From a larger display and a massive battery to artificial intelligence in the camera, there’s a lot to unpack from Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 9.
We’ve spent some time with the phone — you can read our Note 9 hands-on for more details — but here are a few of our favorite features of the phablet.
The camera on the Galaxy Note 9 is incredibly similar to the Galaxy S9 Plus’ dual-camera system, but it has two new advantages. Scene Optimizer is powered with artificial intelligence, and it’s a feature we’ve seen on a few Android phones already. The camera is able to detect up to 20 scenes, ranging from pets to sunsets, and it then tunes the contrast, exposure, color, and white balance to create a perfect photo. In a few tests we’ve seen, it seems to deliver the more shareable photo than the S9 Plus’ camera without any A.I. assistance.
There’s also Flaw Detection. Whether it’s a dirty camera lens, too much backlight, or blinking eyes, Flaw Detection lets you know if something’s wrong with the photo you just took, and what you can do to improve it. For example, if someone blinks in a group photo, Flaw Detection will recommend you to snap another pic before you miss the moment.
Water carbon cooling system, and ‘Fortnite’
For hardcore gamers or those who plan on some intense multitasking with the Note 9, have no fear — the phone can handle it. A special water carbon cooling system implemented into the Note 9 keeps the processor from overheating too quickly. That way, you should be able to play games for longer periods of time without seeing any performance hits.
It makes sense then, that Samsung is promoting the Note 9 with a popular game. Fortnite: Battle Royale‘s Android app is exclusively launching on Samsung smartphones and tablets (Galaxy S7/Tab S3 and higher) for the next 30 days. When you pre-order the Note 9, you can get up to 15,000 V-Bucks as well (a $150 value).
The S Pen gets Bluetooth
The S Pen is far more capable than ever before. It now has Bluetooth Low-Energy, meaning you can use it to control the Note 9 up to 30 feet away. You can do things like control presentations, take selfies or group photos (without having to touch the Note 9), or control music playback. You can customize what the S Pen’s button will trigger through the Settings menu on the Note 9. While this does mean you have to charge it, the built-in supercapacitor battery in the S Pen only needs 40 seconds in the Note 9 to give it 30 minutes of charge.
Big battery and heaps of storage
The Galaxy Note 9 houses a 4,000mAh battery, which is one of the largest we’ve seen on a flagship Galaxy phone. It should be able to last you for more than a day, and maybe even two days with light use.
As for internal storage, the Note 9 comes in either a 128GB size or a massive 512GB model. Samsung is also releasing its own 512GB MicroSD card later this year, so coupled with the 512GB Note 9 variant, you’ll be walking around with a terabyte of storage in your pocket.
DeX Android desktop mode
Earlier this year, Samsung announced the DeX Pad — a follow-up to last year’s DeX Station. Both devices act as docks that connect a Galaxy smartphone to an external monitor, with the benefit of attaching other peripherals like a mouse and keyboard. By plugging your Galaxy S9 into the dock, a desktop version of Android launches on your monitor for improved productivity. But with the Note 9, you can simply connect the phone to a monitor via a USB Type-C to HDMI cable, and DeX mode will automatically launch. The Note 9 can then be turned into a mouse pad, and the virtual keyboard automatically appears when you need to type.
Check out our Galaxy Note 9 vs. S9 Plus vs. S9 comparison to see how the new phone fares against its kin, and our Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8 vs. Note 5 to see how it stacks up against its predecessors. Read our Galaxy Note 9 hands-on review for our impressions.