Technology, Top News

Galaxy Note 9 release date, specs and price: Leak points to under-screen fingerprint sensor and Bixby 2.0

IF ONLINE SPECULATION is to be believed, Samsung could be planning an early launch for the Galaxy Note 9, shunning its traditional IFA unveiling in August.

That’s good news for fans of big-screened mobes, as the Note 9 is expected to pack a sizable 6.38in display, bigger than the Note 8’s 6.32in offering. It could also be the first Sammy flagship to tout an in-screen fingerprint scanner, according to some reports, while others have claimed that the technology won’t be ready for the handset’s rumoured July unveiling. 

We’ve rounded up everything we know about Samsung’s so-called Galaxy Note 9 so far below. 

Release date
Last year’s Galaxy Note 8 made its official debut on 23 August, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Galaxy Note 9 followed a similar schedule.

However, The Investor has reported (below) that Samsung’s upcoming big-screened flagship could launch in July this year, both in a bid to make up for the “less-than-stellar” performance of the Galaxy S9 and to beat Apple’s iPhone X2 to market. 

Price
There’s no word yet as to how much Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 will cost when it goes on sale. However, if anything like its predecessor, expect pricing to start at £869 SIM-free.

Latest news
9/5/18: 
Reliable tipster Ice Universe, via SlashGear, has detailed seven key features that likely will be coming to Samsung’s Note 9, including a souped-up camera, a heftier 3,850mAh battery, a new S-Pen stylus and an under-screen fingerprint sensor – despite recent speculation that next year’s Galaxy S10 would be the first Samsung smartphone to come equipped with this feature.

He also claims that an upgraded version of Bixby will debut on the Note 9 in the form of “Bixby 2.0”, alongside a new version of Samsung’s custom Android UI dubbed ‘Crown UX’. Finally, Ice Universe claims that the Galaxy Note 9 will be available in a new ‘Teddy Brown’ colour option, because, er, who doesn’t want a brown-coloured smartphone. 

30/4/18: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has reportedly been certified China Ministry of Industry and Information technology (CMIIT), adding further weight to the rumours that the upcoming flagship will make an early appearance this year. The certification doesn’t confirm much but does reveal two variants of the phone SM-N9600 and SM-N9608 – no doubt a sign that one will pack a Samsung Exynos chip, and the other a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. 

11/4/18: According to the latest online murmurs, courtesy of Twitter tipster Ice Universe, the Galaxy Note 9 will come with a 6.4in screen, bigger than the 6.32in screen found on last year’s flagship phablet. This sized-up screen will provide extra space for a beefier battery too, with Samsung set to stuff the Galaxy Note 9 with a 4,000mAh battery. Given that the Note 8, with its 3,330mAh battery, was able to breeze through an entire day of usage, the Note 9 could offer users two days of battery life.

6/4/18: Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy Note 9 earlier than usual in a bid to “outshine” Apple’s iPhone X2.

So says a report out of Korea, which claims that the Note 9 will be released in July or August, with Samsung Display set to start producing the handset’s OLED panel this month – two months earlier than usual. 

As well as looking to beat Apple’s next-generation iPhone(s) to market, this early launch comes as Samsung looks to “make up for the less-than-stellar performance of the S9”.

The Investor’s report also backs up earlier rumours that the Note 9’s screen will measure in at 6.38in, bigger than the Note 8’s 6.32in display, and notes that the handset won’t be Samsung’s first smartphone to feature a screen-embedded fingerprint sensor. 

23/3/18: New reports claim that Samsung is ‘likely’ to adopt an in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy Note 9, despite early rumours to the contrary. 

Industry sources told the Korea Herald that Samsung Display has “prepared three of four solutions” for Samsung Electronics to embed a fingerprint sensor inside the Note 9’s display, adding that the firm is “seriously considering” one of the solutions. 

“The delay in deciding on the final concept for the Note 9 is due to the work in adopting the in-display fingerprint sensor,” the source added. “A final decision on adoption of the technology will be made by this month.”

Separately, SamMobile has hinted that the Galaxy Note 9 could launch sooner than expected, having received confirmation that Samsung has commenced development of the smartphone’s software, and has started testing two builds – N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5. 

9/3/18: Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has debunked speculation that the Galaxy Note 9 will feature a screen-embedded fingerprint scanner.

Adding weight to reports out of Korea last month, Kuo has said, via 9to5Google, that Samsung won’t have in-screen fingerprint tech ready for the Galaxy Note 9 because of “technical difficulties”.

He says the feature currently suffers from issues with screen protectors and various different environments affecting the success rate of the under-display fingerprint reader.

This is a U-turn from Kuo, who released a report last August stating that while he expected the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to ship a traditional fingerprint sensor, Samsung likely would incorporate the in-display option into the Note 9.

14/2/18: The Galaxy Note 9 won’t be the first Samsung smartphone to pack an in-screen fingerprint scanner, according to reports.

Patents revealed earlier this week confirmed that Samsung is developing in-screen, or optical, fingerprint scanner. As we already know that the Galaxy S9 will feature a standard scanner on its rear, many speculated that the Note 9 would be the first to feature the optical reader. 

However, according to sources with knowledge of the supply chain, via The Bell, the Note 9’s fingerprint scanner will be in the same place as that on the Note 8, with Samsung still said to be developing an in-screen solution.  

6/11/17: Samsung is reportedly gearing up to start a pilot production run of the Galaxy Note 9 in the first quarter of 2018.

So says Korean news outlet The Bell (via The Investor), which claims that Samsung could start manufacturing the smartphone, codenamed ‘Crown’, in just two months’ time. 

An official from a smartphone parts supplier allegedly told the newspaper: “We will start providing components for a pilot production [of the Galaxy Note 9] in the first quarter next year.”

The Bell doesn’t have much else to say on the matter but does speculate as to what the ‘Crown’ codename alludes to. It expects it to be a sign of Samsung’s goal of tightening its grip on the large-sized smartphone sector, rather than a hint that it’ll come with pointy corners and be exclusive to Netflix. 

This year’s Galaxy Note 8 was codenamed ‘Baikal’ after one of Russia’s biggest lakes, hinting at the smartphone’s large 6.3in display, apparently.

The report notes that, while a pilot production run is likely to take place early next year, the Galaxy Note 9 likely will make its official debut in early to mid-August next year.

Beyond its codename, we don’t know much about what Samsung’s next big-screened flagship has in store.

However, Samsung itself has hinted that the Galaxy Note 9 could be its first ‘foldable’ smartphone. Dongjin Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile business, told reporters earlier this year that the company hopes to release its first flexible smartphone next year under its flagship Galaxy Note line.

However, Koh warned that there are still hurdles to overcome and release would be pushed back if they’re not resolved.

Speculation also claims that the Note 9 could feature a screen-embedded fingerprint sensor, while others claim that Samsung is gearing up to ditch the scanner in favour of an iPhone X-esque face recognition system. 

There’s also talk that the Galaxy Note 8, like the upcoming Galaxy S9, will pack Qualcomm’s as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood. µ

Source : Inquirer

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