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Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Specifications, pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is some months away, but rumours and leaks already suggest some radical departures from the Notes we've seen before.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at a glance

When does the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 come out? Launch expected July/August with availability to follow in August/September
What’s new about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9? Screen-based fingerprint sensor, neural processing unit, bigger battery
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 cost? Expected pricing at $1,400+



What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9?

Samsung essentially has two "flagship" phone lines, with the Galaxy S class phones covering the style and fashion market earlier in the year, followed up by its more productivity-centric Galaxy Note lines that typically surface in the second half of the year.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be announced in roughly the same timeframe as we saw the Galaxy Note 8, which is to say around August with September availability, a little ahead of the expected launch timeframe for the next run of iPhones.

However, there has been some speculation that Samsung is looking to get a serious march on Apple by pushing the Note 9's launch timeframe significantly forward, with some suggesting that we might see a July launch and August availability for the Note 9.

Amusingly, trademark verification of the name emerged back in March, albeit only in Colombia. Still, it would be highly surprising to see Samsung abandon the Note line anyway, although it is feasible it might jump numerical suffixes if it felt there was reason to do so.

The Note 9 will almost certainly build on the framework of the Galaxy S9 and especially the Galaxy S9+, which means we'll see both Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 variants, with the latter far more likely to land on Antipodean shores. Where Samsung may boost the Note 9's performance is by adding more RAM.

An early benchmark submitted to Geekbench suggests that the Note 9 could have 6GB of RAM, although other sources suggest there could be a top-tier model with 8GB of RAM and a hefty 512GB of onboard storage in play.

It's been rumoured that Samsung's work in AI could see it incorporate a neural processing unit (NPU) into the Note 9, giving it the same kinds of capabilities already present in phones such as the Huawei P20 Pro or LG G7 ThinQ. It's likely that like those phones, the Galaxy Note 9 might use an NPU for image processing and speeding general performance.

The landmark feature of the Note series is Samsung's clever S-Pen stylus, and while there's not much available information on how Samsung will iterate there, it's all but inevitable it will continue to do so.

The display is one area where we've heard a lot of rumours around how Samsung will configure the Note 9. Samsung's the primary maker of quality AMOLED panels for smartphones and that won't change for the Note 9, but what could change are the inbuilt sensors and their configuration. Samsung's said to be working on completely inbuilt touch and camera sensors underneath the display, which would enable front touch sensors and selfie cameras with no iPhone X-style "notch" display. It's not clear if it's been able to get this technology up and working for the Note 9, or whether it's a feature that we'll see in some future phone.

Then there's the issue of foldable/bendable displays. Samsung is on the record as stating that it intends to bring a foldable phone to market in 2018, a concept that most have dubbed the "Galaxy X" smartphone. It might not make sense for Samsung to test three flagships in a single calendar year, so the Note 9 may end up with some kind of folding design. Equally, though, if Samsung is fast-tracking the Note 9, that could be so that it clears marketing space for the Galaxy X later in the year.

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Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have a good camera?

In a word, yes, although there's scant detail around any new camera tweaks specific to the Galaxy Note 9. Again we can look to the Galaxy S9+ and its dual aperture camera for the very basics we'd expect to see on the Galaxy Note 9. With serious competition from flagships such as the Huawei P20 Pro and HTC U12+, Samsung will have to work hard to stay ahead of the pack in camera terms.

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Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have a good battery?

Batteries and Note phones have been something of a sore point with Samsung ever since the disastrous Galaxy Note 7. That has tended to steer it towards moderate battery sizes, but current rumours suggest that it may be using the larger frame of the Galaxy Note 9 to pack in more battery power again, possibly up to 4,000mAh.

We can expect fast charging out of the box, as well as wireless charging across both the Qi and PMA standards.

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Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 be water resistant?

Almost certainly, because the Galaxy Note 8 and previous generations featured water resistance as standard.

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When will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 be available in Australia?

All we've got so far is speculation and rumour, and nothing concrete from Samsung Australia. However, with rumours suggesting a rough August-September timeframe for retail availability, that's when we'd expect to see the Note 9 on store shelves, as well as being available through carrier partners.

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How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 cost?

It won't be cheap, but then the Note series has always attracted premium prices. The top end of the Galaxy S9+ family retails officially for $1,499, and that's probably just the starting price point for the Galaxy Note 9 on an outright basis.

It's all but inevitable that the Galaxy Note 9 will also be available on contract terms from the major carriers if that's too pricey a hit for you all at once.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 specifications

Product name
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Display size
Expected 6.3 inches
Resolution
TBC
PPI
TBC
Processor
Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM
6GB/8GB
Storage
Expected 128GB up to 512GB
Operating system
Android 8.1
Front camera
TBC
Rear camera
TBC, at least dual cameras expected
Battery
4000mAh
Dimensions
TBC
Weight
TBC
Price
Expected $1,400 or more
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