Technology

Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’: New Leak Appears From Korea

It seems that a Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ Release is on the cards from Samsung, according to reports from Korea. What is meant by this odd phrase? Read on…

Galaxy Note 9 'Crown'
Image: YouTube Screenshot

Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ – Pilot production imminent

Samsung has seemingly codenamed its next generation phablet as the ‘Crown’, seemingly with the intention of reclaiming the throne of the smartphone niche. Reports from the Korean publication The Investor indicate that development of the phablet intended for release in 2017 is already well underway.

Inside sources indicate that pilot production of the smartphone will begin in the first quarter of next year, as Samsung looks to build on the success of the Galaxy Note 8. This phablet was tasked with resurrecting the Galaxy Note series following the disaster of the exploding Galaxy Note 7. And after a relatively conservative Galaxy Note 8 release, the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ promises to be a more advanced smartphone.

This will certainly be a busy time for Samsung, as the Galaxy S9 is also widely anticipated to debut in Q1. This will certainly be the release schedule for the device based on past precedent, and there is no reason to disbelieve the notion that the Galaxy S9 will appear at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The ambitious working title of Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ is intended to indicate the return to the top of the smartphone fold of the Korean manufacturer. While Apple is undoubtedly the most recognizable brand in the Mobile world, Samsung is actually the biggest seller of devices once more, although the gap between the Korean company and the Californian corporation is negligible.

Fingerprint sensor report

With Samsung looking to produce an outstanding Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ release, it seems likely that there will be numerous new features, and possibly some particularly ambitious inclusions. In particular, the device is being strongly linked with an integrated fingerprint sensor, with the legendary Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities indicating that this functionality will indeed appear in the Galaxy Note 9.

The “under-display optical fingerprint” sensor will be particularly valuable for the Samsung phablet, as Apple has previously attempted to produce this feature without success. Indeed, both Samsung and its Californian rival attempted to include an embedded scanner in their 2018 devices, ultimately to no avail.

With the Wall Street Journal having reported that Apple intended to include an integrated fingerprint scanner in the premium iPhone X, there will undoubtedly be pressure on Apple to respond to these reports on the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’. Nonetheless, the iPhone X benefits from Face ID, with Samsung yet to produce an equivalent system for its Galaxy devices.

KGI suggested in an investment note that three companies are already competing for the right to supply Samsung with parts for the scanner. Korean companies BeyondEyes and the Samsung subsidiary Samsung LSI have already shipped part samples to Samsung, according to the latest information, with the intention of becoming the integrated fingerprint supplier for the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’.

S Pen upgrades

Perhaps the most identifying feature in the Galaxy Note range now, though, is the S Pen stylus. This peripheral has become a central aspect of the Galaxy Note series, and is something of a signifier; distinguishing the device from the Galaxy S flagship.

With this in mind, it is expected that the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ will benefit from a significantly improved S Pen. BJ Kang of the Korean company’s Global Product Planning Group has already spoken out on this matter, indicating that Samsung is already exploring opportunities with this key peripheral.

4K debate

The Korean manufacturer has also become associated with outstanding screen technology, and thus one of the central debates surrounding the Galaxy Note 9 will be whether or not it will include a 4K resolution display.

Arguments in favor of this technology are obvious. 4K resolution is becoming increasingly mainstream, and has been a central focus of the recently released Xbox One X video games console. Additionally, Samsung has been something of a pioneer with regard to display technology, most obviously with the innovaton of curved screens, which have now become so popular in both the television and smartphone markets.

So it would be an obvious move for the Korean company to take the plunge and be the first mainstream purveyor of smartphones to go 4K. Already both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 benefit from Quad HD+ resolution, and it would certainly be a natural progression to switch to 4K resolution in 2018 with the Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’.

Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ – camera

Meanwhile, another report indicates that the Galaxy Note 9 will feature an extremely powerful camera, with a 24-megapixel snapper being linked with the phablet. Samsung has satisfied itself with improving the feature set of recent Galaxy releases, at the expense of pixel counts, and thus a megapixel jump is probably due.

However, including such advanced features as a massively integrated camera and 4K resolution display, alongside other expected spec increases and new features, would undoubtedly lead to a pricey unit. It is highly debatable whether Samsung can afford this considering that the Galaxy Note 8 already cost close to $1,000, and the company would certainly wish to avoid exceeding the psychologically important $1,000 price barrier.

Perhaps a cost-effective solution can be found before the Note 9 appears, but Samsung will need to balance the desire for an advanced unit with more practical considerations relating to production costs.

Redefining the smartphone niche

The talk in Korea, though, is of a Galaxy Note 9 ‘Crown’ that will partly redefine the smartphone niche. We can also expect such embryonic technologies as virtual reality and augmented reality to feature prominently, as Samsung attempts to redefine the smartphone experience.

All in all, the Galaxy Note 9 should be an exciting smartphone when it appears next year, in what is expected to be September.