Galaxy Note 9 release date, specs and price: Samsung ‘delays launch’ due to last-minute design change

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
1/6/18: The Galaxy Note 9 has reportedly been delayed after Samsung decided to make some last-minute design changes. The Bell reports that, after fondling devices from competitors Oppo and Xiaomi, Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong decided he wanted to reduce the thickness of the Note 9 by reducing the display cover glass by 0.5mm. This, according to the report, has seen the launch of the device pushed back from late-July to early-August.

“It is the first time Samsung has adjusted the specification two or three months before launch,” an official from the component industry told the Korean newspaper.

30/5/18: Just weeks after the Snapdragon 845-powered Note 9 variant was benchmarked, the UK-bound Exynos 9810 version has shown up on Geekbench. The listing confirms that the incoming Galaxy Note 9, as expected, will pair Samsung’s Exynos chipset with 6GB RAM and Android 8.1, just like the Snapdragon version. However, with single-core and multi-core scores of 2737 and 9046, the Exynos model scored slightly better results than the Snapdragon model, which earned a single-core score of 2411 and a multi-core score of 8712.

29/5/18: Samsung will equip at least one variation of the Galaxy Note 9 with a hefty 8GB RAM and 512GB internal storage, according to Twitter tipster Ice Universe, trumping the Galaxy S9 Plus that tops out at 6GB RAM and 256GB storage. However, the source notes that certain markets may see that configuration if they’re “lucky”, suggesting that the specs aren’t yet set in stone.

18/5/18: Samsung has confirmed that its next flagship smartphone will feature an upgraded version of its AI platform, Bixby 2.0. Gray G Lee, head of the AI Center under Samsung Research, told the Korea Herald that the firm’s upcoming flagship – no doubt the Galaxy Note 9 – will be the first to feature Bixby 2.0, which will offer enhanced natural language processes, improved noise resistance capability and quicker response times.

“Samsung’s AI vision has five directions: user centric, always learning, always there, always helpful and always safe,” Lee said.

17/5/18: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 will likely debut in late-July before it goes on sale in August, according to the Korea Herald. Citing local part suppliers, the report claims that Samsung began mass production of the smartphone’s 6.38in display in April, two months earlier than usual.

While it’s unclear why the launch has been pushed forward, sources told the newspaper that it could be because Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series phones are selling “much poorer than expected”. However, others have claimed the firm is looking to beat Apple’s next-generation iPhones to market, with the so-called iPhone X2 lineup set to be unveiled in September.

The report goes on to corroborate earlier rumours that Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will be unveiled at CES in January, with the firm’s first foldable smartphone – the so-called Galaxy X – to make its debut at MWC the following month.

11/5/18: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 isn’t expected to debut anytime soon, but it appears the company is already testing the device after what’s believed to be the US-bound Snapdragon model was benchmarked on Geekbench. The handset, which has the model number SM-N960U, is almost certainly the Galaxy Note 9, as last year’s Note 8 featured the model number SM-N950U.

The Geekbench listing reveals that, as expected, the Note 9 will feature a Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 7GB RAM. It also confirms that the handset will ship running Google’s Android 8.1 Oreo OS. As far as benchmark results go, the supposed Galaxy Note 9 earned a single-core score of 2411 and a multi-core score of 8712.

10/5/18: A newly-surfaced leaked render of the Galaxy Note 9 (above), courtesy once again of Twitter tipster Ice Universe, suggests that the handset will offer few design changes compared to its Note 8 predecessor. Although it appears to sport slightly slimmer bezels than before, the Note 9 render appears to debunk earlier speculation that the handset will feature an under-display fingerprint scanner, while the supposedly-new S Pen stylus looks identical to that which shipped with last year’s Note 8.

“Samsung was lazy in 2018 and I concluded that Note9 will not change much. This is just a small adjustment to Note8,” Ice Universe notes.

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.

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