By: Jonathan Castillo; Jonnah Pante
The lights of New York sparkled even brighter as the city witnessed the grand reveal of Samsung’s newest gem, the Galaxy Note 9, in the annual Unpacked event.
The Note series has been presented by Samsung as a flagship for productivity. This is emphasized with the larger screen and the inclusion of a stylus called the S Pen. And sure enough, the new S Pen for the Note 9 is the true hero in this official unveiling.
The Note 9’s new S Pen is the refinement of all previous versions. You can still use off-screen menus and summon air commands. What’s new is that the S Pen is now Bluetooth-enabled, though this doesn’t mean you can use it on different devices aside from the Note 9. This means the S Pen is more of an extension of the Note 9, rather instead of a tool to navigate with the device. For instance, you can now launch specific apps by long pressing the button. By default, this would be the camera app. Through the S Pen you can control the camera to take photos or to switch between front and rear cameras. And during presentations, you can use the S Pen to control your slider, moving forward to the next slide or back. With all these added features, the S Pen can stay paired to the Note 9 up to 10 meters away. If it loses connection, all you’ve got to do is return the stylus into the device and pairing is completed just like that. It’s the same for new S Pens, in case you lose the original one.
Samsung added a few cute touches to the S Pen as well. For different color variations of the Note 9, you’ll get a different colored Pen. The Ocean Blue Note 9 will come with a yellow S Pen, Metallic Copper will get a copper one, just as Midnight Black will get a black. The on-screen digital ink when using the off-screen menu will also be affected by the S Pen. So if you use the yellow S Pen to jot notes, you’ll be leaving yellow digital ink on screen.
The S Pen has a tiny power battery in it that can last for quite some time. There’s nothing to fuss over since you can charge the S Pen by snapping it back into the Note 9, and according to Samsung, all it takes is 40 seconds for a full charge.
The Note 9 comes with a bigger 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity screen. It actually feels bigger than last year’s Note 8 and more like a souped up version of the S9+. There’s no question on the Note 9’s performance, sure enough it’s powerful. Other changes include the re-positioning of the fingerprint sensor from the adjacent side of the camera to the bottom. It also now has eight gigs of RAM and 4,000mAh juice, in addition to a 1.79GHz 64-bit Exynos 9810 Octa-core processor and a Mali-G72 Mp18 GPU.
With the Note 9, it seems we’re seeing a slow farewell to 32 and 64 gigs of internal storage. The Note 9 kicks off with 128GB, which is expandable with a 512GB microSD card. Then Samsung twists the dial to 12 out of 10 by having the second Note 9 configuration with an internal storage of 512GB. Yes, there’s still a microSD card slot, giving you a storage up to 1TB. That’s something not all desktop PCs even have.
In terms of its cameras, the Note 9 comes with a dual rear camera system comprised of two 12-megapixel lenses with f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture respectively, Dual Pixel, Dual OIS, and dual tone LED flash. Upfront is an 8-megapixel wide-angle selfie shooter with screen flash.
As for security the Note 9 uses what it calls Intelligent Security where both facial recognition and iris scanner work as a 1-2-combo. Samsung claims this helps improve unlocking the phone in low light conditions. A Secure Folder is included where unauthorized people would find it way harder to access your data. Samsung also includes Dual Messenger, making it easier to separate your businesses. Live Messages has been tweaked to add fun communication value.
The Galaxy Note 9 isn’t the only thing that Samsung announced during its Unpacked event. Samsung also announced the Galaxy Tab S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
The Galaxy Tab S4 has a detachable keyboard, which you can use for typing. It’s a solid alternative for laptops, if all you will need is to type and browse the internet. You will the tab’s variation of an S Pen. It supports DeX, Samsung’s function of connecting mobile devices to monitors for a desktop experience.
The Galaxy Gear name has been dropped in favor of a little rebranding, now known as the Galaxy Watch. According to Samsung, people are more health conscious than ever and that smartwatches allows people to be more proactive in handling their health. That is where the Galaxy Watch is going to come from.
Accessories include wireless charging pads. There’s the wireless charging pad for the Note 9, which Samsung claims would also work on other devices. Then there’s the bundled two-in-one wireless charger, where you can charge both the Note 9 and the Galaxy Watch at the same time.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is locally priced at PhP 55,990 for the 128GB variant, and PhP 75,990 for the 512GB version.