Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Is the World’s Best Selfie Phone

Aug 9, 2018

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At a special media event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn today, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 9, the Galaxy S9+’s even larger sibling.

The company’s flagship device last made travel news back in 2016, when the Galaxy Note 7 repeatedly overheated and caught firesometimes on commercial airliners — due to a faulty battery. That particular model ultimately faced a global recall and was banned entirely by many major airlines around the world.

With that episode now a distant memory, Samsung’s back at it with what’s quite possibly the most impressive smartphone I’ve ever seen.

My favorite feature is the new selfie shutter option supported by the updated S Pen. The pen connects via Bluetooth, letting you tap a button to take a picture, advance slides during a presentation, pause and play videos and more.

When it comes time to take a selfie, you can set the phone down on a surface rather than holding it up, letting you fit more into the shot. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is large enough that you should be able to clearly see your framing and exposure even from a distance.

The rear-facing camera is far more powerful, of course. In addition to a wide and telephone lens, the wide lens also comes with a dual aperture — f/2.4 and f/1.5 — ensuring crisp photos in both bright and dim light.

Another nifty feature is Samsung’s Flaw Detection, which sends an alert to the photographer if something doesn’t seem quite right — a subject with closed eyes, for example — letting you know if another snap might be required.

You’ll also have access to Samsung’s Scene Optimizer, which automatically applies one of 20 categories, adjusting white balance, saturation and more to match the scene.

Finally, the device sports a relatively massive 4,000mAh battery, which Samsung says will get you through a full day of heavy use.

The Note 9 will be available beginning August 24, priced at $1,000 for a device with 128GB of storage or $1,250 for a 512GB version. You’ll also soon be able to add a 512GB microSD card, for a grand total of 1 terabyte of storage — that’s at least several busy vacations worth of high-res photos and video.

When you’re ready to buy, be sure to use a card that offers cell phone protection, such as the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card.

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