Samsung shows off the Galaxy Note 9

Gelo Gonzales
Samsung shows off the Galaxy Note 9
Its S-Pen now has remote control functions

MANILA, Philippines – Samsung on Thursday, August 9, unveiled the newest member of their premium phablet Note series, the Galaxy Note 9.

The phone will retail for P55,990 (128GB version) and P75,990 (512GB version), available on August 24. Last year’s Note 8, the sole 64GB variant, retailed for P49,990. The 512GB version is also available only through pre-orders. 

As expected, and as seen in the many online leaks prior to its official announcement, the Note 9 isn’t a radical redesign for the series, with changes mostly coming in the form of a number of spec boosts. The Note series is also typically a refinement along with the obvious enlargement of the S-series phones that are traditionally launched in the first quarter of the year. 

The notable changes from the Note 8 include maximum RAM amount from 6GB to 8GB; storage from 256GB to 512GB; battery size from 3,300 mAh to 4,000 mAh; and screen size from 6.3 inches to 6.4 inches.

Impressively, the Note 9 has a maximum storage capacity of 1TB via a microSD slot that’s compatible with 512GB microSD cards. The Note 9’s screen size is the largest ever for a Note phone. 

The Note 9 also receives the S9 Plus’ most important hardware change: the dual-aperture cameras (f/1.5+f/2.4) for improved image depth. It also has a secondary rear camera for 2x optical zoom, and an 8MP selfie camera. Like the S9, the Note 9 also has super slow-mo video capabilities at 960 frames per second. Its cameras also has auto scene recognition, which can detect up to twenty unique scenes and automatically optimize the settings.

Beyond the spec boosts, the most interesting new feature of the Note 9 is the S-Pen with remote control feature powered by Bluetooth.

The S-Pen can now be used as a form of remote control that allows users to take pictures and selfies, move forward or backward through presentation slides, or adjust the volume just by pressing the button on the stylus. Press the button once, and it takes a photo; press the button twice, and the phone switches from front camera to rear camera or vice versa.

The S-Pen lasts for around 200 clicks or 30 minutes of continued usage. The pen charges automatically when inside the device, requiring 40 seconds to reach full power.

Another change to the ecosystem is that Samsung’s phone-to-PC Dex platform doesn’t require the dock accessory anymore for the Note 9 to activate Dex. Now, only a USB-C-to-HDMI cable connected to a monitor is needed to turn the phone into a desktop.

The phone is available in the Philippines in 3 colors: ocean blue with a pearl yellow S-Pen (128GB & 512GB); midnight black, (128GB); and metallic copper (128GB).

Samsung also has some pre-order promos for the Note 9 from August 11 to 19. Those who pre-order the Note 9 with 512GB storage will receive a free 2018 Samsung 32-inch smart HDTV while 128GB pre-orders can come with a Gear Fit2 Pro, Gear IconX or 7-inch Galaxy Tab A, depending on the user’s choice. All pre-orders will also come with a NanoFixit Screen Protection with one-year insurance. Interested parties may visit samsung.com/ph/note9preorder for more information. – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.