Sarah Tew/Proinertech

I used to be going to start out by saying that the Galaxy Be aware 9 could be nothing with out its pen. I used to be going to let you know that Samsung’s Be aware household has all the time been outlined by its S Pen device, and that this 12 months the slim digital stylus issues greater than ever.

Then I realized that the Galaxy Be aware 9 pricing would begin at $1,000 within the US for the 128GB model and $1,250 for the 512GB model (sizzling rattling, that is a whole lot of storage), and it all of the sudden grew to become a battle to consider anything.

As a result of now, the Be aware 9 is much less in regards to the new S Pen methods that flip it right into a distant management for the cellphone’s digital camera, your music participant, your laptop computer and so forth. It is much less in regards to the giant Four,000-mAh battery, dramatically leveled-up storage and a few new AI digital camera options.

Now, the very first thing I consider is the Galaxy Be aware 9’s sky-high worth.

Don’t be concerned, I’ve heaps to say about all of the Be aware 9’s new options, however first I’ve received to level out that the Be aware 9 is fulfilling its share of the prophecy that telephones are getting costlier, particularly on the excessive finish. Rising costs have partly to do with costlier elements and analysis bills, however analysts consider there’s additionally notion at play. Cellphone producers, they posit, could also be padding costs to fall in step with the iPhone X ($1,000 at Cricket Wi-fi).

Learn: Sorry, your iPhone or Android cellphone is getting costlier

The Galaxy Be aware 9 actually has its share of upgraded elements — we particularly want to speak about that Bluetooth-connected S Pen, the cellphone’s standout characteristic. However if you maintain the Be aware 9 in your hand, it does not look all that totally different than the shiny, large-screen fashions that got here earlier than. We nonetheless must evaluate the gadget, after all — it may effectively be greater than the sum of its elements. However that similarity is what makes the worth a little bit unsettling at first, particularly contemplating what the Be aware 9 represents.

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Galaxy Be aware 9’s S Pen stylus is a distant management


The Galaxy Be aware 9 is a giant deal for the world’s largest cellphone producer. With its trademark stylus and enormous display screen, the Be aware represents Samsung’s strongest, modern cellphone for the 12 months, and its final flagship mannequin till subsequent March’s anticipated Galaxy S10. That makes the Be aware 9 Samsung’s finest probability at taking up Apple’s 2018 iPhones, anticipated in September, and Google’s subsequent Pixel telephones, anticipated in October.

Samsung will even wield the Be aware 9 to stave off Huawei’s relentless method, after this Chinese language rival overthrew Apple to turn out to be the world’s second-largest cellphone maker. Huawei is nipping at Samsung’s heels.

Samsung should additionally proceed to outrun the spectre of 2016’s Galaxy Be aware 7, which, in an unprecedented transfer, Samsung was pressured to recall twice after which cease making altogether after items disastrously caught hearth because of a number of flaws within the battery design. Since then, Samsung has insisted on tighter testing for all its cellphone batteries, together with the Galaxy Be aware 9, however cellphone followers have not forgotten the Be aware 7 debacle.

The Galaxy Be aware 9’s S Pen is not only for writing anymore.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

Two years later, the Be aware 9 nonetheless jogs my memory a whole lot of the erstwhile Be aware 7, not less than if you take a look at its shell. 

While you take the distant management characteristic away, and the 512GB inside storage choice (exterior storage is fairly low cost as of late), the remainder of the cellphone is shaping as much as be an incremental replace to each this 12 months’s Galaxy S9 ($676 at and final 12 months’s Galaxy Be aware Eight.

Fortunately, we do not have to depend on only a listing of specs for lengthy. I received an opportunity to go hands-on with the Be aware 9’s new Bluetooth-loving S Pen, new AI digital camera options, and a enjoyable, colourful addition to the best way the S Pen writes on the Be aware 9’s display screen. I will absolutely evaluate the cellphone within the coming days. By the best way, you’ll preorder it on Aug. 10 and the Be aware 9 hits retailer cabinets on Aug. 24.

The Be aware 9 will are available in ocean blue (with a vibrant yellow S Pen), lavender purple, midnight black and metallic copper. Colours will differ by area. For instance, the US will get the Be aware 9 in blue and purple. (Extra preorder particulars towards the tip.)

Samsung additionally launched a brand new accent, referred to as Wi-fi Charging Duo, which may cost two Qi-compatible units without delay over 15 watts, one on a baked-in stand and the opposite mendacity flat. I used to be in a position to cost two telephones this fashion, however you might additionally cost a cellphone and a watch.

