Smartphones, Tablets & Wearables

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review: How is the Premium Smartphone Performing?

With the “Galaxy Note 9”, Samsung once again presented a premium smartphone, which is intended to appeal above all to lovers of particularly large devices. The successor of the “Galaxy Note 8” has been available in stores for a few weeks now and is already attracting some attention. We also wanted to take a closer look at the new Phablet model and subjected it to intensive testing. The test results, which should certainly also be of particular interest in the context of a purchase decision, can be found in the following lines.

Design and Workmanship

After unpacking the device, you will notice one point in particular: It’s big. Its dimensions of 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 millimetres are similar to those of flagship smartphones from other manufacturers. The 6.4 inch display eventually has to go somewhere. The relatively high weight of 201 grams does not surprise in view of the enormous size further.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with S-Pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with S-Pen

What is quite unpleasant in the test is the fact that it is virtually impossible to operate the device with one hand. If you have got used to using your mobile phone while walking or elsewhere, you will have problems with the “Galaxy Note 9”. The giant smartphone requires the use of two hands and the accompanying attention.

This circumstance is made up above all by the absolutely flawless workmanship. The mobile phone lies wonderfully in the hand, the rounded edges do not slip and the mobile phone never threatens to slip out of the hand. Samsung uses only the highest quality materials and processes them excellently. Front and back are made of glass. They seem to merge with the metal frame and contribute to the very high quality impression the phone leaves.

On the right side of the metal frame is the power button, which has been placed absolutely sensibly and is hit intuitively. On the other side you will find the volume rocker and the Bixby button. These have also been strategically placed.

The fingerprint scanner, which will be examined in more detail later, was accommodated on the back. The dual camera, the LED flash and a heart rate monitor on the back of the phone were also placed above this.

Cameras & Fingerprint Sensor on the Back
Cameras & Fingerprint Sensor on the Back

A speaker, the S-Pen slot, a USB-C port and a headphone jack are located on the underside.

There are no points of criticism. The smartphone is flawlessly manufactured and consists exclusively of high-quality materials. Only the enormous size is disturbing in the test. However, this is ultimately a question of personal preferences. By activating the “one-handed mode”, however, the smartphone can also be used with one hand.


The 6.4-inch display, specially developed by Samsung, has recently been named DisplayMate’s best smartphone display today. The expectations placed on Samsung’s displays are naturally further increased by such awards. I wonder if it can deliver what it promises.

First of all, it should be noted that this is again one of the typical sAMOLED displays from Samsung. It has a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels and achieves a pixel density of 516 ppi. With its enormous size, the display covers 83.51 percent of the smartphone surface. This value is quite high, but is currently outbid by the competition without any problems. In the test, however, we cannot find any disturbingly large edges or similar disadvantages. The relationship between display and edge proves to be rather balanced and absolutely in order.

Bright and constricting display
Bright and constricting display

The user has several options to make individual display settings. In addition to the color display, the display resolution can also be adjusted. By default, this is set to a value of 2,220 x 1,080 pixels. If you prefer a higher resolution, you can change it to the value mentioned at the beginning.

The color display has been improved compared to the previous model. The colours thus appear much more balanced without noticeably losing any of their power. Samsung did a great job here.


The smartphone is powered by the eight-core “Exynos 9810” processor, also from Samsung. Depending on the version, this is supported by six or eight GB of RAM. In addition there is a Mali-G72-MP18-GPU from ARM. Samsung has equipped the “Galaxy Note 9” with extremely powerful hardware.

Back of Galaxy Note 9
Back of Galaxy Note 9

In our test the device then functions as expected perfectly. Everything works very fast, we can’t notice jerks and hangers in our test at any time. Even with multitasking, the device does not allow itself any weaknesses.

The phone is available in two versions. The low-cost version has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. The more expensive version comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal memory. In both cases either two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card can be inserted.

All in all, however, it must be noted that Samsung charges quite a high price. The installation of the highest quality hardware is therefore appropriate and no big surprise.

