back to article Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

The new Samsung Galaxy Note still has a lot to prove after the last-but-one Note - 2016's Note 7 - kept bursting into flames. Samsung PR right now pic.twitter.com/siIlUOkKXM — The Register (@TheRegister) 5 October 2016 Understandably cautious after a recall-and-reissue that didn’t solve the problem, last year Samsung made a …

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

    is stylii. If you need them, you've failed.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      Depends what you're doing, my drawings with a stylus are much better than with my fingers. It's basically drawing vs finger painting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        A lot of couriers don't have a stylus when they want you to sign their machine. Maybe they lost them or they were never issued. However, it's made me realise that my signature must be rather easy to forge as it comes out looking very much like the real thing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          A lot of couriers don't have a stylus when they want you to sign their machine.... it's made me realise that my signature must be rather easy to forge as it comes out looking very much like the real thing.

          In my case, my touchpad scrawl (with stylus or finger) looks nothing like my pen signature, and more like a seismograph recorded in a building that a truck has just driven into.

          1. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

            Without a stylus my touch pad signature rather looks like it was written on board an outhouse atop a Falcon 9 as it passes through maxQ.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

            "In my case, my touchpad scrawl (with stylus or finger) looks nothing like my pen signature, and more like a seismograph recorded in a building that a truck has just driven into."

            Same here, and I visit the courier depot most days. There's never a stylus and finger-writing for a signature is shit.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          I always sign those things (and other electronic stuff with a signature, like paying at a retail location that uses Square), just by writing a single horizontal line. There's no need to actually sign those things. Nobody looks at the signatures anyway.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          "A lot of couriers don't have a stylus when they want you to sign their machine. " You do realise that any squiggle will do.

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      If you need them

      And that's the thing. I used to have a Note 3, and the stylus was great. You never really needed it, but it was handy for doing crazy things like running a Citrix session on your mobile...

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        Also handy for signing docs.

        One company I was in used an online document vault and you could sign right in a browser. The stylus made doing it on your phone so much easier.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          I tried a Note in a shop once, and was impressed by the way that it could transcribe stylus I out into properly formatted notation. I'm sure there is a way of inputting "the square root of 2n + 1" or somesuch with a keyboard, but I've never learnt it.

          It's too big for me though. My S8 in a tough case is at the upper limit of what I'll carry around.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: the square root of 2n + 1

            (2n + 1)^0.5 or (2n)^0.5 + 1, depending on exactly what you were after.

            1. stephanh Silver badge

              Re: the square root of 2n + 1

              √(2n+1)

              √ is on the Android Gboard keyboard.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: the square root of 2n + 1

              (2n+1)/2

              If you want an incorrect non-approximation. A bit like Samsung is to Apple.

    3. Avatar of They Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      For minuting a meeting outside of work, where I didn't have a laptop. the kind of club meetings in someone elses house or a rented room in a town hall or pub etc. Didn't need paper, and it was quick, much quicker than finger typing. Then I could just send them via email to a proper PC for writing up.

      And as for Jobs, didn't he say you didn't need two mouse buttons amongst his other stuff you don't need?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        I believe the listed included conventional cancer treatments.

        1. Bibbit

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          Why suffer the indignities of side-effects from well-researched and science-tested medicines when you can beat the system with caffiene enemas, magic crystals or putting a frog on your head?

          1. The Nazz Silver badge

            Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

            Maybe i shouldn't share this with you all, but i once put a frog on my head and she was delighted. Delightful too.

        2. 's water music Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          ...

          I believe the listed included conventional cancer treatments.

          Fair play to the man, he would admit it when he was wrong

      2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        "And as for Jobs, didn't he say you didn't need two mouse buttons amongst his other stuff you don't need?"

        I tried Apple's single button mouse and you needed two hands to summon up contextual menus (using control-click).

        Having used 3 button mice for over a decade at that point, I wasn't particularly impressed.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          >>>A lot of couriers don't have a stylus when they want you to sign their machine

          That's because they've lost it. Same thing will happen to the stylus that comes with the Note.

