Device reviews
    12 August 2018


    The unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note9

    The Samsung Galaxy Note9 was officially launched on the 9th of August, and we were there to see it.

    By 5pm, #unpacked was trending at No 1 on Twitter yesterday as Samsung hosted its Global Unpack Event to launch the new Samsung Galaxy Note9, its new flagship phone, worldwide. In South Africa, the event was held at the swish Marble restaurant where guests and media were wined and dined on David Higgs’ sumptuous fare while tuning in to the live unveiling of the new-generation phablet in New York.

    Referred to as 'the world’s most advanced smartphone' by Samsung CEO DJ Koh, this is a phone that’s outstanding in its storage capacity, camera functionality, battery power and performance.

    Outstanding storage

    'This is the most powerful Samsung phone,' said Drew Blackard, Director: Product Marketing. The smallest memory storage, with 6GB of RAM, is 128GB, which Blackard says is the equivalent of 670 hours of movies and series, while the largest is 512GB with 8GB. A MicroSD added to the 512GB version will give you 1TB of memory.

    The all-day battery

    Running on a 4 000mAh cell, the size of this smartphone’s battery may be the most compelling reason to get the Note9. While it certainly can last you the whole day, whether it indeed will deliver on that promise comes down to what you use this phone for. The confirmation, at the launch, of the rumour that Fortnite would now be available on Android, starting with the Note9, was an opportunity also used to demonstrate that this can be a gaming phone. Not only will streaming be smoother and quicker, thanks to the 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor, but the phone’s water-carbon cooling system prevents over-heating during heavy usage, like gaming.

    A PC in your pocket

    The Note9 can also virtually be used as a computer. Product Marketing Director Jonathon Wong demonstrated this when he showed in his presentation how the Samsung Dex experience means that the Note9 is a device that can give users a “PC-like experience”, simply by connecting it to a monitor with a single HDMI adaptor. For creatives, this allows for a Dual Canvas experience, co-developed with Adobe, enabling them to create artwork that they can zoom in on (to add finer detail) on a separate “canvas”, simultaneously.

    Powerful graphics

    The Note9’s camera adjusts to external light conditions, taking clear, beautiful images day and night, plus it comes with slow motion technology. While the dual-aperture camera’s capabilities are a huge plus, it’s the instant flaw-detection technology that makes it a soaring cinematic success. It instantly picks up niggles like a smudge on the screen or someone blinking while the picture is being taken. Moreover, Scene Optimiser means that different shots get different colour modifications.


    This is the largest Note – for now (Koh speculates that by 2020, '6 inches will be the bass line for smartphones'). Its 6.4” Quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen and resolution make it clear, crisp and a perfect canvas to create from or on which to watch videos. It’s available in four colours: Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black and Ocean Blue.

    The S Pen

    The stylus has Bluetooth connectivity, making it the “ultimate remote control”, says Wong. A presentation, for example, can be niftily controlled with just a few inconspicuous clicks of the S Pen. The same applies to the camera, which enables for hands-free image-capturing that doesn’t compromise on composition.

    BFFs with Bixby

    As Samsung’s digital assistant become a more scalable AI platform, it responds to queries in a more conversational and personal way as it learns your preferences and proclivities.

    *The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is now available for pre-order. (In stores 24 August.)