Samsung takes note
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Note 9, that is a smartphone so adaptable that you can even use it as a PC
THE BRAND new smartphone from the Samsung stable, the Note9, will go a long way to restoring confidence in the South Korean tech giant thanks to a greatly improved S Pen stylus, a faster processor and faster performance as well as a larger battery.
It retains the shape and footprint of its predecessor, measuring 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weighing 201 grammes, but has a slightly larger display of 6.4 inches compared to Note8’s 6.3, though both offer 1440×2960 pixel resolutions.
Note9 is powered by Samsung Exynos 9 octa 9810 processor with four cores running at 2.7 GHz and the other four at 1.7 GHz.
Note9 has six gigabytes of working memory, the same amount as the Note8 but the latest model has 128 GB internal storage compared to 64GB.
Note9 has good performance. I benchmarked it with AnTuTu Benchmark v7.1.0 and the smartphone got a high score of 247,453 points.
During the test, I found Note9 was very responsive in terms of the touch screen, menus and running the apps as well as in the use of the stylus.
Game players should be happy too because Note9 uses a water-carbon cooling system that helps prevent overheating, and an AI-based performance adjuster that ensures the game stays smooth and doesn’t become not sluggish
Note9 also has fast internet connection. I tested it on TrueMove H’s LTE network. The applications downloaded fast and my snapshots were backed up to my cloud storage in no time.
I used the Ookla Speedtest app to measure the Internet connection speed and found that it achieved a fast download speed of 79.4 Mbps and the upload speed of 41.5 Mbps.
Note9’s display is called Infinity Display and is akin to the Full View display of other brands. It has narrow bezels at the top and bottom and is near bezel-less at the left and right edges. Moreover, the iris scanner and sensors are hidden away at the top to cut down on visual disruption and to give you more space.
The high resolution of 2960×1440 pixels or Quad HD+ is impressive for viewing photos and watching video clips. During the test, I enjoyed using TrueID TV app to watch Premiere League Football matches and new Full-HD movies on the go.
Galaxy Note9’s Infinity Display is complemented by stereo speakers, which are tuned by AKG, and deliver Dolby Atmos immersive audio for a life like experience. This allows Note9 to provide good sound experience when watching movies.
YouTube was impressed too, naming Galaxy Note9 as a Signature Device able to deliver a best-in-class YouTube experience.
Moreover, the Note9’s display has vivid colours, high brightness and contrast. It intelligently adjusts the contrast bases on the light, so you can enjoy clear and visible details whether indoors or in direct sunlight.
Note9 can also play High-Resolution Audio. I tested it with Sony MDR-1ABT Hi-Res Audio headphones and I found that the sound quality was impressive with good music details and powerful bass.
And the 6.4-inch display is a vast canvas for using the S Pen stylus to draw or jot down your notes.
Samsung has said that it’s particularly proud of the new S Pen, referring to its development as “evolving from a tool for writing and drawing to putting more power and control in users’ hands”.
Now with Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) support, the new S Pen delivers an entirely new way to use the Note. With just a click on the S Pen’s button, it’s now possible to take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play video, and more.
And Samsung is confident that developers can integrate the S Pen’s new, advanced BLE functionalities into their apps later this year.
This function is very useful indeed and it works depending on the current use of the phone. For example, when you play music, you can press the S Pen button once to play or pause the music or double-press it to skip the track.
When you are viewing photos in Gallery app, you can press the S Pen button to move to the next photo and double-press to go back to the previous photo. This could be handy when you link the display from Note9 to a big screen TV to present a slide show from the Gallery.
When you are using the camera app, you can press once to take picture just as you would if using a shutter button or you can double-press it to switch between the rear and front camera.
The Note9 features dual camera technology for the rear camera and uses intelligent technology to make your pictures perfect.
The main camera comes with advanced noise reduction technology, and a Dual Aperture lens, which adjusts to light just like the human eye so the camera can capture good quality shots no matter the lighting conditions.
The dual cameras come with dual OIS (optical image stabilisation) for making blur-free shots. The rear dual-camera system is made of wide-angle fast-focus Dual Pixel 12 MP camera that comes with f/1.5/f2.4 aperture lens and a 2x telephoto 12MP with f/2.4 aperture lens. When you use the camera in Auto mode, you’ll see a button on the view finder to switch between the wide-angle and telephoto cameras.