          1. Rob

            Re: >>>A lot of couriers don't have a stylus when they want you to sign their machine

            The Note will notify you if the stylus is too far away from it. Of all the NOtes I have had over the years I have never lost the stylus (I've lost a few replacement nibs though, as they are impossibly small to find in a carpet).

        2. Martin an gof Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          I tried Apple's single button mouse and you needed two hands to summon up contextual menus (using control-click).

          I think the idea was a carry-over from the early Mac OS days when there were no contextual menus to speak of. Everything you needed to do was presented on what I still consider to be one of the daftest design decisions ever - the context-sensitive menu stuck to the top of the screen. Well, apart from the one stuck to the top of the application window which is harder to aim at.

          Having used 3 button mice for over a decade at that point, I wasn't particularly impressed.

          The one thing that I still can't understand is how Acorn got the UI design so right and no-one has copied them. I'm thinking particularly of the use of the right-button for "select-like" actions such as making scroll bar bump arrows work in reverse (handy if you have just overshot as you can Adjust without moving the mouse), the way the pointer "sticks" to the scroll bar when you are dragging it, making it impossible to drop off and have the window spring back to where it was, the use of the third button to scroll in both directions at once and the large resize targets, making it much easier to adjust the size of a window.

          And, of course, the middle-button-context-menu, designed in such a way that screen-top or window-top menus were unnecessary clutter.

          Some of these things have been emulated, for example middle-clicking is often used for 2D dragging, but others I really miss...

          ...except when I'm actually using my Acorn, of course. twenty four years old this year (if I've counted correctly) and still the machine I use most often for basic email.

          Icon, for Roger/Sophie Wilson, Steve Furber and the team, and whoever else designed the Acorn UI.

          M.

          1. shade82000

            Re: Acorn UI

            I agree with you, a few little thoughts made the RISC OS UI very pleasant.

            The other feature I remember was that menus don't completely close when you click on an item. E.g. if you click Edit > Zoom > Zoom In. With Windows you would have to reopen the Edit menu to zoom again but in RISC OS you could stay in the menu and keep clicking Zoom In multiple times. Or was it that left clicking an item behaves like Windows but right clicking keeps the menu open? I can't remember.

            Although I've tried a few emulators over the years, it's been a good 18 years since I last used my A5000. Wonder if it still works, must get it out of the loft and have a play.

            1. jasha

              Re: Acorn UI

              If you left the battery in it, then it may need some rescuing first!

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      > stylii. If you need them, you've failed.

      It doesn't *need* a stylus, any more than the first iPhone or any phone today does, any more than a PC *needs* a joystick or graphics tablet. It's just a useful addition for people who like to sketch, need to annotate diagrams, use some written languages or need to write mathematical formulae.

    5. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      If you need them, you've failed.

      Actually, no! My wife bought this model because of the stylus. She has several physical issues that the stylus and the screen size solved. Other than every thing seeming to "update" (looking at your apps Google), she's pretty happy with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        Stylus -> great for scratching inside your ear.

    6. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      That depends on what you want to do. In meetings, I take notes on my smartphone. It doesn't need a stylus for normal operation, but it would be horrible to use it (or any device) for note-taking without a stylus.

    7. casinowilhelm

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      Wonder what he'd think of the apple pencil then?

      Btw. I'm a designer and I love the stylus on the note phones. It's genuinely useful, works as well as a wacom, and it's really convenient for sketching ideas out anywhere you are and painting them up a bit.

      Just because YOU don't need it doesn't mean it's useless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        "I'm a designer" - come back and comment here when you've got a real job then. Oh, and I'll have a Double Espresso.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

          > "I'm a designer" - come back and comment here when you've got a real job then. Oh, and I'll have a Double Espresso.

          I said I'm a *product* designer - it's the Mac-using *graphic* designers who look like baristas. So go make your own cup of Nescafé and scald yourself on your poorly designed kettle whilst you're at it. If your kettle does happen to be safe and comfortable to use then why, you have a product designer to thank for it. And if you've ever found an IBM ThinkPad a good bit of kit, thank the product designer Richard Sapper, his team and colleagues - you see, it's a collaborative discipline.

