After being suitably impressed with the S8, and there still being no movement on a decent Microsoft alternative since the death of the Lumia 950, or the HP Elite X3 if you were that way inclined, I decided to give the Note 9 a shot to see if it could improve on an already great design.
As usual, I’m not going to do an unboxing video myself, for a number of reasons, so you will have to settle with one from a YouTuber…
Personally, I enjoyed the unboxing experience, it was conistent with the S8, down to the inclusion of the AKG earbuds. You definitely get a feel of quality, and that’s the main thing you need to be assured of when unboxing IMO, once it’s out the box, the quality is all that matters, and the Note 9 has bundles of that.
The Galaxy S8, Great But Not Perfect
So of course, the S8 is / was not perfect. In fact there were a bunch of issues that would annoy me personally on a regular basis, but I believe they can be lived with. I’m only going to mention the main one below, as I think it would be unfair to shit on the device that I enjoyed so much.
The edge display, is without a doubt, absoluely stunning to look at, and extremely responsive, The way it slopes at the edges add a little something to the look of the phone that just make it stand out. But that feature also makes typing; a royal pain in the arse.
What I would regularly find, is that whilst holding the phone, my fingers would interact with the very edges of the screen and cause things like phantom key repeats, missed letters or even web forms submitting whilst half way throught filling them out. Although this was resolved by learning to hold the phone slightly differently than I naturally did, it was still extremely annoying when having Facebook post half-finished, illiterate messages, when half way through rage typing to some random.
S8 To Note 9, The Main Differences
There are some key differences between the S8 and the Note 9, and not just the size. Although the phone is considerably larger, it’s also considerably different enough to be worthy of the upgrade. The main differences are,
- Larger screen size, the S8 being 5.8” and the Note 9 being 6.4”
- Digitizer and stylus (For arty drawing shenanigans)
- Storage, my S8 having 64gb, and my Note 9 having 128gb
- Screen PPI, S8 has 516, the Note 9 has 570
- Newer, faster CPU
- RAM, S8 has 4gb, 128gb Note 9 has 6gb, the 512gb has 8gb
- Dual main camera with 960fps video recording at 720p
- Battery, 3000mAh in S8, but 4000mAh in Note 9
Of course, just comparing stats is not a good way of getting a feel for the actual differences of the device, so I would recommend giving one a try, maybe messing about with a friends device for a few minutes to truly notice the differences.
Personally I find the changes worthy of the upgrade and even going back to my S8 after a couple of hours of using the Note 9 was noticable enough for me to be satisfied with my purchase.
Massive Phablet Phones
When the Galaxy Note was first announced back in 2011, a whole 7 years ago, it was riddiculed for being too large. Now large phones are the norm, even with Apple now producing equally as large devices with the X range.
One thing people normally complain about, is that they couldn’t possible operate such a large phone with 1 hand. Personally I rarely did with my S8 anyway, the only possible reason that I can think of, for needing to use 1 hand with a smartphone is that you’re masturbating with the other… Get a stand or something lol! If not being able to use 2 hands concerns you, then you’re not going to like the projected future of smartphones.
One of the main reasons to upgrade, in my personal opinion, is the battery. Even though an extra 1000mAh might not sound like much, it’s still a 3rd greater than the S8. What that means in real-world performance is that I now have a phone that hasn’t actually run out of battery in any single day of use (yet), and I’m a heavy user. So after several hours of phone calls, some light gaming, web browsing, and YouTube, even some NetFlix thrown in, I still haven’t got to emergency levels of battery life in a single day.
If you want to make sure that you don’t even have to think about battery life, I recommend getting a couple of cheap Wireless Fast-Chargers from Amazon and keeping them at the places you frequent the most, that way you are more likely to put your phone on charge whilst your not using it. I keep one at work, and one at home.
One that I highly recommend is this one (It even has a fan in it),
Novete Fast Wireless Qi Charger
The battery life really is great, I can’t stress that more.
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the pen, if only briefly. I owned a Surface Pro 4, and have the Surface Book, and the responsiveness of the digitiser on this device is actually much higher than either of those. I don’t know if it’s down to the pen itself as I only have the 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity; Surface Pen, but drawing on the Note 9 is a very pleasurable experience and there is minimal lag.
I would like to take up drawing again, but I have never gotten into the whole “drawing with a stylus” technique, maybe it will be easier with a device this responsive. I’ve used it when jotting down notes in OneNote and so far, it’s been great, so we shall see.
The pen itself doesn’t have a battery, it uses a capacitor that charges in 40 seconds, for 30 minutes of use, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
Device Heat When Under Stress
Now I wouldn’t class myself as a hardcore mobile gamer but I do play games on my Note 9, I’ve even tried Fortnight, but I do watch plenty of streaming videos, using YouTube or Netflix mostly. One thing I have not observed yet, is the device getting toasty. In fact, I haven’t noticed the heat of the device anywhere near as much as I had with my S8, the Note 9 keeps cool.
It would be interesting to see what an hour of Fortnight would do to it, but then I couldn’t play that on my PC for an hour without dying of boredom, let along my phone. Sorry but I don’t see the fascination with that game, but that’s another story…
Galaxy Gear VR Support
If you have read my previous article on VR, you will probably recall me mentioning the Gear VR. I had a Gear VR headset for my S8, but unfortunately as well as needing a newer headset for the Note 9, I also needed to get a free adapter from Samsung to enable the phone to actually fit into the headset correctly.
Getting the adpater from Samsung was a pain and most of their support avenues have no idea what it is, so make sure you use their support chat. Even their Facebook page doesn’t have a clue what it is, and more importantly, that it’s free.
Anyway, I done all of that and it was definitely worth it. The improvements in screen density and size help to provide a much more visually appealing experience, along with the improved performance of the device, it really is the best smartphone VR solution that you can get at the moment.
So if you are a fan of the S8 Gear VR, you’d love it on the Note 9 too.
It should be of no surprise that I recommend this device. It ticks all of the boxes that I require. You may have issues with it if you have tiny Trump-like hands, or masturbate 24/7, so never have 2 spare hands, other than that, surely there’s no reason to not get it??