Sarah Tew/CNET

I used to be going to start out by saying that the Galaxy Word 9 could be nothing with out its pen. I used to be going to let you know that Samsung’s Word household has all the time been outlined by its S Pen instrument, and that this 12 months the slim digital stylus issues greater than ever.

Then I discovered that the Galaxy Word 9 pricing would begin at $1,000 within the US for the 128GB model and $1,250 for the 512GB model (sizzling rattling, that is a number of storage), and it all of the sudden turned a wrestle to consider anything.

As a result of now, the Word 9 is much less in regards to the new S Pen methods that flip it right into a distant management for the cellphone’s digital camera, your music participant, your laptop computer and so forth. It is much less in regards to the giant Four,000-mAh battery, dramatically leveled-up storage and a few new AI digital camera options.

Now, the very first thing I consider is the Galaxy Word 9’s sky-high worth.

Don’t fret, I’ve heaps to say about all of the Word 9’s new options, however first I’ve acquired to level out that the Word 9 is fulfilling its share of the prophecy that phones are getting more expensive, particularly on the excessive finish. Rising costs have partly to do with costlier components and analysis bills, however analysts imagine there’s additionally notion at play. Telephone producers, they posit, could also be padding costs to fall consistent with the iPhone X ($1,000 at Cricket Wireless).

Learn: Sorry, your iPhone or Android phone is getting more expensive

The Galaxy Word 9 actually has its share of upgraded components — we particularly want to speak about that Bluetooth-connected S Pen, the cellphone’s standout characteristic. However once you maintain the Word 9 in your hand, it does not look all that completely different than the shiny, large-screen fashions that got here earlier than. We nonetheless must evaluation the system, in fact — it might nicely be greater than the sum of its components. However that similarity is what makes the worth slightly unsettling at first, particularly contemplating what the Word 9 represents.

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Galaxy Word 9’s S Pen stylus is a distant management


The Galaxy Word 9 is an enormous deal for the world’s largest cellphone producer. With its trademark stylus and huge display, the Word represents Samsung’s strongest, progressive cellphone for the 12 months, and its final flagship mannequin till subsequent March’s anticipated Galaxy S10. That makes the Word 9 Samsung’s finest likelihood at taking up Apple’s 2018 iPhones, anticipated in September, and Google’s next Pixel phones, anticipated in October.

Samsung may also wield the Word 9 to stave off Huawei’s relentless method, after this Chinese language rival overthrew Apple to grow to be the world’s second-largest cellphone maker. Huawei is nipping at Samsung’s heels.

Samsung should additionally proceed to outrun the spectre of 2016’s Galaxy Word 7, which, in an unprecedented transfer, Samsung was pressured to recall twice after which stop making altogether after items disastrously caught fire because of a number of flaws within the battery design. Since then, Samsung has insisted on tighter testing for all its phone batteries, together with the Galaxy Word 9, however cellphone followers have not forgotten the Word 7 debacle.

The Galaxy Word 9’s S Pen is not only for writing anymore.

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Two years later, the Word 9 nonetheless jogs my memory a number of the erstwhile Word 7, no less than once you have a look at its shell. 

Once you take the distant management characteristic away, and the 512GB inside storage possibility (exterior storage is fairly low cost today), the remainder of the cellphone is shaping as much as be an incremental replace to each this 12 months’s Galaxy S9 ($676 at and final 12 months’s Galaxy Note 8.

Fortunately, we do not have to depend on only a checklist of specs for lengthy. I acquired an opportunity to go hands-on with the Word 9’s new Bluetooth-loving S Pen, new AI digital camera options, and a enjoyable, colourful addition to the best way the S Pen writes on the Word 9’s display. I am going to absolutely evaluation the cellphone within the coming days. By the best way, you can preorder it on Aug. 10 and the Word 9 hits retailer cabinets on Aug. 24.

The Word 9 will are available ocean blue (with a shiny yellow S Pen), lavender purple, midnight black and metallic copper. Colours will range by area. For instance, the US will get the Word 9 in blue and purple. (Extra preorder particulars towards the tip.)

Samsung additionally launched a brand new accent, known as Wi-fi Charging Duo, which might cost two Qi-compatible units directly over 15 watts, one on a baked-in stand and the opposite mendacity flat. I used to be in a position to cost two telephones this fashion, however you possibly can additionally cost a cellphone and a watch.