          Since your wits have led you to dismiss the importance of hardware design - on a thread about a piece of hardware design! - we shouldn't keep you from your 'real' job of filling in a B&Q application form, or whatever it is a man of your learning and manners is capable of. Chief procurement officer for UK government IT systems, possibly.

    8. Paul

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      You know that other people aren't clones of you and have different lives and different needs? Some people want what a stylus can provide. Some people don't. Some people want big screens, some don't.

      Let's be happy there's a choice.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        Love it!

        Solipsism getting called out today on El Reg!

        More please!

    9. Tim Seventh

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      is stylii. If you need them, you've failed.

      And then Apple Introduces the Apple Pencil...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        Again, iPad Pro doesn't *need* the Pencil - indeed, it's sold as an optional extra. Contrast this to a Palm Pilot or a WinCE device - the latter, with a resistive touchscreen and tiny icons derived from its desktop forebear, was hard to use without a stylus.

        When an iPad is being used with a Pencil, it's functioning as a sketchbook or canvas, not as a telephone or internet browser as an iPhone might. Heck, there's musicians who use iPads to display sheet music using a foot pedal to change pages, so let's make this clear: the iPad doesn't *need* a foot pedal; some people find it useful.

        Macs were always used by graphic artists and designers, and of those a niche have long used Wacom stylus tablets. Some were so enamoured of this way of working they'd pay a company called Modbook to create an OSX tablet from a MacBook. A feature-complete version of Photoshop is coming to iOS next year.

        (For the record, I'm a Windows-using product designer. Good 3D parametric CAD wasn't on pre-Intel Macs when I started out (just the arty modelling stuff like Form Z) and in any case it was still an era where no desktop ever seemed powerful enough. I don't use a graphics tablet, but I know people who do - even in applications that are designed around a mouse - to save on RSI. )

    10. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      I use the stylus on my Note 4 regularly, for creating shopping lists, and crossing off items as they go in my trolley.

      I also have an app that allows me to 'sign' documents, I've had some paperwork that needed a signature, and the sender asked I printed it, signed it, scanned it, and sent it back. But I work in IT so of course found a far more elegant solution, and found an app I could edit the .pdf on, that supported pen input, so the signature looks like it was signed with an ink pen.

      The stylus also comes in handy navigating crappy web sites, when I need the desktop version and the links are crowded.

      The thing about the stylus, is it's better to have one and not need it, that need it and not have it.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      Which is why the ipad pro is getting one

    12. jgarbo

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      The reason I bought my Note 4 was only for the stylus. No silly thumbing emails, just scribble it out, auto OCR & send. For drawing with auto correction, note taking that can be turned to usable text, pasted into emails or stories (journo here) it's super. Wife uses hers conferencing on the go, presentations, leaves the Thinkpad at home. Oh it also takes pix and makes phone calls. After a Note you giggle at the iPhone.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      What, that JimmyPage, no not that one, unlike Steve Jobs, has no imagination?

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

        The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on is stylii

        Well you and Jobs both have it wrong. The plural of 2nd Declension Latin nouns such as "stylus" is formed by replacing "us" with "i", not by adding as many "i"s as you think looks cool. You're probably confused by the fact that "radii" has two "i"s. The first of those is part of the root, and appears in the singular, too.

        Pedantic? Yes, but if you don't know how Latin works, you'd do better to stick to your native tongue, in which "styluses" is a perfectly acceptable plural.

    14. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

      Stylii, the plural of stylius?

      I have posted before about mock-Latin plurals of words that end in -us. The generally correct way of forming the plural is to add es. Thus we get viruses, campuses, grampuses, octopuses, omnibuses (buses), calluses, cactuses (yes!) and styluses. But the plural of opus is opera.

  2. djstardust Silver badge

    Another price increase .....

    From £869 to £899 in a year.

    the Note 4 was £569 at launch so I don't see where the extra cost comes from ..... unless Samsung are copying Apple of course.

    Rather than selling it at a reasonable price point (£650 comes to mind) they would rather be stupid, price themselves out of the market and close manufacturing plants.

    Same issue with the Tab S4. £600 for the tablet and another £150 for the keyboard is ridiculous. They hardly sold any Tab S3 at that pricing point but that doesn't matter to someone in an office crunching numbers and making up silly prices. As much as I dislike apple the basic ipad at £319 is very good indeed and competitively priced for once.

