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2 weeks with the Note 9 – Review

So the space we work in affords us some pretty awesome opportunities

For example, we’ve had the Samsung Note 9 for 2 weeks before its official launch – This is so we can get to know it and use it as a daily driver and let you guys know what we think before you part with your hard earnt dollars you can go in with some thoughts from people like us who have been fortunate enough to get some early hands on experience – or something to that effect.

Now I’m sure most of you read my firs impressions of this device which went up as soon as we’d not get in trouble for posting it – which by the way its really hard when you get excited for new toys – But In that I basically said, These phones are worthy of a new number, a new iteration but are they THAT much of an upgrade? I said the same thing about the S9+ being a S8+ user for the last year or however long they have been out. The thing is I think most people ( correct me if I’m wrong ) tend to upgrade with their plans expiring? I certainly did for a long time since I moved from prepay to a plan back around the Iphone 3 days. And thus every time my contract was up for renewal there would be a just out or just about to come out device and this would usually mean opting for every other generation of devices – this was my standard practice for many years. What this meant for me was I would see a huge leap in the technology of the device – the camera would blow me away, I’d be able to do so much more with it – Nowadays – those leaps appear less drastic so it comes down to a simple question – is the upgrade of 1 generations advances worth the purchase price? – no one can answer that for you but you – for me personally I would want the best I can afford at any given time as being a content creator we want the best images and ease of use for productivity possible

Which nicely leads into something that surprised me about the note – I’d not had a huge amount of experience with the note series as I think the last one I had my hands on was a 7 or a 6 many years ago and wasn’t something I was overly fond of – the main reason was I didn’t see the necessity for all that functionality in a device when I’d just take my laptop everywhere – however in those days we did far less of our own content creation – we had a top film maker producing our video content and many of our images for the things we were working on – since he moved away we had to make the choice of find someone else or learn to do things for ourselves – we of course chose the latter – This really opened my eyes to how much you end up doing to create a piece of content – for example – a car review – it’s not just stick a go-pro in a window and talk about a car for 20 minutes – there are so so many other things involved – and even once the film is made we still need to market that film through social media – And its through the social media ( for me) that the note really shines.

Now we know that we can run a power point presentation through the note 9 by simply plugging the device into a projector via HDMI and use the S pen as the slide clicker – that’s pretty freaking awesome, but not something I see myself doing – however – given the amount of time we spend on various apps and platforms that are better used on a device over a desktop – Instagram for instance – it starts to get nice to have a keyboard and mouse around – Using the Dex features was something that I didn’t think I wanted and now its something I can’t live without. My typical workflow would be importing and editing through something like premier or Lightroom – then putting that content either into the website or right into social media – right now for example if I’ve taken a picture for instagram I’ll edit on my computer and I use Facebook messenger to send things around to move them from PC to mobile device – now something I can do is run a 3rd monitor next to my current set up and sync everything up, basically acts in effect as 1 unit but the screen connected to the note 9 is running apps – workflow increases = less time at the desk = more time to get outside and live life – wins all around.

One of the big questions I’ve had about this has been the battery life – the stats are 4000mah up from 3400mah – in real world terms that should equate to if you don’t charge it one night its not the end of the world and should see you right through the next day – my station and car both have wireless charging docks so typically I’m always on charge and hadn’t really got it below about 80% the whole time I’d been using it so when i knew I was going to be writing this I had to try it – in short – went to bed with it at 100% – woke up to 92% ( there were a number of notifications and calls missed so it had been rather active in those 8 or so hours. By the end of the first day with usual use i was down to 57% – now normal use is a very subjective thing I’m rarely without my phone in my hand when out either messaging or calling or something – its my lifeline I actually enjoy the days where I can or need to turn it off. Next morning we were at 51% and by the end of the second day we were at 19% – so that’s two whole days of moderate to heavy use and still going strong. in theory it should be more than enough for almost everyone and if you’re one of those people that need more its likely you have chargers and battery banks everywhere anyway. I like to have everything at 100% before I go out myself – very rarely do I worry about running out of power – but that might say more about my prepared-ness than battery life.

Size was one of the reasons I didn’t want or like the older note phones – it was too big in the pocket and was difficult to use one handed ( woah minds out of the gutter ) – Coming from an S8+ you can see here side-by-side there is almost nothing in it – they weight about the same – the major difference is note 9 takes as many advantages of the dimensions as possible with tiny beazles and the curve edge it really makes the most of the space is has. not to mention its got the biggest battery to date and an S pen inside the chassis – operation is much the same – the only thing I found as a detriment with it was apps that require longer gestures like ” swiping” needed a longer input than I was used to and would fail to deliver enough of a swipe to register a choice made. not a biggie but something I noticed.

As far as apps going – I did the usual smart switch and had everything over on the note 9 as I had it on the S8+. Most apps run in their native resolution but some managed to scale to the newer size display well – I hadn’t noticed any major dramas or benefits with the usual apps I run – it seems to have more or less the exact same funtionality as my S8+ just with a more powerful processor and nicer screen – and can do it for longer with the bigger battery

Trying all the things,
I’d never before set up finger print sensors or retina unlocking – Its always been a swipe code for me cause its just what I was used to but ya know, when in rome – or when trying to conduct a review. Force of habit meant I had to actively think about unlocking in a new way – the fingerprint sensor was easy enough to set up and use tho I think i might have accidently unlocked it putting it into my pocket and pocket dialed someone – retina display works well unless I’ve just woken up but I think overall I’d just stick with the old swipe code as its what I know and I have that muscle memory for it on lock.

S pen – This is another one of those things I thought would for me at least, be more a gimmick than a tool – then I realized how many features there are for it – for example did you know you can find a clip of a video and make it a gif (not jif) and post it right to facebook? Again as a creator having those kind of tools at the finger tips makes me more inclided to use them either for productivity or sometimes to convay a conversation with images that have been drawn on to make a point – the pen makes accuracy easy and ultimately – if its easy and accesable I’m more likely to use it and thus we either get the same work done faster or more work done smarter – either way its a win

Here’s an example from a video we posted on our youtube that with 1 tap and a quick adjustment turned from a video to a Gif that can be used for all sorts – be it an animated title on the website or something fun to share. Again, if you can, you more likely will

As I said, any investment in technology is going to be a question of Dollars to upgrade vs how much upgrade you’re going to get – what might be less obivous is how those upgrades or extras are implemented as I found out – I think most all carriers are supplying the note9 so you should be able to get one from your favourite provider – of course questions are always welcome – it’s available from the day this was published so you should be able to see them in store and handle them – for the stats and more info etc head over to the Samsung website and that should provide things I might have overlooked

In conclusion I’d love to move over to this device from the S8+ – The camera is better which is always of importance to me but most of all, I found myself surpised at how many of the features I’d previously ignored were to me and having had them now I am sad to lose them. This is easily the best and most functional device I’ve ever reviewed But can I balance the Dollars vs Upgrades? unlikely at this stage – but my plan should tick over soon so i’ll keep an eye on specials – most plans have incentives of bonus gear that comes with the phone so that could make it a bit more appealing

Again – questions welcome either here or where you saw this on the social medias – full disclosure – this is on loan from Samsung for the purpose of review

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Empire motoring Journalist, BMX Rider, Yoga Doer and Burger aficionado. Always down for a laugh and or good food!

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