back to article The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

Samsung is allegedly mulling ending its Galaxy Note line, now that almost every smartphone on the planet is larger than the original Note – which was so absurdly large at launch it was dubbed the first “phablet." Funnily enough, that first Note, with a mere 5.3in touchscreen, is a minnow by today’s standards: the Galaxy Note 9 …

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  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

    They're too common.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

      ...more likely they're just too bloody expensive.

      Although having said that, I still see enough of them about.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

        > ...more likely they're just too bloody expensive.

        They are when they launch. However Samsung sell enough of them that they can heavily discount them after around nine months - around the same time as internet rumours about the next model start up.

        I bought my S8 for the same price as a OnePlus 5T. The 5T is a decent enough phone, but for the same money I went for the better screen, waterproofing, better support, wider compatibility and wireless charging.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

          "I bought my S8 for the same price as a OnePlus 5T. The 5T is a decent enough phone, but for the same money I went for the better screen, waterproofing, better support, wider compatibility and wireless charging."

          I chose the 5T over the S8 when exactly the same option was before me. I went for the 5T as I have had S3, S4 and S5 and for all of them the support and firmware updates were dire. I get monthly updates on the 5T and that's what matters most to me.

          1. ~chrisw

            Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

            Samsung pushed out monthly updates for July and August for my new S9. Granted, one of the things the August update did was fix the broken VoLTE feature which presumably they broke with the July patch, but at least they're trying... ;-)

            I'm hopeful I'll receive future Android security patches - I didn't even get those from LG on my flagship handsets. Total disappointment with them and zero meaningful customer engagement.

            I similarly weighed up for a LONG time buying an S8, 5T or S9. The S8 is a great value handset now but I wanted some of the physical design improvements (stereo speakers with decent bass, dual iris back camera and the higher resolution screen than the 5T were what swung it).

            The curved edge screen is a pain to apply a good curved TGSP to, so some people might prefer the 5T's screen design although it's only HD not 2K HDR (like the S9).

            I royally messed up my first attempt at a Whitestone Dome protector on my S9, and only just about made it acceptable after lots of finessing. Now I need to find a good supplier of more LOCA!

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

        ...more likely they're just too bloody expensive.

        Although having said that, I still see enough of them about.

        It's all about the network deals and monthly payments rather than the full price.

    2. fnusnu

      Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

      The hardware is great, but they don't support the software for very long...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

        The hardware is great, but they don't support the software for very long...

        And this is the part where the community is great, where they support the software for much longer. On xda developers, Samsung flagship phones are one of the few with official lineageOS support.

        1. robin thakur 1

          Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

          And this is the part where the community is great, where they support the software for much longer. On xda developers, Samsung flagship phones are one of the few with official lineageOS support.

          That's great for muggle end users to try and wrap their minds around or ignore completely... Must be why Oreo is still at 12% after a year, which is pretty shocking. Samsung is doing great damage to Android by muddying the waters with its own apps, own (crap) assistant, own payment system, lots of proprietary stuff, slow updates and hostile approach towards Google all while being the biggest selling vendor and being perceived as Apple's main competitor, not the Pixel. Must make the Alphabet people wince.

          1. AndyMulhearn

            Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

            Samsung is doing great damage to Android by muddying the waters with its own apps, own (crap) assistant, own payment system, lots of proprietary stuff, slow updates and hostile approach towards Google all while being the biggest selling vendor and being perceived as Apple's main competitor, not the Pixel. Must make the Alphabet people wince.

            I've been through the proprietary stuff loop twice now. Only a month ago I was on this forum praising the build and value of an S7 Edge and now I'm back with an iPhone. Upgrading the original Three firmware on the phone to the UK vanilla Oreo version bought with it a whole host of irritating apps that wanted me to sign in and accept terms I wasn't happy with. Including Samsung Pay. And they nagged.

            Add to that, when I tried to download the information Samsung have on record for me it came down in an unreadable lump. A support case with them resulted in a "You can download your personal data here" response so I deleted my account.

            A real shame as the S7 Edge is a lovely piece of hardware but the last time I looked, Lineage seemed to have dropped it from support so it's Samsung software or another blower.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

        And, their Tablets even less so.

    3. Jason Hindle

      Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore....

      Plenty of people buy only Samsung as they’re used to the interface (since the super S3). Oddly, the super S3 was my last Samsung (went all frugal and SIM only after that phone).

      1. K Silver badge

        IRe: Nobody buys Samsung anymore....

        Same here.. these days I'd buy the Xioami Mi Max 3 or Honor Note 10, both as capable, larger screens, larger batteries all for 1/3 the price!

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore....

        S8, my first Samsung since feature phone days. Interface is fine - easy to swap softkeys back to Android default, Bixby not hard to disable, some Samsung stuff actually useful. I had been on Nexus before and had been fearing TouchWiz, but Samsung's Android is fine these days. Crazy right?

