October 27, 2017 –  The major news on the Galaxy Note 9 is actually primarily related to its Galaxy S9 cousin. It has been reported recently that Samsung will not integrate the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S9 within its display, suggesting that this may instead be delayed for the Galaxy Note 9 generation. This would certainly correlate with previous Samsung policy as it has become common practice for the Korean manufacturer to save its more advanced features for the phablet series.

This means that the Galaxy Note 9 is likely to be the first ever Samsung device to benefit from an integrated fingerprint sensor. This would certainly be good news for those consumers thinking of picking up a Galaxy Note 9 unit, as the positioning of the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 has been strongly criticized.

There have also been reports suggesting that Samsung may surprise market analysts and release a Galaxy Note 9 model featuring a foldable display. This has been mooted for a supposed Galaxy X release, but Samsung could yet alter its release strategy for 2018 based on the performance of the Galaxy X in Korea.

It is believed that the Galaxy X may be released exclusively in Samsung’s native South Korea initially, with the release of the device then contemplated for Western marketplaces based on its success or otherwise in Korea. But instead of releasing the Galaxy X in markets such as the United States, Samsung could instead decide to produce a specialist version of the Galaxy Note 9 featuring a foldable display.

Whether this would then become available in Korea as well remains to be seen, although such an adventurous device would surely require a global release. With Samsung already in talks with manufacturers of bendable screen technology, and with the hierarchy of the company having explicitly indicated that there will be some form of foldable Galaxy device in 2018, it could be that the Galaxy Note 9 series features this functionality.

The S Pen stylus is also likely to be a major focus of the Galaxy
Note 9 release, as it is arguably the most obvious distinction between the phablet range and its Galaxy S cousin. Perhaps the speaker system that has been linked with the peripheral previously could see the light of day next year, which is a tantalizing prospect for Samsung consumers.

Reports are also escalating which suggest that the Galaxy Note 9 could benefit from the first ever 4K display in the history of Samsung. The Korean manufacturer is expected to migrate to 4K technology sooner or later, and has indeed been linked with producing a device with 4,000 pixel capability on several occasions previously.

With Apple having pushed the boat out with the iPhone X, and then selling out its new device extremely rapidly, Samsung needs to respond with something outstanding next year. It seems that the Galaxy Note 9 will certainly fit the bill, and deliver several outstanding new features.

UPDATE 10-19-2017: Samsung is continuing its preparation for the Galaxy Note 9, which will appear in 2018. It is fair to say that 2017 has been an extremely successful year for the Korean corporation, and it also hopes to build on its strong position in the coming months. And in order to do this, the manufacturer is looking to iron out some of the criticisms levelled at the current generation Galaxy Note 8.

Galaxy Note 9
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Fingerprint scanner

According to recent media reports, central to this will be a relocation of the fingerprint scanner. This was somewhat criticized in the last generation for its awkward position on the rear of the phone, with its proximity to the camera often resulting in fingerprints being inadvertently placed on its lens.

But it is believed that Samsung has been beavering away behind the scenes to produce a design for the Galaxy Note 9 that would see the scanner returned to the front of the phone. This was indeed the original location for the fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy Note range.

However, KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most renowned names in technology circles, suggests that an embedded fingerprint display may dominate the front panel of the Galaxy Note 9. And it seems that Samsung has no particular plans to switch to a facial recognition system, as Apple has with the inclusion of Face ID in the iPhone X.

S Pen upgrade

In other news, it seems that Samsung is planning to upgrade the S Pen stylus included with the Note 9 as well. BJ Kang of the Korean company’s Global Product Planning Group indicated that this will be a major focus of the Galaxy Note 9 generation. The executive stated that Samsung is currently exploring “ways to improve upon signature features like the S Pen”.

Certainly the S Pen is a key aspect of the Galaxy Note series, as it is a stylus that essentially sets the device apart from the Galaxy S flagship. The S pen has previously been linked with an innovative design that revolves around a speaker system, and this could potentially see the light of day in 2018.

Camera update

Another report has suggested that the Galaxy Note 9 may feature a particularly impressive camera, with a 24-megapixel snapper being linked with the phablet. In recent generations, Samsung has been reluctant to increase the megapixel rating of its cameras, instead of focusing on improving feature sets and functionality.

But it now seems that the Galaxy Note 9 could benefit from a greatly upgraded camera, if reports from close to the Samsung supply chain are to be believed. The photographic quality of the dual-lens camera included in the Galaxy Note 8 has already been praised, and an improvement over this technology should certainly be impressive.

Whether these new changes would result in an increase in price remains to be seen, but it does appear that the Galaxy Note 9 will be teetering extremely close to the $1,000 cliff based on the latest leaked information.

UPDATE 10-17-2017: Samsung has officially confirmed that it will extend its phablet range with a Galaxy Note 9 release in 2018. This means that the Galaxy Note series is back on track, after the infamous exploding Galaxy Note 7 proved to be a total disaster for the Korean corporation.

