Now that the Galaxy S9 is behind us, the rumor mill has shifted its focus to Samsung’s next-gen flagship Galaxy Note 9. The Note 9 is still several months away, but we know that Samsung is already working on the device. Dutch publication GalaxyClub has spotted the Galaxy Note 9 benchmark test results on the HTML5Test site. The HTML5 is a browser testing site.
The unreleased Samsung smartphone carries the model number SM-N960U, which indicates that it is Galaxy Note 9. Last year’s Note 8 had the model number SM-N950. The ‘U’ at the end of the model number suggests that it is the unlocked US variant of the handset. The benchmark page does not offer a lot of information about the upcoming phablet, but it indicates that the Galaxy Note 9 would offer an incredibly fast browsing experience.
The Note 9 is still in development phase, but it managed to score 522 points out of 555 on HTML5. That’s an impressive score considering last year’s Galaxy Note 8 had scored 488 points on the same benchmark test. The latest Galaxy S9 received a score of 517 on the same test. The device was running a custom version of Android 8.0 Oreo. Since the phone’s launch is still some time away, the final version of the Note 9 should run an updated version of Android Oreo.
The benchmark results indicate that the Galaxy Note 9 would have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, same as last year’s Galaxy Note 8. It means the upcoming flagship will retain the bezel-less Infinity display. The device appeared on the benchmark site with Samsung Experience 8.0 browser. According to the rumor mill, the Note 9 would support Google’s Project Treble, which makes it easier for Android vendors to roll out software updates in a timely manner.
A few days ago, Samsung’s mobile business head DJ Koh told media at the MWC that the company would launch an upgraded Bixby 2.0 AI assistant with the Galaxy Note 9. Samsung is currently beta testing the Bixby 2.0 with around 800 partners. The original Bixby seemed like a half-baked product with limited capabilities. Samsung says the Bixby 2.0 would be a “bold reinvention” of its proprietary AI assistant.
Koh told the press that the company focused on a faster rollout to the market with the Bixby 1.0. Samsung has further improved the virtual assistant with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The next-generation Bixby 2.0 would expand the ecosystem to support a “wider scope of voice assistant features.”
Samsung’s software & AI chief Eui-Suk Chung said that the new version of Bixby will also be able to recognize the individual voices if there are more than one users. It means the upgraded Bixby will give personalized answers to each user. Chung also indicated that Samsung would get rid of the “Hi, Bixby” trigger phrase before every command to allow for an easy and more natural communication between the user and the device.
The newly launched Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus also hint at some upgrades that we can see in the Galaxy Note 9. Even though the Note phablets have their own unique features like the S Pen stylus, they pick a few elements from the Galaxy S series. The Korean electronics heavyweight also uses the Note line to experiment with new features. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus suggest that the Note 9 would have the fingerprint scanner below the rear camera module, unless Samsung incorporates the optical fingerprint scanner in the device.
The company has been working on an in-display fingerprint reader for a long time, but it is too early to say whether the feature will be introduced with the Note 9. Apparently, Samsung is struggling with issues like security and low yield rates, though KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the company would resolve these issues by the time the Note 9 arrives.
You can also expect the Galaxy Note 9 to come with an advanced Intelligent Scan feature that Samsung launched with the Galaxy S9. The Intelligent Scan improves security by combining data from the facial recognition and iris scanner to authenticate the user. Samsung has included variable apertures of f/2.4 and f/1.5 in the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus’s main camera. The variable apertures may also find their way into the Note 9. The aperture changes automatically based on the lighting conditions. The f/1.5 enhances the low-light photography while the f/2.4 is good for daylight shooting.
Other Galaxy S9 features that could appear in the Galaxy Note 9 are the super slo-mo recording and AR Emoji. The super slo-mo feature captures slow motion videos at 960fps and 720 resolution. It is capable of automatically detecting movement and recording the slo-mo footage. The AR Emoji makes a caricature of your facial expressions using the selfie camera that you can share with your friends. The Note 9 will likely be powered by the same Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chips that run the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.