The history of the Samsung Galaxy Note is a bit of a chequered one, but there is no denying, as an all-rounder, it ticks many boxes!  Can the latest version, the Note9, help Samsung retain the crown of best phablet on the market.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in blue with yellow S pen.
The new, very powerful, very desirable Note9 // Image Samsung Newsroom.


Samsung Galaxy Note9

On the outside, the changes to the Note9 are subtle when placed next to its predecessor, but on the inside? Well, there, Samsung have cranked all the knobs up to 11 and delivered a device that has the top spec feature in nearly every category.  They’ve even beefed up the S Pen!


Samsung Note9 in Black with Black S Pen.
Samsung Note9 in Black with Black S Pen // Image Samsung Newsroom.



When it comes to Samsung flagship devices, the first thing other smart phone owners will notice is the display and the Note9 is no different.

With a 6.4″ Super AMOLED screen the Infinity display is big, bold and beautiful!  And what makes it even better is that there is no notch!!  A thin bezel at the top is all that’s needed for the front facing camera, sensors and earpiece.  Thank you Samsung!


Testing the accuracy of the S Pen during a launch event in London, UK
Testing the accuracy of the S Pen during a launch event in London, UK // Image {Tech} for Travel.


In the hand, the Note9 feels and looks great, but big!  My hands are fairly large and I struggled to operate it normally.  There is the option to reduce the display size within the screen which would work for most users but seems a waste of such a nice display!

Part of the reason the device feels good in the hand is due to the curved edges and glass back.  This glass rear panel means wireless charging, which is fast becoming a staple must have for any mobile device, and more so for the Note9 due to its rather large battery!

The Note9 has a whopping 4,000mAh battery!  For a smart phone, this is big and will hopefully back up Samsung’s claim to truly last all day long.  But it won’t be easy.  With such a large display and huge processing power, if a power user gets 8 hours a day from the device then this would be considered a good thing!


Samsung Galaxy Note9 S Pen in Yellow
The mustard yellow S Pen looks great with the Ocean Blue Note9 // Image Samsung Newsroom.


The S Pen remains the Note9’s party piece and although many of us, myself included, may not be fans of the stylus in general; this is different.  This time around Samsung have added Bluetooth Low Energy Technology to the Pen which will be charged by that 4,000mAh battery I just mentioned.  This transforms the S Pen from stylus to wireless remote!

As a remote it can be used as a clicker for presentations delivered via your Note9 (and dongle) or to enhance those selfies as it can work up to 10 meters away from the handset.

Then there is the new intelligent camera!  Samsung have included Flaw Detection and Scene Optimizer features which, they say, will help us take better pictures!


“The camera’s new Flaw Detection and Scene Optimizer features utilize advanced AI to help users take the best possible picture. The former automatically notifies you of any flaws in your photos, such as blinking eyes, so you can capture another shot, while the latter automatically analyzes objects, scenery and time elements in the camera’s frame in order to recognize the type of scene you’re photographing and optimize color tones accordingly.” ~ Samsung Newsroom


The Note9's Rear Dual Camera and fingerprint sensor on the Lavender Purple Handset.
The Note9’s Rear Dual Camera and fingerprint sensor on the Lavender Purple Handset // Image Samsung Newsroom.


At the back the main camera has dual 12MP lenses with 2x optical zoom and LED flash with the front facing camera having a single 8MP lens.

The Note9 will be released with Andorids current operating system 8.1 (Oreo).  In the short time I had with the device the software was very fluid in use with very little lag.  Either from interactions from my fingertips or the S Pen, response time was very good.


Metallic Copper & Midnight Black Note9.
Metallic Copper & Midnight Black Note9 // Image Samsung Newsroom.



The Note9 will come in two versions; a 128GB unit with 6GB of RAM or the larger 512GB with 8GB.  Both have a MicroSD card slot which can expand either device by a further 512GB of storage!  1TB of storage in your pocket is great, just don’t lose your phone.

There is no doubt, the Samsung Note9 is a true Flagship device but is it enough of a step up from the 8 to make people upgrade at, what is, a very high price tag? Maybe not.

But here’s where it matters for travellers.  The Note9 is arguably the best all-rounder on the market today and as sure as the sun follows the moon, there will be a Note10 about this time next year.  But! I don’t think next years devices will be able to jump much further ahead than what we have here in the Note9!

Therefore if you are looking to invest in a device to travel with, that will not go out of date a year later, and that could help you move away from travelling with a notebook/tablet or both; then this smart phone is a worth a look.

  • Dimensions – 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight – 201g
  • Super AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Wireless Charging
  • Stereo Speakers


Compare the Samsung Galaxy Note8 to the Note9

Side by side compariosn of the new Note9 and the Note8.
Note8 v Note9 Spec Comparison // Image Samsung Newsroom.

How Much Does the Samsung Galaxy Note9 Cost?

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 starts at £899 for the 128GB version which is available in all three colours.  Where as the 512GB model is £1,099 and comes in Black or Ocean Blue only.

Both are now available for purchase or finance from Samsung.


Connect with Samsung


Launch Video