Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was officially unveiled in New York on Thursday. The newest member of the Galaxy Note series packs a massive 4,000mAh battery and the series’ biggest display yet. The Galaxy Note 9 launch comes at a time when Samsung desperately needs a hit. By the company’s own admissions, sales of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been less than flattering, and all eyes will now be on how the Galaxy Note 9 is received by fans.

While the “reasonable price” promise that was made by the company just days before the launch event wasn’t fulfilled when the US price of the smartphone was revealed on Thursday, the Galaxy Note 9 price in India is good news. The smartphone will launch in India at a starting price of Rs. 67,900, which is the same as its predecessor at launch, as Samsung looks to reclaim some of the market share it has lost in the country’s premium smartphone segment.

The big differentiator of the Galaxy Note series has always been its support for the S Pen stylus. Over the years, Samsung has added more capabilities to the S Pen, and with the Galaxy Note 9 the biggest changes are the direct result of adding Bluetooth support. Yes, the S Pen now comes with an embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module, which makes it more than just a stylus; it has been turned into a remote that can be used to control your smartphone.

So, for example, you can use the S Pen to control video playback in the YouTube app, or move between images in the Gallery app. You can even use it to control a presentation, moving back and forth between slides. But the feature that will perhaps find the widest appeal is the ability to use the S Pen as a trigger to click pictures, or switch between the front and rear cameras. We tested this feature on the Galaxy Note 9 during some hands-on time ahead of the launch, and it worked as advertised.

Apart from the S Pen, the other big draw of the Galaxy Note series has been the big screen. At 6.4 inches, the Galaxy Note 9 packs the biggest display we’ve seen on a member of this family. As has been the case with recent Samsung flagships, the ‘Infinity Display’ on the Galaxy Note 9 is gorgeous, and is definitely one of the highlights of the smartphone.

With that said, as the average display size of all smartphones has increased in recent years, the Galaxy Note devices no longer hold the same exclusive appeal. Not many smartphone manufacturers used to venture into Galaxy Note territory as far as size is concerned, but that hasn’t been true for a long time.

This is one of the reasons for which many have questioned the future of the Galaxy Note series, but by giving the S Pen additional features, Samsung seems to be doubling down on its commitment to the device, at least for now. To further enhance its appeal, Samsung has packed a host of other features and improvements into the Galaxy Note 9, most notably a 4,000mAh battery, which is 21 percent bigger than one of its predecessor.

As far as other specifications are concerned, the Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz) in markets like the US, while countries like India will receive the Exynos 9810 (2.7GHz + 1.7GHz) version. Samsung has announced two variants of the smartphone – one with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of storage, and the other with 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB of storage. The built-in storage can be supplemented with a microSD card of up to 512GB capacity.

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a dual-camera setup with OIS on both sensors similar to what we saw on the Galaxy Note 8. The wide-angle super-speed dual-pixel 12-megapixel (f/1.5-f/2.4) autofocus primary rear camera is paired with a telephoto 12-megapixel (f/2.4) autofocus secondary camera that gives you 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel (f/1.7) autofocus sensor.

Samsung has packed in a host of new software features. The Camera app’s new scene optimiser can automatically detect 20 different types of scenes and apply settings that are optimal to the conditions. Samsung is also claiming improved HDR and live focus in low light conditions.

samsung galaxy note 9 flaw detection gadgets 360 full Galaxy Note 9
Perhaps most interestingly, the Galaxy Note 9 now has enhanced “flaw detection” that is capable of detecting typical conditions that ‘ruin’ an image, such as someone blinking at the wrong time, image blurs, lens smudges, and even strong light behind the subject. We saw Samsung demo a scenario where the Camera app highlighted that “someone may have blinked” after an image was clicked, letting you carry on regardless or take a fresh image.

Samsung is also touting a bunch of Bixby improvements with the Galaxy Note 9, but it will be interesting to see how many of these will actually be available in India.

