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If you hate that the Note 9 reuses the Note 8’s design, then you’re doing smartphones wrong

Published Jul 11th, 2018 6:50AM EDT
Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
Image: Jacob Siegal/BGR

We’ve been telling you for the better part of the year that the Galaxy Note 9 will look almost exactly like the Galaxy Note 8, as Samsung’s strategy this year for its flagship phones is to recycle and refine the design while making various hardware improvements. Then the first leaks and renders started to surface, including yesterday’s leaked image (see below), showing us a Galaxy Note 9 phone that looks almost like the Note 8.

But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And if you’re about to ignore a phone like the Galaxy Note 9 just because it looks like last year’s model, then you’re probably doing smartphones wrong.

Smartphones have reached a place right now where it’s challenging to come up with unique designs. In fact, the design alone shouldn’t even matter that much considering that every new flagship is so much better than its direct predecessor.

Tiny computers featuring a rather significant rectangle-y display with almost no edges are the norm right now. Some have notches, some have curved screens, and some try so hard not to copy the iPhone that’s almost comical. The point is, purchasing your next expensive phone shouldn’t come down to looks alone.

After all, your TV looks a lot like the model it replaced, though it may have smaller bezels and smarter features. Your laptop of choice is also a lot like the old one but — and you probably see where I’m going with this — it’s got smaller bezel and better specs. Do you want to do cars next?

Image source: AndroidHeadlines

The point is, you shouldn’t treat your smartphone any different, even if you’re used to the diversity of Android. Because let’s face it, that’s probably the reason why the Note 9 might seem dull compared to the Note 8. If you’re a long-time Android user, you’re probably trained to be on the lookout for brand new things, design included. That’s Samsung had to learn the hard way. Comparatively, iPhone users are used to seeing Apple recycle and refine good designs for years.

Again, we’ve reached a sort of smartphone design peak, and until better things come along, like handsets that fold like wallets or that feature true all-screen designs, we’re bound to see more copycats of the best available phone designs out there. The Galaxy S/Note is one of them.

Speaking of smartphone diversity on Android right now, the fact that most of them are iPhone X clones should not escape you. Samsung decided not to copy the iPhone X design like every other Android vendor in town, and that’s a great thing to say about this loyal Apple follower.

On that note, iPhone X clones designs shouldn’t be dismissed just because of the design. I’ve often taken a hard stance on blatant clones because Android device makers usually claim they haven’t copied Apple, not because they’re bad phones.

As for the Galaxy Note 9, ignoring the upcoming Samsung flagship because it looks familiar is entirely wrong.

The phone will be better in every way than the Galaxy Note 8. It’s the Note 8’s S generation if you will, a device that will pack better internal components including processor and camera, and better overall performance. It also ships with Android Oreo out of the box which is a plus. To put it in simpler terms, the Note 9 is an almost perfect Note 8 clone when it comes to design and an almost perfect Galaxy S9+ clone when it comes to specs. Add an even bigger screen and a novel S Pen stylus, and you end up with one of the best phones of the year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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