Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8: What's the rumoured difference? | Apps & Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be launched on 9 August at an event in New York and that’s seen a range of leaks and rumours letting us know what to expect come launch day.

But how will the new model compare to the Galaxy Note 8 that it replaces? We’ve crunched through the rumours to draw out a comparison so you can see what the difference will be. 

  • Similar design expected
  • Note 9 might be smaller
  • Rearranged camera and fingerprint sensor
  • Exciting new colours for Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 measures 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm and weighs 195g. There’s been no specific leak about the Note 9 measurements, but it has been suggested that it will be 2mm shorter. That’s likely to come from Samsung shrinking the top and bottom bezels, something that’s apparent on leaked glass panels from the front of the phone. It might also be a little heavier.

Otherwise, the construction and design of the new phone looks very much the same. As we found with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9, it’s not a huge year of change for Samsung, so we’d expect the Note 9 to look like the Note 8. 

There will be a change on the rear, however, with a reorganisation of the cameras and fingerprint scanner, to make the scanner separate and sit below the cameras. Apart from that the Note 9 is expected to bring some new colours with a brown model reported. 

Overall, the rumours suggest it’s very much the same design as the Note 8.

  • No change in display size suggested
  • Same display resolution and aspect

The same applies to the display too. We’re not expected a change from the Infinity Display on the Note 8, with curved edges to either side. We’re also expecting Samsung to stick to Super AMOLED, with the changes in the display likely only to improve performance of the panel – as was the case with the Galaxy S9.

Rumours are suggesting a 6.3-inch panel with a 2960 x 1440 pixel resolution, the same as the Note 8 – so no real change there. As we said with design, it doesn’t look like a huge change for the new Note in 2018. 

If anything, the bezels might be reduced, but expect the same great display experience on the Note 

  • Upgraded Qualcomm and Exynos versions
  • Note 9 battery rumoured at 4000mAh

Samsung puts out two versions of most of the flagship devices it releases. There’s a version that usually sits on the latest Qualcomm hardware and one that uses Samsung’s own Exynos. In the UK we tend to get the Exynos version. 

The Note 8 had the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895 with 6GB of RAM. In 2018, we’re looking at the Snapdragon 845 and the Exynos 9810 and we’d expect 6GB of RAM again. 

This is an incremental step forward and as we’ve seen from devices we’ve used in 2018, this new hardware makes for a more powerful phone; it will be better at handling your games and media, smoother in scrolling and faster in switching apps, although it’s not a huge jump forward in power. 

What might be a huge jump is the battery life. The Galaxy Note 9 is said to have a 4000mAh battery, making it one of the largest out there. We’ve heard this rumour a couple of times. Considering the Note 8 only has a 3300mAh battery, this could a considerable change.

  • Note 9 S Pen gets Bluetooth

The S Pen makes the Note and with the Galaxy S9+ being close in size, it’s the S Pen’s functions that now really set these phone apart. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen has passed through the FCC, declaring that it is now Bluetooth equipped. 

Rumours suggest that this Bluetooth function will allow the S Pen to do more than the current model – and there’s the suggestion that you’ll get some remote controls of the phone, although it’s not clear exactly what those might be. 

Some have suggested that it will let you do things like progress through slideshows, control playback of music or use it as a remote camera shutter. 

The Note 8’s S Pen is already fabulous, but works on a passive system, drawing power from the display of the device to enable interactions. With Bluetooth on the new S Pen, it might mean it needs it own battery – but this is still a little vague. Certainly, Samsung is pushing the S Pen in its teasing of the Note 9 launch, so it’s sure to get a lot of attention. 

  • Note 9 to add dual aperture camera

While we’ve seen design leaks showing a rearrangement of the camera on the rear of the Note 9, little has been said of what changes might come to it. The Note 8 is (pardon the pun) notable for adding the dual camera system with a zoom lens. 

The system was evolved on the Galaxy S9+, with the main camera getting a dual aperture system to boost low light performance. It’s expected that the Note 9 will get the dual aperture system too, boosting the low light performance over the Note 8. 

We expect the megapixels to remain the same. As Samsung (and others are discovering) it’s less about megapixel and more about what you do with them. Samsung has said that people buy the Note for the camera, so we’re expecting big improvements. 

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9: £TBC
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8: £869

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was one of the most expensive phones when it launched, then trumped by the Apple iPhone X. Samsung kept the prices high with the Galaxy S9+ and the Note 8 still sits at £869, although there are some good deals to be had. 

There’s no word on the price of the Note 9, but some are saying that it might be rolling out at around £999/$999. That would put it on a par with the iPhone X and that would really need the Note 9 to be at the top of its game – better than the Huawei P20 Pro, better than the Galaxy S9+, better than everything.

We know it’s going to be announced on 9 August and we would expect it to go on sale a couple of weeks later.

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