Samsung Note 8 Vs Note 9: Which is Better in 2020?

Note 8 Vs Note 9

This objective of this article is to help you in making a decision as to which Note (between 8 & 9) is suited best for you in terms of various aspects.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 8 on September 15,2017. It costs $399.80 for the base version. The Galaxy Note 9 was launched on August 24,2018 . It costs $791.14 for the base version.

We all are aware of the fact that Note 9 should be the enhanced version of the Note 8. But the question arises here is exactly how many improvements and enhancements are there and in which aspects? Besides, is it really worth spending extra bucks and going for Note 9?Even if you are using Galaxy 8 right now and wondering if it makes sense switching over to the enhanced version, then also you have come to the right place.

By the end of this comparative analysis, you will have your answers.

‘Infinity Display’ is excellent. Great dual-lens camera. Fast with 6GB of RAM.Beautiful 6.4-inch Infinity Display. Superb camera, even in low light. Battery and storage last and last. Bluetooth S Pen shortcuts are fun.
‘Infinitely’ expensive at launch. Battery life held back. Weak speaker.Expensive. A lot of small upgrades. No HDR video recording. We hate the Bixby button.
ModelGalaxy Note 9Galaxy Note 8
AndroidAndroid 8.1Android 7.1
CPUSnapdragon 845Snapdragon 835
MircoSDUp to 512GBUp to 256GB
Rear Camera12MP (f/1.7 wide angle); 12MP (f/2.4 telephoto with 2x zoom)12MP (f/1.7 wide angle); 12MP (f/2.4 telephoto with 2x zoom)
Front Camera8MP (f/1.7)8MP (f/1.7)
Battery4,000 mAh3,300 mAh
Battery Life (hrs:mins)11:2611:11
Size6.4 x 3 x 0.34 inches6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches
Weight7.1 ounces6.9 ounces
ColorsLavender Purple, Ocean BlueMidnight Black, Orchid Gray


Both the devices nearly resemble each other aesthetically. Samsung’s traditional metal and glass sandwich construction model can be seen in both these models. Now there is no denying to the fact that though metal and glass construction provide the phone a lavish look when in hand but this also makes them vulnerable to damages if you drop these boys. Both have curved glass panels on front and back and come with an Aluminum frame. Talking about the size and weight distribution, both are nearly identical and look almost alike when you hold them in your hands. Even the placement of ports and the buttons is very much similar in both. The dimensions of Note 8 are 162.5 x 74.6 x 8.5mm while those of Note 9 are 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm. Now coming to the weight, Note 8 weighs 195g as compared to 201g of Note 9. So its pretty much clear that Note 9 is slightly shorter, slightly wider and slightly thicker and a bit heavier as well. However, it is very unlikely that you will notice much of a disparity.

The glass on front and back of both devices is the Gorilla Glass 5 . Besides, both phones provide you IP68 water & dust resistance so you don’t have to worry if you get any sort of water or dirt splash on each of the devices. The variety of shades offered in both devices are different though. The Note 8 is available in: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Deep Sea Blue, Orchid Gray whereas the Note 9 comes in: Lavender Purple, Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Metallic Copper.

The built-in design of both the devices ensure that Note 9 is an incremental update of the Note 8 as everything is almost similar in both these flagships. The range of colors in which Note 9 is provided is comparatively better and different from the routine shades available in the market. Apart from that, Both the phones are of impeccable quality, exhibit not much of a difference design-wise and give a wonderful in-hand feeling. So it is certainly a tie here in terms of design..


One thing is for sure that displays offered by Note 8 & Note 9 are one of the best displays out there in the market. Their displays exhibit similarity in terms of their characteristics. Note 8 has 6.3 inches Super AMOLED display with the resolution of 2960×1440 pixels and 522 pixels per inches (ppi) whereas Note 9 has negligibly larger 6.4 inches Super AMOLED display also with a resolution of2960x1440 and 516 ppi. The screen to body ratio is 83.4% of Note 9 as compared to 83.2% of Note 8 which gives us an insight that Note 9 has a slightly smaller chin as compared to Note 8.