In terms of design, the Galaxy Note 9 looks a lot like its predecessor, though it’s marginally wider, thicker, and heavier than the Galaxy Note 8. We look forward to seeing how that impacts us in day-to-day usage, especially considering we highlighted the weight of the Galaxy Note 8 as a problem in our review.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 AI Camera Features Leaked, S Pen to Come in Colour Options

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 AI Camera Features Leaked, S Pen to Come in Colour Options

S Pen will come in different colour options and Samsung will sell them separately

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Camera app in Galaxy Note 9 to get some AI features
  • Samsung to sell S Pen separately
  • S Pen comes with a finer tip and supports 4,096 levels of pressure

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will get unveiled this week, but with all the rumours that have been surfacing on the Web, we probably know what to expect from the smartphone. Besides all the leaks, the Galaxy Note 9 has also been showcased in several teasers released by Samsung itself. However, leaks are still pouring in tipping the expected specifications and features of the upcoming handset. A recent leak has suggested that the Galaxy Note 9 will have AI-based features. Samsung will also reportedly give early Galaxy Note 9 buyers a choice between the AKG Y50 Bluetooth wireless headphones and 15000 Fortnite V-Bucks. Additionally, a leak has also suggested the features of the S Pen stylus that will reportedly also be sold standalone by Samsung.

As per a post by a tipster on Reddit, citing an unnamed Samsung trainer, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will come with AI-based features that will be able to optimise the camera based on the subject detected, such as landscape, portrait, food, and more. The new camera is also said to have speech bubbles that pop out if it detects an image having any imperfections such as “blurriness, eyes blinking, and hand shaking too much.”

According to the Reddit user, pre-order offers on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 include wireless noise-cancelling headphones from AKG worth $299 or the Fortnite package. Also, buyers would be given the option to get both if they pay $100, the user added. This piece of information has been reaffirmed by an image of Galaxy Note 9 Value Pack retail box shared by Dutch site Techtastic. The retail box includes the AKG headphones along with a car mount.

The leaks suggest that the S Pen stylus in Galaxy Note 9 will let users double tap a button to flip camera mode via by doubling as a remote shutter. Also, the S Pen will be able to deliver up to 30 minutes of use by charging for just 40 seconds. Also, the leak suggests that S Pen will come in different colour options and Samsung will separately sell different colour styli. However, there is no information on the pricing. The colour of the stylus is also said to determine the colour of the on-screen memo font.

Also, when it comes to Samsung Dex, the Galaxy Note 9 will reportedly be able to enter Dex mode without a dock, just by using a USB Type-C to HDMI cable. The display of the Galaxy Note 9 will be 6.4-inch but the footprint of the smartphone will remain the same as the Galaxy Note 8, the Reddit user added.

Meanwhile, a new report has hinted at the features of the S Pen stylus that will arrive with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. As per a WinFuture report, the S Pen will get Bluetooth support, a feature that has been suggested in leaks multiple times. The report says that the button at the top of the stylus can now be used for the first time as a remote control for the smartphone. The report claims that the S Pen can be used to trigger images, remotely control presentations, or even operate other apps without having to touch the handset itself. The images leaked in the report suggest that the stylus comes with a finer tip and now supports 4,096 levels of pressure for a very precise control over your drawings or hand-written messages.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display6.40-inch
Processor1.8GHz octa-core
Front CameraYes
Resolution1440x2960 pixels
RAM6GB
OSAndroid 8.1
Rear CameraYes
Battery Capacity4000mAh
Also See
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (Jet Black, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs.18,999
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (Black, 32GB)
    Rs.29,990
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Maple Gold, 64GB, 6GB RAM)
    *Includes Rs. 4,000 cashback
    Rs.55,900*

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Sets Up ‘World’s Largest Mobile Factory’ in Noida

Samsung Sets Up 'World's Largest Mobile Factory' in Noida

In front are open fields with grazing cattle, to the left are under-construction residential societies and to the right is its existing facilty – this is where Samsung has set up what is the world’s largest mobile factory.

Not China or South Korea – and certainly not the US – the tag of housing the world’s largest mobile factory has straight away put Noida on top of the world manufacturing map when it comes to consumer electronics.

The new 35-acre Samsung Electronics facility at Sector 81 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in landing together at a quickly-prepared helipad adjacent to the factory to officially inaugurate it on Monday.

