If you want a top-of-the-line Android smartphone that was made in 2018, Samsung has a few nice options for you.
The Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S9 Plus, and the new Galaxy Note 9 – Samsung’s premium flagship phones for the year – are all heavy hitters. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but if you’re on the fence, there are some subtle differences that make the newest phone, the Galaxy Note 9, stand out from the rest.
Here are six reasons you should consider the Galaxy Note 9 instead of the Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus.
1. The Galaxy Note 9 features a larger display than the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
A smartphone’s display is arguably its most important feature – it’s your main interface for both viewing and touching your content. So having more screen real estate is generally useful. Videos and apps look bigger and better, and you have more space to type and work, among other things.
The Galaxy Note 9 features a 6.4-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display, whereas the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus feature 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch versions.
2. The Galaxy Note 9 has a bigger battery capacity than the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
The Galaxy Note 9 has a whopping 4,000-mAh battery, compared with the 3,000- and 3,500-mAh batteries in the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
While the latter phones get plenty of battery life – 17 to 20 hours of video playback, and 31 to 35 hours of talk time – the Galaxy Note 9 should be able to get even more time out of each charge.
3. The Galaxy Note 9 features way more storage capacity than the Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus.
If you’re ever worried about your phone’s storage, the Galaxy Note 9 is the way to go.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus both feature 64 GB of built-in storage, with a microSD slot that supports up to 400 GB.
The Galaxy Note 9, on the other hand, features either 128 GB or 512 GB of built-in storage, depending on which model you choose, and its microSD slot can support up to another 512 GB of space. That means you could have over 1 terabyte of space in your Galaxy Note 9. As Keanu Reeves would say, “Whoa.”
4. The Galaxy Note 9 features more RAM than the Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus.
The Galaxy S9 comes with either 4 or 6 GB of RAM, or random-access memory, which essentially helps with multitasking – the more you have in your device, the better it will be at juggling multiple apps simultaneously, so you can switch among them without interruption.
The Galaxy Note 9, however, comes with 6 GB of RAM to start, or you can opt for the high-end model with 8 GB, which also comes with 512 GB of onboard storage. The extra RAM will help if you do a ton of work on your phone, but it will also come in handy for gaming, like if you want to use your Galaxy Note 9 to play “Fortnite.”
5. The Galaxy Note 9 features a useful accessory the Galaxy S9 doesn’t have: the S Pen.
The S Pen has been one of the main differentiating features between Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines, and this year it’s much improved.
This year’s S Pen is water-resistant (up to 5 meters of water for 30 minutes) and can get 30 minutes of power in just 40 seconds of charge time. More importantly, the S Pen supports several nifty features, like the ability to use it as a remote to take photos or to control music and video playback. It’s also good for drawing on top of your photos or videos, making GIFs out of your videos, or writing handwritten messages.
You can also use the S Pen to take notes within the Samsung Notes app, which supports various brushes, pens, and colours so you can draw as well as write, and a cool feature called “screen off memo” lets you make notes right on the Note 9’s display without needing to unlock the phone.
The S Pen is also good for switching among apps, zooming into photos or maps, or even translating words or converting currencies.
Since the Galaxy S9 doesn’t support the S Pen, all of these features are exclusive to the Galaxy Note series.
6. The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a newer version of Android than the Galaxy S9.
This isn’t a big difference, but if you care about owning the latest software, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are preloaded with Android 8.0 Oreo, while the newer Galaxy Note 9 is loaded with Android 8.1.
That said, Android 8.1 isn’t significantly different from Android 8.0, and neither phone yet supports Android 9.0 Pie, the latest mobile software from Google.