Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are two of the hottest flagship smartphones in the world right now… but no one really cares. Samsung’s decision to reuse the same design as last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ is turning out to have dire consequences, and the fact that the phones don’t include any novel new features isn’t helping matters either. As we’ve noted several times in the past, a number of independent reports suggest Galaxy S9 sales have come in well below expectations. In fact, there are indications that sales thus far have been downright awful, like the fact that the S9 and S9+ got big price cuts at three major wireless carriers within a month of their release. Now, on top of everything else, an industry insider with a reliable track record has suggested that full-year combined sales of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to total fewer than 30 million units. That would be awful — while Samsung doesn’t report smartphone unit sales, it did say that it expected full-year sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to reach 60 million units last year.
The moral of the story here is that Samsung isn’t positioned quite as well as Apple when it comes to flagship phones. Apple can reuse the same design over and over, and still see impressive iPhone sales numbers because it’s the only game in town when it comes to iOS. Meanwhile, if Samsung launches a boring phone, consumers have dozens of other options to explore. Yes, the moral is indeed clear, but the problem doesn’t appear as though it’ll be corrected this year because it’s too late to do anything to fix the boring Galaxy Note 9 set to debut less than 2 months from now.
Based on everything we’ve seen and heard so far, the Galaxy Note 9 will be to the Note 8 what Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ are to last year’s S8 and S8+. It’s going to be an upgrade, sure. It’ll be more powerful and have better specs, too. The Note 9’s rear camera will also get a huge upgrade, just like the rear cameras on the Galaxy S9 and S9+. But the Note 9 is going to look almost exactly like last year’s Galaxy Note 8, and it’s not going to introduce any exciting new features. Well, unless you consider Samsung’s creepy (and crappy) Animoji ripoff to be an exciting new feature.
Long story short, the odds of Galaxy Note 8 owners being wooed into an upgrade are very slim. The Note 9 will basically be a “Note 8s,” like the “S” upgrades Apple used to release every other year. Again, that was a fine strategy for a company with no competition, but it clearly isn’t the best strategy for an Android phone maker with plenty of competition.
The silver lining is the fact that those with older smartphone models who do end up upgrading to a Galaxy Note 9 will end up with a great flagship phone. Just like the Galaxy S9 and S9+, the Note 9 is going to be among the best new smartphones on the market when it launches in August. We’ve seen plenty of leaks that paint a picture of the phone’s specs, and now the latest tidbit brings more good news.
Reliable leaker Ice universe has an excellent track record when it comes to information about unreleased Samsung smartphones. On Tuesday morning, he shared a new piece of information that he says is 100% confirmed. If he’s that confident we can likely take this new info to the bank, and this particular piece of info is quite appealing. According to the leaker, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9 will feature a massive 4,000 mAh battery.
The Galaxy Note 8 already has very good battery life, and it packs a much smaller 3,300 mAh battery. The Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by a more efficient Snapdragon 845 chipset, and it’s likely to include other power optimizations as well. Couple that with a battery that’s over 21% larger, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the most impressive phones on the market when it comes to battery life. It’ll be a fantastic benefit for people who do buy the phone, but sadly it’s still not terribly exciting and is unlikely to attract users in search of innovative new features.