Both the devices have 6400 Kelvin color temperatures and they are really cool with the accuracies of their color. However, the brightest output of the Note 9 display is stronger at 575 nits as compared to 518 nits on the Note 8 but it is very difficult to tell much of a difference in the normal lightening scenario. Displays of both the devices are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

So it is pretty obvious that both the displays are stupendous with brilliant viewing angles . The detailing is pretty sharp and the colors are very much vibrant. These displays provide you a buttery scrolling experience and since they are infinity displays,so we have got very small bezels on the top and bottom.

Now deciding the winner becomes a very difficult task when all the specs are nearly identical like we have here. The only difference here is in terms of maximum brightness provided by both where Note 9 takes the edge but I don’t think that marginal difference in the brightness will influence my decision in any sense. So, it is a tie here as well. Both the displays are world-class and are nearly identical.


Now moving to the photography department, we do have a lot of noticeable improvements on rear facing camera of Note 9 as compared to its predecessor. However, the front-camera displays the same potential in both flagships. Talking about the rear-camera, we get a dual camera setup with optilink stabilization on both devices. The primary camera on Note 8 is 12MP, f/1.7 and the Telephoto camera is 12MP,f/2.4 . On the other hand, the primary camera on Note 9 is also 12MP but it differs in the sense that it has dual aperture switching between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending upon the amount of light that you are going to see. The second camera is again the Telephoto camera of 12MP,f/2.4 . The Telephoto camera in both the devices give you two times optical zoom.

Talking about the front camera, we get 8MP with an f/1.7 aperture on autofocus in both the devices. There is not much of a difference in the performance of the front camera if we compare both devices. However, the Note 9 does have a “Selfie focus” (nowhere to be seen in Note 8) which facilitates to blur the background of the pictures. This feature works alright but “Auto-focus selfie” present in many other devices at this price range works way better as compared to it. But its still preferable to have a “selfie focus” ( no matter how it works) over not having this feature at all. So, I might lean towards Note 9 in terms of Front camera performance simply because it allows me to have a “selfie focus” feature.

The rear cameras on both devices work pretty well in good lightening conditions. However there is delicate amount of sharpness noticeable in Note 9 shots.Talking about low light shots, then Note 9 works way better simply because its shots look cleaner and don’t lose the details as witnessed in Note 8 shots. Even when we zoom in the low light shots, the shots stay rich, plentiful and provide very much detailing comparatively. So yeah we can say Note 9 has an improved rear-camera as well.

Now it’s the time to discuss the videography experience offered by both. There is no denying that some improvements are also witnessed in video departments as well. Firstly you have 4K up to 60 fps on Note 9 as compared to 4K at 30 fps on the Note 8. In slow motion as well, we are provided 1080p at up to 240 frames. Besides, we are also getting a super slo-mode which is 960 fps at 720 p. on the other hand, we only get 720 p at 240 fps on Note 8.

In Note 9, we are also getting a scene optimizer mode that intelligently detects the scene and applies enhancements to improve the quality and ovwerall look of the shot. I wish they put this feature in Note 8 as well but there is no such feature present in Note 8 until now.

Samsung clearly made some improvements in the Note 9 camera which makes it perform comparatively better than its predecessor. So Note 9 is a winner here as well.


The beauty of any product not depends on how attractive it appears but on how well it gets the job done for which it is purchased.

Keeping this quote in mind let us know what they have got inside of them.

Talking about the Note 8, we either get Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 (depending on the region where you are from. Most probably, Snapdragon chipset is offered in US market and in other regions, Exynos processor is provided inside the Note 8).The Note , on the other hand, is offered with a comparatively better processor. So we are getting either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor or Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 processor.

Talking about the CPU, Note 8 accommodates 2.3 GHz Octa Core processor where the Note 9 accomodates the 2.7 GHz Octa Core processor.So there is an improvement in CPU as well.

Although both devices come with 6 GB RAM as a base version but there is also an 8 GB RAM version available in Note 9. The internal memory offered is 64 GB on Note 8 as compared to 128 GB offered on Note 9. Besides, you are also provided the support for MicroSD card for storage expansion in both devices having the maximum capacity of 64 GB on Note 8 and 128 GB on Note 9. So if you are user who indulges in lots of applications and tasking and make the most out of your device then I think Note 9 is probably better for you.

