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Samsung galaxy note 9 review

Level 7: Part Timer
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I am an Android handset freak and have owned an awful ot of handsets over the last 25 years.


The Samsung Galaxy Note range has always impressed me and i've owned every single version of the UK released Note series with the exception of the Note 7 for obvious reason.


So I was quite keen to get my mitts on a Note 9 having been raved at by a mate who has one and has upgraded from a Note 2 (remember them?).


Anyway, the price had dropped on O2 Refresh foir the 512GB 8GB RAM version soI've taken the plunge and ordered one.  The initial impression about  this handset is that it feels slightly lighter than the Note 8 but not compromising build quality. Turning it on is similar to the Note 8 but boots up faster and Im then treated to a wonderful High Res display with brilliant whites and inky blacks.


Bold colours are also present giving a very vivid impression.


I recently updated the handset to Android 9 Pie which to me has two big advantages.


First is that the battery life has extended somewhat, so the claims about the phone lasting all day in practical use is not so far off the mark .


Secondly I now have no trouble at all connecting and using external DAC's like my Chord Mojo. No need anymore for any specialist and chargeable apps, and I can now run Spotify and YouTube through a DAC with upsampled sound and no crashes or distortion.  


Anyway, back onto the handset.


The Note 9 has standard features found on most Android handsets such as a camera, water resistance (NOT Waterproofing according to some reports) either 128GB or 512GBmemory with either 6GB or 8GB RAM respectivly. It has also kept memory card expansion via a Micro SD card (up to 512GB) and most imprtantly a headphone socket. Sadly the interchangable battery option disappeared with the Note 4 and is most unlikely ever to return now. Charging the battery is via a USB-C cable and a Samsung or Qualcomm 2 compatible fast charger . Samsung have declined the tempation to go for an eqivalent of 'Super Charge' from Huawei or equivalent. 


The camera is superb. there's a plethora of modes available from the 'point and shoot' right up to Pro mode enabling total control. It's as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. Samsung have gone to some lengths to improve night time picture results and theres a lack of camera 'noise' on all the pics I've taken so far. Theres also some 'fun' modes, one of them is 'Colour Pop' which turns the pic into monochrome then partially colours part of the pic.


Operation is buttery smooth, access is very quick indeed and call and reception quality is awesome.


This an expensive handset by any stretch of the imagination but it has the best overall user experience I've ever had and can recommend it thoroughly.