When a new smartphone is launched, we generally compare it with the competition and seldom look at how it fares against its own predecessor. But, this is different.
While Samsung's most advanced smartphone, Galaxy Note 9, looks a lot like Note 8, a close inspection tells a different story.
However, the question is if the upgrade worth it.
Well, here's a detailed answer.
The Note 9 is available in India for Rs. 67,900 (6GB RAM/128GB storage variant) while the 8GB RAM/512GB storage variant costs Rs. 84,900. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 8 retails for Rs. 55,900 (discounted price on Amazon) for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant.
Both the Galaxy Note 9 and Note 8 look quite identical. However, there are key differentiators as well.
Up front, the Note 9 has slightly smaller bezels that help offer a marginally larger display than Note 8's.
On the Note 9, the fingerprint sensor now sits below the camera module - a more convenient position than what's on the Note 8.
Winner: Note 9.
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All about the screen
The Note 9 features the biggest display Samsung has ever designed in one of its mass-market smartphones.
The Note 9 has a 6.4-inch QHD+ (2,960 x 1,440 pixels) Super AMOLED display while the Note 8 has the same resolution on a 6.3-inch display.
Although the increase is marginal as compared to the Note 8's display, Note 9 still has an upper hand.
For the shutterbugs
Note 9 sports a dual rear-camera setup comprising a wide-angle dual pixel 12-megapixel sensor with a variable aperture (f/1.5-f/2.4), coupled with a 12-megapixel (f/2.4) telephoto sensor with 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.
On the other hand, the Note 8 sports a similar setup but the primary sensor has a fixed aperture of f/1.7.
Clearly, Note 9 has better optics.
For the selfie lovers: Front camera
Note 9 borrows the front camera from Note 8 - an 8MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture. It's a tie here. That said, Note 9's primary camera can record 4K videos at 60fps as against 30fps on its predecessor.
Under the hood
Note 9 gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor/Exynos 9810 chipset, paired with 6GB/8GB RAM and 128GB/512GB storage (supports up to 512GB microSD card).
On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 8 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset/Exynos 8895 processor, coupled with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage (expandable up to 256GB).
Winner: Note 9 for better processor and massive storage capability.
Lifeblood of your smartphone
In terms of sensors, both the Note series phones get a standard array of sensors including an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and gyroscope among others.
Likewise, in terms of software too, both phones run Android Oreo-based Samsung Experience.
However, Note 9 comes with 'Intelligent Scan' facial recognition software seen on S9, offering facial scanning and AR Emoji - another advantage over Note 8.
The Note 9 packs a 4,000mAh battery while Note 8 comes with a smaller 3,300mAh battery. Further, both the phones offer standard connectivity options.
However, the major difference is that Note 9 comes with a new S Pen that can pair with the phone to offer various shortcuts and inbuilt DeX system while Note 8 has a basic S Pen and DeX compatibility.
How things stack up?
Clearly, the Note 9 is a major upgrade over the Note 8. You get the latest processor, better primary camera, double internal storage, a bigger battery and advanced S Pen and Dex compatibility.
That said, for the top variant of Note 9 with 512GB storage, you'll have to shell out Rs. 84,900.
But, the Note 9 base-variant with 128GB storage is unbeatable.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Android Oreo-based Samsung Experience