Note 9 Long Term Review – 2019

So the note 9 was released and everyone reviewed it straight away. It’s amazing, it’s incredible

It’s the ducks nuts!!!

Well did they really review it or just make a cool sounding story about it. Well hopefully my video is an honest reflection on what it’s like to own and use it every day. This is a world of pleasure and pain for me. Samsung gives me nothing, maybe they even treat me poorly as a loyal customer but i will try to not let that sway me as a reviewer.

Unboxing and setting up the note 9 is an experience like no other. The design, the in hand feel, the headphones, the Spen, the screen, the responsiveness. It’s all magic.

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Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, Aluminum frame. 201 grams of glory. But damn it’s so nice i need to cover it with a case so no one will ever see it. Jokes aside, it still has an amazing display and a headphone jack, is weighty and comfortable to hold. IP68 water and dust resistant, yet i have had to had mine repaired due to “corrosion” in the charging port caused by water even though mine had never been in water as i was too paranoid to put it near water. Samsung’s customer service levels were very poor through this process as well.

Moving away from my gripes about the build quality we can look at performance. I guess when we use smartphones we look for smoothness and as little lag as is possible. The note 9 offers both of these however scrolling to the bixby page is still like using a note 3. But the rest of the experience is smooth and enjoyable. Gaming as been fun and a pleasant experience. No matter what game i thrown at it. Scrolling is smooth and loading of web pages is fast and i felt no frustration at anytime. My device is running the Exynos 9810 and 6gb of Ram and 128gb of storage. Yep 128gb is the base. Awesome.

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Software is undeniably Touch-wiz, no matter what they call it, its touch-wiz. And yes there is some great improvements over the years in presentation and usability. I do enjoy the simplicity of the software and the experience is fairly intuitive, One pain in the butt experience is not being able to go full touch-wiz of full pixel experience. I do look forward to a day when Samsung experience will stand on its own and we will see considerably more improvements in the overall experience. Until then the only crap software side of this is Bixby. It still isn’t good enough to be on a phone especially one that costs 1500 bucks. Speaking of being the best I’m still on Android 8.1 and Samsung Experience 9.5

Camera, for a smartphone the camera is great, and depending on your skill level may be all you need as a camera. The shutter speed is incredible, burst mode is amazing, 4k video is amazing, slo mo is out of this world, auto mode is as good as a point and shoot camera. The over saturation days of Samsung Cameras are long gone. I also really enjoy using live focus mode. Front facing camera is one of the best for an 8 megapixel shooter, to be fair though i rarely use it. But when i do i’m happy with the results. I still take my DSLR/Mirrorless wherever i go as i get more out of that but for non photographers, this is going to be more than enough.

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The Spen, the Spen has matured over the years and in a way that anyone would be happy with. Do i sue it, i would say 1 out of a 100 times. The dumb part about this is that it actually makes using my device a lot more productive and easier to use but i just forget about it and over look it. My video on the top 20 Spen features can be found in the description. Using it as a remote controller is the newest addition and it is truly awesome. Use it for presentations, previewing media, drawing, or as the name suggests, Taking NOTE.

Multimedia Experience, the multimedia experience is amazing, set the screen to WQHD+. Set it to High Performance mode for gaming or Entertainment mode for watching content. Especially Netflix. The screen looks amazing and is a joy to watch content on. Gaming the frame rates are in tact and there is no lack of satisfaction when gaming on the note 9. The only area i want more from is the battery, it seems whether I’m gaming or not i take it off charge in the morning and put it on charge by 4pm to get me through to bedtime.

For me the personal issues or cons I’ve faced are

  1. The charging port corroded, Samsung said it was my fault and it wasn’t covered under warranty
  2. the battery drains really quickly, Samsung tested it and said its “fine”
  3. Bixby never does anything i ask it. EVER.
  4. It’s extremely hard to handle with one hand.

The overarching pros are

  1. The bio-metrics used for security
  2. The camera
  3. The software experience
  4. The unused Spen, if that makes sense.

Overall would i recommend the note 9 to someone? Definitely. Is it for everyone? Definitely not.

If you do get one, you will be happy

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