Samsung has had something of a rough year so far when it comes to its mobile phone division. Not so long ago, Samsung’s smartphone sales were the driving force behind its financial success. More recently, however, the company’s thriving chip business has been the star of the show as smartphones sales began to flag. Samsung’s results in the most recent quarter were actually dragged down a bit due to the poor response the company’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ flagship phones have received. As we’ve discussed countless times here on the site, the latest Galaxy S phones are fantastic, but they’re not significant enough upgrades compared to last year’s models and consumers have been reluctant to upgrade as a result.
With Samsung’s flagship smartphone sales having slowed so much — the Galaxy S9 is expected to be Samsung’s worst-selling Galaxy S phone since 2012 — attention has turned to the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 in hopes that it will give the company a boost. The Note series has never been a top seller for Samsung since Note phones are so expensive, but they do typically sell in the double-digit millions. With Galaxy S9 sales for the full year seen totaling fewer than 30 million units, every little bit of help the company can get is obviously worthwhile. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Note 9 will actually help, or if we’re going to see a repeat of the Galaxy S9’s reception.
The striking similarities between Samsung’s Galaxy S9 phones and its Galaxy S8 phones from last year are seen as being a big part of the reason sales have been so low. The S9 and S9+ look just like the S8 and S8+, and they don’t offer any compelling new features either. Instead, they sport a decent bump in specs and performance, and a better camera. Those upgrades haven’t been enough to send consumers rushing to upgrade, and it’s not terribly difficult to understand why.
Rumors and leaks for the past few months have painted a picture of the Galaxy Note 9 that could put the phone in the exact same position as the S9 and S9+: it was basically shaping up to be a Galaxy Note 8 with the Galaxy S9+’s specs. As we draw closer to the phone’s unveiling, however, we continue to see new details pop up that suggest the Galaxy Note 9 will have at least a few noteworthy new features.
Apart from a bunch of new colors, leaks have revealed that the Note 9 will come with a brand new S Pen that has a Bluetooth wireless radio built right in. This should enable some nifty new tricks that no Note phone has had before. And on Friday, we learned of another new feature that will be unique to the Galaxy Note 9: Next-generation DeX support.
Gadget blog WinFuture reports that the Galaxy Note 9 will be Samsung’s first smartphone to support Samsung’s DeX desktop experience without the need for a special accessory. DeX, as you might recall, is the feature that allows Samsung’s recent Galaxy flagship phones to power a desktop computing experience when connected to a monitor and keyboard through a special accessory. The first-generation model was called the DeX Station, and then a new upgraded DeX Pad was introduced earlier this year alongside the Galaxy S9.
According to this new report, the Galaxy Note 9 will be able to power a desktop experience without the need for either of those accessories. Instead, any DisplayPort-enabled USB-C adapter can apparently be used to connect the Note 9 to a monitor. The a keyboard can be connected wirelessly, and the Note 9’s display can be used as a trackpad.
DeX is one of the main features that set Samsung phones apart from rival models, and this new iteration of DeX is definitely a step in the right direction. Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9th, and the phone is then expected to go on sale two weeks later on August 24th.