I started to write a blog post back in 2018 of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. However, due to not writing anything, it was kind of scrapped. I still want to right a review on it though, so, I am going to review it almost 3 years later.
I am still using the Note 9 as a daily driver to THIS day. It is an amazing phone. I really do not even want to get a new phone, because this thing has ran so well. I have dropped this bad boy hundreds of times, and no cracks. Well, there is a crack on the glass screen protector, but, not the phone. The Note 9 was an amazing buy. I think at the time I got it for $500 with a trade in of my S7 Edge. I only got the S7 Edge because my Note 7 had to be returned. In any case a $999 phone for $500 with a trade in of an old phone.
Fast Processing – I have not had this phone be slow. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 has been amazing for me! It still holds up, even in 2021
Clear Phone Calls – I can make a phone call. Works great calling people. Has bluetooth support, lol. Sound quality has always been great!
Note Taking – This is the best thing about the note series. You use the S-Pen and you can take screenshots of a specific part of the screen. You can take pictures with the button. You can jot down notes like theirs no tomorrow. The reason why I need this on my next phone!
Camera – Although not as good as some newer phones, the camera on this phone has always been amazing. When it first came out, all my iOS friends were in awe of the camera quality. I still like it to this day!
Ports – The headphone jack is still being used to this day! I love that it has it. and USB-C charging is FAST. Also has fast wireless charging!
Storage – I got the base model at the time. 128GB and I got a free 256GB Micro SD Card. I have so much storage! After 3 years I still have 40GB left on the main device and 130GB Free on the SD card. Never have I deleted anything off.
Sound – The quality of the speakers were so nice. They still are today.
Screen – The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED is beautiful with no burn in! I keep my screen timeout at like 15 seconds or something, but that is fine with how I login.
Fingerprint/Face Unlock – Fingerprint sensor works so quick! and it is on the back, so when I take it out of my pocket, my finger automatically is in the correct position to unlock it before I even get it out. Then, face unlock is so nice for when using apps that require security.
Water Proof – I have even swam with this thing. Even though I wouldn’t do it now, because I am sure it isn’t as water proof as it was before. Seals get old over time. But, I went into the ocean with this thing. Dropped it in water a few times. Use it in the shower, to this day.
Samsung KNOX/DEX – I love the security KNOX gives me. I also love the ability to use this as a mini laptop with the DEX features. I don’t use these features as much, since, I have dedicated hardware as a laptop, but, in a pinch, works great!
Battery Life after 3 years – Battery life for the first 2 years was fine with this 4,000 mAh battery. Easily get a day with heavy activity and then some. Now after 3 years, not so much. Thankfully, I am home all the time, so, I can charge it, wirelessly charge it, whenever I want. I can get it replaced, but stay till the conclusion.
Updates – Currently the phone only gets security updates. Which is great! But also means, I am running on Android 10. No more OS updates from Samsung. Android 12 is coming out this September.
I really do not want to get rid of this phone! Trying to find a replacement will be hard, but I will need to get rid of it. Due to security updates probably going to be quarterly in 2022 and no more OS updates, this phone will not suit me. Even if I replaced the battery and get full days out of it again, I do not see me sticking with it for the simple fact of security.
Could I download custom ROMs and get security updates and new OS, yes, but that’s not what I want to do. I do not want to spend my time doing that. I would rather write a blog post here or on my other websites.
Would I recommend the Note 9, YES!!! in 2018. Now in 2021, if you are not gonna get security updates, or put in custom ROMs to fill in that gap, then, NO, I wouldn’t recommend it today. Samsung has put in planned obsolescence into their phones, but just in the software side.
This is the big question! What phone should I go for next? If you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know. You have just read what I loved about this phone. I do not want a 3+ month old phone at this time, since that’s 3+ months less of security updates in the long run.
I would love to go back to iOS again, but, they don’t have good note taking abilities yet. The only makers of a good note taking phone are the Notes from Samsung! We did see S21U get note taking ability, but with no bluetooth S-Pen. I have heard the new Z Fold 3 and possibly the Z Flip 3 may get S-Pen support. However, I want a glass screen, or a durable screen. So I will keep my eyes on that. Also, the S22U could be what I need to replace my Note 9!