The auto mode uses Samsung’s Scene Optimiser technology to get best the results. Samsung says Note9’s camera is its smartest as the Scene Optimiser uses artificial intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as the scene and subject. The AI then automatically identifies the current scene to one of 20 categories and instantly optimises the result based on the category to ensure the most lifelike image with best colours and definition.
Note9’s cameras also have Flaw Detection option that can be selected in the setting. When selected, Note9 will let you know if there is something wrong in the first shot so you can take another shot right away and will not miss the moment. For example, an immediate notification will appear if the image is blurry, the subject blinked, there is a smudge on the lens, or there’s backlight impacting the quality of the image.
Apart from the Auto mode, the rear camera has Food, Panorama, Pro, Live focus, Super slo-mo, AR Emoji, Hyperlapse and Slow motion modes.
The Live focus mode is for making most of the dual camera system to achieve DSLR-like blurred background to make the subject outstanding. In this mode, there will be a slide bar for you to adjust the depth of field to blur the background. Moreover, you can add beauty effect to your subject in this mode to make him or her look more outstanding with bright and smooth skin.
The AR Emoji is fun for creating an emoji of your subject or adding animations, frames, and stickers using augmented reality. The AR Emoji is also available for the front camera for making your own emoji.
The front camera has 8-megapixel resolution with a bright f/1.7 aperture lens. It also has Wide Selfie mode for taking group selfie photos.
During the test, I found that Note9 took beautiful photos with sharp and clean results in most lighting environments. The Live focus mode allowed me to capture beautiful subjects with a professionally blurred background.
The AR Emoji is fun to make. It created 30 emoji in animated GIF files that I could then share via Facebook Messenger and LINE chat apps to impress friends.
Galaxy Note9 features Samsung’s trusted, defence-grade Knox security platform and biometric security options including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning and facial recognition capabilities to keep important information safe. During the test, I used iris scanning technology to easily unlock the phone. The set up of iris scanning was a breeze.
You can also use Note9 with peace of mind without fearing it would accidentally fall into the water or without having to fear heavy downpours while you’re out. The smartphone conforms to IP68 water and dust resistance, meaning it can be under 1.5-metre of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.
Note9 comes with a larger battery of 4,000 mAh capacity compared to 3,300 mAh of its predecessor. With this large battery, you can easily survive all-day use. The battery supports both wired and wireless fast charging – QC2.0 and AFC for wired and WPC and PMA for wireless fast charging.
Note9 comes with Bixby, a personalised, intelligent assistant that allows you to give voice commands to the phone.
And with the launch of Galaxy Note9, Samsung is making it easier to enjoy music with a new long-term partner, Spotify. The partnership makes Spotify easily accessible to seamlessly sync and transfer music, playlists and podcasts across Galaxy Note9.
A nice and useful function is Note9’s capacity to delivers a PC-like experience with optional Samsung DeX. This allows you to work on presentations, edit photos, and watch favourite shows on a large monitor connected to Note9 via Samsung DeX, using HDMI adapter.
When connected to a monitor, Galaxy Note9 can power a virtualised desktop and even serve as a fully functional second screen. Take notes with the S Pen while watching a video, or use Galaxy Note9 as a trackpad, to right-click, drag and drop, and use multiple windows on a monitor. It’s never been easier to be more productive.
Samsung Galaxy Note9 has a suggested retail price of Bt33,900.
>> Network: LTE Cat 18
>> OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
>> CPU: Samsung Exynos 9 octa 9810 (2.7 GHz four cores + 1.7 GHz four cores)
>> Memory: 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
>> Storage: 128GB upgradable with microSD by up to 512GB
>> Display: 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (516ppi)
>> Camera: Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS made of Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS and Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS 2X optical zoom; Front: 8MP AF, F1.7
>> Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM,?Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC
>> Location: GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou
>. Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor
>> Battery: 4,000 mAh; wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC; wireless charging compatible with WPC and PMA
>> Dimensions: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm; S Pen: 5.7 x 4.35 x 106.37mm
>> Weight: 201g; S Pen: 3.1g