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The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will launch in early August

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Release date and name

In early June, Bloomberg reported the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will launch on August 9. This coincides with an earlier leak related to the Snapdragon 845 processor that pegged the Galaxy Note 9’s release as September 2018, which may refer to when sales start, which would fit in with an August announcement.



As sure as the Galaxy Note 8 followed the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy Note 9 will follow 2017’s flagship big-screen phone. But when will it arrive, and will the naming convention continue? Samsung said it began work on the Galaxy Note 9 immediately after completing the Galaxy Note 8 and was “considering how to approach the development of the next Note by evaluating the latest model and looking for ways to improve upon signature features like the S Pen.” This suggests the Note 9 will be an evolution of the Note 8, rather than a reinvention.

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If a name change is coming, it has not been rumored, but a leak did hint at the code name: Crown.

Software

While we can’t be entirely sure, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will ship with Android 8.1 Oreo. Of course, there is the chance it could be Samsung’s first flagship to feature Android P, depending on when it’s announced. While we don’t have all the software details for the upcoming Note 9, we do know it will be the first to feature the latest update of Samsung’s artificial intelligence assistant, Bixby.

According to a post in The Korea Herald, a Samsung executive confirmed the upcoming Note 9 will ship with Bixby 2.0. While Samsung is a little behind on its A.I. assistant, its Bixby 2.0 update will bring enhanced natural language processes, improved noise resistance capability, and quicker response times.

Another rumor from mobile leaker Ice Universe claims we will see a huge improvement in the overall UX for the Galaxy Note 9. Although he doesn’t provide explicit details, we anticipate an updated to the Samsung Experience skin that ships with its phones.

Design

We know the Galaxy Note 9 will be big, but will it be much different from the Note 8? If a recent tweet from notable smartphone leaker Ice Universe is to be believed, the upcoming Note 9 will be a near facsimile of its predecessor. He states the only difference between the two devices is a 2mm size difference that is nearly impossible to notice unless comparing the devices side-by-side. While it’s impossible to verify these claims, Ice Universe has a good track record with Samsung leaks.

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On the other hand, Dutch tech site Let’sGoDigital, believes the Note 9 may look more like the iPhone X. The site found a patent for Samsung that was approved in March 2018 for a device that takes a lot of design cues from the iPhone X. The phone has the controversial top notch and no apparent fingerprint sensor. Since Samsung has yet to perfect a facial-authentication system as secure as Face ID, we’re unsure if this phone will use facial biometrics to authenticate, or if it has an in-display sensor.

One difference from the iPhone X is easy to spot: The upcoming Samsung device does appear to have a headphone jack near the bottom-firing speakers. While we believe we may see this device in the not-too-distant future, the lack of a stylus port leads us to believe this will not actually be the Galaxy Note 9.

Finally, there’s a small chance Samsung may be planning on an even bigger design change this year. In a surprising statement, D.J. Koh, Samsung’s president of mobile, said the 2018 Note phone may have a foldable design, provided it could overcome various technical hurdles. He didn’t elaborate further. Samsung’s foldable phone, often referred to as Project Valley or Galaxy X, has always been viewed as a separate device from the Note range. Since this statement was made, no other rumors about a foldable Note 9 have emerged, and like the fingerprint sensor, it may have been put on hold for the 2018 phone.

Fingerprint sensor and Intelligent Scan

The Galaxy Note 8 has both finger-unlock and face-unlock systems, so how will Samsung improve on this for the Note 9? Well first, it looks like Samsung may be planning to improve its Intelligent Scan technology. A new patent, first reported by Let’s Go Digital, shows Samsung is working on a fish-eye selfie camera for the Note 9. In addition to providing viewing angles of 150 degrees or more, the lens would also improve iris-scanning capabilities for the upcoming flagship.

Reports about an in-display fingerprint sensor have been conflicting thus far. After months of rumors that the Note 9 would not feature such technology, a new report from The Investor reports Samsung is considering the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor on this year’s Note 9.

Samsung did file a patent for an in-display fingerprint sensor. The patent was first picked up by Dutch site Let’s Go Digital, and was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. It describes the use of a relatively small sensor — in-display fingerprint sensors typically take up a lot of space — and involves registering part of the fingerprint as soon as the finger touches the display. Then, depending on where the finger is placed, the second part of the finger is registered. In other words, the technology can recognize different parts of the finger, which may lead to a better authentication rate.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Samsung will for sure include the in-display fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy Note 9. It appears that Samsung is still trying to perfect the technology, and that may be the reason KGI Securities reported the company would likely forgo the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor in 2018. In May, Ice Universe posted a tweet stating that we will not see such technology on the upcoming flagship.

Samsung has apparently been trying to implement the under-display sensor with its large Infinity Display for two years but hasn’t successfully completed the task to the satisfaction of the engineers, due to problems related to manufacturing, quantity, and accuracy. Another anonymous source in the industry said under-display sensors are difficult to commercialize at this stage, but thinks Samsung will solve the problem in 2019.

Specifications

The Galaxy Note is Samsung’s productivity powerhouse phone, and we’d expect the Note 9 to have specs to match. What will make the Note 9 special? Samsung said it’s investigating “signature Note features” to upgrade on the Note 9, including the S Pen stylus. However, that statement was made early in the phone’s development, so plans may change by the time the phone reaches store shelves.

In March, information about the upcoming Galaxy S9 appeared courtesy of Geekbench.  Benchmarks on the site claim the phone will feature the expected Qualcomm 845 chipset as well as 6GB of RAM.

Qualcomm is likely to supply the processor for the Note 9 in some regions. The phone was listed in a leak of the devices using the Snapdragon 845 in 2018. While this will probably apply to phones released in the United States, other regions may have a Note 9 powered by a Samsung-designed Exynos chip.

According to a tweet from well-known anonymous leaker @Universelce, the Galaxy Note 9 could include either a 3,850mAH or 4,000mAh battery. This means the new device could include a larger battery than the 3,300mAh battery on the Galaxy Note 8.

That’s all we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for now. We’ll continue to update as we learn more.

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton to host the Great American Baking Show

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Spice Girl Emma Bunton is the new presenter of the US version of The Great British Bake Off.



The Great American Baking Show will return to TV in the US later this year with Paul Hollywood returning as judge.

Baby Spice said it was her “dream job. Christmas time, eating cake and having such a brilliant time with Spice, Sherry and Paul.”

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Sherry Yard will join as a judge and Bunton will co-host with American footballer Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams.

Bunton revealed on her Heart Radio show that she has already started filming for the show – and was very excited.

“Just being in the famous tent – honestly it took me a week to get used to being in the tent,” she said.

Bunton added that working with Hollywood was “great fun”.

“I had lots of fun with Paul. He’s got a great sense of humour. I did watch out for him [though, as] he can be trouble. He’s got those eyes. Don’t look in his eyes!”

The Great American Baking Show was pulled off air last year after allegations of sexual harassment surrounding judge Johnny Iuzzini.

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UK minister pulls out of Saudi summit

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The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has pulled out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week.



It comes amid allegations the country was behind the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where Turkish officials allege he was killed.

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Saudi Arabia, which denies the killing, allowed investigators inside overnight.

The Dutch and French finance ministers, as well as several other politicians and business leaders, have said they are pulling out of the event.

However, a number of major businesses – including Goldman Sachs, Pepsi and EDF – are still intending to go despite growing pressure for a boycott.

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