Samsung's latest device enters the ring at a time of slowing smartphone demand globally and a disappointing performance by its cousin, the Galaxy S9. And the unusual, three-legged, cauldron-like design is sure to set it apart from the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod devices of the world.
Samsung held its fall Unpacked 2018 event yesterday in Brooklyn, where it announced three new products: the Galaxy Note9, the Galaxy Watch, and the Galaxy Home. In the USA, the Galaxy Watch LTE version will be available through AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon as well as at Samsung. After all, aside from the S Pen, the only real differences are dimensional. A dual-lens camera, with better zooming, came to the Note 8 months before the S9 Plus got it, for instance.
But if you dig a little deeper - for the cheapest version - it's not that bad compared to the launch price of the Note 8.
For the past several Samsung Galaxy phone releases, the Korean giant has often offered the best deal on its newest phone through its own store. Samsung lists a number of phones from Samsung, LG, Apple, and Google that they'll accept for hundreds of dollars off.
The 6.4-inch Note 9, launched here on Thursday, comes with a mammoth 1TB memory, a bigger battery and a Bluetooth-equipped S Pen which is unique to Note devices. This is still mostly your standard Note phone, though. That said, Samsung's wearables have historically been between smartwatches than activity trackers, so we're very curious to see if the company has made any meaningful progress on this front. To say the least, the watch doesn't even have a selfie camera present and that's a prerequisite for Face ID to work as intended, so we'd argue that the Apple Watch Series 4 is more likely to arrive with a miniature selfie camera instead of a full-blown Face ID module. The one you see in the image above is the 42mm one, as it also comes in a black 46mm variant for those that have massive wrists.
Other options are available - Samsung is spoiling us for choice!
Could the "artificially intelligent" features of the camera make it to the S10?
Simply put, it's a premium smart speaker. So there's no scope to test out things like battery life or how it handles things like being caught in the rain (It's IP68 rated waterproof) or knocked off a desk.
One thing is for certain though: if Apple keeps pushing up its prices, and sells units still, Samsung is going to do the same for its flagship phones too, rather than providing a cost-effective alternative.