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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8: What's changed in a year?

10 August 2018 5


Finally, the wait is over as the South Korean giant Samsung just wrapped off the cover from their latest premium flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 9. The device was in rumors and leaks from the past few weeks and undoubtedly it was one of the most awaited flagship smartphones of this year. Thanks to continuous leaks and rumors most of the details regarding the Galaxy Note 9 were already leaked that's why there weren't many surprises at the event.

Being the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung, the device is packed with top-tier hardware, a number of exciting and many innovative features to attract customers. Like always whenever a new smartphone is announced everyone is keen to know the key features it is bringing on board as opposed to its predecessor and other smartphones of the same league. We always compare new smartphones to know the real differences and similarities.

The Galaxy Note 9 is here as the successor of Galaxy Note 8. For sure everyone is keen to know how the latest Galaxy Note is different from its predecessor. Despite the fact, the Galaxy Note 8 is a year old smartphone but still, it is superior to most of the latest devices. Today we will find out what kind of improvements new Galaxy Note 9 is bringing over the predecessor?

Our comparison will certainly help out buyers to easily decide which Galaxy Note is better in what aspects. Without any further delay, let's start with the design of both the devices.

76.4 x 161.9 x 8.8 mm
6.4 inches - 2960x1440 px
74.8 x 162.5 x 8.6 mm
6.3 inches - 2960x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Design

As expected the design is certainly one aspect which isn't much changed from last year. The front-facing design of Galaxy Note 9 isn't changed at all as it features thin bezels on top and bottom of the display like its predecessor. The Full view display is gently curved from the edges.

The chassis on both the devices is made up of metal with glass covering the rear and front-facing side. Both the device's glass is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The first visual differences on the rear side are the placement of the fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy Note 8 has fingerprint scanner right next to the dual cameras whereas the Galaxy Note 9's scanner is below the cameras. The new position is certainly more feasible to use as opposed to an awkward position on Galaxy Note 8.

The Galaxy Note 9 measurements are 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weigh 201g. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 8 dimensions are 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm and weigh 195g. This means the Galaxy Note 9 is slightly less tall but it is wider, thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Note 8.

Both the devices are IP68 certified which means both can resist for 30 minutes under up to 1.5 meters deep water. For connectivity, both have USB-C ports and the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

Display

In this display department, Samsung brought a minor change, though it is not quite prominent still the Galaxy Note 9 is the largest phablet from Samsung so far. Samsung Galaxy Note-lineup is a pioneer in bringing giant displays, same is the case with these two devices.

The Galaxy Note 9 display is of 6.4-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolutions of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with a 6.3-inches display panel with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. Both have Super AMOLED display panels. The Galaxy Note 9 display pixels density is 516 pixels-per-inch whereas the Galaxy Note 8 pixels density is slightly better at 521 pixels-per-inch. The minor difference is on paper only because the human eye can't differentiate between the two devices pixels density.

No matter which smartphone you opt both have excellent displays.

Software


As OS the Galaxy Note 9 is pre-installed with the Android Oreo 8.1 with Samsung's custom Grace UI layer over it. The Galaxy Note 8 was announced with Android Nougat 7.1, however, it was updated to Android Oreo 8.0 in the first half of this year. Overall UI experience on both the devices isn't different from each other. The Galaxy Note 9 has an advantage as it will receive updates for one more year than Galaxy Note 8.

Both the devices have Bixby AI Assistant on board to enhance the user's experience. Another new improvement is brought to the DeX feature. Last year Samsung introduced dock to utilize the Dex feature, however, the Galaxy Note 9 brings this feature with an HDMI adaptor only.

Hardware


As far as hardware is a concern the Galaxy Note 9 has an advantage of being the latest. The US-bound variant is running on the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset whereas the rest of the world will get the Exynos 9810 powered variant. Both the are the best top-tier chipsets on the market.

Last year the Galaxy Note 8 was announced with Exynos 8895 for the global variant whereas the US variant has the Snapdragon 835 chipset. Though these SoCs are not amongst the best anymore, still they fall in the premium category.

The Galaxy Note 8 base variant has 6GB RAM with 64GB storage whereas the top-tier model has the same RAM with 128GB storage. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 9's base variant has 6GB RAM with 128GB storage whereas the top of the line model has 8GB RAM with 512GB storage.

