Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone, but the Samsung Galaxy A9 (8GB RAM, 2018) is slightly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend! But if budget is not a constraint, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (6GB RAM, 128GB).

Samsung Galaxy A9 (8GB RAM, 2018)  Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (6GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy A9 Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Buy Now  not available currently Buy
Excellence Score
27.2
40.4
Value for Money Score
28.1
27.5
Price ₹ 39,990 onwards ₹ 67,900 onwards
Launch Date (India) Nov, 2018 Aug, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.0 Oreo, Upgradeable to Android 10Low likelihood of getting updated to next Android version Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to Android 10Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.3 inches 6.4 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2220 pixels (~ 392 pixels per inch) 1440x2960 pixels (~ 514 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Gorilla Glass 6 Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Type AMOLED AMOLED
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super AMOLED, Infinity Display Super AMOLED, HDR10 Compliant, Always-on Display, Infinity Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.2 GHz 2.7 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 660Ranked #48 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Exynos 9810 OctaRanked #14 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 512 Mali-G72 MP18
RAM 8 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 24MP + 10MP + 8MP + 5MP 12MP + 12MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 24MP: F/1.7 Aperture; PDAF, 8MP: F/2.4 Aperture; 12mm Focal Length (ultrawide), 10MP: F/2.4 Aperture; (telephoto); 2x Optical Zoom, 5MP: F/2.2 Aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR 12MP (Wide): F/1.5-2.4 Aperture; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4µm Pixel Size; 26mm Focal Length, 12MP (Telephoto): F/2.4 Aperture; 1/3.6" Sensor Size; 1.0um Pixel Size; 52mm Focal Length, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) in both Cameras, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), 2x Optical Zoom, Dual-LED (Dual Tone) Flash, Geo-tagging, Simultaneous 4K Video and 9MP Image Recording, Touch Focus, Continuous Autofocus, Face/Smile Detection, Auto HDR, Video HDR, Dual-video Recording; Live Focus, Pro mode, Panorama, Slow Motion, Hyperlapse, Food mode
Secondary Camera 24MP 8.0MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, HDR F/1.7 Aperture, Autofocus, 1/3.6" Sensor Size, 1.22 µm Pixel Size, 25mm Focal Length, Full HD Video Recording, Dual Video Call, Auto HDR
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.8 mmMedium 8.8 mmMedium
Weight 183 gmMedium 201 gmHeavy
Width 77.0 mmInconvenient for one-handed use 76.4 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Rated (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Battery Capacity 3800 mAh 4000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) 23.00 hrs N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes, 15W Quick Charge 2.0
Included Fast Charger Yes Yes
Other Battery Parameters Internet Usage Time (3G): upto 13 hrs, Internet Usage Time (4G): upto 15 hrs, Internet Usage Time (3G): upto 15 hrs, Video Playback Time: upto 19 hrs, Audio Playback Time: upto 59 hrs, Audio Playback Time (Always-On-Display Off): upto 112 hrs N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; ANT+ Support; Noise Filtration Scratch Resistant (Corning Gorilla Glass 5) Back Panel; S-Pen; Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX); Wireless Charging; Bixby Assistant; Edge Gestures; Live Messages; NFC; TV Out; ANT+ Support; Miracast; Google Cast; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; Samsung Pay
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Attractive taffy-inspired colors, and a premium glass design
  • Immaculate 6.3inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display - it is super bright, very rich when it comes to colors, vibrant, and has a good contrast -Colors, whether natural or artificially enhanced, pop out – thus, laying out a dramatic and vivid picture - watching videos, reading text - everything is a pleasant experience
  • The display, being an AMOLED, also supports 'always-on' feature
  • Overall, this is one of the best displays you will get on a smartphone under Rs. 40k
  • Samsung Experience UI is a decent, polished Android UI
  • Solid mid-range performance with the Snapdragon 660 - which means that everything except high-end games runs butter smooth
  • This is the world's first mainstream phone to pack 4 cameras on the rear - the quad camera comprises a 24-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.7 sensor aimed at providing ample muscle power for night light shots, a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor for 2x zoom, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor for a 120-degree field of view, and lastly a 5-megapixel sensor for sensing depth to render images with bokeh effects
  • Out of these, the wide-angle sensor is actually pretty good - and is a useful power tool to have to capture wide shots
  • The included set of in-ear style earphones are pretty good in terms of clarity and a good amount of isolation
  • The Galaxy A9’s solo speaker too seems very powerful and punchy (although there is not much bass)
  • Dolby Sound support
  • Very good battery life with a 3800mAh battery - will comfortably last the day even with heavy use
  • Fast charging support - takes 1 hour 25 minutes to go from 10% battery to 100% battery - it's not mind blowing, but it's good
  • Big, stylish, premium, high-end phablet, mostly continuing the design from the previous Note series - Samsung continues to do an impressive job cramming a lot of screen into a reasonably manageable footprint
  • The new blue and purple paint jobs look excellent
  • The fingerprint sensor has now (thankfully) migrated from the side of the camera to underneath it, making it more intuitive to use
  • The new stylus (S-Pen) comes in vibrant color options, and now can be used as a (bluetooth) remote control for the phone - serving as a handy surrogate for those who don’t own a compatible smartwatch - for instance you could control your music player (single click plays/pauses a song, and a double-click extends the track), or you could use it as a shutter button in the camera app which could be a useful way to take a selfie without having to hold the phone at arms’ length
  • Absolutely gorgeous, vibrant, bright, big display - one of the best displays in a smartphone, period
  • Samsung's Android UI is one of the more refined Android UIs, and includes the (somewhat useful, but not always useful) Bixby AI assistant
  • Top-end, top-notch performance backed by flagship hardware - the Note 9 will steamroll through anything you throw at it
  • Excellent set of dual rear cameras - up there with the best of the lot, the Pixel 2 and the Galaxy S9 Plus - this time out, most of the camera improvements are on the software side of things - as has been the case for a lot of flagships this year - two features in particular stand out: Scene Optimizer (AI engine to pick the scene you are shooting and tweak settings accordingly) and Flaw Detection (AI engine to pick out and warn about blurry shots, people blinking in the picture etc)
  • Very good selfie camera too
  • Surprisingly loud and powerful stereo speakers - there's one on the bottom, and the earpiece doubles up as the second - all your music, games and videos will sound rich, crisp and clear without any distortion
  • Very good battery life - with a 4000mAh battery this time, you can now expect the phone to last a full day and night
  • Fast charging, and wireless charging support
  • On the whole, the Note continues to be Samsung's “innovation brand”, the uber-premium device that allows the company to push the limits of its mobile hardware, and at least for the time being, the Note remains one of the best methods for transporting a whole lot of screen around on your person - the big screen and stylus come together to walk the line between productivity and entertainment - it’s big, it’s bold, and it remains the phablet to beat
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • Feel slightly hefty and using it would be a two-hand affair if you have small or medium-sized hands
  • The left side features a dedicated button for Bixby (Samsung's AI assistant), which still has a very limited use case
  • The fingerprint scanner on the back feels cramped and is not fast at all - further, the slow wake up animation don't åhelp the cause
  • The Face unlocking, too, misses the mark here with very slow performance and high dependency on a bright light source.