It is pretty clear here that you will be getting enhanced performance on Note 9 compared to Note 8. Whether it be multi-tasking or playing any sort of high-end games, the Note 9 outperforms Note 8. Without being precise, it is roughly about 30% faster & 30% more efficient. In terms of graphics processing as well, there is definitely a boost to Note 9 ‘s performance simply because you are getting slightly better frame rates than its previous version.

One thing which calls for your attention is the Note 9 has got this innovative built-in water-carbon cooling system designed to provide you an optimized gaming performance. This system basically diffuses heat for efficient cooling. While the SMART PERFORMANCE ADJUSTER automatically adjusts gaming performance so these two together provide you a smooth and lag-free gaming experience. Besides, specialized notifications are made to pop up without pausing the task or game you are into or you are also entitled to turn the alerts off entirely. This feature is pretty awesome and makes sure your device doesn’t heat up when you are into long sessions of gaming. This feature is introduced in Note 9 so it is pretty obvious you are not getting it in Note 8.

You don’t need me to tell you who turns out to be a winner here. Yes, it is our Note 9 who stands out victorious in terms of the performance of the processor. The various benchmark tests put the seal on this statement. Although when I myself played heavy graphic games on both the devices, I was hard pressed to find the difference. No disparity is shown during the normal usage but when you are into heavy usage for a long period of time, then the difference becomes visible. Regardless, both phones are quick and pretty responsive with quick actions.


Let us now talk about the differences in their software. You get Android 8.0 Oreo on the Note 8 and you get Samsung experience version 9.0 on the Note 9.

Both devices have edge panel for quick shortcuts and side by side windows for smooth multi-tasking. The one-handed mode which we have seen in numerous Samsung phones is also present in both devices. However, Note 9 has this additional enhanced bixby function . besides, AR emoji is accessible and there is no longer need for debt spatter station to access the phone’s desktop like experience in note 9.

The Note 8 has the ability to rotate the home screen . However the camera has this older looking UI, no AR emoji is present in the Note 8. So there are a lot of difference in the camera software between both devices. The camera software on Note 9 is a little bit better, user friendly and offers more detailing. Regardless the experiences provided by both devices are a very much identical.

Frankly speaking, Note 9 doesn’t necessarily redefine experience but instead it complements those fundamental features for which the Note series is known. So There isn’t very much of difference overall when we talk about their software. It is like using the same phone again.

Talking about the winner, I favor Note 9 over 8 simply because of slight improvements and additional features present in it. However these enhancements in no way redefine the experience Note 9 is going to give. Both the devices will offer you same course experience.


Talking about the audio quality, we do have a 3.5mm headphone jack on both the devices. However, Note 9 has this substantial upgrade (which everyone wishes should have been on Note 8 as well) which is the stereo sound with Dolby Atmos. So just to be clear, we get dual speakers on Note 9 compared to the single bottom firing speaker on Note 8, which is good but the audio can be covered up easily . The louder speaker on Note 9 also comes into help when you are listening to any music or talking to people on speaker phone calls. The speakers on both phones reach a peak output of 74.6 decibels.

The listening experience is exquisite and wonderful on both devices especially with their quad HD plus display. The conversations are also handled nicely by both phones. The voice generally sounds audible without giving an artificial sound to the earpiece.

The Note 9 is better here simply because of the additional speaker provided in it.


One of the major problems with Note 8 was its low battery life considering the size of the device. The Note 8 offers a disappointing 300mAh battery. One possible explanation to such a low battery might be due to the controversy happened around the Note7 where they tried to put in a big battery in a compact- body and that combination did cause some issues. So Samsung made the smartest possible and decided to regain the consumer confidence with the Note 8. Samsung increased the battery capacity on Note 9 by over 20% compared to the previous version i.e. Note 9 comes with a respectable a 4000mAh battery. The company promises that the after a normal usage of full day, there would still be some juice left over for the next day. So yeah improvements in terms of battery performance can be seen here. Both device support fast wired as well as wireless charging.

