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Samsung just announced the Galaxy Note 9, its new top-of-the-line Android phone.
Samsung's Galaxy Note family of devices has held cult-like status among phone enthusiasts. The latest edition is fairly similar to last year's model. It's a large glass and metal slate, but with an even bigger 6.4-inch display than last year's version. I love the design — it looks gorgeous in dark blue — but it might be too big for some people.
The screen is among the best I've ever seen on a phone. It's right up there with the Galaxy S9+ and iPhone X.
The Galaxy Note 9 still has Samsung's iconic S Pen stylus, which slides into the lower right-hand corner. You can use it to jot down notes, sign documents and more. Samsung added a new feature that lets you use a button on the S Pen to advance through presentation slides, remotely take a picture from the phone or skip songs on Spotify. I really like how the blue Galaxy Note 9 has a yellow S Pen — it's a unique color combination that you don't get in other phones.
Samsung added a few other upgrades from last year's model.
First, it has Qualcomm's best processor on the market, the Snapdraogn 845, which supports some of the faster data speeds that wireless carriers are beginning to activate around the U.S. The Galaxy Note 9 will ship with either 128GB or 512GB of storage. The latter is twice the storage of any iPhone, but it's also way more than most people even need.
The Galaxy Note 9 camera also has a new feature that will automatically detect one of 20 scenes — like food, a flower, a person or a landscape — and then adapt the settings to take the best picture it can. (That's Samsung's claim. I haven't tested it for myself yet.) Finally, Samsung included stereo speakers, which makes watching movies and listening to music feel more balanced, since audio comes from speakers on each side of the display.
The Galaxy Note 9 will be available to preorder beginning Friday and will be in stores starting Aug. 24. The Galaxy Note 9 with 128GB of storage will cost $999.99 and the 512GB version will cost $1,249.99.