SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK // SAMSUNG - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

The chances are that most peo­ple will not be in the mar­ket for the new Sam­sung Note 9, it’s ex­pen­sive and the new model look no dif­fer­ent than the pre­vi­ous model.

But for those who ap­pre­ci­ate raw tech­nol­ogy and own­ing the best de­vices money can buy the new Sam­sung Note 9 should be high on your shop­ping list when it comes to smart­phones, just im­age be­ing able to carry a full blown PC in your pocket and within sec­onds be able to con­trol a Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tion us­ing the new up­graded pen as the de­vice to con­trol your slide pre­sen­ta­tion.

You can take notes in the meet­ing by sim­ply writ­ing on the screen.

While the new de­vice is all about more it’s also about per­for­mance and the fact that Sam­sung who make the bulk of their own com­po­nents are now able to pack the lat­est in dis­play pro­ces­sor and bat­tery tech­nol­ogy into a de­vice that weighs just 201 gram up from 195g of the pre­vi­ous model.

What you are buy­ing is the skills of some of the best mi­cro tech­nol­ogy en­gi­neers in the world, peo­ple who are ob­sessed with be­ing able to de­liver the next gen­er­a­tion of a prod­uct that they de­signed and thought was cut­ting edge the last time round.

All you need to ob­serve to see the dra­matic im­prove­ments that Sam­sung de­liv­ers in a de­vice such as the Note 9 is the all new S Pen.

It’s now Blue­tooth-en­abled, al­low­ing the but­ton to be used for other jobs, such as mu­sic play­back, launch­ing the cam­era or con­trol­ling a long-range self-timer.

Built into this tiny 3.1 gram pen is the ca­pa­bil­ity to launch an app: The cam­era is se­lected by de­fault, but from within the S Pen re­mote set­tings, you can se­lect any app that you want to launch from the S Pen but­ton with a quick press-and-hold ac­tion.

Take pho­tos: Once you launch the cam­era, you can press the S Pen but­ton again to cap­ture a photo. If you press the but­ton twice, you can seam­lessly move be­tween the phone’s front and rear cam­eras.

View pho­tos: When the gallery is open, you can use sin­gle or dou­ble press on the S Pen to tog­gle be­tween the im­age or pre­vi­ous im­age.

Record your voice: You can use the S Pen to record/pause a voice record­ing when the voice recorder app open.

Con­trol your mu­sic: You can play, pause, or skip mu­sic with but­ton presses on the S Pen. It’s un­clear if this sup­ports third-party apps.

Con­trol YouTube: If you’re watch­ing a YouTube video, you can use S Pen but­ton to play, pause, or skip videos.

The Note 9 starts at $1,499 and goes up to an eye-wa­ter­ing $1,755 while Sam­sung is dis­count­ing this model out by $300 I am as­sured that the big ticket price will re­turn soon. Sam­sung is of­fer­ing twice as much stor­age as the iPhone X at each price point.

It’s eas­ily the most ex­pen­sive Sam­sung smart­phone ever sold and the most ex­pen­sive An­droid phone cur­rently on sale in Aus­tralia.

Both JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys are of­fer­ing deals on this de­vice.

In the hand the de­vice is easy to man­age de­spite the larger

6.5” AMOLED dis­play screen this is larger than the pre­vi­ous 6.3” dis­play screen on the Note 8.

Sam­sung has stuck with the same pre­mium, glass de­sign with the curved, al­most bezel-free In­fin­ity Dis­play dom­i­nat­ing the front and the dif­fer­ence is not no­tice­able though the bright­ness of the screen is, and this is due to im­proved pro­cess­ing and bet­ter bat­tery man­age­ment which is con­trolled by new ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nol­ogy.

On the back the dual cam­era is aligned hor­i­zon­tally as it is on the S9+ the big­gest im­prove­ment is the fin­ger­print sen­sor that now sits un­der the cam­era mount­ing mak­ing it ex­tremely easy to ac­cess. The glass is not as curved as on the Gal­axy S9, and it has squarer cor­ners, which gives the Note 9 a larger foot­print than Sam­sung’s other phones.

You also get larger stor­age ca­pa­bil­ity and longer bat­tery life from the all-new 4,000mAh bat­tery with wired and wire­less fast charg­ing.

the Note 9’s bat­tery is the big­gest ever from Sam­sung and the largest bat­tery you can get in a Sam­sung phone.

That’s 500mAh big­ger than the bat­tery in the S9 Plus and a full 700mAh larger than the one in last year’s Note 8.

It’s also big­ger than the bat­tery in Google’s Pixel 2 XL, LG’s V35, HTC’s U12 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus, or ba­si­cally any other phone that be­ing of­fered by car­ri­ers and re­tail­ers in Aus­tralia.

While I got more bat­tery life with this de­vice than the Note 8 I still strug­gled on a day that started at 5.30am with a flight to Mel­bourne, map­ping my way around town and a con­sid­er­able amount of talk time. The up­side this is the big­gest and best bat­tery in town and is one key rea­son to buy this de­vice.

