Technology

Galaxy Note 9 S Pen Getting A Major Upgrade. Will Be ‘Worth The Wait’

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen And Galaxy S10 Release Dates
Image Source: Muhsin M. Belaal Auckburaully (screenshot)

The Galaxy Note 9 is just around the corner. There have been plenty of leaks and rumors about Samsung’s upcoming phablet, and we can expect fresh leaks to keep emerging until its official unveiling. A recently leaked render suggested that the phone will get only minor design changes compared to its predecessor. But the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen stylus will get a major upgrade, a reliable tipster has learned from sources.

Here’s what we know about the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen stylus

The S Pen stylus is one of the Galaxy Note’s signature features. It works with the Note phone to offer services and capabilities that differentiate the Note from the Galaxy S line. Samsung has improved the stylus significantly in the last few years. According to a tweet from the often reliable tipster Ice Universe, Samsung is working to upgrade the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen stylus. The tipster added that it would be “worth the wait.”

Ice Universe did not mention how the Korean company would improve the stylus. But there are speculations that Samsung could add Bluetooth support to the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen stylus. If Samsung adds Bluetooth, it will also have to include a battery to make it work, which could make the stylus thicker than before. Samsung might be planning to take on Microsoft’s Surface Pen with the upgraded S Pen stylus.

There are many more ways to improve the stylus. For instance, Samsung could include a click button on the S Pen that would launch note-taking apps on the Galaxy Note 9. Or the company could add a microphone and a speaker in the stylus to let users make phone calls when the S Pen is in close proximity to the Note 9 handset. Samsung owns the patent for the technology to add a microphone to S Pen to enable voice calls.

The S Pen accompanying last year’s Note 8 is already pretty good. It has 4,096 pressure levels, Live Messages feature that allows you to create and send text GIF messages, Pen Up feature to create original art, ability to highlight text for translation, and support for the Screen Off memo feature that allows users to write on the idle screen of the phone.

Ice Universe’s report shouldn’t come as a surprise. Last year, Samsung executives BJ Kang and Cue Kim said in an interview that they were focusing on improving the Galaxy Note 9’s signature features such as the S Pen stylus and the dual camera system. Without elaborating on the features, Kang said at the time that addressing consumers’ needs would be Samsung’s top priority.

Rumored Galaxy Note 9 specs and release date

In another tweet, Ice Universe shared a leaked front panel of the Galaxy Note 9. The image indicates that its design would be similar to that of Galaxy Note 8. However, its screen-to-body ratio should be significantly higher considering the bezels on the sides, top and bottom have become slimmer than before. The leaked front panel has cutouts for the front camera, ear speaker, and other sensors.

According to MobielKopen, Samsung has also patented a bezel-free smartphone design. The patented design doesn’t have a physical fingerprint sensor on the front or back, suggesting the fingerprint sensor might be integrated into the display. However, this design is unlikely to debut with the Note 9. Samsung will reportedly introduce the in-display fingerprint reader and remove the iris scanner with the next year’s Galaxy S10.

Past rumors have suggested that the Note 9 would sport a giant 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The phablet will be powered by the same Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chips that run the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The Note 9 is said to have up to 8GB RAM and 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB of storage options. The phablet will likely pack a 3,850mAh or 4,000mAh battery compared to 3300mAh in the Note 8.

According to the rumor mill, the Galaxy Note 9 will have a horizontally-aligned dual camera on the back. Samsung chose the horizontal instead of vertical camera alignment to make room for a bigger battery. The phablet will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD card slot. It is expected to be available in Blue, Brown, Black, Lavender, and Gray colors.

The storage options of 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB were confirmed by South Korean retailer KT Plaza Shop when they accidentally posted the Note 9 pre-order details on their website. The post has since been taken down, but not before it was picked up by a few media outlets. There are speculations that the 512GB model will be sold only in South Korea and China. Samsung has confirmed that the phone will come with an upgraded Bixby 2.0 AI assistant that would enable a more natural communication between the user and the device.

Sources familiar with the matter recently told Bloomberg that Samsung was planning to release the Galaxy Note 9 at an Unpacked event in New York City on August 9th. Last year’s Note 8 was unveiled on August 23rd.