Technology

Here’s Why The Galaxy Note 9 Is Going To Be A Boring Upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Image Source: Ice Universe / Twitter (screenshot)

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 flagship is only a few months away. The Note series is particularly popular among power users. A new report suggests that the Galaxy Note 9 is going to be a boring upgrade. Often reliable Twitter tipster Ice Universe has shared a Note 9 render that shows that the upcoming phablet would be similar to the Galaxy S9 Plus with a stylus. The render suggests that Samsung isn’t going to change much about the phone’s design.

Ice Universe says, “Samsung was lazy in 2018.” The Note 9 will see only “a small adjustment” compared to last year’s Note 8. Lack of a new design isn’t a bad thing. Samsung’s existing smartphones already boast of a beautiful design with a curved display. Customers are going to be disappointed on a few other fronts as well. Fans want to see an in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 9. But Ice Universe is “almost certain” that it’s not going to happen.

The Korean electronics behemoth has been working on an optical fingerprint reader for years. The company was rumored to introduce the feature with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. But Samsung dropped it from the S9 due to speed and security-related issues. Korean media has claimed that the Note 9 would be Samsung’s first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has learned from supply chain sources that Samsung was still facing “technological difficulties” with the feature, and there was a good chance the Note 9 would launch without the optical fingerprint reader. Ice Universe did not mention why Samsung is ditching the feature, but the mysterious tipster has a pretty good track record of leaking accurate details on Samsung devices.

It means Samsung will settle with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 9. It would also have the Intelligent Scan feature that debuted with the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus earlier this year. Intelligent Scan combines data from the facial recognition and the iris scanner to recognize the user. But it’s still not secure enough to authenticate financial transactions. Notably, Vivo has already launched its X20 Plus UD with an optical fingerprint sensor.

The render shared by Ice Universe suggests that Samsung will launch a dual-SIM model of the Galaxy Note 9. You can see two cellular strength indicators in the notification bar. The Note 9 is rumored to have a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It would offer a Quad HD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960, and retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. The Note 9 is said to be available with at least 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot.

Samsung will launch the Note 9 in two variants. The model headed to the US, Canada, Mexico, and China would be powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 845 chipset. It’s the same processor that runs the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The international variant would feature Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9810 chipset.

The Note 9 is also expected to borrow the camera features from the S9 Plus. The Galaxy S9 Plus has a vertically arranged dual camera setup on the back. One of the lenses has variable apertures of f/2.4 and f/1.5, while the telephoto lens has a fixed aperture of f/2.4. The wide-angle lens can automatically switch between the two apertures depending on the lighting conditions to take the best possible photos. The Galaxy Note 9 is said to have 16MP lenses on the back, but it would borrow the variable apertures and the super slo-mo feature from the Galaxy S9 Plus.

Having the similar design and technical specs as the Galaxy S9 Plus doesn’t mean the Note 9 will have nothing new to offer. Samsung has confirmed that the Note 9 would come with an upgraded S Pen stylus. DJ Koh, Samsung’s mobile business head, has also told media that the company would introduce an upgraded Bixby 2.0 AI assistant with the upcoming flagship. The Korean company is testing the Bixby 2.0 with more than 800 partners worldwide.

Ice Universe has leaked earlier that the Galaxy Note 9 will have a new “Crown UX” on top of Android Oreo to improve the user experience. It would be a radical redesign of the current Experience UX skin. The upcoming phablet would pack a 3,850mAh battery compared to a 3300mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung traditionally refreshes the Galaxy Note line in late August or early September around the IFA trade show. But recent reports suggest that the company could launch the Note 9 sooner than usual due to poor response to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The phablet could be unveiled in late July or early August.

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