    I don't understand companies these days (shakes head)

    1. Cavehomme_ Bronze badge

      Re: Another price increase .....

      What do you Rosbeef expect after voting to jump off the cliffs of Dover as made attractive by Johnson and Mogg et al? Sterling has devalued significantly since the referendum, now you to pay much more for your imports. Welcome to the real world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another price increase .....

        What do you Rosbeef expect after voting to jump off the cliffs of Dover as made attractive by Johnson and Mogg et al? Sterling has devalued significantly since the referendum, now you to pay much more for your imports. Welcome to the real world.

        I'd agree that Sterling was sheltered by an undeserved Euro-related value that didn't reflect the UK economic performance. In this respect the fall in the exchange rate needs to be welcomed as a necessary balancing mechanism, and if Audis and continental holidays become more expensive, so be it.

        But what of La France? Sheltering in the Eurozone, hiding behind the strength of Germany who joined with an undervalued currency. Your appalling unemployment data says it all. How long can the Eurozone stagger on, with it fairyland economics, the huge disparity between northern and southern Europe, the unresolved debts bought by the ECB, and all the while the spectre of Turkey waiting to join and flood you with cheap labour, or not being allowed to join and flooding Europe with migrants?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Another price increase .....

          This year will be the year of Linux on the desktop.

          And this year will be the year the whole of the eurozone is sucked into the CERN particle accelerator due to an ever increasing laundry list of items.

        2. Glen 1 Bronze badge

          Re: Another price increase .....

          But what of La France UK?

          Sheltering in the EurozoneEEA, hiding behind the strength of Germany London, who joined with an undervalued currency.

          Your appalling unemployment under-employment data says it all.

          How long can the Eurozone UK stagger on, with it fairyland economics,

          the huge disparity between northern and southern Europe UK (within England especially), the unresolved debts bought by the ECB BoE (where do you think the QE went?),

          and all the while the spectre of Turkey Scotland waiting to join leave and flood you with cheap labour become a mecca for the better educated English speakers within the UK (who mostly voted remain),

          or not being allowed to join leave and flooding Europe (EU) with (formally British) migrants?

          Sorry if that was hard to follow, but I think I've made my point.

          1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: Another price increase .....

            "Sorry if that was hard to follow, but I think I've made my point."

            That Northerners need their own currency? Sure, all hard-pressed regions in a country want to de-couple from the nation's currency.

            So you've just, effectively, argued for the disbanding of the Euro: when a whole country needs to de-couple from its over-valued currency, you know somethings seriously wrong.

            But then Remainers are arty types who don't really know how economies work or where their quango, university or council salaries come from. They probably think "demand curve" is an Brexitieers obsesion with EU bananas.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Another price increase .....

              But then Remainers are arty types

              Of course they are...

              Scientists for EU

            2. Glen 1 Bronze badge

              Re: Another price increase .....

              >That Northerners need their own currency?

              No. Unless you mean north of Watford. The south east of England needs its own currency.

              >So you've just, effectively, argued for the disbanding of the Euro.

              My point (that sadly went over your head) is that they're the same arguments.

              >... arty types who don't really know how economies work or where their ... salaries come from.

              One of our main clients is a multinational and is waiting for this clusterfuck to sort itself out before awarding/extending any contracts. The contractors *we* use have had their hours slashed. I am *ACUTELY* aware of where my salary comes from.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Another price increase .....

            Sorry if that was hard to follow, but I think I've made my point.

            Fine rebuttal and devastating too.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Another price increase .....

      > Rather than selling it at a reasonable price point (£650 comes to mind) they would rather be stupid, price themselves out of the market and close manufacturing plants.

      £650 buys you a Note 8 from a reputable UK-based dealer.

      If someone doesn't buy a Note 9 because of its price, it doesn't follow that they'll buy Apple. They might buy Huawei or Pixel, but they may well just buy a cheaper Samsung, either an older Note or else live without the stylus and buy a Galaxy S9+. If that's still too pricey, last year's Sammy flagships are usually heavily discounted and pretty much as good.

