We've compared the Note 9 to the Galaxy S9+ in a separate feature, but how does the new model compare to the Galaxy Note 8 that it replaces? We've crunched through the numbers to draw out a comparison.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8 design
- Similar design
- Note 9 shorter but wider and heavier
- 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. The Note 9 shares almost identical measurements, but it is 2mm shorter, 2mm wider and a little heavier, measuring 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weighing 201g. That's come from Samsung shrinking the top and bottom bezels but taking the screen a little bigger.
Otherwise though, the construction and design of the new phone is 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 it was expected that the Note 9 would look like the Note 8.
That said, there is a small change on the rear, with a reorganisation of the cameras and fingerprint scanner, to make the scanner separate and sit below the cameras. The Note 9 also brings some new colours, and the S Pen doesn't match the body colour in all models available, allowing for variety.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8 display
- Note 9 has a slightly larger display
- Same display resolution and aspect
- Mobile HDR on both
As with the design, there's little change from the Infinity Display on the Note 8 to the Note 9, with curved edges to either side on the new device too.
Samsung sticks to Super AMOLED and a Quad HD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, with the main changes in the display on the new device only to improve performance of the panel - as was the case with the Galaxy S9.
You'll find a 6.4-inch panel on the Note 9 though, which is fractionally larger than the 6.3-inch panel on the Note 8 with the bezels having been slightly reduced on the Note 9 to accommodate this.
You still get the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio, as well as Mobile HDR Premium though so expect the same great display experience on the new Note, just an extra 0.1-inches of it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Hardware
- Upgraded Qualcomm and Exynos versions on Note 9
- Note 9 battery 4000mAh
- 8GB RAM/512GB storage model on Note 9 available
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, along with 6GB of RAM again, as well as 128GB of internal memory. There is also an 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage model though and both models offer microSD expansion up to 512GB.
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 is a huge jump is the battery life. The Galaxy Note 9 has a 4000mAh battery, making it one of the largest out there. The Note 8 only has a 3300mAh battery so this is a considerable change.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: S Pen changes
- Note 9 S Pen gets Bluetooth
- Remote control features on Note 9
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 is now Bluetooth equipped, which allows the S Pen to do more than the current model, such as some remote controls of the phone.
It will let you do things like progress through slideshows, control playback of music or use it as a remote camera shutter for example.
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 needs it own battery, though according to Samsung it will charge from the Note 9 in just under a minute.
- What's new in the S Pen?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Cameras
- Note 9 to adds dual aperture camera
- Both have dual 12MP sensors
- Both have 8MP front camera
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.
The Note 9 gets the dual aperture system too, boosting the low light performance over the Note 8.
The megapixels remain the same, with two 12-megapixel sensors on board, one telephoto and one wide-angle on both the Note 8 and Note 9. As Samsung (and others are discovering) it's less about megapixel and more about what you do with them though.
The Note 9 also offers AI tech to optimise images based on the scene, as well as a few detection feature to inform you if a picture has imperfections.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 8: Price and availability
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: £899/£1099
- 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.
The Note 9 starts at £899 for the 128GB model, or £1099 for the 512GB model. Pre-orders start on 10 August and the Note 9 will hit stores on 24 August.