Both the devices support memory expansion via MicroSD card. The Galaxy Note 9 is the first smartphone from Samsung which supports 512GB MicroSD card. So you can expand the Galaxy Note 9's storage up to 1TB.

Specs Galaxy Note 8 Galaxy Note 9
Display 6.3-inches 6.4-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895 Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM 6GB 6,8GB
Storage 64,128GB Expandable via MicroSD 128, 512GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear cameras Dual 12MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP
Battery 3,300mAh 4,000mAh
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes Yes
IP68 Yes Yes
OS Android Nougat Android Oreo

S Pen changes

One of the major improvement to the latest Galaxy Note 9 is indeed its S Pen with Bluetooth connectivity. In terms of display and hardware specs, the Galaxy S9+ isn't much different from the Galaxy Note 9, the S-Pen is indeed the key deciding aspect between the two devices. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity the S-Pen is now capable to remote control several features of the Galaxy Note 9.

You can use Note 9's S-Pen to control playback music, control camera shutter, moving slides and much more. The S-Pen on the Galaxy Note 8 was also pretty great as it allows the user to write even when the display is off.

The S Pen Bluetooth connectivity was in rumors for quite some time and everyone was keen to know how the S-Pen will get energy, Samsung cleared this aspect by confirming the S-Pen will charge less than a minute from Galaxy Note 9.


Camera


Last year Samsung borrowed the primary camera sensor of Galaxy S8 for the Galaxy Note 8. This year Samsung brought the Galaxy S9 Plus dual rear cameras on the Galaxy Note 9 with a number of refinements.

The Galaxy Note 9 has dual rear cameras like its predecessor. The primary sensor is a 12MP module with a variable aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4. In low-light scenarios the sensor aperture is f/1.5, however, in stable light conditions, the aperture automatically turns to f/2.4. The secondary rear sensor is a 12MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Both the sensors have optical image stabilization to ensure blur-free images and videos.

The dual sensors provide optical zoom up to 2x without affecting the image quality. Thanks to ViewFinder, the device can detect scenes intelligently. A new flaw detection tool is introduced which issues alert when the captured image is blurred or the user blinker while capturing. This is certainly a pretty good tool to avoid images with a flaw.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 8 also has dual rear cameras but the aperture isn't variable. The primary sensor is 12MP with f/1.7 aperture whereas the secondary telephoto sensor is also 12MP with f/2.4 aperture. Both the sensors have OIS support and also the telephoto lens brings optical zoom up to 2x.

The Galaxy Note 8 doesn't have intelligent features like the Galaxy Note 9, however still it can be rated amongst the best cameras. The front-facing selfie camera on both the devices is an 8MP module with f/1.7 aperture.


Battery

One of the most criticized aspects of Galaxy Note 8 was indeed its battery cell. Samsung was afraid after the Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco that's why the company didn't bring any changes in the battery cell last year instead they used the old tested 3,300mAH battery cell. This year Samsung stepped up their game by introducing a 4,000mAh battery cell.

The Galaxy Note 8 was capable to easily last one day on single charge, So you can expect a slightly better battery life on the Galaxy Note 9. Thanks to the glass rear both the device support wireless charging. The devices support fast charging, so you don't have to worry about juicing up.

Price and availability


The Galaxy Note 9 soon after the announcement goes up for pre-orders in many regions. The company confirmed the device will hit stores on 24th of this month. The base variant with 128GB storage costs $999 in the US and £899 for the UK customers. The top of the line variant with 512GB storage costs $1,249 in the US and £1099 in the UK.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 8 is more widely available in almost all region. It was announced at $929 as the most expensive Galaxy Note smartphone last year. However, now you can purchase it for a much lower price tag on special deals.

Conclusion:

Although in terms of looks the Galaxy Note 9 isn't much different from the predecessor Galaxy Note 8 that doesn't mean the latest device isn't bringing major changes. The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a slightly larger display, new cameras setup, more RAM and storage options, larger battery cell and latest Android Oreo flavor straight out of the box. Last but not the least the S-Pen on the Galaxy Note 9 is much improved from the predecessor.

However overall the Galaxy Note 9 is pretty much in line with the rumors we heard in past. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 8 could be a good alternative for those who want a premium smartphone but don't want to spend a hefty amount.

In the end, we would like to hear our keen readers thoughts regarding the Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons of Galaxy Note 9 in coming days.

(last update 14 August 2018 @ 08:37)

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