Samsung is sticking to its tested formula for the Note 9, its newest high-end smartphone. The company unveiled the latest in its Galaxy smartphone lineup at a New York event Thursday, slightly increasing the screen size of its largest smartphone but keeping most of its core features the same.
The company’s product event follows a quarter of disappointing sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S9. Samsung is facing increased pressure from Chinese smartphone makers overseas and a continued battle with Apple for market share in the United States. The Note line, which set the trend for large-screen phones and includes a stylus, has traditionally been one of Samsung’s most distinctive and has acted as a testing ground for new features.
And despite a disastrous spate of battery fires that prompted the recall of the Note 7, the Note line has proved to be the Samsung product with the most loyal following.
The company catered to that devoted fan base throughout the event.
“You inspire us to push through barriers and make the Note better every year,” said DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile communications.
The Note 9, with a 6.4-inch screen, comes in two colors: blue and lavender. The blue phone has a yellow pen, which slots in to the bottom of the phone. It starts at $999.99 and will be available Aug. 24.
A 512 GB model, for $1,259, will be available on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular and Samsung.com.
The S-Pen, the Note stylus, has gotten the most technological upgrades since the last model.
It now has a Bluetooth connector, meaning it can function as a remote control for giving presentations or listening to music. Samsung said the pen’s battery will last for 200 clicks, or a half-hour. It will charge in less than a minute. The Note 9 main battery is larger, which Samsung says should extend its life beyond a day of use.