        Received OTA update to Oreo, receiving regular security updates, expect Pie down the line but not fussed about it. Sadly no Project Treble on S8 ( unlike the S9 and the Note 9). Since the the Note 9 has Treble, comments about Samsung's historical update record are irrelevant.

        1. Patrician

          Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore....

          "Since the the Note 9 has Treble, comments about Samsung's historical update record are irrelevant."

          That remains to be seen

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore....

            >"Since the the Note 9 has Treble, comments about Samsung's historical update record are irrelevant."

            >>That remains to be seen

            The historical record is irrelevant regardless of whether Treble works as intended. It's a logic thing. Strewth, I've read here of Sony being rubbish for updates, but my Xperia P was updated through three versions of Android, my Xperia Z3C through at least two: Vendors can - and have - changed and improved over time. So regardless of Treble, past performance isn't a great indicator. Sheeit, at least Samsung will still be in business in a couple of years.

            Curious that someone above ditched Samsung for OnePlus over this issue - historically OnePlus have been poor at updates, and recently have only *promised* to be better in future. This suggests that with little to distinguish between handsets these days (I value waterproofing, you might not, you might want wireless charging, I haven't bothered yet), vendors are upping their game and addressing the update issue. Or at least making the right noises.

            Oh, you can buy many brands of phone from UK based retailers and be covered by the Sales of Goods Act, but OnePlus insist you buy direct from them, based outside the EU and shipped from Poland. They appear to try hard on customer service but drop the ball. No VAT receipts. Read their forums. But hey, they might grow up and get better in future, so in a coupla of years time when I need a new handset I'll consider them again.

    4. Spanners Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

      I might if they got rid of the crudware, or at least allowed me to uninstall it.

      Bixby is why I currently have a OnePlus. If Bixby and other rubbish stays, I stay away.

    5. Mark Dempster

      Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

      >Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

      They're too common.<

      Surely the fact that they're common PROVES that people are buying them?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        You might want to

        have a word with Yogi Berra about that.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: You might want to

          FB explicitly caught the elderly meme. Well done.

  2. eswan

    So with the 512 GB version of this, plus a 512 GB micro sd, you could have a phone with a terabyte of storage....

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Trollface

      Maybe a RAID?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe a RAID?

        or Two with a usb dongle

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          My friend had an Android device with 512GB storage years ago - it was an Archos PMP with a spinning rust HDD in it. Fortunately Android behaves itself now - there was a time it didn't support more than X thousand individual files. This caused him issues cos he filled the HDD with mono MP3s he'd transcribed from vinyl.

  3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    High performance tablet

    I would like to see a tablet with the Snapdragon 845 chip (with decent cooling!!!). At the moment the choice in tablets is between the stupidly overpriced iPad models and Android tablets that have about the same processing power as a mid-range 2016 phone.

    How much would it cost to take one of the current Android tablet designs and upgrade it with a current high-end SoC.

    With the bigger size of a tablet it should be possible to improve the cooling of the SoC so as to avoid the thermal throttling that occurs in many phones.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: High performance tablet

      I would like to see a tablet with the Snapdragon 845 chip (with decent cooling!!!).

      They're already there (not sure about the cooling) - except that they run Windows.

      Well, at least the Windows tablets might, one day, possibly, somehow get Linux, while Android tablets with (actual) Linux (with a mainline kernel and uses GNU coreutils instead of busybox) are as rare as ... dunno, rocking horse shit?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: High performance tablet

        You might want to look at the Galaxy S4 Tablet, Snapdragon 845. It has DEX - see recent Reg articles about that - and will act as a second monitor when doing so. DEX optimised software is limited in range, but includes Office 365.

        https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/08/galaxy-tab-s4-review-a-solid-android-tablet-a-too-quirky-android-desktop/

        Really though, Android tablets have always been limited in quality software, since most people who use tablets for more than watching stuff have an iPad - and developers know it. It's too easy to sideload apps onto Android, so developers don't see much return.

        It's not just Apple's fault that Android tablets are neglected - Google is working in combining / replacing Android on Tablets with Chrome OS or Fuschia.

        1. Chz

          Re: High performance tablet

          Except it's not 845, it's last year's 835. For $650. They're mad.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: High performance tablet

            > Except it's not 845, it's last year's 835. For $650. They're mad.

            Well as I outlined, there's little point in powerful Android tablets when the range of power hungry software (games, productivity apps) is limited. The OSs for productivity on ARM are Chrome OS, iOS (feature complete Photoshop coming soon) and possibly Windows (though i haven't looked recently at what decent productivity Universal Apps are available). Even Google are looking away from Android to Chrome OS for productivity.