So without any doubt, it is Note 9 which is miles ahead from Note 8 In terms of battery performance.


The fingerprint senor on Note 8 is placed right next to Rear cameras. This is a very unusual potion to place the fingerprint sensor as it is very difficult to access the scanner with your finger considering the height of the phone. However, the fingerprint scanner on Note 9 is placed below the camera. It is still a little too high but is very much reachable as compared to its predecessor. Also placing the scanner below the camera makes sure that the camera is no longer prone to any sort of smudges or being covered with our fingers when we are trying to unlock the phone like is witnessed in Note 8.

Apart from fingerprint scanner, we are also provided an iris scanner as well as facial recognition on both the devices. So there is no compromise made to security in both the devices. However, you get an additional intelligence scan in Note 9 and this is where it makes use of the combination of iris scanner as well as facial recognition.

So there is not much of the difference when we talk about Security and biometrics. The scanners on both the devices are very much quick and responsive .If I have to choose the winner though, I would simply go for Note 9 here as well simply because of the new placement of the fingerprint scanner and the provision of intelligence scan which is nowhere to be seen in Note 8.


It is not possible that we compare the Note 8 & Note 9 without really comparing the S-Pens that come along with them. These are what really distinguish the Note devices from all the other devices out there. We have already seen that there are some improvements in Note 9 whether it be camera, processor and so on but the greatest improvement Samsung did can be seen in the S-Pen of Note 9.

With the S-Pen of Note 8, we have a ton of cool features. From doing off-screen memos to translating currencies and texts, the features are endless. You can do the same things with the S-Pen provided with Note 9 as well. But S-Pen of Note 9 has Bluetooth built-into it, In fact, this was the centre of attraction when Note 9 was launched in 2018 as it is the first in the Note series. The S-Pen is slightly thicker and slightly heavier compared to the previous one. It allows some pretty awesome remote control features on the Note 9 like you can launch apps just by pressing and holding. Besides, you can also customize which apps you want to launch. It can also be used to scroll through the gallery or viewing slideshows.

Another pretty cool feature is that you are also getting an in-built Samsung deck into the Note 9 so you can easily convert this onto a big screen without the help of the dongle. This allows you to have any sort of presentations on a big screen and you can also control the presentation your way with the help of the S-Pen which can be placed up to 10 meters distance because of the bluetooth . Now you don’t need to have a deck separately like is required in Note 8.

The Bluetooth connectivity clearly implies that the S-Pen of Note 9 is having a battery which needs to be chaged. The battery lasts up to 30 minutes and in order to charge it, you simply need to pop it back in the phone and it takes 40 seconds to fully charge the S-Pen. Even if the battery is all the way down, you can still use it like we use the S-Pen provided with Note 8.


Well we were pretty much aware that the Note 9 was going to be better than its previous version simply because it is the more recently launched better version of the Note series. Our focus here is if it really makes sense switching over to Note 9 if you are already using the Note 8 or if you haven’t used any of them and are confused between the both, then should you be going for Note 8 or just put in a couple more bucks and be get the better version i.e. the Note 9.

Why Should You Buy Note 8?

If you are limited by your budget, then I think the smart choice would be to go for Note 8. The Note 9 basically has some enhanced features or some improvements but in no way it implies that Note 8 is not a good option. The design and display is very much similar to the Note 9. The processor is lag-free, provides a sheer gaming experience. Besides, if you already own a Note 8, then believe me you have a very good device in your hands and I am very much sure it is going to last a little bit more. Who knows by the time you get past this, Note 10 would be already there in the market and you can go for that instead. So make sure you are making a rational decision here.

Why Should You Buy Note 9?

If you don’t have any budget constraints then I don’t think I have any valid reason to restrict you from making the purchase. The latest of the Note series with nhanced features – The bigger battery, improved processor, provison for more storage, double speakers and that new S-Pen with Bluetooth connectivity and remote control functionality intrigues customer towards itself. Although you do have to spend couple of bucks more as compared to its predecessor but I think the improved features justify the price difference.