Head-To-Head: Samsung Galaxy Note9 Vs. Galaxy S9+

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Since Samsung has two major launches of premium smartphones each year -- in contrast to just one big annual launch from Apple -- the company is faced with having to outdo itself every few months. While the debut this past spring of the Galaxy S9+ brought a number of new advances in areas such as the camera and performance, the upcoming launch this month of the Galaxy Note9 comes with a number of upgrades even over the S9+. Which of the two Galaxy smartphones is a better fit for you? In the following slides, we compare the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 vs the Galaxy S9+ on specs and price.


As the two larger-screen devices in Samsung's premium smartphone portfolio, both phones in our comparison come with a lot of display space. The Galaxy Note9 remains the bigger device, though, with a 6.4-inch screen. That helps to separate the Note9 a bit from the Galaxy S9+, which measures 6.2 inches on the display. Both devices use Samsung's colorful and bright Super AMOLED display technology, and feature resolution of 2,960 x 1,440. The devices also both offer a nearly edge-to-edge design, with minimal bezels above and below the display area.

Battery Life

The Galaxy Note9 features a significantly larger battery than the S9+, which presumably will give an advantage around battery life. The Note9 sports a 4,000mAh battery, compared to the 3,500mAh battery in the S9+. Samsung has said the device will offer "all-day" battery life, but hasn't gotten more specific so far. However, we assume this means the Note9 will last longer than the 15 hours of usage that's promised for the Galaxy S9+.

Processor, RAM & Storage

Both devices in our comparison use the eight-core Snapdragon 845 chip, Qualcomm's speediest mobile processor of the moment, so there's little to contrast there. A bigger difference comes in RAM and storage. While the Galaxy S9+ features 6 GB of RAM and starts with 64 GB of internal storage, the base configuration for the Note9 offers the same amount of RAM but more internal storage at 128 GB. There's a higher-end Note9 model, as well, with 8 GB of RAM for enhanced performance and a massive 512 GB of internal storage. Samsung is also offering Galaxy S9+ configurations with 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage. Both devices can be expanded via a microSD card for extra storage space, too.


Both devices include dual rear camera systems of 12-megapixel cameras. The Galaxy Note9 integrates the standout camera feature from the S9+ -- an aperture that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions. New camera features debuting with the Note9 include a "scene optimizer" that comes with 20 automatically triggered presets for taking optimized photos. A second new feature is "flaw detection," which detects if there was an eye blink, image blur, lens smudge or backlight issue and alerts the user to retake the photo. Both devices also offer "live focus" for automatic blurring of a photo's background, as well as some fancy slow-motion video capabilities.

Special Features

A key difference with the Galaxy Note9 is the inclusion of a digital stylus, the S Pen, which is stored inside the phone itself. Samsung has updated the S Pen for the Note9 from past releases, so that the pen now connects to the phone over Bluetooth. As a result, the S Pen can now serve as a remote control: the button on the pen can be used to open apps and to take certain actions within apps. For instance, you can take a photo, start/stop music, or move forward a slide in PowerPoint with a press of the button. Users can also customize the functionality of the button to some degree.

Additionally, the Galaxy Note9 provides easier connectivity to Samsung's DeX Android desktop option. Users can now connect the Note9 to a display via a USB-C to HDMI dongle. The Note9 can then be used as a touchpad for navigating in the Android desktop, or users can connect a compatible keyboard and mouse.

Price & Availability

Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note9 are underway, and the Note9 will begin shipping on Aug. 24. The starting price for the Galaxy Note9 is $999.99, well above the Galaxy S9+ starting price of $839.99. However, those prices are for 128 GB of storage on the Note9 and half of that amount, 64 GB, on the S9+. For the S9+ model with 128 GB of storage, you'll pay $889.99, or just $110 less than the Note9.

Meanwhile, the 512 GB model of the Galaxy Note9 is priced at $$1,249.99 and the 256 GB model of the S9+ costs $959.99.