By the time the Galaxy Note 9 launches next month, there likely won’t be any secrets left for Samsung to keep. And the latest news about the upcoming phablet focuses on the size of its battery.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide
According to a document from Brazilian telecommunication certification body Anatel, Samsung is preparing a new 4,000 mAh battery for a phone, with the part number EB-BN965ABC. While the Note 9 has been rumored to incorporate a design mostly unchanged from its predecessor, it’s been previously reported by multiple sources that the device’s battery will slot in at or close to 4,000 mAh. That would be good for a 700-mAh increase over the power pack in the Galaxy Note 8.
Not surprisingly, much of the press is treating Anatel’s document, which originally surfaced on SlashLeaks, as confirmation that the Note 9 will see this battery. The only problem with that is that no model number related to the Note 9 appears anywhere on the sheet.
Of course that’s standard practice for regulatory approval processes, where companies must comply with the law but also don’t want to spill any secrets about soon-to-be-released products. But it’s a stipulation that should be made nevertheless.
While it isn’t surprising that Samsung may have decided to increase the size of the Note 9’s battery, it’s a little surprising that the company chose to make it quite so large given the Galaxy Note 7 catastrophe in 2016, when that phone's battery caused Samsung all sorts of problems. It will be interesting to observe how Samsung decides to market the longer-lasting battery, especially considering the dimensions of the Note 9 appear to be the same as its predecessor’s, despite the greatly improved capacity.
At the same time, Samsung desperately needs to do something to differentiate its Note offerings from the more popular Galaxy S line, which has been drawing closer to the company’s phablets over the years in terms of features as well as design. It's a problem that has led the tech giant to consider axing the Note brand completely, according the Korean publication The Bell.
You needn't look further than the Galaxy S9+ for examples of how homogeneous Samsung's two flagship brands have become over the years. The Galaxy S9+ has a display just one tenth of an inch smaller than the Note 8’s, but its battery is actually larger: 3,500 mAh, versus the older phone’s 3,300 mAh.
Add to that the fact that the Galaxy S9+ also now has a dual-lens camera — a feature previously exclusive to the Note line — and it’s obvious Samsung must find a way to stop its cheaper devices from cannibalizing sales of its most expensive flagship. A big battery increase is one potential solution.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait very long to find out what Samsung has in store for the Note 9. The next Galaxy Unpacked event is scheduled for August 9 at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Until then, remember to keep an eye on our roundup for everything we know about the highly-anticipated phone.