After the recalls that plagued the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung delivered a killer device in the Galaxy Note 8. Now that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are poised to be announced at Mobile World Congress on February 25, it’s time to shift our attention to the Galaxy Note 9.The Galaxy Note 8 sold like “hotcakes,” selling over a million units in South Korea alone. Samsung isn’t exactly keen on being outdone (especially by themselves), so expect the Galaxy Note 9 to be even better than its predecessors.

A new rumor suggests the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s fingerprint scanner will probably be on the back, rather than built into the screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is one of the biggest phones Samsung’s ever made, not to mention one of the best, and there’s no doubt that the company will follow it up later in 2018 with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. In fact, we’re already hearing the first rumors about that phone, and they suggest it could be even more futuristic than the iPhone X. You’ll find everything we’ve heard about the Note 9 below, along with our own analysis and a selection of the features and improvements we most want to see.

However the Note 9 looks, there’s a chance that it will be made from a new material, as Samsung has trademarked ‘Metal 12’ – a material that’s both strong and light.And moving from the outside to in, The Korea Herald reports that Samsung might equip the Galaxy Note 9 with an NPU (neural processing unit). That’s essentially an AI chip like Apple and Huawei have begun using in their flagships.It’s unclear what Samsung would use the chip for, but it could potentially speed up certain functions of the phone.There’s also a good chance the Note 9’s iris scanner will get an upgrade, with Samsung reportedly upping the lens from 2MP to 3MP for the Galaxy S9, in which case we’d expect at least that for the Note 9. Apparently this will help it identify users in poor lighting, and it’s also said to be faster than before. And it could also have a new camera. It’s likely to retain the Note 8’s dual-lens camera, but there’s some evidence that the Galaxy S9 could get a variable aperture snapper, meaning it can switch between two different apertures using a single lens, so this feature could also make it to the Note 9. That’s all we’ve heard so far, but there are some things we’re fairly confident the Galaxy Note 9 will have. For one thing, it’s almost certainly going to have a large curved Super AMOLED display, an S Pen stylus and at least 6GB of RAM, since the Note 8 does.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date and price

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was announced on August 23 and released in September, while the short-lived Samsung Galaxy Note 7 followed a similar schedule the previous year.So there’s a good chance that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be announced in late August 2018, before hitting stores possibly in mid to late September. However, according to The Investor, some market watchers believe it could be unveiled in early to mid August instead. And the same site claims that Samsung has code named the phone ‘Crown’ and plans to have a prototype of it ready during the first quarter of 2018. Whenever it does arrive it’s sure to be expensive. The Galaxy Note 8 retails for $929 / £869 / AU$1,499 and we can’t see Samsung lowering the price for the Note 9, especially now Apple has pushed smartphone prices even higher with its iPhone X. For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with the Note 9’s predecessor.

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Rumored Spec Sheet

As you can see, this rumored spec sheet isn’t quite filled out yet, but we’ll keep updating this list as we find more. We’re highly confident that the Note 8 will ship with Android Oreo (either 8.0 or 8.1), and we’re all but certain about the processors it will use in certain regions.

  • OS Version: Android Oreo
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US models) or Exynos 9810 (overseas)
  • RAM: Unknown
  • Battery: Unknown
  • Storage: Unknown
  • Display Type: Unknown
  • Screen Size: Unknown
  • Resolution: Unknown
  • Dimensions: Unknown
  • Rear Camera Resolution: Unknown
  • Front Camera Resolution: Unknown
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Rear-mounted
  • Connections: Unknown
  • Dual SIM: Unknown
  • Micro SD slot: Unknown

Processor: Snapdragon 845 & Exynos 9810

While not leaked yet, we’re very confident in this SoC arrangement. The latest Samsung Galaxy Note flagships almost always use the same processors as their older brothers, the Galaxy S series — and it’s been all but confirmed by BGR that the S9 will be rocking a Snapdragon 845 in the United States. As is tradition, the Exynos model will likely be reserved for non-US Note 9s. This is due to Qualcomm’s patents on CDMA systems that are only used by Verizon and Sprint — in other words, we get the lesser processor (even on AT&T and T-Mobile, who don’t use CDMA) just so all Note 9 models will have the same performance on all carriers in the US.

Fingerprint Scanner: Rear Mounted

Initially, it seemed as if Samsung would integrate a front mounted fingerprint sensor that lived underneath the screen for the Galaxy Note 9, but that idea was likely shelved — as the tech isn’t quite there yet. Now, reports are emerging that it will likely sport a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, like the Galaxy S9 will.

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Samsung is usually very methodical regarding their phone launches. The new Galaxy Note model is usually announced in August and released in September, ready to battle Apple’s offerings. While no details have been confirmed or even rumored, it’d be surprising if Samsung deviates from their system here. The Note 8 debuted at $929, and the Galaxy Note 9 likely won’t be much cheaper than that. With the iPhone X clocking in at $1,000, that’s probably the upper bound for the Galaxy Note 9’s pricing.

What we want to see

There are only a few Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumors so far, but we have a good idea of the sorts of things we want to see from it, such as the following.

An in-screen scanner

This has been rumored and it would be a great headline feature for the phone. Having the scanner on the back is awkward, but building it into the screen would both be convenient and the sort of high-tech, futuristic thing that could see the Galaxy Note 9 stand out among other handsets.

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We’re pretty sure Samsung is working on it, it’s just a question of whether it’s ready in time for the Note 9’s 2018 launch.

Room-filling sound

There are plenty of great things about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but its speakers aren’t among them. It has just a single bottom-firing speaker, so for the Note 9 we want at least two speakers, and ideally for them to be positioned on the front of the phone, for sound that travels towards you when you’re looking at the screen. Given how large the Note 9 is likely to be though, it could maybe even manage four speakers, for truly big sound.

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Better Bixby

Bixby is one of the key new features of this year’s crop of Samsung flagships, but in its current form it leaves something to be desired, especially when it comes to understanding what you’re saying. By the time of the Note 8’s launch we want it to be a true Google Assistant and Siri rival. But however good it ends up being we also want to be able to remap the inevitable Bixby button, because not everyone is going to want to use it.

Two-day battery life

Samsung’s been conservative with the size of the battery in the Galaxy Note 8, understandably given what happened with the Note 7, but it’s meant that while the Note 8 should last you a day you’ll probably be plugging it in at night.And it doesn’t charge as fast as earlier fast charging Samsung phones either. That may have been a safety precaution as well, but if Samsung can find a way to deliver two-day life and truly fast charging with the Note 9, without risking an inferno, we’d be very happy.

Improved face scanning

Although the iPhone X’s Face ID is perhaps its headline feature, it’s not the first phone to sport face scanning. Nor is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but it does have it, it’s just not very secure, to the point where a still image can fool it. So for the Galaxy Note 9 we want face scanning to return, but only if it’s a lot better. If it can prove more reliable than even Face ID then Samsung could be on to a real winner.

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A similar price

Given that it’s likely to be one of the most high-tech phones of 2018 we don’t really expect Samsung to launch the Galaxy Note 9 at a lower price than the $929 / £869 / AU$1,499 Samsung Galaxy Note 8. But if it can keep it around the same that would be something, and would see it undercut Apple’s top-end phones, given that the new iPhone X starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,579.

Even less bezel

The front of the Galaxy Note 8 is almost all screen, but there’s still a sliver of bezel at the top and bottom. We’d like to see Samsung reduce or remove that for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, perhaps along the lines of the Essential Phone or the iPhone X. Doing so would allow what’s always going to be a very big phone to be a bit more manageable, without having to shrink the screen.

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