Galaxy Note9 is the powerhouse we had been waiting for 

What’s eating up space inside your travel bag? A laptop. A portable charger. A camera. All these can be done away with if you have one device — Samsung’s Galaxy Note9, which is certain to set new benchmarks for rivals and at the same time, leave Note fans salivating. The series that pioneered the big-screen smartphone in 2011 has unveiled its most powerful device and, in the process, has brought together the functionality of several devices into one. 

By Mathures Paul
  • Published 24.08.18
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What’s eating up space inside your travel bag? A laptop. A portable charger. A camera. All these can be done away with if you have one device — Samsung’s Galaxy Note9, which is certain to set new benchmarks for rivals and at the same time, leave Note fans salivating. The series that pioneered the big-screen smartphone in 2011 has unveiled its most powerful device and, in the process, has brought together the functionality of several devices into one. 

After the phone’s India launch in New Delhi on Wednesday, t2 sat down with Aditya Babbar, general manager, mobile business, Samsung India, to discuss why the Note 9 is an impressive piece of technology.

It seems that the Galaxy Note9 ticks all the boxes a powerhouse user can ask for.

It has been made for people who want more out of their device. We spend a lot more time now taking pictures, watching videos and playing games. This is a beast of a performer. It comes with all-day battery; you know how difficult it is to pass a day with one charge of the battery (the phone has a massive 4000mAh battery). Second, there is 1TB of storage (the 512GB internal storage phone variant can be expanded up to another 512GB with an external MicroSD card; so you can easily store 512 movies, 256,000 songs and 512,000 images). Today, work travels with us and that involves huge amounts of storage. 

S Pen

Two of the big improvements are the S Pen (which can be fully charged in less than a minute once inserted into its holder in the phone) and DeX (transforms the phone into a PC-like experience with a USB-C to HDMI adapter/cable). What makes them stand out?

The S Pen has been the heart of all Notes. For the first time we have a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen. To give you an example of its use, say I go into a shower and I want to change the music being played on the phone, I can do so with a simple click of the Pen (the phone and S Pen are water resistant, matching IP68 standards). Further, it can help to take pictures or change the slides on a presentation without even touching the phone.

As for DeX, it’s a smartphone-computer dream. Take my example; I am constantly travelling and need to carry my laptop. Now with Note9 I can plug it to a monitor and make my presentation. During one of my work trips, I had to make a basic change to one of the slides, which I easily did by connecting the device to a monitor in the hotel room. The device allows us to travel light.

How is the camera more powerful than the one on the Galaxy S9?

What has changed in the last six months since the launch of the Galaxy S9 is that it now comes with auto-scene detection. So the camera can actually analyse 20 scenes to give you flawless pictures. It also comes with flaw-detection technology. Say, I have clicked a picture and it has a blur or when the subject closes his/her eyes, the camera will alert me about the same.

DeX

Why should one choose the Note 9 over the Galaxy S9, which launched in February?

People who buy the S9 Plus and the Note9 belong to very different categories — Note9 lovers will not settle for anything else because it is a powerhouse while the S9 is for lifestyle consumers.

Competition is coming in a big way from the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus. How important is pricing?

We are absolute number one in the premium segment in India, with market share of 51 per cent in the first half of the year, according to GfK (one of the world’s largest market research institute). For customers interested in Note9, we have many offers. They can get a cashback of Rs 6,000 when they buy the phone from Paytm Mall or when they use HDFC bank credit or debit card. Note8 consumers can get up to Rs 38,000 on our upgrade programme. We were also running a pre-book offer using which consumers got a Gear Sport for just Rs 4,999.

Last month we announced the expansion of our Noida factory. By 2020, this factory will produce 120 million phones every year, which means 14,000 phones every hour. This is a shining example of India’s innovation and manufacturing power. We went from from Make in India to Make for India. Now we are expanding it to Make for World. Some of our best global innovations are coming out of India’s R&D centre.
— DJ Koh, president and CEO, head of IT & mobile communications division, Samsung Electronics

What have been some of the high points of your India R&D?

There are so many. The way we have been doing business in India, we have both Make in India and Make for India strategies. When 4G was coming and consumers were talking about data cost, we came up with UDS (Ultra Data Saving). Last year we brought Samsung Payments to our devices. This year we have brought chat over video, which allows one to reply to messages without leaving the video screen. Our India R&D keeps contributing to the bigger picture.

Inside the phone

Display: 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
Camera: Rear — dual camera with dual optical image stabilisation; wide-angle — 12MP, F1.5/F2.4; telephoto —12MP, F2.4; 
front — 8MP, F1.7
Memory: Option one — 6GB RAM, 128GB + MicroSD (up to 512 GB) and option two — 8GB RAM, 512GB + MicroSD slot (up to 512 GB)
Processor: 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor
Battery: 4000mAh
OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Price: Rs 67,900 (128GB/6GB RAM) and 84,900 (512GB/8GB RAM)

Highlights of note9

Great battery, outstanding camera, a mighty Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, wireless charging (in picture), a game-changing DeX which doesn’t require the dock, headphone jack and, of course, impressive screen.