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Galaxy Note 9 won’t have the feature everyone wants, so Samsung confirmed something no one wants

Updated May 18th, 2018 10:53AM EDT
Galaxy Note 9 Release Date USA
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9 flagship phone will undoubtedly be one of the best smartphones on the market following its release this summer. It’ll feature impressive performance, plenty of power, a sleek design, a gorgeous Super AMOLED screen, and all the stylus features we’ve grown to love on Samsung’s Galaxy Note phones. But it’s also shaping up to be one of the most boring new smartphones of the year, which is bad news for Samsung and for its fans. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are two of the best smartphones on the market, too. But sales have been slow because there are no exciting new features to encourage people to upgrade. Instead, the S9 series is just an iterative upgrade that looks almost exactly like last year’s Galaxy S8 series phones. In fact, Galaxy S9 sales have been so slow that wireless carriers in the US slashed the phone’s price just one month after it was released.

Unfortunately, it appears as though we’re in store for more of the same from the Galaxy Note 9 that’s expected to be released ahead of schedule this coming August. The phone will likely feature specs that are nearly identical to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ along with a design that’s nearly identical to the Galaxy Note 8 from 2017. There was talk of one exciting new feature that would certainly have piqued everyone’s interest, but it has reportedly been scrapped. In an interesting turn of events, Samsung seems to have realized that the Galaxy Note 9 may be doomed to follow the same path as the S9 and S9+, so it has already begun to confirm some of the phone’s new features.

Rumors that first surfaced a few months ago suggested that the Galaxy Note 9 would be Samsung’s first smartphone to feature a fingerprint sensor integrated into the display. This was wonderful news, because it meant relocating the sensor from its annoying location on the back of the phone to a spot that actually makes sense. Sadly, a more recent leak from a source with a solid track record revealed that Samsung won’t be adding an on-display fingerprint sensor to the Note 9. Subsequent reports out of South Korea have mirrored that sentiment, suggesting that the first Samsung phone to feature an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the screen will be the Galaxy S10 set to debut early next year.

With the one feature we’ve heard about that might have actually made people want to buy the phone off the table, is there anything that could make this new flagship phone a bit more appealing? The good news is Samsung just confirmed a new feature that will debut on the Galaxy Note 9. The bad news is it’s a feature no one wants.

As noted in a report Friday morning from The Korea Herald, a Samsung executive said on Thursday afternoon that the Galaxy Note 9 will be Samsung’s first smartphone to feature the next-generation version of the company’s Bixby personal assistant. Samsung Research’s artificial intelligence boss Gray G. Lee confirmed the news, stating that Bixby 2.0 will debut on Samsung’s next flagship smartphone.

Details are scarce for the time being, but the report states Bixby 2.0 will feature “enhanced natural language processes, improved noise resistance capability and quicker response times.” There’s nothing terribly exciting about any of that, especially considering all the impressive new features Google is in the process of adding to Google Assistant. We won’t know exactly what Samsung has planned for Bixby 2.0 until the full details are announced this summer, but don’t expect anything as exciting as an on-display fingerprint sensor would have been.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

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.

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