            As for mad, well yeah, Samsung are asking similar money as Apple do for a 10.5" iPad, give or take (Apple stylus optional extra), yada yada. But it should be telling that no other Android device vendor is bothering much with tablets.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        Re: High performance tablet

        "Android tablets with (actual) Linux (with a mainline kernel and uses GNU coreutils instead of busybox)"

        These days Android comes with toybox as standard, not busybox.

      3. robin thakur 1

        Re: High performance tablet

        They're already there (not sure about the cooling) - except that they run Windows.

        Haha good one...Is that a joke? I think by now we've established that users pale at the idea of Windows on a tablet, (Surfaces aside, [until 2019 at least]) and that an iPad Pro offers things which Windows in that format doesn't, like useful, popular apps populating a vibrant marketplace.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

    Yeah, right.

    BTW do Samsung S3 tablets have a reputation for trashing the micro SD cards plugged into it.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

      Go stick your head in a pig.

      1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

        Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

        Oink! What did the pig do to deserve that?

      2. stuartnz

        Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

        In my long ago far away teens, I had a shirt made that said this: http://likhaavat.com/share.jpg

        in the life of the shirt, only ONE person remarked on it. Belgium!

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

          I need that on a t-shirt,

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The Bixby assistant, helping Share & Enjoy Your Life (TM)

      Bixby is why I no longer buy Samsung.

  5. Flakk Silver badge

    Even worse: contains [Bill] Bixby – you've been warned

    "Mr. Orlowski, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

  6. jonathan keith

    Fuck that.

    Samsung have just summarily executed my Note 4 by eMMC failure so can go and do one, as far as I'm concerned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck that.

      Manufacturer's mean time before failure derived from a sample pool of one?

      1. jonathan keith

        Re: Fuck that.

        Not really. It seems that Samsung manufactured the Note 4 with the shittiest eMMC chip they could find, with the result that under normal use it will fail after about two to three years - as hundreds of thousands of Note 4 owners are finding out.

        1. Mr Sceptical
          Mushroom

          Re: Fuck that.

          I concur - out of 10 we got - 3 have failed in ~3 years

      2. Greencat

        Re: Fuck that.

        While anecdote isn't the singular of data - it's perfectly understandable that someone won't want to repeat a bad experience. Dixons once screwed me over in the 90s and I have never bought anything from them or their group since. Dixons may not be a bad store, but I'm happy in my decision. YMMV.

        1. robin thakur 1
          FAIL

          Re: Fuck that.

          Well at least you had the Note 4 with it's designed-to-fail-at-the-end-of-your-phone-contract memory chip rather than the explode-in-your-face Note 7. The exploding Samsung Note 7 seems to have made them a lot more conservative in the Note designs of late, see elaborate cooling solutions, under-specced batteries and underwhelmingly, outdated CPUs. Oh and a stylus that you have to charge. Great, that's real progress then.

          This Note 9 announcement is so dull, so underwhelming and soooo incredibly meh, I can't really see how there will be a Note 10 as Samsung just can't be arsed to innovate anymore and I expect their sales to dip again this year.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fuck that.

            Hi, is there any way to predict when it is likely to fail?

            SO has a lot of data in both internal memory and the 256GB uSD card and it would suck to lose that, though nearly everything is backed up its the main phone and losing it would be a shame.

            Also these are known to have OLED burn issues, that I can fix somewhat but still it won't be as bright as original (uses onboard RAM to apply a realtime correction factor to the burned areas)

            1. jonathan keith

              Re: Fuck that.

              It starts with occasional massive lag, and random lockups and reboots. From there it's onto failure to boot, and the error message "could not do normal boot, mmc_read failed."

              If your Note 4 is still working properly, the best thing you can do (after making sure that everything is fully backed up) is to limit internal storage memory access as much as possible and force everything you possibly can onto the SD card.

              If you have started experiencing symptoms, there's a free app on the Play Store called 'Wake Lock - PowerManager'. Install that, set it to Partial Wake Lock and do all you can to avoid having to reboot. That's just putting off the inevitable though, so start shopping for a new phone.

              As a coda, I asked the Samsung repair centre in Plymouth for a quote to replace the motherboard in my dead Note 4, and they wanted to charge me £250 for the part alone "because the Note 4 is really popular and so we can."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember when..

    it was fashionable to have small cellphones?

    (skip to 4:30)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDxtjVKJ76A

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Remember when..

      Meanwhile in Britain ...

  8. Sampler

    Hmm...

    Not much to motivate me to move on from an Note8 then, was hoping they'd bring back more of what I missed from the Note4 when upgrading but it's much of a muchness. WIll wait to see if they bring out a 10 and what that offers..

  9. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Mifi+Tablet+(VOIP(Sipgate/Skype/Other))=Phablet

    Why does anybody bother getting a large screen smartphone?

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