With sales of the Galaxy S9 disappointing the execs at Samsung, the company is rumoured to be bringing forward the release of the Galaxy Note 9. So, with the Galaxy Note9 expected in August this year, the rumours of new features are starting to fly.
#1 Bixby 2.0
With the artificial intelligence and digital assistant battle heating up, Samsung has been beefing up the capability of their digital manservant Bixby. Samsung’s head of Samsung Research AI Center Head Gray G Lee told the Korea herald “Samsung’s AI vision has five directions: user centric, always learning, always there, always helpful and always safe”.
When Bixby first launched, it was competing with Siri and, to a lesser degree, Cortana. But it’s now facing off against Alexa and Google Assistant. Amazon and Google’s advantage is that they have home appliances that complement mobile apps. I know Siri is there as well with the HomePod but it doesn’t look like too many people are buying those just yet.
Amazon and Google are also playing in the smart home business. If Samsung wants Bixby to spread its footprint, then it will need to expand beyond the smartphone and tablet business in a big way.
#2 The release date
The August release date is technically a rumour as there’s no offical annoucement. But the last two Galaxy Note devices were released on August 23rd, 2017 and August 2nd, 2016. So an August release seems like a safe bet.
#3 Processor, memory, storage and battery update
This is almost a certainty. The Galaxy Note9 will see a processor bump to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 but the good news is a larger battery could accompany the speed boost. The current Note has a 3350mAh battery. The expectation is we could see that boosted to either 3500 mAh or event 4000 mAh.
Add in 6GB of RAM and the latest version of Android and, under the covers, the Note9 looks a whole lot like the Galaxy S9+.
New reports, including some leaked footage, have emerged suggesting the 512GB storage option is likely and the amount of memory on offer will move up from 6GB to 8GB. That should make things a little faster again, assuming the processor bump is also happening. Benchmark results, preportedly leaked from Geekbench show a serious performance bump.
new benchmark and its OVER 9000 pic.twitter.com/hJA4bvpA4g
— Ibrahim Jaber (@ibrahim_jaber20) May 26, 2018
If the 512GB model happens then I suspect the 64GB model will be dropped with 128GB becoming the new entry level.
#4 Fingerprint reader
We’ve been hearing stories about Samsung developing a fingerprint reader that is on the display (FOD). Some folks were hopeful that the FOD would appear in the Galaxy S9 smartphone which was released earlier this year but when it didn’t appear there, attention shifted to the Galaxy Note9.
While some folks are speculating that the FOD will debut on the Note 9, I think Samsung will hold that feature back for their flagship Galaxy S10, which we can expect to be announced at Mobile World Congress next March.
The Galaxy Note 8 has a street price of around $1400 with 64GB of storage. TechRadar suggests we’ll see the Galaxy Note 9 debut with a similar price which seems reasonable – particularly if the entry-level unit ups the storage to 128GB.
#6 Updated body
A video has emerged of a new screen protector that suggests some subtle changes to the shape and size of the Note9 from it’s predecessor.
While the chnages aren’t massive, external changes usually point to internal ones so rumours of a slightly larger body gel with the larger battery.