We are 12 days and counting from the next Unpacked show and Samsung is bound to make it a good one for us with the launch of one Galaxy Note 9 — and perhaps a couple other things if we’re lucky. It’s about at this point where details and specifics start to settle in place, so we’re going to cap it off for you right now and give a comprehensive look at the rumors we hold in confidence so far.
Let’s start off with the battery spec as that was one of the first things to be speculated out of the gate this season. One of the numbers suggested out of China was 4,000mAh and that guess has held up pretty well since then. It would be the largest capacity ever seen on a Note device and is said to be a key factor in the placement of the fingerprint sensor given its size. Samsung has started its official promotional campaign around the Note 9 with a primary focus on battery life, so we should expect to see this rumor held to be true.
Physical size has been somewhat of a hot potato, but it seems that the overall package will be comparable to the Galaxy Note 8, though it’s been said that the cover glass will be thinner than initially intended to compete against Chinese phone manufacturers on that aspect. Bezels around a 6.3-inch extra-tall Infinity Display — you can inspect it really close from here — continue to eke their way off the fascia, but they’re still appreciable on the Note 9.
Silicon should be predictable. The Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 are well into their production cycle at this point and benchmarks indicate that they’ll be on certain geographic editions of the Note 9, as per Samsung tradition. As for memory options, WinFuture has heard that Europe will see a bump in the standard storage capacity from 64GB to 128GB while RAM will start from 6GB. We’ve also heard about a configuration with 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage in a couple of European regions with pricing ranging from £950 to £1,150. There is no in-between size we’ve been able to suss out and we’ve yet to hear any chatter on this front stateside.
The biggest differentiator for the Note series is that S Pen stylus, though, and it seems to be learning some new tricks this year. For one, it will be Bluetooth-enabled and will allow for some interesting uses such as instant app launches, remote camera shutter and media playback controls. The stick itself doesn’t look too different from previous styluses, so it’ll be interesting to see how charging gets implemented here.
While there are plenty of accessories we could talk about, the Desktop eXperience could be made into just a pocketable cable that a Note 9 user would be able to take everywhere instead of a bulkier pad or dock. DeX hardware, which allows users to plug their phone into an external monitor along with keyboard and mouse input, has not been popular.
The largest global MMORPG is also reportedly going to make its Android debut on the Note 9 with some exclusivity. Fortnite may be made available to owners of the device for its first month on the platform. Given that we don’t see standout changes in biometric authentication or a more extreme approach to its dual rear camera strategy coming in, this move could be one of very few that can beef up sales.
Perhaps a minor iteration for the 2018 model would be a fitting end to the Note series? A recent report suggests that Samsung has been struggling with the decision of whether to kill the Note series for at least a year in the midst of a super-saturated premium smartphone market and a perceived dearth of demand for the S Pen that complicates the experience. We’ll have to check back in next year to see if things make their way towards that end.
In the meantime, the Galaxy Note 9 is sure to be announced on August 9. Pre-orders may begin shortly after then in time for full-scale commercialization on August 24. We may see a petite Galaxy Watch running Tizen come along for the ride during this Unpacked event, too. And, of course, Pocketnow will be seeing you on the show floor in New York come the day of.