The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 may be a glimmer in its maker’s eye – and the Note 7 was an even hotter glimmer – but we’re already looking at what the Korean tech firm has in store for its next plus-sized Note handset. Hear that sound outside your window? Why, that’s the non-stop train of consumerism, rolling its merry way through your local station. Toot toot.
History has taught us that the Samsung Galaxy S flagship series debuts earlier in the year – with the Galaxy S9presumably launching at this year’s MWC conference – while its larger Galaxy Note phablet counterpart tends to emerge towards the tail end of the year. Given that track record, we’re making an educated guess that the Galaxy Note 9 will launch in August 2018.
With Apple’s iPhone X still kicking up hordes of excitement about facial-recognition technology, end-to-end screens and err animated emoji, but what can we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 9? Here is what we know, or largely take an educated guess, so far.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Everything you need to know
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: UK release date and price
Again, and can’t stress this enough, we don’t have any official word from Samsung about the Galaxy Note 9 just yet. Samsung’s upcoming golden child is the Galaxy S9, so they’ll be concentrating on that launch in the coming months. As such, we don’t know how much the Note 9 will cost, or when it will release. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t make an educated guess though, eh?
As mentioned before, we expect the Note 9 to launch in the UK towards the tail end of the year, around August 2018. That’ll give the upcoming Galaxy S9 some breathing room, and allow the Note 9 to be the hot flagship come Christmas, just like last year.
As for price, I think we were all taken aback by how much the Note 8 cost last year. £869 was a gut-wrenching shock, but we can expect the Note 9 to fetch roughly the same price in 2018. Best start saving up I guess.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Features
Mobile reporter Benjamin Geskin has mocked up a set of renders for the Galaxy Note 9, based on a handful of early rumours about what specs the handset may include.
The results look a lot like both the Note 8 and the iPhone X, with a 4K 6.4in display, a fingerprint sensor embedded into the screen, and an even fuller “infinity display”.
If you look at pictures of the Galaxy Note 8, you’ll see that Geskin has stretched the display on that device to totally eliminate the top and bottom bezels. There have indeed been reports that Samsung may be working on a new form of screen, although the patents unearthed about that particular direction hint at something slightly different to the “notched” display on the iPhone X.
A recent patent filed at the WIPO points at a phone with an all display front, bar tiny holes for the front-facing camera and IR sensors. If this is the case, and it certainly looks exciting, the Note 9 will be the first all-screened phone, without any bezels. Imagine that.
But back to Geskin’s render, which also shows an under-display fingerprint sensor. This is slightly confirmed by what was show off at this year’s CES tech conference. A firm called Synaptics showed off what they called a “Clear ID FS9500 optical sensor”, which can supposedly read your fingerprint under the display. While we’re unlikely to see this tech in the Galaxy S9 – I may end up eating those words – I’d say it’s a high possibility a fingerprint sensor will be embedded under the Note 9’s screen.
But what about Apple effectively dumping its fingerprint sensor in favour of a new Face ID system? Which brings us to…
Facial recognition. There’s currently no evidence to suggest whether Samsung will or won’t push facial recognition as a stable of the Note 9. Seeing as the company already has a form of the tech-enabled in its handsets, it seems like likely that it will try to out-face Apple with its future handsets.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Design
A patent from Samsung at the World Intellectual Property Organisation indicates that we might be looking at more screen than ever before. The whole of the front of the handset could be a screen, while still maintaining a fingerprint scanner and front-facing camera on the front hand side.
That would give it an advantage over Apple’s iPhone X, which needed a ‘notch’ at the top to house the camera, and had to remove the fingerprint scanner entirely to accomplish the all-screen front side. Of course, we don’t know if this patent will be in the Note 9, or for a later model, but it’s an interesting insight into where the device is going.
Could the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 be something completely different?
Based on this year’s releases, it would be easy to predict that all smartphones will look largely identical come 2020. That pattern may be bucked, however, with a whole new concept based on foldable technology.
A foldable phone from Samsung has been long-rumoured, with reports centred on a device dubbed the Samsung Galaxy X. A new handset line makes a lot of sense, but could Samsung instead decide to premier its new foldable approach with the Note 9?
The president of Samsung’s mobile division, Koh Dong-jin, has said the company is aiming to release a bendable flagship in 2018. Given the benefits this could bring to a phone with a large form factor, it may very well be the case that the Korean company wants the Note 9 to be a phablet that can be folded into your pocket.
Of course, all of this is guesswork. We’ll be updating this page with more concrete news as it surfaces over the coming months.