One of the first electronics manufacturing facilities set up in the country in the early 1990s, the plant started by manufacturing TVs in 1997. The current mobile phone manufacturing unit was added in 2005.

In June last year, the South Korean giant announced a Rs. 4,915 crore investment to expand the Noida plant and, after a year, the new facility is ready to double production.

The company is currently making 67 million smartphones in India and with the new plant being functional, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones.

Not just mobiles, the expansion of the current facility will double Samsung’s production capacity of consumer electronics like refrigerators and flat panel televisions, further consolidating the company’s leadership in these segments.

According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, the new facility gives Samsung an advantage by reducing the time to market.

“This will help Samsung bring some local features to the devices powered by R&D here. Apart from this, the company can also bring in export opportunity for Samsung to SAARC and other regions,” Pathak told IANS.

Samsung has two manufacturing plants – in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu – five R&D centres, and one design centre in Noida, employing over 70,000 people and expanding its network to over 1.5 lakh retail outlets.

Established in 1995, Samsung India laid the foundation stone of Noida plant next year. In 1997, production commenced and the first television was rolled out. In 2003, refrigerator production began.

By 2005, Samsung had become market leader in panel TVs and in 2007, the existing Noida facility started manufacturing mobile phones.

In 2012, Samsung’s Noida facility rolled out the first-ever Galaxy S3 device.

The company currently has over 10 percent of its overall production in India and aims to take it to 50 percent over the next three years.

“For Samsung, India is among the top five smartphone markets globally. The US is saturated and Korea and Brazil are not growing significantly. India is a big opportunity across price segments, including 2G feature phones. It makes sense for Samsung to build a bigger manufacturing base here,” Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC, told IANS.

“They are now looking at building a complete ecosystem. After smartphones, they can go into building top-of-the-line products in other categories like TVs, refrigerators as advance manufacturing in India still lags behind. With the new facility, Samsung is going to have an edge over its rivals,” Singh noted.

According to HC Hong, President and CEO, Samsung India, a bigger manufacturing plant will help them cater to the growing demand for Samsung products across the country.

Samsung India, that registered 27 percent growth in mobile business revenue for the financial year 2016-17 – accounting for a whopping Rs. 34,300 crores of its reported Rs. 50,000 crores sales – won’t be able to hide the smile when the new facility kicks off production from July 9.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Galaxy A6+ Review

Samsung Galaxy A6+ Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Samsung Galaxy A6+ is priced at Rs. 25,999 in India
  • The smartphone has an Infinity Display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9
  • While battery life is good, general performance is sub-par

Samsung’s Infinity Display screens, which were introduced with the Galaxy S8 (Review) and Galaxy S8+ (Review), have been slowly percolating down to lower-priced models, and now the company has brought them to its budget-oriented A and J-series. The Galaxy A6+ is one of four new smartphones launched by the South Korean giant in India, alongside the Galaxy A6, Galaxy J6, and Galaxy J8.

Key features of the Galaxy A6+ include the aforementioned Infinity Display with its 18.5:9 aspect ratio, dual rear cameras, face recognition, and a metal unibody. Priced at Rs. 25,999, this smartphone aims to compete with likes of the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), a solid overall performer, the modular Moto Z2 Play (Review), and the Honor 8 Pro (Review), which has one of the best cameras in this segment.

Is the new Samsung Galaxy A6+ worth its sticker price? Let’s find out in our full review.

 

Samsung Galaxy A6+ design

The Galaxy A6+ is made predominantly out of metal, and a result, feels quite premium. The Infinity Display dominates the front fascia but is not exactly borderless. The phone feels very solid in the hand and survived several drops during our review period.

The Galaxy A6+ is available in Black, Blue, and Gold. The front face is black for all three options. While this smartphone looks premium and the build quality is top-notch, it is quite heavy (191g) and wide, which makes one-handed use very difficult. At 7.9mm, the phone is also not the slimmest out there, which exacerbates the issue.

Galaxy A6plus extra7 Galaxy A6 Plus review inline 1

 

Thanks to the conspicuous antenna lines and prominent regulatory information, the back panel looks quite busy and cluttered. The fingerprint sensor is located right below the rear dual camera setup, and a Samsung logo is emblazoned below that. Not only is the sensor narrow and rather sluggish, but the location is also quite unergonomic. We found our fingers constantly hitting the rear cameras instead of the sensor.

