First Look: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Unboxing, First Impressions, Antutu Benchmark

I almost got myself a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 last year until news broke that the Apple iPhone X would be available last December. I eventually chose the latter, and I was happy with it. However, I got bored with it again and been yearning to get a new Android phone as my main daily driver. Last week, I took the plunge and got myself a Samsung Galaxy Note 9. In this post I will share my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 unboxing, as well as my first impressions of the phone.


I have reviewed numerous Samsung mobile devices in a decade. The first Samsung phone I reviewed was the Samsung Omnia II, a Windows Mobile smartphone which was the equivalent of Android’s Galaxy series back in the late 2000s. My first Samsung device I owned was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, then two years later I won a Galaxy S3. I skipped the S4, got the S5, S6, and ended with the S7. I also owned a few phones from the Galaxy J series, like the J5, J7 and most recently the J8.

The Note 9 is the first phone I owned from the series. I have reviewed the Note 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 in the past 5 years.


OS:Android 8.0 Oreo
Processor:2.8 GHz Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 845 Octa-Core processor | Adreno 630 / 2.7Ghz Samsung Exynos 9810 Octa-Core processor | MALI-G72 MP18
Display: 1440 x 2960 6.4" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory:128GB/512GB Internal Storage expandable with a Micro SD card up to 1TB, 6GB/8GB RAM
Connectors:USB 3.1 Type-C, OTG Support
Cameras:12 Megapixels OIS f/1.5-f/2.4 + 12 Megapixels f/2.4 2x Optical Zoom (Main Camera), 8 Megapixels f/1.7 (Front)
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards required (Hybrid)
Battery:4,000 mAh (non-removable
SRP:128GB/6GB - P55,900
512GB/8GB - P75,900


The box comes with a sleeve with an image of a S-PEN. The color of the S-PEN is an indication of the color variant of the phone you’ve chosen. Guess what color I got.

A brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 9!

Accessories included in the package are a pair of AKG earphones, USB Type-C cable, spare earbuds, S-PEN Tip ejecting tool.

Samsung also added a USB to Type-C and Type-C to Micro USB adapters. From what I remember, they started including these adapters in the recalled Note 7.

Also nice of Samsung to include a silicon case. According to a store Sales Rep, Samsung started including the case with the Note 8, followed by the S9. Also in the package is the Quick Start Guide.


I was supposed to post my first impressions during the Samsung Unpacked event of the Note 9 last month. Unfortunately, I thought it was useless to post my thoughts since there were limitations that involve connecting to the internet. Anyway, the phone feels solid as always. Aesthetically I felt nothing has changed from the Note 8. Honestly, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the two. It’s still a fingerprint magnet, but this time I used the silicon case that came with the package to protect my phone from accidental drops and smudges.

The Note 9’s screen is slightly bigger now at 6.4 inches. I’ve always loved having an AMOLED screen on the phone ever since I reviewed the Omnia II back in 2009. This is the biggest screen size I’ve ever used with a Super AMOLED screen and as always, it’s a joy to use. So bright, so vivid. However, not all streaming apps support the screen resolution of the Note 9.

Gaming is fantastic on the Note 9! I have installed PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Fortnite which is an exclusive download for Note 9 users. The graphics of PUBG Mobile were adjusted to HDR and frame rate to Ultra. I played a game with these settings and it was very smooth until the end of the match. So far I didn’t experience any heat, but I will play at least a couple of hours and see if the phone would heat up. The same can be said with Fortnite.

The Note 9’s processor is powered by a 2.7 GHz Samsung Exynos 9810 processor first scene with the Galaxy S9. For the benefit of everyone, the Exynos variant is available in Europe, Middle East and Asian countries. The more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 edition is available in North America. As seen in the screenshot of the benchmark above taken with Antutu, the Exynos 9810 is still no slouch, but as I’ve mentioned it’s not as fast as the Snapdragon 845 like what I got here in my OnePlus 6 review. Nevertheless, it’s one of the fastest and that should be good enough for me. Also, the Note 9 already comes with 128GB of Internal Storage which I have no idea how I could fill this up and can be used with a Micro SD card up to 1TB! The 6GB RAM prevents my phone from any hiccups since Day 1.

And oh, I got an Ocean Blue variant!


The superstar feature of the Note 9 is not the phone itself but the S-PEN. The S-PEN is more useful now that it can be used as a remote control for apps.

So far I was able to use the S-PEN to take selfies with friends and it worked like a charm. Will I use it more often for the other apps? We’ll see in my next review.


The Note 9 is equipped with cameras composed of two 12 Megapixels. Here are some sample photos:

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I have so much more to share but I would like to reserve them in my full review. For the meantime, stay tuned to more Galaxy Note 9-related posts in the coming days.

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