Hands-On With Samsung's New Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Watch

Samsung today hosted an event in New York where it unveiled its newest product updates, including the Galaxy Note 9, the Galaxy Watch, and the Galaxy Home speaker.

MacRumors attended Samsung's event and was able to get some hands-on time with Samsung's new line of flagship devices, which is worth checking out because Samsung's main product lineup is quite similar to Apple's with the introduction of the new Galaxy Home device.


Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 device comes just a few weeks ahead of when Apple plans to unveil its 2018 iPhones, and it gives us a look at the feature set Samsung is hoping will lure customers away from new Apple devices.

Unlike other Android smartphones, Samsung continues to eschew the notch, and the Galaxy Note 9 looks quite similar to the Galaxy Note 8 with small top and bottom bezels, an aluminum frame, a built-in iris scanner for biometric authentication, and a fingerprint scanner at the rear.

galaxynote9front
Samsung has tweaked the location of the fingerprint scanner, putting it underneath the rear camera instead of next to it, which often led to people touching the camera element in the previous device. Speaking of the camera, Samsung is using the same dual-camera dual-aperture setup as last year, with the addition of a new Intelligent Camera feature that optimizes camera settings for whatever you're taking a picture of.

samsunggalaxynoterear
The Galaxy Note 9 features a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, a smidge bigger than the 6.3-inch screen in the previous device, and also smaller than the rumored 6.5-inch display Apple's "iPhone X Plus" device is expected to offer.

Inside, the Galaxy Note 9 uses a Snapdragon 845 processor and what Samsung describes as a watercooling system for superior game performance, and it comes equipped with an updated S Pen, a factor that has always set the Note line apart from the iPhone, as Apple's devices do not support its one and only stylus, the Apple Pencil.

galaxynote9iphonex
The S Pen has been upgraded with Bluetooth, so it can be used as a remote for things like playing and pausing movies, playing slideshows, and taking selfies. An S Pen SDK is coming later this year that will allow developers to integrate S Pen functionality into their apps. Dock-free DeX support is included in the Galaxy Note 9, allowing it to be connected to an external display.

samsunggalaxynote4
To compete with the HomePod and the Apple Watch, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Home and the Galaxy Watch. Access to the Galaxy Home was limited and we couldn't get a good look at it, but it features a spaceship-like design with a U-shaped body that curves inward and three metal feet.

Samsung, like Apple, hyped the audio quality of the Galaxy Home on stage and demonstrated its integration with Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant and Siri competitor.

As for the Galaxy Watch, it features a circular display with a traditional watch-style face that also maintains the rotating bezel for control purposes. Like the Apple Watch Series 3, the Galaxy Watch features LTE so it is not reliant on an accompanying smartphone.

galaxywatch 1
It has a battery that lasts several days, and like the Apple Watch, it offers a breathing guide, heart rate monitoring, support for 39 types of workouts, and automatic workout detection, a feature Apple is bringing to the Apple Watch in watchOS 5. Samsung is pairing the Galaxy Watch with a wireless charger that can charge a smartphone and the watch at the same time, which sounds a lot like Apple's still-missing AirPower device.

galaxywatch2 1
At its event, Samsung was also showing off the Galaxy Tab S4, its new iPad Pro competitor that was introduced last week. The 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S4, which has a 16:10 AMOLED display, features DeX support, a Book Cover Keyboard, and an S Pen, along with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 7,300 mAh battery for 16 hours of battery life.

galaxytabs4
With today's announcements, Samsung's full fall 2018 product lineup is now available, and these are the devices that will directly compete with the products that Apple is expected to launch across the remaining months of 2018.

We're expecting three new iPhones, including a 5.8-inch OLED device that's a followup to the iPhone X, a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," and a lower-cost 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display. All three devices are expected to ditch the Home button and Touch ID in favor of Face ID enabled through a TrueDepth camera system.

Apple is also planning to launch new Apple Watch Series 4 models, which are said to have bigger displays, better batteries, and improved heart rate monitoring technology, plus there are revamped iPad Pro models in the works with slim bezels, no Home button, and Face ID support.

What do you think of Samsung's new product lineup, and how does it measure up to what Apple is rumored to be to putting out this fall? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

lupend88 Avatar
45 months ago
That's how a watch should look
Thats how a watch should look? Thanks for your opinion. I happen to think it looks like a hideous cheap casio found at a carnival. The Apple Watch looks much more premium in every way.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aevan Avatar
45 months ago

And Samsung still has the best watch and OS for watch. That's how a watch should look. Not some dinky little square kids toy.
Not sure what square kids toy are you talking about - but when speaking of the best watch, have you heard of Apple Watch?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sevanw Avatar
45 months ago
Absolutely premium and gorgeous devices. If there's ever a device that can command a premium price, it's the Note 9. Without question. Wow.
And Samsung still has the best watch and OS for watch. That's how a watch should look. Not some dinky little square kids toy. Battery for days and days.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aevan Avatar
45 months ago
I know I'll get a lot of negativity for saying this, but even with all these features, I can't shake the feeling that Samsung is designing each of the many features in their phones while obsessing over Apple in some way.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PotatoLeekSoup Avatar
45 months ago
Face ID and Touch ID still better than Samsung's half-baked implementations.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimmeyCook Avatar
45 months ago
Luckily that’s your opinion.
It's not "his opinion", Face ID is better.

It is better because it hasn't been cracked by the community and verified by the community of security researchers (don't give me crap about someone that claims they have made a mask and gave vague information, with nobody replicating the methods anywhere else).

And it's better because it works more times, after a bath, with the fingers dirty/sweaty, with gloves, etc.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange

Next iPad Pro Might Feature Large Glass Apple Logo to Allow Wireless Charging

Friday January 14, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022. While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...