The chunky power button and loudspeaker are found on the right of the smartphone. The single speaker is loud but shrill, and its location is quite awkward. It is easy to cover the speaker with your hand while watching videos or playing games in landscape. On the right there’s the volume rocker, a tray for Nano-SIM 1, and a separate tray for Nano-SIM 2 and a microSD card.

The Galaxy A6+ ships with a Samsung-branded charger in the box along with a basic pair of earphones and an extremely short Micro-USB cable. The bundled earbuds are strictly average and feel as if they belong with a cheaper smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ specifications and display

The dual-SIM Galaxy A6+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clocked at 1.8GHz paired with 4GB of RAM. This 14nm processor uses eight ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores and the same GPU (Adreno 506) found on the Snapdragon 625. There’s also a non-removable 3,500mAh battery and 64GB of storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 256GB).

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, 4G VoLTE, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The smartphone also has an accelerometer, gyroscope, hall sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and geomagnetic sensor. The lack of NFC and the presence of the old-fashioned Micro-USB port for charging and data transfers are both disappointing. The Galaxy A6+ supports dual SIMs but only one can run at 4G speed at a time, while the second is limited to 3G.

galaxy A6pslus extra3 Galaxy A6 Plus Inline 2 final

 

The Galaxy A6+ has a 6-inch full-HD+ (1080×2220-pixel) Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Samsung usually equips its phones with stellar displays and the one on the A6+ is no exception. With great viewing angles, punchy colours and deep blacks, the AMOLED panel is the highlight of this smartphone. We are glad to see that there’s no notch, which is now a highly polarising feature.

The 18.5:9 aspect ratio lends itself well to gaming and multimedia consumption and makes content look immersive. The screen also has an always-on mode that shows the time, date, battery level, and notifications for missed calls and alarms without waking the phone from sleep.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ performance, software, and battery life

The Galaxy A6+ handles day-to-day use like casual Web browsing, using social media apps like WhatsApp and Twitter, and taking the occasional picture quite well. Push the phone however, and slowdowns and stutter become noticeable.

We put the Galaxy A6+ through our tests where it managed a score of 70,649 in AnTuTu, 20fps in GFXbench T-Rex, 5.7fps in GFX Bench Manhattan 3.1, and 753 and 4040 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests respectively. The Nokia 7 Plus in comparison posted higher scores and handled intensive workloads better.

A certain part of the blame can be apportioned to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, which is now usually found in the likes of sub-Rs. 10,000 smartphone such as the Redmi 5 (Review) and Oppo A71 (2018), which cost a fair bit less than the Galaxy A6+. Additionally, the Samsung Experience UI’s drawn-out animations make the Galaxy A6+ feel even more sluggish.

Galaxy A6plus inline3 Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus Inline 3

 

On a positive note, the Galaxy A6+ does not get warm when pushed and has rock-solid 4G connectivity. Thanks to the Adreno 506 GPU, gaming is also relatively smooth. The on-board ‘Game Explorer’ application allows you to switch between normal, battery saving, and high-performance modes before playing a game. While heavy games such as Asphalt 8 exhibit a few stutters in normal mode, the high-performance mode smoothens out gameplay considerably.

As with most smartphones these days, the Galaxy A6+ also has face recognition built-in. In our experience, the feature only worked well when we were facing the front camera head-on, and that too in favourable lighting. Thanks to the iffy facial recognition and slow fingerprint sensor, we found it faster to just use a passcode to unlock the smartphone.

The Galaxy A6+ runs Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung’s Experience 9.0 custom skin on top. With a host of Samsung applications competing with Google’s own, as well a suite of Microsoft apps that cannot be uninstalled, Samsung Experience is fast becoming as bloated as TouchWiz.

Samsung’s own applications are optimised well for the 18.5:9 aspect ratio and are well laid out and easy to use. Samsung has also added a host of nifty features such as ultra data saving mode, an anti-virus app powered by McAfee, theme support, and a one-handed mode. For storage management you can move data to a memory card, delete duplicate images, compress unused apps, and delete saved APK files.

