What, exactly, does Samsung need to do to swat away competition from Google’s Pixel 3 and Apple’s update on the iPhone X?
In-display fingerprint scanner
Samsung is rumoured to be weighing up a revolutionary new type of biometric security for the Note 9: an in-display fingerprint reader.
For the uninitiated, in-display fingerprint scanners are the next generation of fingerprint readers. The idea is that a sensor is placed behind the display that can read your fingerprint, instead of around the back of the device or crammed at the bottom of the front of the phone, thus reducing display size. There are obvious design benefits to not having a rear-placed fingerprint scanner, but there’s also a potential for saving internal space (which could mean slightly bigger batteries) and true all-screen displays.
If accurate, Samsung could potentially be the first of the major manufacturers to take this step. That’s important because it puts a clear line between the Korean company and its competition, but it maintains Samsung’s image as an innovator. Plus, it’s just a cool feature in general.
If there is internal spaced saved from the in-display fingerprint reader, then it should be repurposed for a bigger battery.
Outside of the the camera, how long a single charge lasts is the most important feature for me. I hope the rumour that Samsung is considering adding a huge 4000mAh battery to the Note 9 is accurate, because few of the major smartphone makers venture into that big battery territory.
Samsung’s early Note devices had serious lasting power, but the move to Super AMOLED 2k displays – and increasingly demanding hardware – slightly changed that. Hopefully Samsung tips the balance back towards two days of power with the biggest power pack in a Samsung Note phone ever.
Bixby understandably has its critics. It isn’t as accomplished as Assistant or Alexa, but Samsung appears to be focusing on one area: in-phone voice control. Whilst Assistant has made big strides here by increasing the amount of settings that can be toggled with a voice command, Samsung is really impressing.
Bixby’s grouped commands (that perform a set of actions upon hearing an assigned word) and granular voice-command settings control (toggling keyboard vibration for example) are the types of actions I want smartphone AI to perform. Giving me directions and general trivia are fine, but truly useful AI should demystify smartphones. It should take the hassle and pain away from trying to find that one, awkward setting that needs to be changed, or it should bring to the fore features you never knew existed on your phone.