It’s no secret that Android vendors have been shamelessly copying the iPhone X’s signature notch design. The only major Android OEM that has so far resisted the temptation to copy the notch is Samsung. It launched the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus with the Super AMOLED Infinity display and no top cutout. A newly spotted patent filed by Samsung hints that the company might be finally planning to adopt the notch with its upcoming Galaxy Note 9. Meanwhile, an ever-reliable tipster has revealed the Galaxy Note 9 codename.
Samsung is expected to launch its next-gen Galaxy Note 9 flagship sometime this fall. VentureBeat contributor Evan Blass said in a tweet that the Galaxy Note 9 codename is “Crown.” Blass has a notoriously good track record of revealing accurate details about yet-to-launch smartphones. The codename seems appropriate for a device that will be Samsung’s most expensive smartphone of this year.
It’s not the first time we are hearing about the Galaxy Note 9 codename, though. In November last year, a report from Korean site The Investor claimed that Samsung was developing the Note 9 under the codename “Crown.” The site added that an unnamed supplier would start providing components for the upcoming phablet’s pilot production “in the first quarter next year (Q1, 2018).”
The Korean company’s choice for the Galaxy Note 9 codename looks interesting because codenames tend to serve as subtle indicators of Samsung’s plans. Last year’s Galaxy Note 8 was internally known as “Baikal” to highlight its giant bezel-less display. For the uninitiated, Baikal is one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes. The Galaxy Note 9 codename “Crown” indicates that the company wants to position it as the best phablet and re-establish its supremacy in the smartphone market.
Separately, MobielKopen has spotted a patent filed by Samsung in China that describes a display notch similar to iPhone X. The top notch allows for more usable screen space. The Korean company could introduce the notch with the Galaxy Note 9. Illustrations included in patent documents show the notch housing the front camera, earpiece, and a host of other sensors. The screen curves on the sides similar to Galaxy S9.
Patent documents show no bezel at the bottom. It indicates that Samsung would adopt the iPhone X’s expensive solution of bending the screen at the bottom edge to house the display driver underneath the panel. It should increase the phone’s cost of production. On the rear panel, the dual camera setup is on the top-right corner. That’s a departure from Samsung’s center-aligned camera design. There is no fingerprint reader on the rear panel, suggesting that Samsung would rely entirely on the Intelligent Scan feature or offer an in-display fingerprint sensor.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the Galaxy Note 9 would not feature an in-display fingerprint solution because Samsung is still experiencing “technological difficulties” with the feature. However, Korean site The Investor reported recently that Samsung Display had developed 3-4 ways to integrate the fingerprint reader under the display, and Samsung Electronics was seriously considering one of them for the Galaxy Note 9.
The Note 9 is expected to retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and the Bixby button. Samsung’s mobile business head DJ Koh has told media that the Galaxy Note 9 would come with an upgraded Bixby 2.0 AI assistant. The device is rumored to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 or Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9810 chip depending on the region. It should offer at least 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The Galaxy Note 9 would have a dual camera system on the back. Samsung is expected to include the super slo-mo and variable aperture features in Note 9 that it introduced with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Of course, the Note 9 will be accompanied by an improved S Pen stylus. According to Twitter tipster Ice Universe, the handset would pack a 4,000mAh or 3,850mAh battery. Last year’s Galaxy Note 8 had a 3,300mAh battery.
4000mAh or 3850mAh
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) April 11, 2018
The rumor mill claims Galaxy Note 9 would feature a 6.38-inch Super AMOLED Infinity display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The device would run Samsung’s custom UI on top of Android Oreo, though it should receive the Android P update soon after launch.
Samsung tends to launch new Galaxy Note phablets in late August or early September. However, a recent report claimed that the Galaxy Note 9 could arrive sooner than usual. Sources told The Investor that Samsung was planning to release the Note 9 in late July or early August due to “less-than-stellar” sales of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The recently launched Galaxy S9 flagship isn’t selling as well as Samsung hoped. By bringing the Note 9 earlier than usual, Samsung would ensure that loyal customers don’t switch to other brands. It would also give the Note 9 a few more weeks on the store shelves before 2018 iPhones arrive.