Samsung Confirms the Release of Galaxy Note 9, Plans to Upgrade the S Pen

A few weeks ago, model numbers for what seemed to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and S9+ were leaked via Sammobile. However, no rumours were confirmed. Most recently, BJ Kang and Cue Kim of the Global Product Planning Group of Samsung informed Samsung Newsroom that they are, in fact, developing the next Note device.

Kang stated that while they are concentrating on improvements within the Note series for the Galaxy Note 9, it is specifically the S Pen that the company is seeking to upgrade. While no other plans for the stylus were unveiled, we could see new features to make the tool more useful.

The Galaxy Note 9 may utilise an “under-display optical fingerprint” sensor. It was reported that this technology would enable users to simply unlock their phone by laying a finger on the touchscreen of the phone instead of using a physical button such as the one found on the back of the Note 8.

Kuo reports that three companies have already submitted samples of the technology to Samsung. Synaptics, an Apple supplier, is possibly a contender for the contract, because of the fact that Samsung wants to try a different technology than the one that they submitted.

The two main contenders for the contract are BeyondEyes, a Korean company and Samsung LSI, Samsung subsidiary. Egis, which is the firm that provides standard fingerprint sensors to Samsung, is also regarded as a possible contender.

In addition to the new fingerprint technology, Samsung may be developing another major innovation for the 2018 Galaxy Note. D.J. Koh, Samsung’s President of Mobile, said that its 2018 Galaxy Note phone may have a foldable design if the company can look for solutions to unnamed problems with the technology. Koh made the statement to reporters in South Korea, saying that, “As head of the business, I can say [it is] our current goal in next year,” when asked regarding a bendable device.

Project Valley foldable phone of Samsung

Rumours of the Galaxy X which also known as Project Valley, have circulated for years. However, the device has never been seen publicly, which indicates that Samsung has been battling with technical issues, and this has now been supported by Koh’s statement. He did not provide details on what the problems were, stating only that, “several hurdles” are to be overcome before the phone is ready for release.

The exact nature and design of the device are also unknown. Concept drawings and patent designs have revealed a take on the classic clamshell design, which when opened shows a full-length touchscreen. However, most of these concepts are several years old, and may no longer be relevant. Koh also suggested that if the problems could not be solved in time, the bendable Galaxy Note’s release date will be delayed.

The Galaxy Note brand of Samsung took a big hit at the end of last year after the Note 7 was recalled and ultimately cancelled. However, Samsung progressed ahead with the Galaxy Note 8. The newest Note is not all that different from the Note 7 and copies its one main feature difference — the Infinity screen — from the Galaxy S8. By reinventing the Galaxy Note brand with a cutting-edge flexible phone in 2018, Samsung could shake off the tarnished image of the Note, and return to the Note’s past reputations as a technical showcase device for the company.

This is not the first time that a flexible-screen technology has been associated with the Note line. In 2013, a special edition of the Galaxy Note 3 that features flexible display was rumoured. However, it was never released.