Significant Samsung executives Cue Kim and BJ Kang have indicated that the Galaxy Note 9 is already being planned by the consumer electronics giant, in an interview with Samsung Newsroom. The two execs emanate from the Global Product Planning Group core of the Korean company.

The Galaxy Note 9 could be the first ever 4K mobile from Samsung when it is released.

Although the Galaxy Note 8 has just been released, rumors are already emerging on the forthcoming Galaxy Note 9. This major phablet will undoubtedly be one of the mobile highlights of 2018, and one of the most notorious names in the smartphone niche is already providing his predictions on this handset.

 

Galaxy Note 9
Image Credit: Tùng Hà (facebook.com/tunghamai)

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Samsung will make some major design changes to the Galaxy Note 9 that will help to establish what will undoubtedly be a major smartphone release. Although the Galaxy S series is still considered to be the Samsung flagship, the Galaxy Note range has proved extremely popular for the Korean manufacturer over the last few years.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 fingerprint scanner

And Kuo believes that this will be acknowledged with a fingerprint scanner that is integrated within the display of the device. This technology has been linked with a wide variety of mobile devices, with Apple said to have been tinkering with a similar feature ahead of the release of the iPhone X and iPhone 8. Ultimately, it did not appear in either of the Apple releases, but it could be that the Galaxy Note 9 heralds the introduction of this technology in Samsung products.

Kuo’s latest note was reported on by Business Insider, with the publication noting Kuo’s prediction that the Galaxy Note 9 will be dominated by an “under-display optical fingerprint” scanner. This will undoubtedly be the highlight of this mobile device, enabling users to unlock their smartphones by placing a finger on the screen of the display. This will obviously aid both convenience and security.

While many such predictions are made, the views of Kuo are worth taking particularly seriously, as he is undoubtedly one of the foremost figures in the mobile industry. Previously largely considered to be an Apple analyst, Kuo has moved on to dealing with other smartphone products as well over the last year or so, with the analyst having developed a valued range of sources close to the Samsung supply chain.

Galaxy Note 9 display

Kuo suggests that two of the three main companies expected to compete for the contract to manufacture displays for the Galaxy Note 9 have already shipped parts to the South Korean mega-corporation. These firms are understood to be Samsung subsidiary Samsung LSI and BeyondEyes; it seems that the Korean company is already making preparations for the release of the Galaxy Note 9.

In-display fingerprint scanning is widely considered to be an important feature for the smartphone niche in the coming years, with several manufacturers currently working on delivering the technology. Apple and Samsung are certainly among these, but the likes of LG have also been linked with similar devices.

However, delivering such functionality will be far from easy. Indeed, it was strongly anticipated that the iPhone X would be the first mobile device to deliver this feature. But the Apple flagship experienced supply chain delays which meant that it was impossible for the Californian corporation to provide the fingerprint system in its current generation of products. The iPhone X instead relies on Face ID facial recognition technology.

Of course, it is not guaranteed that the Galaxy Note 9 will feature this display technology, and another possibility is that it could emerge in another Samsung device first. Indeed, with the flagship Galaxy S9 to be released at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona early next year, it could be that this integrated functionality will be delivered in the Galaxy S9 ahead of the Galaxy Note 9.

However, there is precedent to suggest that it would make more sense for the integrated feature to debut in the Galaxy Note 9. Samsung has attempted to provide extra functionality and specifications in the Galaxy Note series in an attempt to distinguish its phablet from the more affordable smartphone. This has led to many major features being introduced in the Galaxy Note range, before later migrating to the Galaxy S series, and this would seem to be a natural move with the integrated fingerprint scanner.

PREVIOUS UPDATE: – 2018 promises to be an interesting year for fans of Samsung devices, as the Korean corporation may also debut the Galaxy X. The standout feature of this smartphone is likely to be a foldable display. However, the technology that has been showed off by Samsung at numerous trade shows over the years could also feature in the Galaxy Note range as well.

The likelihood is that it will be one or the other for the foldable screen in 2018, and if the Galaxy X does emerge then it is far less likely that a bendable screen design will feature in the Galaxy Note 9. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what emerges in the early months of next year, as if the Galaxy X is on the horizon then it is strongly tipped that Samsung will announce this device at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, which takes place in January.

Aside from the integrated fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy Note 9 is set to be one of the most technologically advanced smartphones in the history of mobile technology. It seems quite likely that this device will be the mobile release that finally debuts 4K technology in the Samsung product range, a feature that has been linked with the releases of the Korean corporation for quite some time.

We can expect an outstanding dual-camera to be included in the Galaxy Note 9, while other spec upgrades are also baked into the cake. Thus, the Galaxy Note 9 could well be capable of 512GB of native storage, with RAM memory also likely to receive a boost. Finally, it is almost certain that the Snapdragon 836 processor will be included in this smartphone, after it was strongly linked with the recently Google Pixel 2, despite ultimately not coming to fruition.