  • Like most custom UIs though, it has plenty of bloatware, and is not as simple and minimalistic as a stock Android interface
  • The issue though is that, at this price, other competitors come with flagship chipsets (Snapdragon 845) that leave the Galaxy A9 far behind - the Snapdragon 660 is now a more mid-range chipset, available at as low as Rs. 15k price ranges
  • You will see the difference mostly in games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9, and Mortal Kombat X
  • Overall though, the cameras are a complete let-down especially given all the hype - they are just ok - and you can certainly get better camera performance in this price bracket
  • Generally, the cameras tend to fall flat in terms of details, especially when the object is too close or too far
  • When there’s low light, the smartphone again struggles to capture details, especially when the object is moving, the saturation is overblown, and the smartphone often fails at retaining ample light in the image
  • Portrait mode shots are also not very impressive - edge detection is not the best in class
  • The front camera is average too
  • In the portrait mode on the front camera, the phone can struggle to detect edges cleanly - and there is an over-smoothening of images
  • Video recording is average too, and EIS only works upto Full HD resolution
  • If you are a multimedia/video centric consumer and a loyal Samsung fan, you may want to consider the Galaxy A9 (2018) because of it's good display and audio chops - but for all other users, you will find much better value elsewhere - in phones like the OnePlus 6T (much better performance, better cameras, stock-like Android), or the Pixel 2/XL (again better performance, much better cameras, and stock Android) - you can also look at much cheaper phones like the Poco F1 and get much better value
  • Of course, as is usually the case with all Note series phones, a lot of people might still find the size a bit too large, and unwieldy, for their taste - it's also fairly heavy - beyond the 200g mark
  • The company’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to the Note line means there are plenty of features that will probably never really make their way into your daily routine - the Note continues to be a phone that's best suited for the most hardcore users
  • Like always, one of the key things about whether you should buy the Note, should be if you see yourself using the stylus for handwritten notes, annotations, making drawings, and the likes - this is always a divided house - some people find it useful as a productivity device, and others not so much
Expert Reviews
  1. If you are after taking nice pictures with your phone regardless of the number of cameras it has - well, there are better options out there
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Seriously, Samsung? Seriously?! Is this really the best you can come up to rival OnePlus, Pocophone, Honor and all the rest?
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Does not live up to the hype
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Samsung is trying to take on the OnePlus 6T, and that doesn't quite work out in its favour
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. This might not be a heavily spec’d smartphone to beat the competition, but the four cameras and a great design still make it a worthy contender
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. If you are thinking of buying the Samsung Galaxy A9 purely for photography purposes, caught up by the hype, we would suggest holding off
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. A good attempt by Samsung to bring some new flavour to its mid-range line
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  8. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  9. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  10. digitaltrends.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. trustedreviews.com hands-on Read Review »
  12. hindustantimes.com hands-on Read Review »
  13. alphr.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. The most smartphone packed in a single device you can buy...If that's what you're after, the Galaxy Note9 is an easy recommendation
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The Note 9 certainly has the convincing package to earn our recommendation, but it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. One of the year's best phones
    cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. The Note 9 is a satisfying update that will please power users
    engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s too expensive for a lot of us. But it remains the phablet to beat.
    techcrunch.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. For the Note 9 to make sense, you need to want more than just “more,” you need to want the most
    theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. The best phone money can buy
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. An 'ALMOST' perfect flagship smartphone
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. In a world full of nearly identical smartphones, the Galaxy Note 9 does stand out, and while it is expensive, you get what you pay for
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. Compelling experience for consumers that want it all
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  13. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  14. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. alphr.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  19. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  23. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  24. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  25. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  26. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  27. bgr.com hands-on Read Review »
  28. mashable.com hands-on Read Review »
  29. digitaltrends.com hands-on Read Review »
  30. tomsguide.com hands-on Read Review »
  31. pocketnow.com hands-on Read Review »
  32. stuff.tv hands-on Read Review »
  33. pcworld.com hands-on Read Review »
  34. gizmodo.com hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
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