In line with the routines that Samsung released Galaxy Note line phones every year in the third quarter, this time Samsung presents the Galaxy Note 9 in Indonesia which reportedly presents a significant update.

Uniquely, the Galaxy Note 9 was launched in Indonesia with a pre-order promo that was quite luxurious in my opinion, namely cashback and bonus TV. This might be to dampen the initial response about the high cost of the Galaxy Note 9 which only the cheapest variant costs 13.5 million rupiah.

I also did not miss to pre-order to see the attractive promotions and want to taste how sophisticated this Galaxy Note 9 phone is. The Galaxy Note 9 itself is a large cell phone in terms of size, screen, battery, RAM, and internal storage capacity.

Design


The Galaxy Note 9 has a design similar to the Galaxy Note 8. The most striking difference is the position of the fingerprint scanner which is now located under the fingerprint, the more colorful S-Pen, and the color of the rear camera area that follows the overall color of the cellphone.

The color variant of the Galaxy Note 9 that I use is Ocean Blue which looks attractive when viewed directly by the eyes and combined with bright yellow S-Pen. The back of the cell phone is coated with glass material that also looks attractive but fingerprints can easily be imprinted.

The fingerprint scanner is now placed at the bottom of the camera but in my opinion I position it a little too close to the camera. Several times I was a little worried instead of touching the camera but fortunately it had never happened.

The size of the Galaxy Note 9 itself is quite wide and high, which is 161.9 x 76.4 mm. Although the size is rather large, this cellphone is still quite comfortable to use by one hand but it will be more comfortable to use with two hands especially the weight is also quite heavy for the size of the cellphone which is around 201 grams.

When I use this cellphone on the JaBoDeTaBek KRL train while holding one hand on the train handle, I often have to change hands because of the size and weight of this cellphone so it is not comfortable to be used by one hand for a long time.

Screen


The screen on the Galaxy Note 9 is the largest screen Samsung has ever used for their flagship class mobile phones. The screen measures 6.4 inches which is 0.1 inch larger than the Galaxy Note 8.

The screen again brings the concept of Infinity Display with curved sides and thin bezel. Screen models like this make the Galaxy Note 9 look elegant and in accordance with the times.

Fortunately, Samsung still survives by not using the notch on the Galaxy Note 9 screen like what most other cellphone vendors do. This is a plus for those who don't like notch on the screen like me.

The screen resolution in the Galaxy Note 9 is 1440 x 2960 pixels but can be changed to 1080 x 2220 pixels or 720 x 1480 pixels according to your needs. The results of the screen look bright and quality, just right for a flagship class mobile phone.

Performance


The Galaxy Note 9 in Indonesia is equipped with the Exynos 9810 chipset and 6 GB or 8 GB RAM. This combination makes the Galaxy Note 9 able to do various tasks easily and quickly.

I found very little stutter or lag in the operation of the cellphone. Usually this happens when I change to the Bixby menu from the home view. This can be easily overcome by using another launcher such as Nova Launcher.

Trying to be used to play heavy games like Final Fantasy XV, there were no obstacles that I found during the experiment. For games like Mobile Legends and AOV, the graphics settings can be set to maximum and use a high frame rate so that the animation in the game appears smoother.

I did not miss trying to play the newly released Fortnite game but it is still exclusive to Samsung phones. The performance is smooth even though the cellphone is quickly getting warm. And specifically for Galaxy Note 9 users, there are special skins on Fortnite after users play the game for several sessions.

When in warm conditions, the performance of the cellphone does not have a significant decrease in performance. This is because the use of a mobile cooling system Water Carbon Cooling. With the copying system, the performance of the cellphone remains stable when doing heavy work and the temperature of the cellphone increases.

S Pen


Samsung actively promotes the yellow S Pen Galaxy Note 9. But that does not mean that the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 9 is only new in color. The latest generation of S Pen has an interesting additional function that can be used as a remote control.

With Bluetooth Low Energy technology, now the S Pen can do various kinds of action by holding down the pen button, pressing the pen button once, or pressing the pen button twice. This feature can be programmed for various functions that have been provided.

For example, holding the button in S Pen will be able to open the camera application directly. When using the camera application, pressing the S Pen button once will take a photo and press the button twice quickly to switch to the front / rear camera.

The Screen Off Memo feature in the Galaxy Note 9 which allows users to write without unlocking the cellphone also presents an interesting gimmick where the color of the writing by default will be the same color as the S Pen. Because my S Pen is yellow, the writing color is yellow.

