The unboxing experience of the Galaxy Note 9 was fairly normal as compared to other phones, however I liked the yellow SPen on the box. I was greeted with the Note 9 and gently set it off to the side. Then, took out the wall charger, USB C to USB A cable, and booklets and instruction booklets. My review unit unfortunately did not come with the coveted headphones in the box however, considering you get this phone new, you can expect a pair of AKG tuned headphones. You unfortunately will not get any kind of case or screen protector in the box. It was a bit of a bummer but, I’ll get over it.
In Hand Feel:
The Galaxy Note 9 is a heavy phone that means business. When I first put the device in my hands it felt solid but a bit sharp. The corners hurt the palm of my hand therefore I quickly adjusted my grip. The device is also fairly slippery. I unfortunately didn’t get a case because I like to review phones as the manufacturer intended. Although I haven’t dropped the phone I feel it’s imminent. If you’re looking to pick up this device please, get a case and screen protector. You will thank me later.
I’m still not a huge fan of Samsung’s interface, however it has gotten better. Samsung now allows you to limit some of the bloatware that is thrown blindly onto the device. I was also pleasantly surprised that, after a few software updates I was on Android’s October Security patch. That’s not bad, especially for a company like Samsung who are notorious for how slow their updates can be.
The software itself has been mostly fast and responsive, The only hiccups I have is when I accidently access Bixby Home. Bixby is a real eyesore in my opinion and I really wish Samsung would just abandon it. I’m going to do a test where I ask Google Assistant and Bixby the same questions so stay tuned for the. It should be fun. Overall, Samsung’s UI takes a few more swipes and taps to get basic tasks done than I’d like, however it’s something I will learn to live with.
I do like the S-pen software so far. I quickly disabled the ring that pops up every time you take the S-pen out of the holster. My favorite feature so far is Screen Memo. We will see how much I use it but it seems convenient. I still think the S-pen is the most defining feature in the Note, and I’ve always wanted to use a Note purely because of the pen. We will see if I actually use it or if it just sits in the phone.
The Galaxy Note 9 is a $999 device, and for the duration of the review I will be working with it as such. During my time at Onetechstop I’ve worked with phones from high end to budget devices. Given the device’s price I will be critical on it but I will also be honest.
The phone has impressed me with its vivid display, and gorgeous design. The phone has also let me down with its lackluster software and bloatware. I still need more time to test aspects like its 4000 mah battery, dual 12mp cameras, and the Spen.
My question to you now is, what do you want to know about the Galaxy Note 9? Let me know in the comments below.
We would like to thank AT&T for supplying Onetechstop with a Galaxy Note 9 review unit. We were not paid to write this review and all opinions are ours and ours alone.