Samsung’s new Wi-fi Charging Duo can quick-charge two Qi-compatible units on the identical time.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Learn on for my hands-on impressions of the Word 9 and the way this new Galaxy cellphone compares to different units, together with the Galaxy S9, iPhone X and final 12 months’s Word Eight.

The Galaxy Word 9’s new S Pen picks up Bluetooth methods

This new S Pen, which depends on Bluetooth Low Power (there’s an antenna contained in the pen physique), is the Galaxy Word 9’s standout characteristic by far. It is this S Pen’s new capabilities which have the facility to develop the Galaxy Word 9’s affect into the remainder of your life.

You possibly can nonetheless write, draw, navigate round and create reside messages. However now, the S Pen’s button has Bluetooth actions that you simply set off for various apps. A whole settings menu enables you to customise the actions, however this is an instance that I discovered actually helpful. I might use this one so much:


Purple Galaxy Word 9, purple “ink.”

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lengthy-press the S Pen button to open the digital camera app, double press it to toggle between selfie and rear digital camera modes. Click on as soon as extra to take a photograph. Now you may have a long-range shutter. With the S Pen’s Bluetooth expertise, the context of the clicks adjustments relying which app you are in, and the place you’re in that app.

You possibly can management as much as seven units this fashion, from a distance of 30 toes. Standby time is both 200 clicks or 30 minutes, and the S Pen recharges in below a minute, beginning once you reinsert the stylus into its holster on the cellphone.

Some issues you are able to do with a Bluetooth S Pen:

  • Management PowerPoint to advance slides
  • Play or advance songs in a music participant
  • Swap digital camera modes and set a distant shutter
  • Use apps like Spotify, which have common controls.

The Galaxy Word 9’s S Pen is smarter than your pen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung says it can open up its SDK to builders later this 12 months (most likely at its annual developer convention this fall), so different apps will be capable to reap the benefits of the S Pen’s clickety-clicking.

As regular, the Word 9 will flag you in case you stroll off with out your S Pen in tow, however there isn’t any “discover my S Pen” characteristic or GSP transponder on board.

Here is one other enjoyable perk: The Word 9 will now write within the colour of its S Pen once you’re jotting notes on the black lock display (the characteristic’s known as off-screen memo). So, that is yellow, purple, copper and white (for the black model). You may as well change to white “ink” in case you’d want. In that case, why not any colour?

Word 9’s new AI digital camera options

The Galaxy Word 9 retains the identical setup because the Galaxy S9 Plus ($800 at That’s, twin 12-megapixel cameras on the again, one in all them that mechanically adjustments aperture when it detects the necessity for a low-light shot. (Samsung calls this twin aperture, and it is also on each S9 telephones.) There’s additionally an Eight-megapixel front-facing digital camera to your selfies.


Plate of macarons = meals. Good job, Word 9.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What’s completely different is AI software program that analyzes the scene and rapidly detects in case you’re taking pictures a flower, meals, a canine, an individual. There are 20 choices the Word 9’s been educated on, together with snowflakes, cityscapes, fireplace, you get it. Then, the digital camera optimizes white steadiness, saturation and distinction to make pictures pop.

I examined a prefinal Word 9 on a CNET video producer, a houseplant and a plate of orange and yellow macarons. The digital camera was in a position to appropriately determine each. Extra testing to observe on the ultimate Word 9.


Two rear 12-megapixel cameras, one which adjusts low-light photographs for you.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The AI scene optimizer setting is on by default. You possibly can flip it off, however you possibly can’t swipe it away as you possibly can with the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro’s related AI settings.

One other tidbit of an addition, known as flaw detection within the digital camera settings, will immediate you to retake the image in case your topic’s eyes blink or transfer, if the lens is smudged or if there’s an excessive amount of backlight getting in the best way of a clear shot. A dialog field pops up proper after you are taking the image politely suggests taking one other look.

Extra Galaxy Word 9 highlights

  • Fortnite for Android: The wildly common sport comes first to Galaxy telephones (S7 and newer) and the Word 9 will get a particular pores and skin. You can obtain it by Samsung’s gaming app.
  • Display: 6.Four-inch Tremendous AMOLED; 2,960×1,440-pixel decision.
  • Processor: Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.
  • Bixby button: It is nonetheless there on the cellphone’s left aspect.