Samsung’s new Wi-fi Charging Duo can quick-charge two Qi-compatible units on the similar time.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

Learn on for my hands-on impressions of the Be aware 9 and the way this new Galaxy cellphone compares to different units, together with the Galaxy S9, iPhone X and final 12 months’s Be aware Eight.

The Galaxy Be aware 9’s new S Pen picks up Bluetooth methods

This new S Pen, which depends on Bluetooth Low Power (there’s an antenna contained in the pen physique), is the Galaxy Be aware 9’s standout characteristic by far. It is this S Pen’s new capabilities which have the facility to broaden the Galaxy Be aware 9’s affect into the remainder of your life.

You may nonetheless write, draw, navigate round and create stay messages. However now, the S Pen’s button has Bluetooth actions that you simply set off for various apps. A whole settings menu enables you to customise the actions, however here is an instance that I discovered actually helpful. I would use this one loads:

Purple Galaxy Be aware 9, purple “ink.”

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

Lengthy-press the S Pen button to open the digital camera app, double press it to toggle between selfie and rear digital camera modes. Click on as soon as extra to take a photograph. Now you may have a long-range shutter. With the S Pen’s Bluetooth expertise, the context of the clicks modifications relying which app you are in, and the place you might be in that app.

You may management as much as seven units this fashion, from a distance of 30 ft. Standby time is both 200 clicks or 30 minutes, and the S Pen recharges in underneath a minute, beginning if you reinsert the stylus into its holster on the cellphone.

Some issues you are able to do with a Bluetooth S Pen:

Management PowerPoint to advance slidesPlay or advance songs in a music playerSwitch digital camera modes and set a distant shutterUse apps like Spotify, which have common controls.

The Galaxy Be aware 9’s S Pen is smarter than your pen.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

Samsung says it can open up its SDK to builders later this 12 months (most likely at its annual developer convention this fall), so different apps will have the ability to make the most of the S Pen’s clickety-clicking.

As regular, the Be aware 9 will flag you should you stroll off with out your S Pen in tow, however there isn’t any “discover my S Pen” characteristic or GSP transponder on board.

Here is one other enjoyable perk: The Be aware 9 will now write within the coloration of its S Pen if you’re jotting notes on the black lock display screen (the characteristic’s referred to as off-screen memo). So, that is yellow, purple, copper and white (for the black model). You can even change to white “ink” should you’d want. In that case, why not any coloration?

Be aware 9’s new AI digital camera options

The Galaxy Be aware 9 retains the identical hardware setup because the Galaxy S9 Plus ($800 at That’s, twin 12-megapixel cameras on the again, considered one of them that robotically modifications aperture when it detects the necessity for a low-light shot. (Samsung calls this twin aperture, and it is also on each S9 telephones.) There’s additionally an Eight-megapixel front-facing digital camera in your selfies.

Plate of macarons = meals. Good job, Be aware 9.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

What’s totally different is AI software program that analyzes the scene and shortly detects should you’re taking pictures a flower, meals, a canine, an individual. There are 20 choices the Be aware 9’s been educated on, together with snowflakes, cityscapes, hearth, you get it. Then, the digital camera optimizes white stability, saturation and distinction to make pictures pop.

I examined a prefinal Be aware 9 on a Proinertech video producer, a houseplant and a plate of orange and yellow macarons. The digital camera was in a position to appropriately determine each. Extra testing to comply with on the ultimate Be aware 9.

Two rear 12-megapixel cameras, one which adjusts low-light pictures for you.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

The AI scene optimizer setting is on by default. You may flip it off, however you’ll be able to’t swipe it away as you’ll be able to with the Huawei P20 and P20 Professional’s comparable AI settings.

One other tidbit of an addition, referred to as flaw detection within the digital camera settings, will immediate you to retake the image in case your topic’s eyes blink or transfer, if the lens is smudged or if there’s an excessive amount of backlight getting in the best way of a clear shot. A dialog field pops up proper after you’re taking the image politely suggests taking one other look.

Extra Galaxy Be aware 9 highlights

Fortnite for Android: The wildly well-liked sport comes first to Galaxy telephones (S7 and newer) and the Be aware 9 will get a particular pores and skin. You’ll obtain it by means of Samsung’s gaming app.Display: 6.Four-inch Tremendous AMOLED; 2,960×1,440-pixel decision.Processor: Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.Bixby button: It is nonetheless there on the cellphone’s left facet.

