Samsung unveils Galaxy Note9 with exclusive Fortnite access, plus Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Note9

Today -- after weeks of leaks -- Samsung finally revealed the eagerly anticipated Galaxy Note9. While we already knew just about everything about this smartphone, we now know that it has an astonishing price tag (between $1,000 and $1,250) and that it includes exclusive access to the beta version of Fortnite for Android.

At the same event, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Watch -- dropping the Gear branding once and for all. Available in 42mm and 46mm models, the watch features LTE connectivity and boasts impressive battery life. But has the launch of the two products lived up to expectations?

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With the Note9, Samsung was really preaching to the choir -- echoing iPhone launches. This is not a phone that is likely to sway people away from their brand of choice -- as impressive as the specs are -- thanks largely to the price. The cheapest model (with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage) will set you back $1,000, while the top-of-the range model (with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage) costs an eye-watering $1,250.

So what do you get for your money? This is a 6.4-inch phone with dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front facer. There's a 4,000mAh battery, an octo-core processor and -- disappointingly -- Oreo rather than Pie. There's a fingerprint sensor on the rear, and an all-new S-Pen. Samsung says of it:

The S Pen is the signature feature of the Note series -- it's how users have made their mark, and how Samsung has expanded the notion of what a smartphone can do. What began as a tool for writing and drawing is now putting more power and control in their hands.

Now with Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) support, the new S Pen delivers an entirely new way to use the Note. With just a click, it's now possible to take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play video, and more. Developers can even integrate the S Pen’s new, advanced BLE functionalities into their apps later this year.

The Note9 is also one of a handful of Samsung handsets that enjoys exclusive beta access to Fortnite via Samsung's own app store.

Here are the all-important specs for the Note9:

Display 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960x1440 (516ppi)

*Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners
*Default resolution is Full HD+ and can be changed to Quad HD+ (WQHD+) in Settings

Camera Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
- Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS
- Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS
- 2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
Front: 8MP AF, F1.7
Body 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g, IP68 (BLE S Pen: 5.7 x 4.35 x 106.37mm, 3.1g, IP68)
*Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes
AP 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.8 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
*May differ by market and mobile operator
Memory 6GB RAM (LPDDR4), 128GB + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
8GB RAM (LPDDR4), 512GB + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
*May differ by market and mobile operator
*User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the device features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the operator and may change after software upgrades are performed.
SIM Card Single: one Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
Hybrid: one Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
*May differ by market and mobile operator
Battery 4,000mAh
Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless
Wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC
Wireless charging compatible with WPC and PMA
*May differ by market and mobile operator
OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Network Enhanced 4x4 MIMO, 5CA, LAA, LTE Cat.18
*May differ by market and mobile operator
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM,
Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)
*Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited.
Payment NFC, MST
*May differ by market and mobile operator
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor
Authentication Lock Type: Pattern, Pin, Password
Biometric Lock Types: Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, Facial Recognition
Intelligent scan: Combines iris scan and face recognition for convenient unlocking and in some cases provides enhanced security for certain authentication services
Audio MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE
Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is available from August 24; pre-ordering is open now.

The Galaxy Watch offers an impressive battery life of up to 80 hours. There's a 42mm model priced at $329.99, and a 46mm version for $349.99; the smaller model is available in Midnight Black and Rose Gold, while Silver is the only option for the larger one. Both have a selection of straps to choose from, with the 42mm model having the wider range.

Despite the different screen sizes, both versions of the watch have a 360x360 resolution and -- like the Note9 -- are IP68 rated. Running Tizen, the processors of the two models are identical: an Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15GHz. There are Bluetooth and LTE versions of them available, with the Bluetooth model having 768MB RAM and 4GB of storage, and the LTE increasing this to 1.5GB RAM and 4GB.

The Galaxy Watch specs are as follows:

Model Galaxy Watch 46mm Silver Galaxy Watch 42mm Midnight Black
Galaxy Watch 42mm Rose Gold
Display 1.3” (33mm), Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360)
Full Color Always On Display
Corning® Gorilla® DX+  
1.2” (30mm), Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360)
Full Color Always On Display
Corning® Gorilla® DX+
Size 46 x 49 x 13
63g (without strap)
41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7
49g (without strap)
Strap 22mm (Interchangeable)
Option Color: Onyx Black, Deep Ocean Blue, Basalt Grey
20mm (Interchangeable)
Option Color: Onyx Black, Lunar Grey, Terracotta Red, Lime Yellow, Cosmo Purple, Pink Beige, Cloud Grey, Natural Brown
Battery 472mAh  270mAh
AP Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15GHz
OS Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0
Memory LTE: 1.5GB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory
Bluetooth®: 768MB RAM + 4GB Internal Memory
Connectivity 3G/LTE, Bluetooth®4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, A-GPS/Glonass
Sensor Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient Light
Charge WPC based wireless charging
Durability 5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
Compatibility Samsung: Android 5.0 or later
Other: Android 5.0 or later
iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above
※ Activation feature for Mobile Network of Galaxy watch with Non-Samsung smartphones may not be available in some countries

The Galaxy Watch also launches on August 24, with pre-ordering available right now.

More information is available from Samsung.

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