Preorder the Word 9 beginning Aug. 10 and get a present

Within the US, preorders start Aug. 10 at 12:01 a.m. ET. You should purchase the Word 9 in shops and on-line on Aug. 24. Preorder the Word 9 earlier than Aug. 23 and you may select between:

  • A pair of AKG N60 over-ear, noise-canceling headphones (value $299)
  • The Fortnite Galaxy pores and skin with 15,000 V bucks (value $150)
  • Or each for $99 (value $449 whole)

Fortnite heads to Samsung Galaxy telephones, together with the Word 9.


The $1,000, 128GB model of the Word 9 shall be obtainable from Amazon, AT&T, Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Membership,, ShopSamsung app, Sprint, Straight Speak, Goal, T-Mobile, US Mobile, Verizon, Walmart and Xfinity.

You should purchase the $1,250, 512GB model from AT&T, T-Cellular, Verizon, US Mobile and

Within the UK, the 128GB model will price £899, and the 512GB mannequin £1,099. We’ll replace when now we have Australian particulars.

Galaxy Word 9 and Word Eight: What is the distinction?

The Word 9’s and software program convey a small, however notable improve over the Word Eight. From the surface, the 2 telephones are almost twins.


GO forward and provides the Galaxy Word 9 a shower. The S Pens are waterproof, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Display measurement: The Word 9’s 6.Four-inch display only a tiny bit bigger than the Word Eight’s 6.Three-inch show.
  • Fingerprint reader, audio system: The Word 9’s fingerprint reader strikes under the cameras, relatively than off to the aspect like on the Word Eight, and the Word 9 provides a second speaker for stereo sound, similar to on the Galaxy S9 telephones.
  • Greater battery: The Word 9 has a Four,000-mAh battery, in comparison with the Word Eight’s Three,300-mAh ticker.
  • Monster storage: You get two built-in storage choices with the Word 9: 128GB with 6GB of RAM or 512GB with 8GB of RAM. Each variations are set to promote by carriers and retailers (see above).
  • Quicker processor: Qualcomm’s newer Snapdragon 845 chipset replaces the Word Eight’s Snapdragon 835 processor.
  • Android Eight.1: The Word Eight launched with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Samsung’s customized software program layer for the Word 9 is known as Samsung Expertise 9.5.

Galaxy Word 9 versus iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, LG V35

Galaxy Word 9 specs versus the competitors

Samsung Galaxy Word 9 Apple iPhone X Google Pixel 2 XL LG V35 ThinQ
Show measurement, decision 6.Four-inch Tremendous AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 pixels 5.Eight-inch OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels 6-inch OLED; 2,880×1,440 pixels 6-inch OLED; 2,880 x 1,440 pixels
Pixel density 516 ppi 458 ppi 538 ppi 538 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.4×3.0x0.35 in 5.7×2.79×0.30 in 6.2×3.0x0.Three in 5.97×2.97×0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 161.9×76.4×8.Eight mm 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm 157.9×76.7×7.9 mm 151.64×75.44×7.37 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.09 oz.; 201g 6.14 oz,; 174g 6.17 oz.; 175g 5.57 oz, 157.9g
Cellular software program Android Eight.1 Oreo iOS 11 Android Oreo Android Oreo
Digital camera Twin 12-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (telephoto) Twin 12-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel 16-megapixel (commonplace), 16-megapixel (extensive)
Entrance-facing digital camera Eight-megapixel 7-megapixel Eight-megapixel Eight-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Apple A11 Bionic Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage 128GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB
Expandable storage 512GB None None 2TB (theoretically; 512GB playing cards on their approach)
Battery Four,000mAh 2,716mAh (unconfirmed by Apple) Three,520mAh Three,300mAh
Fingerprint sensor Again of cellphone None; Face ID as an alternative Again of cellphone Again of cellphone
Connector USB-C Lightning USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Sure No No Sure
Particular options S-Pen with Bluetooth connectivity; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; Iris and facial scanning; dual-aperture digital camera Water-proof (IP67); wi-fi charging; Face ID 3D unlock, Animoji Limitless cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready Water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging; DTS:X 3D Encompass, Quad DAC
Worth off-contract (USD) $1,000 (128GB), $1,250 (512GB) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB) $849 (64GB), $949 (128GB) $900 (AT&T and Mission Fi)
Worth (GBP) £899 (128GB), £1,099 (512GB) £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB) £799 (64GB), £899 (128GB) N/A
Worth (AUD) Converts to AU$1,345 (128GB), $1,680 (512GB) AU$1,579 (64GB), AU$1,829 (256GB) AU$1,399 (64GB), AU$1,549 (128GB) N/A
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