Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 is stopgap ahead of major revamp, say analysts

Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9 had incremental improvements, but fans may wait for next model

Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 marks an incremental improvement, but a major redesign is expected in 2019.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 marks an incremental improvement, but a major redesign is expected in 2019.

Samsung has released its new Galaxy Note 9 smartphone at a gala event in the US, and the phone is available on pre-order for the UAE now.

The new handset features a range of new high end enhancements, but analyst opinion is divided over whether the new phone will satisfy customers ahead of more extensive updates expected for next year, or whether it will prove to be too expensive to gain much attention from users.

The Galaxy Note 9 is aimed at power users who want a large screen, and the new phone has a slightly larger 6.4" display. Other enhancements include water-carbon cooling system; Bluetooth-enabled S Pen that doubles as a shutter trigger; up to 512GB onboard storage and camera AI functions.

The phone also has a much larger 4000mAhr battery to give longer operating times.

Another likely selling point is an exclusive to be the first Android device to offer Fortnite, after a tie-up between Samsung and Epic Games.

IHS Markit Principal Analyst Wayne Lam commented: "Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 represents an evolution in design. While the BLE S Pen gives the flagship device more functionality and core electronic updates improved memory and storage, the Note 9 isn't all that different from last year's Note 8. Much like the path that Apple has taken with incremental design updates with the iPhone 7 Plus one year before the release of the iPhone X, it is believed that Samsung is planning for a more aggressive design update next year. Thus, the Note 9 serves primarily to keep the Note customer base happy until the anticipated design changes expected in 2019 along with new technologies like foldable displays."

Avi Greengart, Research Director for Consumer Platforms and Devices at GlobalData, said that the new battery should put the Note7 exploding battery issue to rest and shows Samsung is addressing user issues.

"The Note9's 4,000 mAh battery directly addresses a key consumer pain point - consumers buying a premium phone want to be able to use it all day long. However, the Note9's improvements are iterative, and as consumers hold onto their phones longer, Samsung is having a hard time selling expensive phones that are not well differentiated from their predecessors. While some carriers are offering generous promotions at launch, the Note9 is certainly expensive, starting at $999 for the 128GB version," Greengart said.

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