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Samsung launches the Galaxy Note 9 with a 6.4-inch screen, 'all-day battery' and powerful S Pen

Matthew Field
The rumoured Samsung Galaxy Note 9 - VentureBeat/Evan Blass

Samsung has launched its highly-anticipated Galaxy Note 9, the latest phone in its premium range, as well as a new Galaxy Home smart speaker to challenge the likes of Apple's Home Pod and Amazon's Echo.

The 6.4-inch screen Note 9 will start at £899 for the 128GB variant and £1,099 for the 512GB version. 

The device looks similar to last year’s 6.1-inch Note 8 but features an improved Bluetooth stylus, as well as an upgraded camera that takes sharper photos than the S9 released earlier this year.

An 4,000mAh 'all day battery' has been included - the largest ever on a flagship Galaxy phone - alongside a 6.4-inch edge-to-edge display. 

However, the highlight upgrade this year is the S Pen, which will let users remotely control the phone’s camera to take the perfect selfie.

Samsung's head of mobile DJ Koh said at the unveiling. "A phone that raises the bar for speed power and performance, once again," Koh said, "a smartphone powerful enough to keep up with you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever you are doing."

A new Galaxy Watch that competes with a similar product from Apple was also unveiled. The water-resistant smartwatch has a circular screen and can connect to LTE cellular networks, the company said. 

It features revamped health software that works with the heart-rate sensor. It also has new tracking tools for workouts and a new sleep tracking tool that logs both the hours and quality of sleep. 

Samsung also revealed its HomePod rival, the Galaxy Home. The smart speaker will allow users to control their smart home using their voice. Importantly, it will eventually allow Samsung to link up all its devices, such as smart TVs, smart fridges and more, all using voice control from its artificial intelligence, Bixby.

Samsung said it will reveal more about the device in November.

Samsung’s handset unveiling comes at a time when smartphone demand is slowing down globally and a disappointing performance by the Galaxy S9.

“The product was too similar to the S8. It wasn’t distinctive enough for consumers to justify the upgrade,” Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research at IDC, said. “My worry is that the Note 9 may meet the same fate.”

5:09PM

And that's it!

DJ Koh rounds off the talk: "There is no-one like you. And there is nothing like the Note."

Samsung Note 9

 Here are some first thoughts on the event from CCS Insights analyst Laura Simeonova:

The Note 9 remains the Samsung flagship product and for its hardcore and fiercely loyal base, these new features and the upgrade incentives will be seen as exciting. It remains to be seen whether these will be enough to impress those outside the fiercely loyal Note user base.

5:07PM

Samsung Note 9 confirmed for August 24

Samsung confirms the phone's release date for August 24.

And, there are already pre-order links going up around UK mobile retailers. You are register your interest in the Galaxy Note 9 here:

Samsung confirms the release date

5:04PM

Spotify partnership - Samsung takes on Apple Music

Surprise announcement, Spotify's chief executive Daniel Ek takes to the stage to announce a partnership. He says that Spotify will be designed to deliver a personalised music experience on Samsung devices. This is potentially a huge strategic move from Spotify and Samsung against Apple in the music streaming business. 

Samsung says that soon you can get a multi-room experience with its Galaxy Home, switching Spotify music from its speakers, to a smart TV, listening from the smartphone.

"Today, Spotify becomes part of the set-up experience on a Samsung device from the very beginning," says Ek.

The move gives Spotify access to millions of Samsung new devices when they set up. It will also work with Bixby for voice control. "We are talking about hundreds of millions of devices," says Ek.

Samsung's Daniel Ek shakes hands with DJ Koh

4:57PM

Samsung reveals the Galaxy Home smart speaker, its HomePod and Alexa rival

Samsung has revealed its rumoured Galaxy Home smart speaker. Executives had hinted the company would develop their own rival to the HomePod or Amazon Echo, but this is the first reveal to a product which had largely gone under wraps.

The Galaxy Home is powered by Bixby, the company's artificial intelligence. Samsung said it would "share more details about it soon", suggesting the product might not be for release just yet.

Samsung said it will be sharing more details at its developer conference in November.

Galaxy Home
Galaxy Home

 

4:52PM

Samsung shows of Bixby, again

Samsung has tried to show off the capabilities of Bixby, its own artificial intelligence that the company it hopes will rival Alexa or Google's Assistant. However, Bixby is not always viewed as the most efficient or fast AI.

Even at the event, it slipped up slightly with a delay in the speed for ordering a taxi.

Samsung also revealed a new product that brought together its artificial intelligence technology with...

4:47PM

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 

Samsung has launched its new Galaxy Watch, which can be used for several days on a single charge. The company has also shown off a new charging port - the Samsung Galaxy Duo - a clear dig at Apple which has been in the process of launching a dual charging pad for the iPhone and Apple Watch. It seems Samsung has got there first.