wdt_ID Smartphone OpenGL Manhattan OpenGL Car Chase T-Rex
1 Moto X Force 11,0 7,3 42,0
2 Neffos C5 Max 4,4 2,1 0,0
3 UMi London 0,0 0,0 7,3
4 Gigaset GS160 3,4 0,0 11,0
5 Sony Xperia XZ 46,0 20,0 59,0
6 Kodak Ektra 9,6 0,0 35,0
7 Huawei Mate 9 32,0 14,0 60,0
8 Huawei Nova 10,0 3,6 22,0
9 BQ Aquaris X 9,6 3,5 22,0
10 Neffos X1 11,0 3,9 22,0
Smartphone OpenGL Manhattan OpenGL Car Chase T-Rex
wdt_ID Smartphone Sling Shot Sling Shot Extreme Ice Storm Unlimited Ice Storm Extreme
1 Moto X Force 1.348 0 0
2 Neffos C5 Max 284 6.816 4.361
3 UMi London 0 2.827 1.951
4 Gigaset GS160 161 3.710 2.333
5 Sony Xperia XZ 2.416 0 0
6 Kodak Ektra 1.023 15.606 9.343
7 Huawei Mate 9 2.688 29.138 13.288
8 Huawei Nova 461 13.637 8.091
9 BQ Aquaris X 847 13.986 8.335
10 Neffos X1 481 9.294 5.486
Smartphone Sling Shot Sling Shot Extreme Ice Storm Unlimited Ice Storm Extreme
wdt_ID Smartphone Score
1 Moto X Force 4.115
2 Neffos C5 Max 2.892
3 UMi London 2.475
4 Gigaset GS160 2.600
5 Sony Xperia XZ 5.550
6 Kodak Ektra 3.975
7 Huawei Mate 9 6.431
8 Huawei Nova 4.594
9 BQ Aquaris X 4.889
10 Neffos X1 3.183
Smartphone Score
wdt_ID Smartphone AnTuTu Score
1 Moto X Force 22.297
2 Neffos C5 Max 37.569
3 UMi London 22.297
4 Gigaset GS160 29.251
5 Sony Xperia XZ 33.943
6 Kodak Ektra 84.997
7 Huawei Mate 9 139.020
8 Huawei Nova 63.206
9 BQ Aquaris X 66.149
10 Neffos X1 45.024
Smartphone AnTuTu Score
wdt_ID Smartphone Single-Core Multi-Core
1 Moto X Force 2.719 2.618
2 Neffos C5 Max 1.063 1.563
3 UMi London 685 1.146
4 Gigaset GS160 820 1.298
5 Sony Xperia XZ 3.585 3.271
6 Kodak Ektra 2.167 3.731
7 Huawei Mate 9 3.270 4.519
8 Huawei Nova 1.433 2.661
9 BQ Aquaris X 1.444 2.279
10 Neffos X1 1.205 2.164
Smartphone Single-Core Multi-Core
wdt_ID Smartphone Score
1 Moto X Force 2.803
2 Neffos C5 Max 2.697
3 UMi London 2.162
4 Gigaset GS160 1.794
5 Sony Xperia XZ 4.569
6 Kodak Ektra 5.869
7 Huawei Mate 9 7.316
8 Huawei Nova 3.325
9 BQ Aquaris X 3.461
10 Neffos X1 2.914
Smartphone Score
wdt_ID Smartphone Single-Core Multi-Core
1 Moto X Force 1.115 4.376
2 Neffos C5 Max 602 2.468
3 UMi London 371 1.064
4 Gigaset GS160 535 1.493
5 Sony Xperia XZ 1.626 3.872
6 Kodak Ektra 1.648 4.053
7 Huawei Mate 9 1.934 5.998
8 Huawei Nova 830 3.004
9 BQ Aquaris X 921 4.495
10 Neffos X1 731 2.738
Smartphone Single-Core Multi-Core


Numerous negative headlines have brought Samsung’s batteries into disrepute. Nobody wants to buy a device that is likely to explode in your pocket or catch fire. Accordingly, the South Korean manufacturer attaches great importance to a powerful and, above all, safe battery in its latest model.

The built-in battery holds 4,000 mAh and should last longer than the model installed in the predecessor. The battery can be recharged via USB-C or wirelessly. If an appropriate charger is available, a fast charging mode can also be used, which should be of particular advantage for busy people who are permanently dependent on their mobile phone.

In the test, the battery actually showed itself to be quite strong. During normal use, it lasted about one day, sometimes even one and a half days. The battery should therefore be able to withstand the stresses of an average working day without any problems.

wdt_ID Smartphone Score
1 Moto X Force 549
2 Neffos C5 Max 0
3 UMi London 248
4 Gigaset GS160 442
5 Sony Xperia XZ 391
6 Kodak Ektra 293
7 Huawei Mate 9 505
8 Huawei Nova 317
9 BQ Aquaris X 553
10 Neffos X1 345
Smartphone Score


The “Galaxy Note 9” is equipped with a dual camera consisting of a 12 MP sensor with f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture and another 12 MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture in any case. The second sensor is used for portraits with live focus and determines bokeh and depth of field.

Both lenses have laser and dual-pixel autofocus and are optically stabilized. In the test it is particularly noticeable that the camera provides a sharp image in an extremely short time. Here the “Galaxy Note 9” easily surpasses the competition.

The photos taken as a test have all turned out very well. The camera reproduces an enormous amount of detail and works very well even in poor lighting and visibility conditions. The Pro mode should not go unmentioned, with which you can actually shoot professional-looking photos. However, the operation requires time, patience and a little practice.

Overall, we can hardly find any points of criticism here. The camera produces very good photos and is really high quality for a smartphone camera. However, it cannot take the lead.

All photos can be downloaded as uncompressed original here.


The S-Pen is probably the biggest innovation of the new Galaxy Note model. Compared to the predecessor model, it has been completely revised and is now equipped with Bluetooth, among other features.

Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, the S-Pen can now be used as a remote control for presentations or taking pictures. For example, a photo can be triggered. It is also possible to switch to the front camera at the touch of a button. These functions are useful in any case. Especially people who use the “Galaxy Note 9” professionally benefit from the new remote functions of the pen.

The only problem that was quickly revealed in the test is the short battery life. The pen must be charged after half an hour at the latest. Longer presentations, as they are usual in a professional context, cannot therefore be held in one piece. However, it should be noted that the S-Pen can be fully charged in just 40 seconds. All you need to do is slide it into the holder on the underside of the smartphone.

Fingerprint and Facial Scanners

The “Galaxy Note 9” can be unlocked not only by fingerprint, but also by means of a face and iris scanner. The latter does not work very reliably in the test. Samsung seems to have placed more value on the fingerprint scanner. This has also been given a new place – following the plea of numerous customers – and is now located underneath the camera on the back of the smartphone. Here it can be operated perfectly. In the test it worked perfectly.


Samsung’s “Galaxy Note 9” is exceptionally powerful. Thanks to the latest hardware, the phone works perfectly and especially fast. A high-quality camera, flawless workmanship and a Bluetooth-capable pen complete the equipment. The only points of criticism are the enormous size and the extremely high price. However, friends of large smartphones will find good value for money.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Value for Money

An extremely powerful, very large and also very expensive smartphone.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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