If you want the color on the Screen Off Memo to be just white, this can be done easily but for now there is no option to change the color of the writing to free color.

In addition to these features, the Galaxy Note 9 still carries various features around the S Pen to support productivity ranging from regular note applications to applications for drawing using S Pen.

Software


For now the Galaxy Note 9 still uses Android O, not the latest Android P. This is common in Samsung phones and of course the Galaxy Note 9 will get an Android P update in the not too distant future.

The interface between his face is comfortable and not messy. If you have used a Samsung phone before, you will feel familiar with the appearance of the interface on the Galaxy Note 9.

In the Galaxy Note 9 there are already installed a number of default applications, but the majority can be removed easily if it's not desired. One thing that is definitely there and difficult to deactivate is Bixby, AI made by Samsung.

Bixby is currently not performing well, often guessing my voice input. Google Assistant is much smarter in understanding my voice input. This also happens to those who use English as their native language.

For Samsung Dex mode on the Galaxy Note 9 there is no need to use special accessories anymore, just use a USB C converter to HDMI and connect to a TV that supports the HDMI slot. I tried using an ordinary converter cable and I succeeded in entering Samsung Dex mode.

But to be more comfortable, Samsung Dex needs to use an additional bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can just use the Galaxy Note 9 for navigation and typing on Samsung Dex but it will be quite a hassle.

Camera

The Galaxy Note 9 uses a camera configuration similar to the Galaxy S9 +  which is a 12MP dual rear camera with dual OIS and an 8MP front camera. Which is somewhat different in the Galaxy Note 9 there is an update from the side of the software for image processing such that the camera results are more satisfying.

The camera on the Galaxy Note 9 will automatically find the optimal configuration according to the elements in the photo. And also if there is an error when shooting like a blurry object or someone blinking when photographed it will be notified by the cellphone to be repaired.

Coupled with the use of Dual Aperture technology for the rear camera, the Galaxy Note 9 can take optimal photos for various light situations.

For the camera results of the Galaxy Note 9 can be seen in the photos below (click on the image for the original resolution). It should be noted, all photos were taken using Auto mode and the default camera application of the Galaxy Note 9.

Battery

One of the biggest changes in the Galaxy Note 9 is the battery. The Galaxy Note 9 uses a battery with a capacity of 4,000 mAh which is the largest battery capacity Samsung has ever used for their cellphone flagship class.

To test the Galaxy Note 9 battery that I did, the Always on Display feature is disabled, the screen resolution is set to FHD, dual sim is active with a combination of 3G and LTE, automatic screen light level, and wifi and bluetooth are activated for some time only as needed.

When I use everyday for web surfing, social networking, using online motorcycle taxi applications, and reading news, the Galaxy Note 9 can produce Screen on Time as much as 5 hours 9 minutes from 100% battery at 20:02 to 15% at 20:25 the next day.

The Galaxy Note 9 proved to be able to be used all day without my need to charge the battery even though I actually expected more from the Galaxy Note 9 battery. But this is only natural to see the size of the screen of the cellphone and chipset used.

Speaker

One area that maybe not many people know, the speakers in the Galaxy Note 9 get a significant update compared to the Galaxy Note 8.

The speakers in the Galaxy Note 9 have been adjusted by the AKG and the speakers can produce stereo sound. In addition there is also a Dolby Atmos mode to optimize the sound produced according to the type of sound like whether it is the sound of music or film.

I test the video playing using the MX Player application and the volume is set to level 11, the sound is loud and still quite clear. The loud speaker is useful when playing games or watching movies, of course not in public areas that many people do not disturb like when in the house.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Note 9 ticks all the points that make a quality flagship class cellphone in my opinion, which is a satisfying battery, fast performance, stunning screen, good camera, and abundant features.

Leaving aside the price, the Galaxy Note 9 is an almost perfect mobile for productivity or playing games. Indeed there are high-performance phones that are (far) cheaper, but usually they have disadvantages such as a weak battery, incomplete sensors such as no NFC, unclear after-sales service, or a poor camera.

Do I recommend the Galaxy Note 9 with this high price? If you have a budget and feel the Galaxy Note 9 will provide great benefits for everyday life, why not.

But to be honest the price is a bit too high in my opinion for a cellphone. I personally am actually sad to see the flagship class mobile phone prices are becoming increasingly expensive from year to year even though the development of mobile phones in today's world is not as significant as a few years ago and the depreciation of mobile phone prices is quite fast.