Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 announced: new Bluetooth S Pen, 4,000mAh battery, starting at $1,000

As expected, Samsung has revealed the Galaxy Note 9 this morning, the amazing proliferation of leaks over the last few weeks were dead on so no shocking new details, but we do get to see a fleshed out version of all the tidbits we’ve seen to date.

S Pen

The S Pen has to be the star of the show for any Galaxy Note and Samsung stressed it hard during the announcement today, showing both the evolution of the form factor and of course the anticipated addition of Bluetooth this year.

The S Pen can now be used to control a number of features on your device, including taking pictures, pausing and playing media, cycling through slides and, with a new SDK, other developers will be able to extend this feature set in the future.

The battery in the S Pen lasts for about an hour and charges in less than a minute when docked in the phone.

DeX

Samsung’s powerful DeX experience has offered Galaxy users the ability to basically have a PC experience with their smartphones when paired with a DeX dock, but who wants to carry a dock around with them? The Note 9 gets rid of the need for a dock and instead offers the full DeX experience with a simple HDMI adapter. It’s not the sort of functionality that everyone needs, but with the bar to entry this low it’s safe to say a lot more users will at least give it a try.

Battery

Not a lot to say here, but at 4,000mAh the Note 9 should definitely make it well into a second day for most users when necessary, and that’s not something many flagships can boast these days.

Intelligent Camera

The camera itself remains the same as the hardware we found in the Galaxy S9+, dual rear 12-megapixel cameras and an 8-megapixel front facing camera, but Samsung is making a big deal out of the software changes they’ve made to optimize the results.

Scene optimizer will attempt to identify exactly what it is you are shooting and make adjustments as needed. At present, there are 20 categories it is familiar with, presumably this will grow in time.

Flaw detection identifies whether a shot is blurry, someone in the photo blinked, or a variety of other potential problems with a photo and will let you know immediately that you should take another shot.

We’ll see when we actually go hands-on with the Note 9 if this latest round of changes puts in back in competition with the likes of the Pixel 2.

Pricing

The Note 9 will start at $1,000 for the 128GB model with a bump to $1,250 for the 512GB model. Keeping in mind that this is one of the few remaining phones to offer a microSD slot it would seem a bit crazy to shell out for the top option, but for those digital hoarders that distrust microSD cards I suppose it’s good to have the option.

Given that Apple already broke the $1K mark with the iPhone X and that the Note 8 was knocking on the door last year with a $960 starting point, it’s hard to be shocked by the $1,000 asking price for the Note 9. The Note line has always commanded one of the most diehard followings and if literally exploding phones couldn’t drive them away, it seems reasonable to assume that a $40 price hike isn’t going to sway anyone.

Colors

Samsung is keeping it more interesting than most on the color side of things with an ocean blue, lavender purple, metallic copper, and midnight black options. For those of us in the U.S. we will have the ocean blue and the lavender purple available at launch, color options will vary by country.

Availability

The Note 9 will be available to pre-order starting tomorrow, August 10th, and will arrive in stores on August 24th.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen (2960×1440)
  • Dual camera with dual OIS 8MP rear cameras (Wide-angle F/1.5-2.4, Telephoto F2.4)
  • 8 MP Front facing camera (F/1.7)
  • IP68 dust and water resistance
  • 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (varies by region: 2.7GHz + 1.7GHz or 2.8GHz + 1.7 GHz)
  • 6GB/8GB RAM (LPDDR4)
  • 128GB/512GB ROM
  • microSD slot
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Fast charging (wired: QC2.0 and AFC, wireless: WPC and PMA)
  • Android 8.1 at launch

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