Date
17 October 2018
Samsung employees wave from stage beneath an image of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 during a product launch event in New York on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
Samsung employees wave from stage beneath an image of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 during a product launch event in New York on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 9 with gaming-friendly features

Samsung Electronics launched the Galaxy Note 9 “phablet” in New York on Thursday, promising better battery life and quick cooling to attract gamers, Reuters reports.

The Note 9 will be the first Android phone to support Fortnite, a hugely popular video-and-smartphone survival game that was only playable on computers, consoles and Apple products until now.

The phablet, a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, will also be able to cool down quickly during game sessions that typically heat up phones a lot, according to the report.

Its S Pen stylus is Bluetooth-enabled and designed to act as a remote for controlling YouTube video playback.

The focus on gamer-friendly features appears to be a shift away from Samsung’s previous positioning of the Note as a productivity-boosting device, and is an attempt to lure younger customers as the company’s smartphone sales falter, Reuters noted.

The new Note is set to hit stores on August 24.

US carrier Verizon Communications said the new device will be available for pre-order from August 10, with the 128 gigabyte model priced at US$999.99 and 512GB model at US$1,249.99.

“We expect the Note 9 to sell more than its previous model and we will mobilize all our sales and marketing resources to ensure the successful launch,” KyeongTae Lee, Samsung’s vice-president of mobile communication, told investors on the company’s earnings conference call last week.

Samsung does not break out shipments of its smartphone models, but analysts reckon it has shipped around 10 million Note 8 models so far.

The company hopes to break through its sales slump with the new Note, after it reported last month that its flagship Galaxy S9 phone missed sales targets. Profit in the mobile division fell by a third in the April-June quarter.

During the Thursday event, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Home speaker, a device that will use its Bixby voice assistant and compete with similar products from Amazon, Apple and Google.

For the smart speakers, Samsung has partnered with Spotify Technology for music streaming.

In other moves, the South Korean electronics giant unveiled its Samsung Galaxy watch with a wireless pad and charger duo for its watch and Note 9.

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RC

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