      I seem to remember that last year's Note 8 sold very well despite a similar price increase - though of course we can attribute that to some pent up demand from those who wanted a quickly-discontinued Note 7.

  3. AMBxx Silver badge

    Is the little hole back?

    If we're going to have a stylus, are we also going to get the little hole to reset the phone rather than remembering some combination of buttons.

    I still miss my 02 XDA running Windows 6.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is the little hole back?

      I still have an HP iPAQ 214 running Windows mobile 6. It too has a stylus and the recessed reset button. It all still works, although I did have to replace the battery and the screen is a bit scuffed in a couple of places. The stylus is essential as the on screen keyboard has really tiny buttons. I did get an HP folding bluetooth keyboard, but I never managed to get it to work with the iPAQ.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Is the little hole back?

        I met an old acquaintance at some event or other last year. Back in 2005 I gave him my old Sony Ericsson P800, as his was knackered and I'd given up and gone back to a dumbphone. His current smartphone had just broken, so he had taken our two old dud phones and created a frankenphone. It worked. Nice burst of nostalgia. The funny thing was to realise how small it is in comparison to modern smartphones. It felt huge at the time, though I suppose that was mainly thickness.

        To get back to the article he was on his last plastic stylus. Both our phones came with 2, and I'd bought a pack of 5 spares. So that's an average of one lost every 9 months...

  4. Bibbit

    Have they got Andrew locked in a bunker?

    It must be a tough gig at Vulture HQ. They would not let the poor sod out for two minutes to test the screen in daylight. Keep taking the vitamin D tablets Andrew.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Have they got Andrew locked in a bunker?

      "It must be a tough gig at Vulture HQ. They would not let the poor sod out for two minutes to test the screen in daylight. Keep taking the vitamin D tablets Andrew."

      Maybe Andrew Orlowski is a Nom De Plume of Julian Assange? I mean, have you ever seen them together? Of course not!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Have they got Andrew locked in a bunker?

        I look a little bit like Julian Assange, and have stood next to Andrew at an El Reg pub thing. If that helps...

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Have they got Andrew locked in a bunker?

      Samsung would have objected if I'd waltzed off down The Strand with pockets full of unreleased Note 9s. Which would have been pointless anyway, as it was very dark outside.

      Vitamin D is always a good idea in an English summer - even one like this.

  5. Cavehomme_ Bronze badge

    Too big for my pockets

    At this size, unless you’re a handbag or briefcase owner, then carting this and similar is just not practical for me. Prefer to do work including notes on my 2-in-1 lightweight 13” laptop and carry a small 4” iPhone or dumb phone for the rest.

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: Too big for my pockets

      A number of years back I was teaching a course in Seoul to a group of Samsung engineers. The guys made similar comments. The Note (?can't remember which version) had come out in winter time and lots of them had bought one and it was great in coat pocket. Then come spring time where the **** do you put it. The hand bag carrying engineers all still loved their ones.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Too big for my pockets

        It's be nice if software SIMs allowed us to have several handsets, and whichever one we grab as we leave the house that morning just works as our phone. Long train journey? Grab your Note. Going camping? Grab your rugged phone with small screen and big battery. Going out on the town? Grab a little near-expendable cheap phone. Etc.

  6. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Excellent features

    Two excellent features:

    1. A headphone jack

    2. A notch-free display

    Yeah, the bar is set that low now.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Excellent features

      The Samsung flagships have a fair few sensors and emitters in line with the front facing camera (including IR grid projector for face ID, Iris scanner, notification LED, proximity sensor and of course earpiece) so there isnt any unused room to place common status bar icons. Hence no notch. If Samsung rejiggled these sensors a bit, they might have been able to squeeze in a front-facing fingerprint scanner would would be handy for when the phone is on a desk.

      The UK versions (Samsung Exonys SoC) of earlier flagship Samsungs such as the S8 (it's too early to know what's in the Note 9) suggest the internal DAC is a pretty decent Cirrus Logic unit with native high Res support, but not quite as nice as the ESS Sabre DAC in the LG V20. However, the specs for the Note 9 mention a Quad DAC, which is often how the Sabre chip is described, so who knows? The audio circuitry is different in the USA (Snapdragon) versions of Samsung phones. Whatever, the 3.5mm output quality is more than good enough for most people most of the time.

