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Leak: Galaxy Note 9 won’t have the one feature that might’ve made people buy it

Galaxy Note 9 Release Date

A huge leak on Thursday likely gave the world its first look at Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9, a hotly anticipated phone that will be Samsung’s last flagship of 2018. Well actually, we soft of all got our first look at the Galaxy Note 9 eight months ago in August 2017, when Samsung unveiled the current-generation Galaxy Note 8. That’s right Samsung fans, the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 is going to look almost exactly like its predecessor from last year. If that sounds familiar it’s because the same can be said of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which look almost exactly like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from 2017.

We have every indication that Samsung’s use of Apple’s longtime iPhone strategy — releasing an “S” update every other year with the same design and upgraded specs — is failing miserably. Report after report have said that Galaxy S9 sales are falling well short of expectations, and we have some pretty concrete evidence that’s the case: Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ prices were slashed just one month after the phones were released.

Rumors have suggested for at least a few months that the Note 9 would reuse last year’s Note 8 design, so the news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But there was some hope that the new model would introduce one key feature that could easily have the world buzzing. Sadly, it now appears as thought that key feature and the Note 9 may be doomed to the same fate as the S9 and S9+.

If you happened to miss Thursday’s big leak, we’ll bring you up to speed. This is probably what the Galaxy Note 9 is going to look like when Samsung releases it later this year:

The image was posted by Twitter and Weibo leaker Ice universe, who has a good track record when it comes to leaking images and details about unreleased smartphones. As you can see, it looks almost exactly like the current-generation Galaxy Note 8, but with bezels above and below the display that appear to be ever so slightly thinner than the bezels on the Note 8. Bummer.

The back of the phone wasn’t pictured in this leak, and that was the only saving grace. A number of rumors have suggested that the Galaxy Note 9 will be the first Samsung smartphone to feature an under-display fingerprint sensor instead of a sensor on the back of the phone. That would also make the Note 9 the first widely available phone with an invisible fingerprint sensor under the screen, and it would have stirred up tons of interest from consumers.

Well, it looks like that won’t be the case.

Ice universe followed up his initial Galaxy Note 9 tweet with a few more items of note. First, he said that the Note 9 will be 2mm shorter than the Galaxy Note 8, but that the phones will be otherwise identical in terms of dimensions. But then came the bad news. Several people asked the leaker if the Note 9 will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. Here are s couple of his responses:

Ice universe doesn’t have a track record that’s 100% accurate. No one does. But when it comes to details about unreleased Samsung phones, his leaks have almost always been spot-on. In other words, don’t hold your breath for any exciting, stand out features on the Galaxy Note 9. Like last year’s Galaxy Note 8, the new Note will apparently just be a repackaged Galaxy S phone with a stylus.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.