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An Apple Lover’s Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review

This is a tale of Smartphone star-crossed lovers.

I met my iPhone back in 2012. I don’t remember which phone I had before, but I do remember feeling really late to the iPhone game. Once I made the switch, however, it was permanently in my hand. I had never really experienced the power or convenience of a Smartphone before, but all of a sudden I was snapping photos, scrolling through Instagam, sync-ing devices and just generally being more connected. 2012 is also the year I met my husband. Just slightly older than I, the man is a self-proclaimed “hacker kid” from the 90s having grown up in tandem with the explosion of the world wide web. He’s turned these beginning into a long career in the world of digital. Among his many amazing qualities is a passion for all things “dev and tech”.

He is a devout Android user. Back in 2012, he looked at my iPhone with judgement but we still, somehow, fell in love. Even after six years together, our house was still divided when it comes to devices, connectivity and OS.  

Until last week.

My stance on iPhone was built on a foundation of two things: 1) the inconvenience of switching and 2) being overwhelmed with choice when it comes to Android. Over the years, I’ve tried to be open to Android. I even trialed a Samsung GS4 back in the day, but it just didn’t stick. I would get frustrated with the lack of intuition I felt picking up a device with an operating system that was completely foreign. Apple’s strategy to hook me from Day 1 as a Smartphone user had clearly worked. It just felt too overwhelming to think about switching EVERYTHING. My husband, however, pleaded with me to just “stay the course” and would pepper me with Android benefits like “customizable” and “intuitive”. His digital pride definitely took a beating at times, but I really didn’t get why it matter to him so much. Why are these Android users so passionate? And the specifically, the Samsung owners.


Notable Life had the opportunity to cover the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in Brooklyn where the all-new Samsung Note 9 launched to the world. We saw the exciting keynote address and explored the super cool photo and video booths onsite at the Barclay’s Centre. We also got to talk to the experts from Samsung about the new device features. Throughout the day, I was inundated with benefits and features I could simply no longer ignore. And then I got to trial the new device while exploring Brooklyn. I took a ton of photos, had fun editing them, used the S Pen, tried out Bixby and played with the video capabilities.

Like many in the Notable Life community, my “work” blends almost seamlessly with my “play” and I live and breathe content creation. I’m looking at anything and everything through the lens of, “would that be a cool visual?” So naturally, while I was taking cool photos of Brooklyn with this new phone, I also answered emails, took a few phone calls, checked into my flight home and approved a few creative proposals. It felt like this phone just GOT the importance of multi-tasking.

Now, I could have just given you a laundry list of my favourite features (even though spoiler alert, that’s coming at the end), but that’s not the big thing I want to share.

My “ah-ha” moment after 19 hours with the device? I was in a cab, heading to the airport to go home to a very excited Android-loving husband. It’s a long cab ride to Newark. I had both my iPhone and the Note 9 in my purse and went to text him a selfie, to say “I can’t wait to see you”. And do you know what happened? Without even thinking, I tethered the Note 9 to my iPhone signal and did it on the Note. I remember afterward thinking “huh, that was weird”. I didn’t even reach for my own phone. After 19 hours with this new device, I looked at my own phone differently. The screen felt small, the pictures didn’t pop as well, Instagram Stories looked fuzzy and the camera looked blurry. So, when I thought of typing a cute message on that selfie, I didn’t want to. I wanted to doodle a little heart with the S Pen. I don’t know if he was happier to hear about this moment or to have me back home. I got the most joyful “I told you so” anyone has ever heard, but more importantly – the look of pride on his face was priceless.

My certainty for my iPhone has been shaken. I’m still conflicted about feeling overwhelmed about switching, but now I’m also conflicted about all the new things I don’t want to lose from the Note 9. I’ve seen the other side and I’m having trouble forgetting. And … I’m not sure I want to.

The all-new Samsung Note 9 has made a serious impression on me. It may have also removed the divide in our house and united these Smartphone star-crossed lovers. My husband is thrilled and for the first time ever, I can imagine change in my device future.

Samsung Note 9 features that are making it hard to standby my iPhone:

  1. 1. OFF THE CHARTS Camera – every shot is Insta-ready

2. Storage starts at 128GB and expands up to 1TB

3. The S Pen makes it easy to doodle, draw and edit … and it’s also a CLICKER, which means it’s the ultimate remote control for presentations

4. The S Pen also acts as a clicker for taking photos so you can take SELFIES from FAR AWAY … Let that sink in

5. Samsung deX allows you to use the phone as an extended desktop when plugged into a screen. You can save presentations and videos on the phone and then connect it to traditional presentation screens. This plus the S Pen gives entrepreneurs what they need for meeting after meeting after meeting without having to carry a laptop around

6. The battery lasts for what feels like forever. I didn’t have to charge it once in Brooklyn or when I arrived home after power-using the device for about 40 hours

7. Bixby AI Virtual Assistant makes the ease of voice control smart and intuitive

Laura Denham