SAMSUNG HAS SURPRISED no one with the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 9, which is exactly what you were expecting it to be.
While the big-screened smartphone (6.4in, to be precise) looks near identical to its Note 8 predecessor with its edge-to-edge display and glossy IP68-certified chassis, Samsung is touting a number of (well-leaked) upgrades.
Firstly, the Note 9 ships with a new and improved S Pen, which comes with Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) baked-in for the first time. Users can now use the bundled stylus to pause and resume music playback, for example, or as a makeshift camera shutter button.
Samsung even boasted that it controlled its Note 9 presentation using the banana-a-like stylus, before announcing that it plans to open up the SDK to developers so functionality can be built into third-party apps.
Bigged-up by Samsung as the "world's most powerful smartphone", the Note 9 also boasts an under the hood rejig. It'll ship with Samsung's in-house 10nm Exynos 9810 CPU (or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 in the US), paired with either 6GB or 8GB RAM depending on whether you pick up the 128GB or 512GB model. Both offer microSD slots, allowing users to expand the Note 9's onboard storage up to 1TB.
There's also a 4,000mAh battery inside, the largest ever to feature inside a Note smartphone, which Samsung is promising will deliver "all day" battery life.
There's also been an upgrade in the camera department. While, on paper, the Note 9's dual 12MP camera sounds near identical to that on last year's model, Samsung claims that the new horizontally-aligned sensors are "more intelligent" than before, with its AI-fuelled camera app now letting you know when an image is flawed; if someone has blinked, for example.
Elsewhere, the Note 9 features AKG-tuned stereo speakers that are the "loudest ever" on a Samsung phone, a rear-positioned fingerprint scanner, Google's Android 8.1 Oreo OS, USB-C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, support for wireless charging and Samsung DeX, which can now be enabled using an HDMI adaptor.
And, as expected, Samsung announced that Fornite for Android will also make its long-awaited debut on the Galaxy Note 9.
The Galaxy Note 9 will be made available in four colours: blue (with yellow S Pen), lavender, copper and black. Pre-orders for the smartphone will kick off today, with the 6GB/128GB model costing £899, and the 8GB /512GB storage model priced at £1,099.
As expected, customers who pre-order between 10 August and 23 August 2018 can choose either a free pair of AKG noise-cancelling headphones or a Fortnite Galaxy skin with 15,000 V-bucks. µ
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