The official Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launch date is August 9, after an invite was sent out by Samsung on June 27. The unveiling will happen in Brooklyn, New York at 11am EST (8am PST, 4pm BST).
It's the next big Android smartphone to release, and it'll be here next month. It means the new Galaxy Note phablet will arrive earlier than previous years – we're used to late August for the announcement.
New Note devices are always big news because it's an Android phone with a large screen, handy S Pen and a heap of power, although rumors of an in-screen fingerprint sensor may be premature, especially as it's now due to arrive earlier than expected.
Update: An image showing seemingly official marketing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 gives us a close look at the S Pen and bottom edge, and it's joined by a new render that shows the likely front of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Instead, we're likely to see Bixby 2.0 and an improved dual-lens camera, maybe one with the HDR video recording left out of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, but a feature being touted by recent LG and Sony phones.
We're sorting through the rumors and leaks (there are a lot of them) daily, and to do that we've gotten out our trusty S Pen stylus ready to declare which are plausible, and which are just wishful thinking.
It seems Samsung has even got a little excited, publishing the framework for support pages of a device with the model ID of SM-N960F/DS - which is expected to be the Note 9 - in Finland, Norway, France and Denmark .
Here's everything we know about Samsung's extra-big Android phone so far.
Cut to the chase
- What is Note 9? Samsung's next flagship phablet
- When is Note 9's launch date? August 9, 2018 in New York
- When is Note 9's release date? Before Apple's new iPhone announcement
- What will Note 9 cost? Probably at least $929 / £869 / AU$1,499
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date
- It's official: Thursday, August 9 announcement at Samsung Unpacked
- Earlier release date expected: previously launch has been late August
You'll be able to get your hands on the Galaxy Note 9 sooner than anticipated, as the Samsung Unpacked launch event will be in early August.
Thursday, August 9 is the official Galaxy Note 9 launch date, with the announcement happening in Brooklyn, New York City. To put that into perspective, last year's Note 8 phone event was on August 23.
All of this news has lined with reports that the Note 9, said to be codenamed 'Crown', had a prototype ready in the first quarter of 2018, according to The Investor.
Samsung was also said to be testing firmware for the phone ahead of schedule, two weeks earlier than where it was with the software for the Note 8. And remember, the S9 firmware was tested earlier than the S8 and that went on to launch earlier, too.
In terms of when the phone will actually go on sale, currently we expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date to be late August, with pre-orders opening either on the day of the launch event, or shortly after. However, we're yet to hear any firm rumors on this.
Why the earlier release date?
Sure, the Note series is always announced first, but by the time Note phones actually hit stores, the hype surrounding Apple's new iPhones is already at a fever-pitch.
That's the number one reason we think Samsung is giving us a look at the Galaxy Note 9 earlier. It needs to get its phone in its first customers hands in August or early September at the very latest.
Big phone, little design change
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 should get some big updates over the Galaxy Note 8, but as far as design goes don't expect too much change from the phablet it's replacing.
In fact, a leaked render showing the front of the phone suggests there might not be any changes at all (at least from the front) with all the buttons, sensors and everything else matching the Note 8.
An image focused on the bottom edge of the phone, which appears to be official marketing for the handset, also shows a design that's more or less identical to the Note 8, with the USB-C port, headphone jack and S Pen slot all present and correct.
Though the image also shows the S Pen in a striking new yellow color, so that's one aspect that might have had a makeover.
Galaxy Note9/S Pen pic.twitter.com/uAqOpZY2VCJuly 12, 2018
Earlier leaks line up with all this, specifically some renders based on a factory CAD (computer-aided design), which you can see below, and which come from a fairly reliable source, namely @OnLeaks (who shared them on behalf of 91mobiles), who has been right about things plenty of times before.
The images show a design that looks very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, complete with a rectangular shape, metal frame and glass back. You can also see that there’s once again a dual-lens camera and a fingerprint scanner on the back – so an in-display scanner looks unlikely.
However, the scanner has been moved below the camera lens, somewhat similar to its position on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but where that phone has its cameras stacked vertically, the Note 9 shown here has them side by side.
Other details include a 3.5mm headphone port, USB-C port, speaker grille, S Pen silo and microphone on the bottom edge, slim bezels (but no notch) on the front, power and volume buttons on the left edge and a Bixby button on the right.
It's also claimed that the Note 9 will be dust and water resistant, which isn't a surprise as all of Samsung's top-end handsets have this.
As well as the images above, you can also see all these things in the video below, which came from the same source.
The dimensions of the Galaxy Note 9 have also been leaked, with the phone apparently coming in at 161.9 x 76.3 x 8.8mm (or perhaps 162 x 76.4 x 8.8mm), making it slightly shorter but marginally wider and thicker than the 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm Galaxy Note 8.
So the size is similar overall, which is no surprise, since the screen will apparently also stay at 6.3 inches.
As always, you should take these images with a grain of salt, but the source is solid and they look convincing enough. Not only that, but we've now seen various case renders and what's supposedly a leaked front panel from the phone, all of which sport a very similar design.
And while the design might not change much the available colors could be slightly different, with blue, copper, silver, violet and black all rumored to be options. You can see them below and note that some of them are surprisingly vibrant.
On the other hand, a Samsung patent shows a phone design with a screen that curves at the right edge, but oddly not at the left - if that sounds familiar, it's because it's a similar design to the Galaxy Note Edge from 2014.
It’s an unusual look for a phone, and quite different to the Note 8, so we’re skeptical that it will be used for the Note 9, but you never know.
