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Samsung's new $1000 power-user phone reflects slowdown in hardware innovation

10 August 2018

It can even sync with your calendar so you can stay on top of your appointments and free time.

While the big-screened smartphone (6.4in, to be precise) looks near identical to its Note 8 predecessor with its edge-to-edge display and glossy IP68-certified chassis, Samsung is touting a number of upgrades. For them, it'll be seen as incremental upgrades that are there for the sake of seeing what can be done on a phone. The main change is that the Pen now has Bluetooth LE, so you can use it as a remote control for the phone.

It's aiming to please the reams of buyers who just like the best spec no matter what, those that lust after power just... because.

The first reaction to the price, for many, will be one of outrage.

In terms of network support and retailers, in the USA the LTE version of the Galaxy Watch, which is set to cost more than the base model, is being sold via AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and the official Samsung online store. Those just aren't smartphone prices. There's been speculation - unconfirmed by Apple - that all new iPhones will ditch the home button and fingerprint sensor and rely entirely on facial-recognition technology found in the iPhone X. The Note 9 will still have a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.

In terms of models and colours, the 42mm and 46mm versions of the Galaxy Watch is available in Midnight Black or Rose Gold, however, the available straps differ between the two. The only real sacrifice is in your wallet since it costs around $1,000. More troubling is the speed of security updates, especially if you buy the phone from a carrier.

They lack the luster of the Samsung brand, sure, but phones crossing a thousand dollars just feels too much - and shows that brands are struggling to offset the slowdown in smartphone growth, needing to up profit margins to compensate. At first glance, the Galaxy Note 9 seems like a Galaxy S9 Plus with a few extra bells ... That's right, this is why Samsung's deal is the best. The Note 8 sported dual rear cameras and the biggest screen to date on a Samsung smartphone.

"At Samsung, we have a long history of providing consumers with choice, while maintaining innovation within our products, and we are excited to continue the proud heritage of our Galaxy line with our wearables", said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

Samsung discusses the camera in some detail in its press release but it wasn't featured very highly in the Unpacked presentation.

The camera in the Note 9 will use artificial intelligence to detect what's in a scene - whether that's food, flowers or a sunset - to automatically tweak images to make them pop.

Simply put, it's a premium smart speaker.

Samsung's new $1000 power-user phone reflects slowdown in hardware innovation