Un­der the bonnet is a Snap­dragon 845 pro­ces­sor with 6/8GB RAM 128 or 512GB stor­age with mi­croSD sup­port. Dual 12-megapixel rear cam­era with OIS and switch­able aper­ture 8-megapixel front cam­era with aut­o­fo­cus

Gi­ga­bit LTE Cat. 18

Iris, fa­cial, and fin­ger­print bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion

An­droid 8.1 Oreo

The Note 9 sup­ports both fast wired and fast wire­less charg­ing, though I would have liked to see Sam­sung im­prove the wired charg­ing speeds for the Note 9, but I don’t think most peo­ple will have an is­sue with how fast you can recharge the bat­tery on any Sam­sung smart­phone.

For me a big plus with this de­vice is the cam­era and the fact you can shoot an im­age us­ing the S Pen. The rear cam­era is a dual 12-megapixel sys­tem, with a widean­gle lens and a tele­photo lens for zoom­ing in closer on your sub­ject.

The front cam­era has 8 megapix­els of res­o­lu­tion and images are sharp and vi­brant, for those who of­ten shoot images in low life en­vi­ron­ments this is a de­vice you can rely on to de­liver the best images of any smart­phone.

Be­cause of the im­proved pro­cess­ing speeds and up­graded soft­ware aut­o­fo­cus is light­ning fast, you can also set up var­i­ous ef­fects and video shoot­ing.

Among the new cam­era fea­tures is auto scene-de­tect­ing pow­ered by im­proved AI tech­nol­ogy which very quickly tries to iden­tify what that ob­ject is and op­ti­mize the cam­era set­tings for it.

Sam­sung says the cam­era can rec­og­nize 20 dif­fer­ent types of scenes, in­clud­ing food, por­traits, pets, land­scapes, beaches, sun­rises and sun­sets, and more.

You also get no­ti­fi­ca­tion if the last pic­ture you took might be blurry or the per­son in it blinked, so you can take it again.

The new Note 9 is a Com­puter in

your pocket with new Sam­sung DEX fea­tures now built into the de­vice. In the past you needed a sep­a­rate DEX de­vice to dock the Note 8 be­fore plug­ging it into a screen now all you need is a USB-C to HDMI adapter. When you plug in the ca­bles you get a DEX prompt you can then use the Note 9 as a track­pad when it’s plugged in to a larger screen.

It’s al­most like, a ver­sion of the Sam­sung Flip with users hav­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity to draw and write on the larger screen with the Note 9.

I am not a fan of the pad but there is an easy so­lu­tion to con­vert this de­vice into a per­fect com­puter in the pocket de­vice. Sim­ple Blue­tooth con­nect a key­board and mouse from the likes of Log­itech and you sud­denly get a whole head of ad­di­tional ca­pa­bil­ity in­clud­ing ac­cess to the

While the Note 9 is pow­ered by An­droid 8.1 Oreo, there’s no An­droid 9 Pie de­spite it pub­licly be­ing re­leased for Google’s phones ear­lier this month. This is an ideal up­grade es­pe­cially for peo­ple who are buy­ing this de­vice for ac­cess to rich con­tent in­for­ma­tion.

While Okay Google works per­fectly Sam­sung is still per­sist­ing with their pro­pri­etary Bixby voice ac­ti­va­tion tech­nol­ogy.

This is a to­tally re­vamped ver­sion of Bixby, with an ad­justed user in­ter­face. To get users in­ter­ested Sam­sung has worked on richer and deeper in­te­gra­tion with third party apps, these are the same apps you get via Google Voice or Ama­zon Alexa.

Sev­eral tests I have done us­ing Bixby have failed and I sus­pect that this is pre-re­lease Bixby soft­ware.

At the same time Sam­sung are go­ing to strug­gle to get past Ama­zon Alexa and Google Voice es­pe­cially as Voice is tech­nol­ogy is go­ing to be preva­lent in most de­vices that can be con­trolled via an app and for Sam­sung not to build Alexa or Google Voice into de­vices is a high risk strat­egy that could see peo­ple de­cid­ing to not buy a wash­ing ma­chine or re­frig­er­a­tor be­cause of the lack of Alexa or Google Voice.

The Note 9 has a but­ton on the left side that is ded­i­cated to launch­ing Bixby and can’t be re­pro­grammed to some­thing more use­ful.


With the ex­cep­tion of Bixby this de­vices de­liv­ers the best of ev­ery­thing it is the prod­uct of tech­nol­ogy crafts­men. It also built from the very best com­po­nents from the dis­play to the pro­ces­sor to the ma­te­ri­als wrapped around the chipsets that power this beast.

Like any­thing made by crafts­men you have to pay a pre­mium price and the Sam­sung Note 9 is worth ev­ery cent you will spend.

This is not some cheap prod­uct hand built by ro­bots this is the bench­mark for all smart­phones in­clud­ing Ap­ple, who have no op­tion but to buy parts from Sam­sung if they are to play in the same league as the Note 9.

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