This Galaxy is one giant star

Lifestyle

This Galaxy is one giant star

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 could steal your heart

Sylvia McKeown


They say that when something really works you hardly notice it. When everything else is making your life hard – petrol prices, land insecurity, your mother-in-law’s impending visit – tech should not make things worse. It should be a seamless extension of your life.
The Galaxy Note 9 is just such a convenient addition to your life. On top of all the great features it has to magic your problems away, it also has a magic S-pen. Sure, it’s so big it could jump out of your pocket at any given moment, but that massive screen is great for viewing social media. It is a magnificent phone that is as slick as it is beautiful.
Who knew it was possible for a phone battery to last all day and night (outside the ever-sturdy Nokia)? Boasting the biggest and most stable battery in a Samsung to date, I punished this phone with hours of work, social media, voice recording, video watching and photo taking, and it still had 6% battery when dawn broke the next day.
There are rumours that next week a new 512gb iPhone will be announced, but Apple’s stubborn hold on its iCloud storage pay service means their loyal subjects may have to wait another year to break the 1Tb storage glass ceiling. Not that you would ever need that amount of space on a phone, but like a girl and her handbags you always like to have the option.
The dual aperture smart camera, which borrows from the earlier S9, continues to dominate in low light. The upgraded Bluetooth S-Pen is even more responsive than before, acting as a handheld remote for selfies and photos.
Bixby is even more chirpy than she has ever been, ever ready to spring into action at the mention of her name. Although not as “nice” or “charming” as Siri, she remains ever efficient. Want to get an Uber? Order food? Plan your next date? Organise your life on a profoundly creepy level without opening your phone or a single app? She’s on it. 
It is nothing short of a really great phone that flexes every muscle the Korean giant has. I say this having been an iPhone user for what seems like forever. After three incarnations of the Apples 4 to 6S, I only recently found myself the proud owner of a Galaxy Note 9.
And truth be told, it was easy. Switching to a vastly superior phone experience was a breeze. I never felt any pangs of longing for my old iOS. I never had to revisit my old phone to find any photos because thanks to the “plug in and play” transfer adapter Samsung gives you – for free – I had a complete perfect replica of my iPhone and my 120-odd-thousand photos on my Samsung in a matter of an hour.
Beyond the initial smooth migrating mechanics, the experience of the phone itself became intuitive and cleaner than my iPhone. Samsung’s minor tweaking of Android had me swiping the phone all over the place instinctively quicker than one could have anticipated from a former dedicated Apple-ite.
There was no trauma. It has become, in a record time, a seamless extension of my life.
Phones like this make it harder to remain loyal to Silicon Valley. It’ll be interesting to see what Apple will put forward next week at their new product presentation. The mega giants of Asia certainly haven’t made it easy for them.
• The 128GB Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will set you back R18,999 or R799 a month. Available now.

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