsung should upgrade this Samsung note 9 to android 14...the phone is too good to stock on android 10..too bad..Samsung note 9 deserves four major update