Samsung has been teasing, and accidentally leaking, its Galaxy Note 9 smartphone for weeks. On Thursday, the company finally took the wraps off the handset, and it’s — exactly what you were expecting. On the outside, at least.
I spent some time with the Note 9 during a media briefing, and found the extra-large phone to be inventive in some ways, but a bit too familiar in others. The Note 9 looks like it could be Samsung’s next hit. And considering the company’s flagship S9 saw disappointing sales in the last quarter, the Note 9 can’t come soon enough.
A very slight facelift
The Note 9 packs an absolutely massive 6.4-inch display, which is a hair larger than the Note 8’s 6.3-inch panel. During my briefing, Samsung touted the handset’s 88% screen to body ratio, thanks to the phone’s wrap-around Infinity Display.
The Note has never been a phone you’d hold with one hand, and that’s especially true of the Note 9. But that’s the whole point of the Note line: a big, bold, beautiful display. It’s on that last point that the Note 9 delivers in spades. Samsung’s Super AMOLED screens are some of the best you can get on any device, so it follows that the Note 9 would get one that’s every bit as crisp and vibrant as we’ve come to expect from the brand.
The Note 9’s overall design is more or less a rehash of the Note 8’s. It features an array of sensors above its display and a small chin below it for symmetry. This style is starting to feel like a retread. How many times can you sell people an elongated rectangle before they get bored? It’s not unattractive, but I wish there were something new and exciting for those upgrading from the Note 8 to the Note 9.
One major difference between the phones, though, is that the fingerprint reader is no longer next to the camera. Instead, Samsung has moved it just below the shooter, ensuring you don’t accidentally get your…
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