  7. A. N. Other 1
    Thumb Up

    "Pricey? I would say so..."

    I couldn't resist this deal:

    IF You're in the US

    AND You have a working Note 4

    THEN T-mobile offers a $250 trade-in credit on Note 9 pre-orders

    1. pleb

      Re: "Pricey? I would say so..."

      In the UK Samsung offer a £200 trade in for the Note 4. Even so, I will keep mine. Having just spent a fortnight camping the swappable battery was invaluable. And I actually do make regular use of the IR blaster.The flat screen is a bonus too. All in, I actually prefer my Note 4, despite my gadget lust.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: "Pricey? I would say so..."

        IR Blaster is a great feature, I have AnyMote so I can control everything from my phone, rather than the array of remotes on the coffee table, and I have the 'TV Kill' app, which turns off tellies.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: "Pricey? I would say so..."

      You'd have to sign a contract with T-Mobile for that, I assume? If so, it's not for me. I'll never sign a contract with any cell carrier ever again.

  8. JohnFen Silver badge

    Bezels

    "now feels weird because of its massive, archaic clunky bezels."

    I don't understand this weird hatred of bezels. They provide utility that I appreciate (but didn't really notice until I used a device without bezels for a couple of weeks and found myself wishing it had them). They don't strike me as being archaic or clunky at all.

    So... what's wrong with bezels? Why do some people want to see them gone? I am genuinely curious.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Bezels

      Because you get more screen.

      What's your problem with phones without a bezel that "made you wish you had them"? I sure haven't wished for bezels on my iPhone X. There's just enough 'bezel' or inactive area or whatever you want to call it on the edges that you can hold it, and even if your fingers curl around the touch the screen you don't get false touches.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Bezels

        "Because you get more screen."

        But you don't, really. You get a slightly smaller case.

        "What's your problem with phones without a bezel that "made you wish you had them"?"

        I have two problems. First, it's harder to pick the phone up off a table without touching something. Second, while I'm holding the phone, my hand can obscure parts of the screen I want to see.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bezels

      No bezels means it's even more glued up and therefore more difficult to fix.

      People buy phones for anti-features. No SD card, no replaceable battery, no headphone socket, no repairability.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Bezels

        No bezels means it's even more glued up and therefore more difficult to fix.

        Not true, at least not in the case of the iPhone X. iFixit gives it a repairability rating of 6, the same as the fully bezeled iPhone 8. The past five generations of iPhones all had a score of 7. The reason last year's models went from 7 to 6 was the glass back, which was included to support wireless charging. Apparently on either one replacing the back glass is a major endeavor. Replacing the front glass, or battery, on the iPhone X is no more difficult than on the previous half decade of iPhones, something most Reg readers could easily accomplish.

        The Galaxy S9 and Note 8 have a score of 4, but they have a bezel on the top/bottom. Same as the S6, which has "traditional" top/side bezels with no wraparound screen or anything. I see no evidence that lacking a bezel makes a phone harder to repair. Shouldn't the Galaxy S6 score a lot higher if that were true? Shouldn't the iPhone X have a lower score than the iPhone 8 if that were true?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Bezels

          An iPhone is about as repairable as a brick.

          iOS 11.3 update breaks iPhone 8 devices with third party-repaired screens

          And not forgetting Error 53 (touch ID disabled due to 3rd party repair).

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Bezels

            Expecting any phone to work 100% perfectly with third party parts is unrealistic, other than maybe a battery, is just not realistic. There's a ton of technology in a modern display. I know someone who repaired his Samsung (I think GS7 but I can't remember for sure) with a third party screen and while the OS didn't give him issues like iOS, it just didn't work well.

            Touch would randomly stop working in various sections of the screen and he'd have to hard reset it, sometimes that wouldn't work and he'd need to do a factory reset and restore. He ended up trading it in on a newer one - I'm sure his old one was probably refurb'ed by the carrier and later sold to some poor sucker who will never know it has a dodgy third party screen.

