The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is now around a month out from release – give or take a couple weeks. Now’s the time we take a peek at what we know – and how that stacks up against the competition. That means the Galaxy Note 8, the iPhone X, and big sellers in China – especially those from Xiaomi. This isn’t EVERY phone people will consider when the Note 9 is set for release – and not long after launch, there’ll be even MORE competition. But it’s a start!
The following spec charts include the Galaxy Note 9, a device which has not yet been revealed by Samsung. The specifications on the Note 9 side of every chart are based on rumors, insider anonymous tips, and apparent hands-on accounts from analysts. Until Samsung reveals the full truth, we can’t know the Note 9’s entire embodiment of specs. If I was a betting man, though…
The trouble with comparing the Galaxy Note 9 to any iPhone is the iPhone’s complete lack of stylus support. There’s no digitizer here, Wacom’s not providing any sort of hardware for the iPhone at all (that we’re aware of.) But when you compare any phone to all the others, you inevitably look at the best-selling phone in the world, and right now that’s iPhone X.
iPhone X isn’t really a true Note competitor. Not because it’s not stealing away Note users, but because it’s made for a difference set of users entirely. Once the iPhone X Plus is released later this year – that’ll be a battle to see. But only REALLY if Apple allows the iPhone X Plus to work with their Apple Pencil. See our full iPhone X Review to learn the fullness of the truth.
Also of interest is the tenacity of some Galaxy Note buyers. When the Galaxy Note 7 was recalled, a mind-boggling number of users decided not to heed the warning. Even after Samsung made warning after warning and cut down the usable battery capacity of the Note 7 via software update, some Note 7 users refused to turn their device in for a refund. That’s no longer brand loyalty – that’s absolute madness.*
Galaxy Note 8
The biggest competition the Galaxy Note 9 is expected to have is the Galaxy Note 8. Once the Galaxy Note 9 is released, the price of the Galaxy Note 8 will be substantially lower. With specs THIS SIMILAR, there’ll have to be something extra-special hidden in Samsung’s bag of tricks to differentiate.
Of course this new Note 9 will have a new set of processors and chips of several sorts, and a body that makes its display look bigger (even though it probably won’t be substantially larger, if larger at all.) This new version was tipped to come with a monstrous 8GB RAM / 512GB internal storage size edition too – but that might not be released inside the United States. In our Galaxy Note 8 Review you’ll see what’s up with what we’ve got for now.
The price might increase ever-so-slightly this year compared to last, Note 9 launch vs Note 8 launch, but probably not substantially so. Compared to the Note 7, there’s really no comparison that needs to be made – *if you’ve not already turned your Note 7 in to Samsung, god help you.
Those users of the Galaxy S7 or 8 Plus will also likely be looking at the Galaxy Note 9 if they’ve not already traded up after their year-or-two of phone ownership. The Galaxy Note 9 doesn’t seem particularly different from the Galaxy Note 8 at first glance, but with what we’re expecting in new S Pen features as well as a larger battery, moving from any previous Galaxy S or S Plus is going to be a real upgrade.
Xiaomi Small-time Rumblers
In China there’s a brand called Xiaomi, if you did not know. The way they’re going about releasing smartphones is something you might want to pay attention to, because it could affect how big brands like Apple and Samsung go about their business in the near future. If Xiaomi is ever able to get substantially successful outside of their own country, that is.
First you’ll see a comparison to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. Xiaomi put the word “Note” in the title of their device because the device is sort of large, not because they have a stylus. The Galaxy Note series is called “note” because Samsung included a stylus called S Pen that docks inside the body of the phone and leads the industry in dockable styli technology.
Next there’s a Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro here to battle Galaxy Note 9. The display size is similar, but it’s rolling with a smaller body, which makes its display look quite large, and it’s pretty inexpensive. Both of these Xiaomi devices are extremely inexpensive – which is how Xiaomi competes with Samsung in China. Even though the device isn’t a real Note 9 competitor, the price difference could very well make up the gap in a potential buyer’s mind.
Note the battery size, too. A whopping 4,000mAh is significantly larger than the battery in the Galaxy Note 8 and probably the same size as the battery in the Galaxy Note 9. For a device that’s substantially less expensive, that’s a big deal indeed.
The two Xiaomi smartphones above are some of the most-purchased / sought-after smartphones in the world right now. The rest of the list of best-selling smartphones worldwideis dominated by the iPhone. I’d have compared the Xiaomi Redmi 5A to the Note 9 too, but its 5-inch display and 110 EUR pricing put it in a different buyer category entirely.
I’ve also refrained from including LG devices in this list for a direct comparison because they no longer appear on any major analysis chart for handset shipments worldwide. If you’re truly choosing between the LG V30 and the Note 9, you’ll probably be making the choice between a high-quality DAC and an S Pen. Those bring you two very different futures in features, to be sure.
There’s also an LG Q Stylus smartphone that has a writing utensil but… doesn’t really step up to the Galaxy Note 9 in any other way. Unless you JUST want the ABSOLUTE basics, without regard for the differences between the basic LG stylus and the S Pen from Samsung – if that’s of no concern to you, by all means, go for the Q!
If you’ve got another device in your hands you think needs to be compared to the Galaxy Note 9, let us know! It’s easy to look at the top sales charts for smartphone comparison indicators, but it’s YOU we’re working for. If there’s any sort of test you’d like us to run once we’ve got the device in our hands, or if you want us to compare the inner workings of any two smartphones, let us know! That’s what we’re here for!
The Galaxy Note 9 will be revealed in its entirety on August 9th, 2018, in New York City. We’ll be bringing you all the details and hands-on action RIGHT as it happens. Stick around and see!