Following last weeks release, Samsung have officially launched several new devices to the Australian market – the flagship of this group being the Galaxy Note 9. There aren’t any secrets left around the Note 9 and the majority of leaks were pretty much on the money.

The focus of the presentation today from Garry McGregor – VP Mobile Samsung Electronics Australia – was around the advancements of the Note platform and what it means to Samsung’s client base. The Note 9 is the most powerful mobile device Samsung have ever brought to market, giving users who’ve been happily sitting on their older models a reason to upgrade.

Galaxy Note 9

A fascinating statistic offered today was that over 90% of Galaxy Note customers, come back for another device. As someone who has bought a Note 2 and Note 5, I can say that I’m not surprised by this – while you can manage without, some of the functions are genuinely useful.

The comparisons to previous models area also quite interesting in that the Note 9 has a significantly larger battery than the Note 8, an acceptance from Samsung that users don’t just need – but expect – more from their phones now than in recent times.

Storage upgrades are also in the mix with 128GB being the base level and 512GB the top tier now, with the option to use a 512GB microSD Card for a total of 1TB of storage on your phone.

After a brief hands on with the Note 9, I can say it’s distinctly “Samsung” in feel even without the physical home button and feels really slick in the hand. The OS is really snappy and yes, Fortnite works perfectly and looks super cool on the stunning screen.

There’s also plenty of hardware upgrades and changes that Scott will go into fully when the review unit arrives soon.

The S Pen

The S Pen has had a pretty significant upgrade compared to previous models, starting with the range of connection being around 10 meters (standard for BT devices) but testing it today – 10 meters isn’t the cut off; it’s a safe number for Samsung to use.

There’s some great functionality added such as long press to launch an app, single and double tap to move through functions and to “Walk the talk” – the entire presentation today was run from a Note 9 with the S Pen used to move through the slides.

As part of the continued growth of the Note Platform, the S Pen SDK will be opened to developers to allow them to add new functionality to their applications specific to the Note Platform. Talking to the Samsung staff today, I found it really refreshing to see a major manufacturer opening their platform controls to external parties like this.

The Tablet Range

Moving through to the other devices launched to Australia we got a little hands on time with both the Tab S4 and Tab A 10.1″. Both really live up to what you’d expect from the Samsung Tablet range with the S4 being their top range device and the Tab A being the more affordable device that has a really nice feel to it and will undoubtedly work for huge numbers of users.

Galaxy Watch

Finally the Galaxy Watch which has attracted my interest as a potential replacement for my ageing Huawei Watch. The functions are really intelligent with the rotating bezel of the watch used to select an app, then a touch of the screen launches your chosen app. With the increasing awareness from manufacturers on general health, I’m intrigued to see how the new design stacks up to other options on the market.

Interestingly, the Galaxy Watch will include an eSIM which will be used to allow customers to transfer phone plans across 30+ carriers and 15+ countries around the world. We’re looking forward to seeing more on this when the watch launches here on October 4th.

Once these new devices are available for review, Ausdroid will be bringing you more insight into the hardware, functions and use as daily devices.

Which of the newly released devices will you be looking into more when you go shopping for toys next?

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I’ve heard the telcos’ unit would not have the hybrid sim functionality. Is this correct?


I am afraid I am gonna be that guy and say “i think i am gonna wait for the Note 10”. As much as the note 9 is a spec beast…just seems to be missing that special something. Funny though despite Samsung’s reputation and prospensity for following the crowd good on them for staying clear of the notch and keeping headphone jack.

Tim H

Phil you say you’re looking forward to the new Galaxy Watch with the eSim. Do you know anything about Telstra supporting eSim for anything other than the Apple Watch? I have a Gear S3 Frontier and have been waiting for almost 12 months for them to support anything other than the Apple watch with no joy.

Daniel Tyson

Nothing to announce at this stage Tim, believe you me we’re excited for it and we’re wanting some information but they’re waiting for the launch of the watch to share details.

Chris Rowland

Samsung have got two months to negotiate with carriers to get them to support Galaxy Watch’s eSim .. considering it’s (fairly) standardised, you’d think Apple would’ve done the hard work here and it wouldn’t be too difficult for Samsung to get on board … but equally, with it’s (relatively) smaller wearable market share, it mightn’t have the clout to get carriers to sign up.

Philip Clark

From what I understand, Aussie telcos don’t support multiple sims for a single service which is probably the bigger issue. Even if they do start supporting e-sim, you’d still have one number for your watch and a different number for your phone.

Jeni Skunk

Phil, why are there no photos of the Tab A5 10.5?

Philip Clark

I’m looking at the galaxy watch to replace my Huawei Watch 1st gen as well (I can barely tell the time through the horrible screen burn in on it now). With wearables my stance used to be that wear os must be the better option because it’s Android and not manufacturer specific, but a few years of 1-forward-2-back wear updates has loosened that a bit. I’m still concerned by the lack of Tizen support for standard Google apps though; seems like where Samsung has a platform of their own to push, their watches will exclusively support that and not support… Read more »

Chris Rowland

This has largely been my experience of Tizen; though it’s a great wearable, it doesn’t integrate terribly nicely with Google’s app ecosphere. The voice commands / dictation is measurably worse than Google Assistant / voice typing, and despite being designed to work with Android, it doesn’t integrate as tightly with notifications as it should (e.g. stacked notifications, actions, etc). On the flip side, other things are significantly better – Tizen is much more responsive, isn’t built on Qualcomm’s old 2100 platform, and offers a fairly crisp, easy to use design. The ultimate wearable would clearly lie somewhere between the two… Read more »

Philip Clark

Good to know, I don’t use the voice typing a lot but think Samsung’s would wind me up (I have a samsung TV and the voice search is pretty much useless). The reason I was considering Tizen is not so much the greatness of Samsung’s watches but the averageness of Android Wear ones. At least Samsung has an excuse for subpar integration with Android; the fact that Wear OS still doesn’t support stacked notifications (in the one form factor they’d be most useful), most Assistant functionality, and consistent notification / message delivery is just bad.

Les Ran

Here’s what I don’t like about Samsung’s phone… Android Pie is already out – I’m using it now to write this – but Samsung’s phone only has last year’s Android Oreo. I’m surprised that Samsung users think it’s OK that Samsung delays OS upgrades like this. Personally, I find it unacceptable. It’s the biggest reason I would not buy a Samsung phone.


The majority of Ausdroid readers probably do care what version of software is on their phone. The majority of people who don’t read android phone websites really don’t care (or even know) what version of software is on their phone… Guess which group makes up the majority of phone buyers ;).

Brendan McShanag

I could be wrong, but I don’t believe the previous Notes have released with the latest OS either. I believe it’s a timing issue. From memory they are usually updated within about 6 months.

Chris Rowland

Given the development lead time in devices, and where this falls within the OS release cycle, I’m fairly confident that most recent Note’s have launched with the prior year’s OS. That said, Note is also (usually) among the first Samsung devices to receive a major OS update.


As a Samsung user I’m not fazed by it mate , not having the latest wizz bang software does not detract from me using my device , my. Sammy devices and the software on them appear to suffer less bugs on the older sorted software than rushed out beta stuff . I look at the pixels for example and they seem to have problems more often by comparison . But getting back to Samsung which you singled out , Samsung compared to some other Android brands seems to do ok in the updates even if they are not as googles.… Read more »