The Galaxy Watch brings together Samsung's Gear Watch and Galaxy brands. The watch can track exercise, sleep as well as managing calendars, emails, weather, using a "my day" watch face to sync with a user's calendar to show when they are free.

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch

4:34PM

S-Pen can control the camera, powerpoint and for drawing

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen will enable users to find new ways to control the camera. Users can set up the phone and take selfies with a click of the pen. The S-Pen can also let users control powerpoint presentations, flicking back and forward using the stylus with added bluetooth connectivity. It can also be used to create gifs or take down notes.

Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9 s-pen

 

4:29PM

On to the camera

Samsung is now showing off the capabilities of its camera, with super slow motion and improved intelligence to identify when pictures have imperfections or blurring.

Samsung has also revealed a new way to take selfies and photos... using its new S-Pen stylus design.

4:25PM

Samsung introduces Tim Sweeney, the chief executive of Epic Games

Samsung has revealed the chief executive of Epic, the developer of the hit viral video game Fortnite.

Fortnite's beta will see Samsung Galaxy fans be the first invited to play the game on Android. "The Note 9 represents a revolution for mobile gaming," Sweeney says. "With Samsung we are ushering phones into a new high end world for gamers."

Samsung is bringing Fortnite to its smartphone
Tim Sweeney

Mobile gaming has increased, but many games are still simple puzzle games or single player. With increased performance, this could bring large multiplayer games, like the 100 player Fortnite, to smartphones.

4:21PM

Samsung rises from the floor

Samsung rather blowing fans away here with its smartphone literally rising up through the floor for the big reveal.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

4:16PM

Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 revealed!

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

4:15PM

Samsung's "connected living"

Samsung says it will reveal new products to enhance connected living, a "new partnership" and a new smartphone.

"A phone that raises the bar for speed power and performance, once again," Koh says, "a smartphone powerful enough to keep up with you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever you are doing."

4:13PM

Samsung wants to bring its technology across hardware products

"At Samsung, we believe it is time to transcend digital experiences," Koh says. Koh says Samsung wants their technology to overcome different forms of hardware, able to seamlessly move between devices and places.

Of course, Koh adds that this is something "only Samsung" can do. With all its products from connected TVs, to smart watches, phones and internet... well... fridges.

"We are creating a Galaxy of experiences."

Samsung's KJ Koh Credit: Samsung
Koh says Samsung is committed to innovation Credit: Samsung

4:07PM

DJ Koh takes to the stage to introduce the new Note event

Samsung's head of mobile takes to the stage to introduce the event. "I love the note, because it forces us to break through barriers to deliver the most advanced device for those who expect more. I am excited to show you next version of the world's most powerful mobile device," Koh says.

Samsung's head of mobile DJ Koh

4:02PM

Samsung's latest trailer

Samsung's trailer to fans at the Galaxy Unpacked event takes a stab at all the ways people try to keep their phones up to speed, turning off updates, dimming the screen, deleting photos to clear up space.

4:00PM

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event begins 

Samsung’s live event to reveal its latest smartphone is about to begin. In the latest teasers for the phone, Samsung boasts of the battery power of its phones. The event is starting and can be watched on YouTube. We will have all the coverage live.

3:49PM

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rumours 

Ahead of the big reveal, plenty of details about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have leaked out to smartphone enthusiasts and Samsung watchers.

The phone is expected to come in at least three colours: a blue and yellow design, black and brown. Meanwhile, it will include improved storage with 128GB or 512GB and come at a higher price, starting at £899 up to £1,099.

You can read our full roundup of the rumours here.

3:45PM

Can the Note 9 improve on Samsung’s success? 

The last two flagship Samsung phones, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, have proved success stories, at least in the eyes of smartphone critics.

But the sales in Samsung’s smartphone division have slowed in recent months. The company is in the grip of a slowing smartphone market like other companies. While the Note 9 will sit at its premium end, it will be hoping the phone can stand out from the crowd, especially if it is to live up to its price tag.

The Samsung Galaxy S9

3:33PM

Samsung fans gather in New York

Samsung fans and industry experts are lined up outside for the event. The posters outside the event feature the yellow S-Pen, Samsung’s trademark stylus pen that can be used for taking notes on the screen.

Guests have also been issued with a clear, watch-like wristband. There are rumours that Samsung will also debut its latest smartwatch at the event.

3:28PM

Good afternoon

Samsung is set to unveil its latest Galaxy smartphone at an event in New York. Fans and media are already queuing up for a first glimpse at what is expected to be the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone.

Here is what we expect from the the new phone:

  • A 6.4-inch edge-to-edge display

  • An S-Pen stylus with new features and connectivity

  • A larger 4,000mAh battery with an all-day battery life

  • More storage than before with up to 512GB inside

  • Priced at between £899 and £1,099

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Telegraph will have all the latest updates in our live blog here.