Preorder the Be aware 9 beginning Aug. 10 and get a present

Within the US, preorders start Aug. 10 at 12:01 a.m. ET. You should purchase the Be aware 9 in shops and on-line on Aug. 24. Preorder the Be aware 9 earlier than Aug. 23 and you’ll select between:

A pair of AKG N60 over-ear, noise-canceling headphones (price $299)The Fortnite Galaxy pores and skin with 15,000 V bucks (price $150)Or each for $99 (price $449 complete)

Fortnite heads to Samsung Galaxy telephones, together with the Be aware 9.


The $1,000, 128GB model of the Be aware 9 might be accessible from Amazon, AT&T, Finest Purchase, Costco, Sam’s Membership,, ShopSamsung app, Dash, Straight Discuss, Goal, T-Cellular, US Mobile, Verizon, Walmart and Xfinity.

You should purchase the $1,250, 512GB model from AT&T, T-Cellular, Verizon, US Mobile and

Within the UK, the 128GB model will value £899, and the 512GB mannequin £1,zero99. We’ll replace when now we have Australian particulars.

Galaxy Be aware 9 and Be aware Eight: What is the distinction?

The Be aware 9’s hardware and software program convey a small, however notable improve over the Be aware Eight. From the surface, the 2 telephones are almost twins.

GO forward and provides the Galaxy Be aware 9 a shower. The S Pens are waterproof, too.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech
Display dimension: The Be aware 9’s 6.Four-inch display screen only a tiny bit bigger than the Be aware Eight’s 6.Three-inch show.Fingerprint reader, audio system: The Be aware 9’s fingerprint reader strikes under the cameras, somewhat than off to the facet like on the Be aware Eight, and the Be aware 9 provides a second speaker for stereo sound, identical to on the Galaxy S9 telephones.Larger battery: The Be aware 9 has a Four,000-mAh battery, in comparison with the Be aware Eight’s Three,300-mAh ticker.Monster storage: You get two built-in storage choices with the Be aware 9: 128GB with 6GB of RAM or 512GB with 8GB of RAM. Each variations are set to promote by means of carriers and retailers (see above).Sooner processor: Qualcomm’s newer Snapdragon 845 chipset replaces the Be aware Eight’s Snapdragon 835 processor.Android Eight.1: The Be aware Eight launched with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Samsung’s customized software program layer for the Be aware 9 known as Samsung Expertise 9.5.

Galaxy Be aware 9 versus iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, LG V35

Galaxy Be aware 9 specs versus the competitors

Samsung Galaxy Be aware 9

Apple iPhone X

Google Pixel 2 XL

LG V35 ThinQ

Show dimension, decision

6.Four-inch Tremendous AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 pixels

5.Eight-inch OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels

6-inch OLED; 2,880×1,440 pixels

6-inch OLED; 2,880 x 1,440 pixels

Pixel density

516 ppi

458 ppi

538 ppi

538 ppi

Dimensions (Inches)

6.4×3.0x0.35 in

5.7×2.79×0.30 in

6.2×3.0x0.Three in

5.97×2.97×0.29 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

161.9×76.4×8.Eight mm

143.6×70.9×7.7 mm

157.9×76.7×7.9 mm

151.64×75.44×7.37 mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

7.09 oz.; 201g

6.14 oz,; 174g

6.17 oz.; 175g

5.57 oz, 157.9g

Cellular software program

Android Eight.1 Oreo

iOS 11

Android Oreo

Android Oreo

Digital camera

Twin 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

Twin 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (telephoto)


16-megapixel (normal), 16-megapixel (huge)

Entrance-facing digital camera





Video seize






Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Apple A11 Bionic

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845


128GB, 512GB

64GB, 256GB

64GB, 128GB



6GB, 8GB




Expandable storage




2TB (theoretically; 512GB playing cards on their manner)



2,716mAh (unconfirmed by Apple)



Fingerprint sensor

Again of cellphone

None; Face ID as a substitute

Again of cellphone

Again of cellphone






Headphone jack





Particular options

S-Pen with Bluetooth connectivity; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; Iris and facial scanning; dual-aperture digital camera

Water-proof (IP67); wi-fi charging; Face ID 3D unlock, Animoji

Limitless cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready

Water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging; DTS:X 3D Encompass, Quad DAC

Worth off-contract (USD)

$1,000 (128GB), $1,250 (512GB)

$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB)

$849 (64GB), $949 (128GB)

$900 (AT&T and Challenge Fi)

Worth (GBP)

£899 (128GB), £1,zero99 (512GB)

£999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB)

£799 (64GB), £899 (128GB)


Worth (AUD)

Converts to AU$1,345 (128GB), $1,680 (512GB)

AU$1,579 (64GB), AU$1,829 (256GB)

AU$1,399 (64GB), AU$1,549 (128GB)



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