Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: Sleek and new, but too much déjà vu

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review

Samsung fans initially pushed back when I first called the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ boring updates ahead of their release. It seems odd to label smartphones "boring" when they're so sleek and powerful, and if they existed in a bubble they would undoubtedly be fantastic phones. But the Galaxy S9's biggest problem wasn't power, performance, or design, it was the Galaxy S8. Samsung chose to reuse the same design from the prior year's flagship Galaxy S phones. On top of that, the company didn't add any exciting new features to the Galaxy S9. It was an iterative update with better specs and a better camera, but that simply isn't enough in the crowded premium Android phone market. All of the push back dissipated when Samsung fans saw how boring the phone really was, and the Galaxy S9 series is now projected to be Samsung's worst-selling Galaxy S generation since 2012.

The Galaxy S9 was an "S" update, but "S" updates only work for Apple. The iPhone has been known to launch new phones every other year, and in between would be an "S" update that packed improved specs and new features into the same design. Why did that strategy work so well for Apple and so poorly for Samsung? The main reason is likely the simple fact that Apple has no competition. If people want a new iOS-powered smartphone, they have to buy an iPhone. If people want a new Android phone, there are dozens of great options at any given time.

Now, we arrive at the Galaxy Note 9. Unveiled last week and set to be released on August 24th, the Galaxy Note 9 undoubtedly follows the same risky playbook as the Galaxy S9. The Galaxy Note 9 has upgraded components that offer faster speeds and better performance, but it also looks almost exactly like last year's Galaxy Note 8. This time around, unlike the Galaxy S9, the 2018 model actually has some compelling new features that might be intriguing enough to warrant an upgrade... if you can stomach the fact that the Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung's most expensive smartphone ever, which is pretty bold for an iterative update.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: Sleek and new, but too much déjà vu originally appeared on on Wed, 15 Aug 2018 at 10:08:54 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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