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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 arrives at the FCC a month ahead of schedule

June 25th, 2018 at 3:32 PM
Galaxy Note 9 release date, unpacked event

Thanks to all the leaks, rumors, renders we’ve seen, plus the fact that we can count to nine, it’s obvious that the release date for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is coming. But the device just got far more official thanks to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, a vital regulatory step that normally only happens a month before the unveiling.

The Galaxy Note 8 hit the FCC on July 31st last year, and Samsung’s Unpacked event to show off the device occurred on August 23rd. Assuming a similar release schedule, we could be seeing an Unpacked event in mid-July, with a release to follow within a week or two. A previous report penciled the Unpacked event for August 2nd or August 9th, and if it’s the former, the FCC filing would be right on schedule for making that a reality.

Other than giving us a hint at a release date, the FCC filing doesn’t actually say much — it just shows that there’s a new Samsung device in the pipeline, and it has a bunch of LTE bands. The FCC LTE tests tell us that the model number is SM-N960F, with two additional models, SM-N960F/DS and SM-N960X also listed. Last year’s Galaxy Note 8 had the model number SM-N950, so SM-960 lines up exactly with what we’d expect for a Galaxy Note 9. An educated guess suggests that the two additional models will be a dual-SIM version, and a factory-unlocked version sold directly by Samsung rather than through carriers.

Previous rumors have suggested that we’re not going to get any game-changing hardware features from the Galaxy Note 9 this year. Just as the Galaxy S9 and S9+ were incremental updates on the Galaxy S8, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 9 to share roughly the same design as the Galaxy Note 8. In some regards, that’s a good thing — you won’t have to spend money upgrading your phone! — but for anyone who was looking for a completely refreshed design a la iPhone X, you’ll be waiting at least until the Galaxy S10 next spring.

Beyond the physical design, we’re expecting the same processor and camera as the Galaxy S9+ that came earlier this year. The biggest changes might be found in a particularly fast kind of fast charging, and perhaps some new features for the S Pen, which is supposed to be the Note series’ standout selling point, after all.

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