However the Note 9 looks, there's a chance that it will be made from a new material, as Samsung has trademarked 'Metal 12' - a material that's both strong and light.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price
- It'll be an expensive whether or not it sees a price increase
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price is unlikely to have the same good news that we've had from the early release date. When it does arrive, it's bound to be expensive.
The Galaxy Note 8 retailed for $929 (£869, AU$1,499) at launch and we can’t see Samsung lowering the price for the Note 9, especially now Apple has pushed smartphone prices even higher with its iPhone X.
Here's the Note 9 price wildcard: The S9 and S9 Plus saw a price increase in most countries. However, it was cheaper in the US. We may see another split decision, depending on where you buy the Note 9.
For now, you'll have to be satisfied with the Note 9's predecessor if you want a phone with a stylus on the cheap. Check out today's best Galaxy Note 8 deals.
Watch the video below to see our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review.
Note 9 in-screen fingerprint sensor
The biggest Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumor relates to its fingerprint scanner, with multiple leaks indicating that it could be built directly into the phone's screen.
We've seen (and tested) in-screen fingerprint sensors in phones out of China - including the Vivo Nex and Porsche Design Mate RS - and Samsung is said to be testing multiple in-screen solutions, a move which could allow room for a larger battery in the Note 9.
That tallies with a source who's said the Note 9 will have both an in-screen scanner and a big 3,850mAh battery.
However, a slightly earlier rumor points to the in-screen fingerprint sensor skipping the Note 9, just like it did on the S9 and S9 Plus, Note 8 and S8 and S8 Plus before. There's more reason to believe it'll show up on the Galaxy X (or the Galaxy S10 next year).
Both Samsung and Apple have been rumored to be working on this but failed to achieve it in time for their most recent handsets, pushing Samsung to move the scanner to a sub-optimal position on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, while Apple ditched it altogether from the iPhone X.
There's hopeful news on the subject in the form of a Samsung patent, showing a handset with a scanner built into the screen. Supposedly it would digitally show where users need to place their finger, and could potentially provide vibrations as feedback.
Huawei and Vivo have demonstrated this tech in a phone this year, but Samsung is said to be using an ultrasonic-based in-screen fingerprint sensor for the Note 9, whereas the Huawei and Vivo use light-based optical under-glass fingerprint sensors.
But we've seen many sources in the supply chain claim Samsung has settled on placing the scanner on the back, just like its current flagship phones, so right now we'd say an in-screen scanner is looking unlikely.
Other Note 9 leaks and rumors
Known leaker Eldar Murtazin has recently written on Mobile-Review, providing a wealth of information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, revealing, among other things, that the phone will apparently have a 4,000mAh battery.
That's in line with more recent rumors which agreed that the phone will have a 4,000mAh capacity, a new high for a Samsung flagship device. One rumor has the screen at 6.4 inches, so we're unsure if the source just likes big numbers or if this is true.
Though one source has said the Note 9 could have a 3,850mAh battery, which would be a lot bigger than the 3,300mAh one in the Note 8, but only slightly larger than the 3,500mAh one in the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, so it's believable.
Moving back to Murtazin's claims, the Note 9 will also apparently have a Super AMOLED screen which can get slightly brighter than the Note 8's, and the phone will supposedly come in three versions - one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, one with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and one with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
All models will retain a microSD card slot apparently and most of the world will get an Exynos chipset, while the US and South Korea will get a Snapdragon one.
Murtazin went on to say that the camera has a variable aperture like on the S9 range and that optical stabilization appeared to be improved.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has also seemingly been benchmarked with predictably high scores, revealing in the process that it has a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM and runs Android 8.1 - the same specs in other words as the US version of the Galaxy S9 Plus. It's since been benchmarked again with even better results.
There's also been talk elsewhere that Samsung could push the top configuration up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
However, there are rumors that Samsung is working on an Exynos 9820 chipset. That could bring about faster speeds or, more likely in our minds, HDR video recording.
This feature is already supported by the Snapdragon 845, but noticeably absent from all S9 devices across the board, likely because the Exynos 9810 doesn't support it. With new Android phones, like the Sony Xperia XZ2, having HDR video recording, Samsung needs to play catchup.
Another report claims the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may even have 512GB of storage in some markets, something that we've heard more than once. Korean pamphlets have suggested it'll come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB variants, but it's thought the largest will only be available to those in China and South Korea.
We've also heard claims that the S Pen could be getting some big upgrades, the main one apparently being the addition of Bluetooth, with one source saying this could allow you to unlock the Note 9 with the Pen, while another claims it will allow you to pause and skip tracks with the S Pen and use it as a long-range self-timer.
In more unlikely news, there's a chance that Samsung will go even further than an in-screen scanner with the Note 9, as it's patented a smartphone concept that has not just the fingerprint scanner but also the front-facing camera and sensors embedded in the display, for a truly bezel-free design.
This might be too ambitious for a 2018 launch though.
That said, an even more ambitious goal for the Galaxy Note 9 could be for it to have a bendable display. This is something Samsung’s been working on for even longer, and there's suggestion that the tech could land in a phone late this year.
However, it might still arrive too late for it to be used in the Note 9, and Samsung might not want to debut such an experimental tech on a major flagship.
And moving from the outside back in, The Korea Herald reports that Samsung might equip the Galaxy Note 9 with an NPU (neural processing unit). That's essentially an AI chip like Apple and Huawei have begun using in their flagships.
It's unclear what Samsung would use the chip for, but it could potentially speed up certain functions of the phone.