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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review round-up: The early verdict is out

Here’s a round-up of what reviewers have to say about the new Samsung smartphone.

tech Updated: Aug 11, 2018 12:10 IST
Samsung Note 9,Samsung Note 9 Launch Date In India,Samsung Note 9 Launch Event
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also the most expensive Galaxy Note phone ever.(AFP)

Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, Galaxy Note 9, is here. The Note series is known for its large screen format and PDA-era stylus. The latest offering from Samsung comes with high-end specifications and big improvements over the predecessor, Galaxy Note 9. In less than 24 hours of the launch of Galaxy Note 9, experts have come out with their early takes on the new Samsung phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is the largest Note phone ever. The minor increment from 6.3-inch to 6.4-inch, however, doesn’t alter the look and feel of the phone. The Galaxy Note 9 looks quite similar to the last year’s Galaxy Note 8. But this time around, Samsung is offering more colour options.

“Rather than having a default black model, with a couple of colorful options, Samsung is going all in on colors this year by offering only Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple. They both look great, but blue is my favorite color so that one is a natural pick for me. I am also a major fan of the yellow S Pen. It looks slick and the color will help ensure you won’t easily lose it too,” wrote Zdnet’s Matthew Miller in his first take on Galaxy Note 9.

Metro’s Jeff Parsons also highlights the new colour options and praises the Note 9 display and overall design.

“The whole phone is a sleek, polished slab of glass that feels comfortable in your hand because, although it’s tall – it’s not too wide. Samsung’s screens have always been one of the best things about its phones and this time is no different. The metallic sheen looks mighty impressive, even if it is prone to a few greasy fingerprints,” he wrote.

In terms of software, Samsung is shipping the Galaxy Note 9 with Oreo, instead of the latest Android Pie. But does it mean a bad software experience?

“The Samsung Experience software is well refined in 2018, with helpful cues on how to navigate a deep and complex operating system. It’s much better than the bloated Samsung TouchWiz firmware on its old Android phones, and everyone who hates on the software today likely hasn’t touched a Samsung in years,” wrote Matt Swider on TechRadar.

Most of the reviewers were pretty impressed with the improvements to the S Pen and other refinements made in the phone. For instance, S Pen now acts like a Bluetooth-powered remote for the phone and can let you take selfies and push presentations.

“The new S Pen is the star turn of the Note 9 show, capable of performing Bluetooth-connected magic tricks from up to 30 feet away. Samsung has managed to squeeze a small battery and tiny Bluetooth Low-Energy antenna into the otherwise unchanged stylus so that it can perform various remote functions, and we’re impressed,” Matt added.

“The Bluetooth S Pen was a surprise to me since I didn’t think it was possible to get a stylus with a Bluetooth radio and ability to hold a charge in such a slim piece of kit. This is one of the most exciting features of the Galaxy Note 9 and I can’t wait to further explore it,” said Matthew on Zdnet.

The steep pricing, however, has the experts divided. It is worth noting that Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price matches to Apple iPhone X’s in the US, crossing the $1,000 threshold.

“There’s no denying that the Note 9 is a polished gadget that’s popping with exciting features. But it also costs a whopping £899 for the basic 128GB model. If you want the spiffing 512GB version, that’ll be £1099,” said Jeff.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 19:59 IST