            So what's better, having the OS figure out you are using a third party part that's not a proper replacement for the real part, or having the OS ignore that you are using a third party part that's not a proper replacement and just not work correctly?

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Bezels

              Smaller bezels mean that the screen is larger for the same width of phone. It's phone width that largely limits its size, since if it is too wide it will be uncomfortable to hold in the hand or to stow in a pocket.

              I've fitted a case to my S8, so it now has bezels akin to an older model. Therefore another way of thinking about it is that a bezelless phone in a protective case is the same width as an unprotected phone with bezels. (Of course there were phones where the bezel would provide screen protection (iPhone 4, aluminium bezel) and phones where the bezel wouldn't protect the screen (Xperia Z3 C, bezel was soft ABS plastic) against falling against a sharp edge.

              I haven't used my phone much without the case on, so can't comment on accidental touch input on the edges of the screen. I do know though, from poking around the hidden hardware test menu, that Samsung phones can detect when the phone is being gripped, even through a case (some sort of capacitance sensor, presumably present to help weed out accidently touch input).

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Bezels

              I'd rather the owner have that option, rather than the OS.

  9. Kaltern
    Unhappy

    I want one...

  10. jonathan keith

    Choices, choices...

    One Galaxy Note 9, or one Moto G6plus and week scuba diving in the Red Sea?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Choices, choices...

      Oh choices choices, how the other half live. Sorry fella.

      Note 9 *and* scuba diving.

    2. pleb

      Re: Choices, choices...

      My other half just got the Moto G6 Plus. In many ways a nice phone. One thing I noticed, being stock Android, it really pushes you to give all your data to Google. For example there is no local account, you have to store all your contacts against your google account, so unless you are aware and disable google contacts sync then they slurp them automagically. Similar for photos, no local 'gallery' app, only google photos, so if you are not careful then your photos are suddenly corporate property too. Basically all the defaults point your personal data to google.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a former note 5 user who got the S8+ because of Note 7 explosions times, I miss my stylus everyday.

    However, If you use this thing 2 hours a day, I know for a fact that i'll break after 4 months because I went through 4 of them. Quite expensive too.

    I'm guessing that that added stylus "smartness" will make the thing madly expensive to replace.

  12. mazzy2u2

    I have a S8+. its fine for what I need, but the Samsung megabloatware festival has put me off from getting an upgrade to this (or any other Samsung). The stylus is something I would lose in about 5 seconds, and would I actually use this? Probably not after the first 5 minutes, well 4 minutes and 55 seconds before I lost the stylus. It just seems not so much as an upgrade from the S8+, more of a side grade (like the S9). Too expensive for my tastes, I will go for something else.

    1. Timmay

      I'm sure this bloatware thing is a myth, perpetuated by people who don't actually own or use these phones.

      To prove me wrong, can you detail, and I mean *detail* rather than vague "b-b-but all the Samsung apps" statements (which you can hide/ignore/etc), exactly what bloatware there is on the latest Samsungs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So in no particular order....

        Samsung Pass

        Samsung Themes

        Galaxy Apps

        Samsung Members

        Internet

        Email

        Samsung Music

        Samsung Pay

        Calendar

        All of these are Samsung versions of Android apps. All of these are hidden and never used on my Note 8.

        Admittedly none of these are trial versions as you see in the windows ecosystem, but still, they are all unnecessary.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Ten minutes:

          I just stuck all the above Samsung Apps in a folder called Samsung Stuff and ignored them. Had to go to Galaxy Store to stop Samsung app update notifications. Bixby took about five minutes to learn to disable. Samsung Pay kept popping up for a bit but now doesn't. The side bar I disabled easily, but recently have given it another chance - it has handy screen and video capture and annotation tools.

          Good stuff:

          The (Chrome-based) Samsung Internet browser I occasionally use because it has some very handy features for web video, plus a battery and eyebalk-saving dark mide. Switching the Back and Task Switcher soft keys took no time at all.

          Previous to this S8 I was using a Nexus (stock Android, obviously) and I don't mind the S8's Android at all. In terms of hardware, everything is as it should be whereas Samsung's competitors always seemed to drop the ball in one trifling area or other. Except the placement of the fingerprint sensor, of course.

