Julie’s gadget diary – The Samsung Note9 is one step closer to my dream device

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ARTICLE – Three days ago Samsung officially rolled out their newest device, the Galaxy Note9 at their Unpacked event in New York City. The Note line of devices has always been the most powerful, feature-rich smartphones of Samsung’s mobile line up and this year’s new Note does not deviate from that tradition.

The Note9 boasts Samsung’s largest capacity battery for a flagship device. At 4,000mAh, the Note9 will have enough juice to power through your day with time to spare.

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The 6.4-inch AMOLED display means you won’t be squinting while reading your favorite content and you’ll have lots of room to store files and images because the Note9 is ready for up to 1TB of additional storage when you add a 1TB microSD card. I don’t even have 1TB of space on my laptop! Which brings me closer to my decade’s long dream of having one-device-to-rule-them-all. It’s actually a dream that I’ve had from way back in the Palm Pilot days when I daydreamed about having a handheld device that could plug into a slot in my desk at my day job to do work with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. And then it could plug in at home into a smaller setup for work (and play) there.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is the closest device yet to make that dream a reality. Even the new low power Bluetooth S Pen makes this new device more attractive to me than an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil just because it’s so much more portable and pocket-friendly.

I keep hoping that the day is coming very soon when I can ditch my MacBook and go all in with either an iPhone or an Android phone and make it my only phone/camera/computer and that time is so close for me right now because of Samsung’s DeX feature. I reviewed their Dex Station last year and found it to be pretty cool, but this year the stand-alone DeX station is not even necessary because all you have to do is use a Type-C HDMI adapter with the phone to plug it into a monitor and you’re all set to use a desktop-like interface from your phone. It remains to be seen if some of the issues that I noticed with last year’s DeX have been fixed with the Note9’s version of DeX, but I’m excited to get my hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 to find out.

The Note9 will come in two new colors: Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple, and will retail for $999.99 for the 128GB option and $1,249.99 for the 512GB option. You can pre-order now and the phone will be available online starting August 24th through Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers.

What do you think? Can you see yourself only using a phone as your main computer? Or maybe you already do this? Let me know as I’m interested in hearing about your workflow.

Pictures courtesy of Helena Stone of Geekspin.

11 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – The Samsung Note9 is one step closer to my dream device”

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  2. I have been ready since the Motorola Lapdock for my phone to become my sole computer that I carry between reusable “dumb” stations at work or home. One device carrying the brains and upgradable every few years, while not creating more waste by constantly replacing the shell that enables it to be used more comfortably.

  3. $1000 for a main computer which will, effectively, be obsolete in 2 years when Samsung stop shipping software and security updates? I’ll stick with my MBA, thanks. It’s 5 years old, still going strong and after replacing the battery last month it’s as good as new.

      1. I agree that the main problem with cellphones has become the short OS and security updates. And what happened to replaceable batteries? My 7 year old Dell XPS17 still does all I need. I did upgrade to a Samsung SSD and Windows 10 Pro and have had no problems whatsoever. The updates are current and the battery can be replaced and it still is fast with no end in sight!
        My Pixel XL also works great and is up to date (Pie!) but I know the end is coming. I’d like to stay with stock Google android forever but again may have to look to other builds like LineageOS.

        1. I agree with you with regards to batteries but I think it’s possible to get them replaced. I know it’s possible on iPhones and Samsung phones. Not sure about Pixels though. Is LineageOS an alternative ROM for Android? I’ve been out of the loop with ROMs for awhile now.

  4. I don’t know if there ever will be one device to rule them all. There are compromises in everything. Even muscle memory and universal capability that is an outside factor that would prevent it from happening. I can do things at a desktop/laptop and I can do things on my phone, but they aren’t the same especially when you consider applications one uses day to day and your proficiency with them. I do think we have come a ridiculous long way from the palm pilot/visor days. That is pretty cool.

    1. I don’t completely agree with your muscle memory argument. I think you can have muscle memory for two different ways to use the same device just like you have with using two separate devices. For this to work (for me), I’ll need to be able to use the phone as a laptop when I want to do real work like writing and image editing. I know we’re not quite there yet but I can’t wait till we are 🙂

  5. While I share your optimism about DeX and being able to have a single device, so far the problem is not with the device itself. I am pretty sure that for a fair portion of what I do daily I could use a phone which has plenty of storage, wifi and LTE to get to data stored in the cloud, etc.

    The problem comes in what I have to carry to get an ergonomic and workable solution when traveling (home and/or office are reasonably easily solved). First, wherever I stay has to have a TV with an available HDMI port and some place to rest the phone within the reach of the USB-C cable. As I sit here right now in my hotel room in Sweden (a big name hotel chain, too), the TV has an HDMI port but no means either on the TV or the remote to change to a different input. So I probably need a portable monitor just to be safe.

    In order to keep going, I imagine I would need some sort of dongle or supported up to connect to both the TV/external monitor and a power source. If I have been out all day and my phone is at 25% when I return to my hotel, I won’t get much done unless I can simultaneously charge and work.

    I also need an external keyboard and mouse, with the keyboard big enough to get my grubby meathooks to hit the right keys.

    I have to have a place to sit and type. Sitting on the bed just means I am going to sleep that much sooner.

    Hotel rooms as such really aren’t optimized for this kind of tech just yet, and it might be a long time coming given the cost of retrofitting. On the other hand, most places I stay have some sort of desk with a nearby plug, making my laptop a viable option if a heavy one.

    @CM, I remember the Motorola Lapdock. That would be a great option for DeX – a light clamshell with a screen, a keyboard and trackpad, a power in and an HDMI port.

    On the other hand, I could wait for the Tab S4 with LTE and get all of this with their keyboard case – assuming T-Mobile doesn’t kill voice on the tablet, which they probably will. But, it is under-spec’ed compared to the Note 9, so never mind.

    1. Great points and I agree with all of them. We’re nowhere near ready for my daydream to become reality just yet, but I can see that day coming soon. I don’t travel that often, so for me, it will be easier to adjust to a smartphone-centric computer than it will for a frequent traveler like yourself.

      In just a few years we might all be saying the same thing that the little girl in the Apple commercial says: “what’s a computer?”

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