They say that when something really works you will hardly even notice it. When everything else in the world right now is making your life hard – riding petrol prices, land insecurity, your mother-in-laws impending visit – your tech should not even consciously feature. Instead great tech should be a seamless extension of your life.
The Galaxy Note 9 is all that and a magic S-pen. Sure, it’s so big it can jump out of your pocket at any given moment but that massive screen is all the better to see your social media with. It is a magnificent phone that is as slick as it is beautiful and delivers on all levels.
Who knew it was possible for a phone battery to last all day – outside the vestibule of the ever-sturdy Nokia? Boasting the biggest – and most stable – battery in a Samsung to date, I have punished this phone with hours of work, social media, voice recording, video watching and photo taking and it would still have 6% battery when dawn breaks the next day. Only to charge right up again in a “hot minute.”
There are rumors that as of next week a new 512gb iPhone will be announced but Apples continued stubborn hold onto their iCloud storage pay service means that their very loyal subjects may have to wait another year to break the 1Tb storage glass ceiling. Not that you could ever really need that level of space on a phone but like a girl and her handbags, you always like to have the option.
The dual aperture smart camera, which borrows from this years’ earlier S9, continues to dominate in lowlight. The newly upgraded Bluetooth S-Pen is even more responsive than before, acting as a handheld remote for selfies and photos from said cameras.
Bixby is even more chirpy than she has ever been, ever ready to creepily spring into action at the mention of her name. Although not as “nice” or “charming” as Siri, she is still remains ever so efficient. Want to get an uber? Want to order food? Want to plan your next date? Want to organize your life on a profoundly creepy level without opening your phone or a single app? She’s on it like Alfred is for Batman.
It is nothing short of a really great phone. And flexes every muscle that the Korean giant has.
Let the record state that since last year I personally prefer the now second biggest hitter in the game Huawei when it comes to phones. The experience you get from their phones smart navigation thanks to their AI Kirin chipset’s just work for me. I say this having been an iPhone user for what seems like - the same amount of time Steve Jobs ignored his oldest daughter’s existence – forever. After 3 incarnations of the Apples 4-6S I have only recently found myself the proud owner of a Galaxy Note 9.
And guess what? It was easy. Switching to a vastly superior phone experience was easy. I never felt any prangs of longing for my old iOS. I never had to revisit my old phone to find any photos because thanks to the “plug in and play” transfer adapter Samsung gives you – for free – I had a complete perfect replica of my iPhone and my 120-odd-thousand photos on my Samsung in a matter of an hour. Sure this is a long time standard for the brand but no less an appreciated one.
Beyond the initial smooth migrating mechanics, the experience of the phone itself became intuitive and cleaner than my previous counterpart. Samsung’s minor tweaking of Android had me swiping the phone all over the place instinctively quicker than one could have anticipated from a former dedicated Apple-ite.
There was no trauma. It has become, in a record time, a seamless extension of my life.
It’s phones like this that should make it harder to remain loyal to Silicon Valley. It’ll be interesting to see what Apple will be putting forward next week at their new product experience presentation in the wake of Huawei snagging their spot on the leader board and Samsung’s ever unfurling innovations. The mega giants of Asia certainly haven’t made it easy for them.
The 128GB Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will set you back R18,999 or R799 a month. Available now.