  13. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

    Too damned expensive for not enough of a use case

    It's a nice phone, but I'm not spending a month's car payment plus mortgage on a phone and especially not on a Samsung that might get updates for six months and comes loaded with a gagglefuck of bloatware. The larger version unlocked is around $1300 dollars and that's insane. It's almost as much as my Elitebook was and I can't find a big enough use case for the phone, I take calls and write texts, sometimes use it as a hotspot and use it for a quick search when I don't want to bust out the notebook, while I use the Computer and a lot of it's features all day every day.

    Sure, the S-Pen and headphone jack are nice but they're not worth that much.

  14. deltamind

    Pass, as every other samsung device I do with. Spending 1k on a phone is like a dumbest thing to do especially in 2018.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It depends upon how many k you have, no? If you need a stylus, the Note 8 is now 0.65k.

      If you want a stylus but don't want Samsung, LG make a cheap stylus phone, but apparently the stylus doesn't work as well.

      If you find yourself in possession of many k - and a time machine - Apple are rumoured to be bringing Pencil support to some iPhones soon. Though you might as well snag the Note X with the fold up screen whilst you're at it.

      If you wish to improve your punctuation and grammar in pursuit of earning more k, there's an probably an app for that, though depending on your learning style a book might be better.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About 10 -15 years ago

    Every time my phone service company offered me a new phone, it was way more powerful and useful than my existing device. What's more, the deal I got in minutes and texts, and then data - hundreds of megabytes of data - cheaper than I was paying, made upgrading an easy choice.

    Now I get more time to talk than I can use, even if I spend all day talking on my mobile, I have unlimited texts, and I could use more data, but it's not too hard to manage within my limit.

    Modern handsets do no more than the phones they are superceding. As another commentator said, they have negative features. It's so great, it doesn't have a memory card slot. You can't use headphones. Oh, take my money.

    I'm OK with my existing handset. I remember when to use a mobile phone you had to carry a satchel with a car battery sized power unit, so if I can fit it in my shirt pocket, I'm pretty happy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Biased

    Bet you wouldn't of said the same thing about the iPhone X.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Biased

      You're wrong, shut up, Fanboy

  17. CarlWoods

    I have exactly the same problem.

  18. Cuddles Silver badge

    Will it really?

    "a large secondary display will deplete your battery"

    Why would it do that? Instead of powering a high resolution display directly from the phone, all it has to do is send some data to a separately powered, almost certainly lower resolution (most likely still 1080p) display. Unless you're trying to run both screens displaying different things at the same time (is that even possible?), using a monitor with the phone simply acting as a very small PC tower will give huge savings in battery, not deplete it more.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Will it really?

      He didn't write it clearly but he meant:

      Use DEX with powered dock, HDMI to monitor, usb mouse and keyboard, phone receives power

      Use DEX with USB > HDMI cable, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, phone cannot receive power from occupied USB socket so will deplete over time

      There are a couple of other scenarios. Some monitors have USB C ports and in theory the direction of USB C power delivery is negotiable - in theory at least, do check first.

      Another scenario is that the phone charges wirelessly and uses its USB C socket for the video cable.

      DEX compatible dicjs can be had for around £20 - you don't need the official Samsung one. Check Amazon reviews first.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I placed it alongside...

    "a Google Pixel 2 XL (see below for comparison) and there’s barely any difference."

    Which is which?

  20. ThatOne Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Veblen goods

    Well, increasing the price is a sure way to boost the sales of their flagship, now all the people desperately wanting to display "status" will get one (in a jewel-studded case most likely).

    Just a pity for those who can't afford to put that kind of money in a phone (especially given my old Note still works perfectly). If it weren't for the price I would had bought one: Didn't buy a 7 for obvious reasons, mistrusted the 8, the 9 was the one to get. But not at any price. Oh well.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Veblen goods

      Note 8 is now £650, and has been around long enough for you check forums to ease your mistrust. This years Samsung Flagships look much the same as last year's, so I don't think 'look at my new phone' will be much of a factor. Though I do know one bloke I suspect will buy one and stick in a 512GB card just so he can claim to have a 1TB phone.

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