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Home / Technology / Galaxy Note 9’s 5G dilemma: Upgrade now or wait for 2019’s mobile revolution

Galaxy Note 9’s 5G dilemma: Upgrade now or wait for 2019’s mobile revolution



  83-samsung-galaxy-note-9

The Galaxy Note 9 comes with some new bells and whistles, but may pale from next year's update.


Sarah Tew / CNET

It's a nice example of a first world problem: you spend $ 1

,000 on [SamsungGalaxyNote9 now, or endure the painful wait until next year and potentially massive updates to come.

Here is a decision that some will have to weigh after Samsung presented his note 9 at an event in New York on Thursday.

To be honest, this is a question everyone should ask themselves. But it is a particular dilemma for Note's loyalists, who tend to be particularly up-to-date and better. According to Samsung, Note's customers are "Looking for the best of the best when it comes to technology," according to Suzanne De Silva, director of product marketing for her operations in the United States.

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The Galaxy S Note stick of the Galaxy Note 9 is a remote control


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But what if the best now pales compared to the mega updates we'll see next year? The long-awaited appearance of a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display is widely expected in the Galaxy S10, and presumably also in the 10th note. We could also see the Samsung foldable phone .

The most important advance, however, will be the ability to tap into the supersonic 5G networks that the carriers are busy building now. Next-generation wireless technology is poised to stimulate a mobile revolution with greater speed and responsiveness, and operators are rebelling against themselves and increasing their potential.

Remember that typical consumers own their own phone for several years. So anyone who invests the significant sum to buy a Note 9, which is more expensive than the previous version, will do so knowing that they will miss the 5G revolution for one or two generations. And for this crowd, 5G is not just an ambiguous term. They are probably already climbing the millimeter-throughput speed (translation: a really fast connection).

"They are certainly super-aware," said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Creative Strategies.

Making the worst things are the few updates that Note 9 users will get this year. The highlights of the phone include a battery with 21% more capacity and a camera that recognizes and optimizes itself for different types of scenarios. Many of the internal cores like the process or the camera are already present in the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 +.

Samsung does not think this is a problem for lovers of the most extreme notes.

"Note's most popular users are updating every year," said Drew Blackard, Samsung's senior marketing director, on the sidelines of the launch event. He noted that the company introduced a trade-in program last year to make the annual update easier.

(Read CNET's guide to trading in your phone .)

But if you're going to stay on your phone for a while, what do you do?

Let the 5G hype begin

Technically savvy consumers – and most of Note users – will inevitably have heard of 5G. Not familiar with the term? Do not worry, the carriers will make it explode when 2019 will arrive when many of the networks are online.

AT & T will launch its 5G network by the end of the year in three cities, most likely to come next year. Verizon will also have the 5G available in four cities this year, but only as a substitute for DSL or cable . A mobile service is scheduled for early next year .

T-Mobile plans to launch a major launch in 30 cities including major markets such as New York and Los Angeles, in 2019. It provides national coverage in the following year. Sprint is shooting for six cities next year although plans could change if T-Mobile and Sprint sign their merger agreement .

How big is the jump we are talking about? Brian Higgins, vice president of device and product marketing at Verizon, said that a 5G modem could achieve a speed of 5 gigabits per second. Verizon averages just over 20 megabits – yes megabit – per second, according to a July report by the OpenSignal test company.

The first 5G phones will debut next year in the second quarter, according to Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon.

"From the point of view of the user, even when you are on the edge of the network, in very poor signal conditions, downloading the film, uploading high definition photos will be uninterrupted," he said Amon on the sidelines of the Samsung event.

In other words, you will not want to lose it.

The case for the update now

However, there is something to be said about instant gratification. Those 5G networks will not be omnipresent and depending on your operator, they may not even be available in 2019.

That optimistic estimate of Verizon will only work if you're actually in the 5G coverage area, which is also not a guarantee given how sporadic the implementations of the carriers will be.

  samsung-unpacked-2018-galaxy-note-9-089 [19659033] samsung-unpacked-2018-galaxy-note-9-089 [19659034] Note 9 debuted at a splashy event in New York.


Sarah Tew / CNET

While there is no 5G, the Galaxy Note 9 will come with the same advanced modem as the Galaxy S9, which means it is optimized for the operator's LTE Advanced networks. For example, both the GS9 and the Galaxy Note 9 are tuned to work on the 600-megahertz spectrum of T-Mobile, a new band of radio waves that promise better coverage across the nation.

Likewise, the embedding of the fingerprint sensor below the display is a pleasant feature, but it is not a huge step forward compared to the option of unlocking the phone with a reader on the back. The folding phone function, meanwhile, could only be a gimmick with little practical value in the short term (Samsung insists it will not be ).

"Some are really driven by the taste of cutting edge technology, others will wait to see if the technology is proven," Blackard said. "For those users, they can enjoy the note 9".

Shara Tibken contributed to this relationship.

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