With the smartphone year having largely unfolded by now, attention is already turning towards next year’s Galaxy Note 9. This sequel to the Galaxy Note 8 promises to be an outstanding phablet, in what could be an exciting one for Samsung. The company has already established itself as an outstanding seller of mobile devices in 2017, and may be able to build on this in a year in which Apple should be more conservative with its iPhone range.

Although this phablet is still some way away, major manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung are always well ahead of the game with their technology. There is no doubt that preparations are already being made internally at the Korean company for the release of the Galaxy Note 9, and already rumors are emerging regarding this device.

Galaxy Note 9 camera
Image Credit: Tùng Hà / Facebook.com

Concept images

With a good deal of speculation due regarding the design of the Galaxy Note 9, already concept images are emerging. Benjamin Geskin, a well-known name in the mobile industry, has already produced a set of renders for this forthcoming phablet. And the images actually provide an interesting insight into what Samsung may ultimately deliver with this next-generation device.

There are similarities with this imagined Galaxy Note 9 and both the iPhone X and existing Galaxy Note 8. However, Geskin believes that Samsung will certainly improve the display included in the Galaxy Note 9, and this will be a central feature of the smartphone.

Massive display

The concept image thus features a 6.4-inch display that is armed with 4K resolution compatibility. The Infinity display included in the device is described as “even fuller” by its maker, setting up the tantalizing prospect that the Galaxy Note 9 will feature the best ever screen in a Samsung product. Certainly 4K resolution has been linked with Samsung mobiles for some time, and it would undoubtedly be welcome among many Android fans were this to finally come to fruition.

Elsewhere, Geskin also imagines that a fingerprint sensor will be embedded into the display, providing an even more integrated approach than previous releases.

This integration is reflected in the fact that the designer has stressed the display of the device to such an extent that the top and bottom bezels are eliminated completely. Such a design has been predicted for the Galaxy Note range previously, although Samsung has yet to go to such extremities.

Nonetheless, reports are already emerging that Samsung is working on an entirely new form of display, with patents pointing to a notched display that is similar to that of the iPhone X. It would perhaps be somewhat controversial if Samsung were to continue with an integrated fingerprint sensor, though, considering that the Korean corporation knows that Apple has abandoned this in favor of the Face ID system.

Facial recognition

Thus, one of the key decisions that Samsung will have to make with the Galaxy Note 9 is whether or not facial recognition hardware is included in the device. There have been few rumors from close to the Korean corporation suggesting that it is particularly tinkering with this technology, but it will undoubtedly be considering the possibility after the Apple Face ID system emerged.

Foldable technology

Another possibility for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in 2018 is the introduction of the foldable technology that Samsung patented some time ago. A prototype of this unique physical element was revealed at a trade show some years ago, and it has been thought over the last few years that it is now feasible for this foldable technology to be included in consumer devices.

Indeed, Samsung has been linked with producing devices with foldable screens previously, but has always held fire on this possibility. One of the problems with this implementation is that it would undoubtedly push the price of the Galaxy Note 9 northwards, and this is something that the manufacturer would surely wish to avoid. Already the pricing of both the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X has raised eyebrows in some quarters, and clearly Samsung would prefer to deliver a more value for money unit when the Galaxy Note 9 is unveiled.

There is also a strong argument for including the foldable technology in the Galaxy S9, which will probably hit the stores in March next year. With this series still being considered the flagship of Samsung, it could make more sense for the Korean company to include folddable technology in the S9 instead.

Interestingly, the president of Samsung’s mobile division, Koh Dong-jin, has already confirmed the intention of Samsung to release a bendable smartphone at some point next year. This would certainly be a headline of the consumer electronics year, and the technology would obviously lend itself very well to a large phablet such as the Galaxy Note 9, enabling users to place the folded device in their pockets.

Bixby improvements

Aside from the foldable screen, one of the major areas of potential improvements with the Galaxy Note 9 is its Bixby personal assistant. This software still lags behind Apple’s Siri, and it would help users of Samsung products significantly if it was more adequately able to understand the spoken word.

Battery life

Another possible improvement with the Galaxy Note 9 could be the inclusion of a larger battery. It was understandable that Samsung wished to play it safe in this department this year, as the company obviously wished to avoid a repeat of the disastrous exploding Galaxy Note 7. But there is potential for the Galaxy Note 9 to deliver a large cell, providing improved battery life. This would certainly be welcome, particularly if it could be extended to two days.

Price

Finally, there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 9 will be an expensive unit. The release and pricing of the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X this year almost absolutely guarantees this. But it would certainly be a nice token for consumers if the price tag of the Galaxy Note 9 was frozen from this year’s edition. This would keep the Galaxy Note 9 price under the psychologically important $1,000 mark.