A new feature called ‘Chat over Video’ allows users to chat on WhatsApp and the default messaging app whilst watching videos. The feature, which Samsung claims has been developed by its Indian R&D team, overlays a translucent chat window and keyboard over the active video. The feature is quite useful and worked well during our use.

Galaxy A6plus Inline4 Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus Inline 4

 

Samsung’s proprietary applications also add some functionality. Samsung Pay Mini enables mobile payments, and Samsung Mall allows users to search for products across four e-commerce platforms using image recognition. S Bike mode was also designed in India, to promote two-wheeler safety. There is no official word on when an Android P update might arrive, though Samsung’s track record in terms of shipping updates to mid-range devices has been spotty at best.

Battery life was quite good. In our HD video loop battery test, the Galaxy A6+ lasted 12 hours and 30 minutes. In terms of real-world performance, the phone easily lasted us the whole day with medium to intensive use, with some juice left in the tank. Charging was quite slow though. The bundled charger took more than three hours to charge the Galaxy A6+ fully, and it took 1.5 hours to get to 50 percent.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ cameras

The Galaxy A6+ features a dual-camera setup at the rear comprised of a 16-megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of f/1.7, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor with an aperture of f/1.9 for capturing depth data. At the front, the smartphone has a 24-megapixel snapper with an aperture of f/1.9. Both front and rear cameras have single-LED flashes.

The camera app is easy to use and offers multiple modes such as Night, Sports, and Panorama. There is a Pro mode as well that allows you to alter the metering, exposure, ISO and white balance. AR stickers work well and can be used with both the front and the rear cameras. There are more than 30 stickers and 50 stamps, and more can be downloaded from Samsung’s ‘Galaxy Apps’ application.

The rear camera struggles to lock focus at times, but images showed good dynamic range. In our experience, photos taken in favourable light were above average, with accurate colours and a good amount of detail. Images taken in low light though were dark and murky, and had a considerable amount of noise. The front-facing 24-megapixel sensor captures a decent amount of detail in favourable light but also disappoints in low light, with nosy and grainy shots. The front-facing LED illuminator-type flash helps to a degree.

Tap to see full-sized Samsung Galaxy A6+ camera samples

 

The Galaxy A6+ is also capable of capturing bokeh shots with both front and rear cameras. A nifty feature called Live Focus allows users to preview the intensity of the depth-of-field effect before taking photos, but only with the rear camera. The resulting shots are impressive, with good edge detection even at the highest level of blur. For blurring the background in selfies, the camera app uses software algorithms. Bokeh selfies lack detail and have inaccurate edges.

Video recording maxes out at 1080p for both the front as well as the rear cameras. There is an option to record in the phone’s default 18.5:9 aspect ratio as well. Videos have a good amount of detail but suffer from focus shifting. The lack of OIS is evident, but this can be excused given the price of the Galaxy A6+.


Samsung Galaxy A6+ in pictures

Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ has a stellar display with deep blacks, punchy colours, and great viewing angles. The battery life is good and so is the build quality. Unlike many smartphones in this price range, the A6+ can be bought from e-commerce sites as well as at offline retail stores.

However, at Rs. 25,990 – it is hard to look past the heavy and bulky body, unreliable face recognition, and performance issues. The camera produces good shots in favourable light but struggles in low light. Similarly priced smartphones such as the Nokia 7 Plus (Review) and Honor 8 Pro (Review) are not only more powerful, but are also more well-rounded on the whole, with stronger feature sets.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and Nokia 6 (2018) (Review) are also great choices that cost less and offer terrific value for money. Samsung loyalists can consider the Galaxy A6+ but others should take a good look at the competition before parting with their hard-earned money.

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Samsung Galaxy A6+

Samsung Galaxy A6+

Rs.22,990*
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Good battery life
  • High-quality Super AMOLED display
  • Great build quality
  • Bad
  • Sub-par performance
  • Unwieldy and heavy
  • Flaky face recognition and slow fingerprint sensor
  • Cameras struggle in low light
BUY AT
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    *Includes Rs. 3,000 cashback
    Rs.22,990*
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) –
    Rs.25,990

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]