Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features huge screen, Bluetooth stylus

Samsung started the smartphone screen-measuring contest that now seems to define the industry with the release of its first Galaxy Note in 2011. The Note 9 unveiled in a sold-out Barclays Center, Thursday, boats a screen a full inch larger than that original.

"People are actually using them as their primary computing devices so the bigger the screens the better for a lot of people," Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer said.

Screen size apparently matters for the planet's nearly 2.5 billion smartphone consumers, and Spoonauer expects Samsung's new 6.4-inch screen leader to pace the field for about a month until the expected release of Apple's new iPhone X in September.

"Lot of people will expect a 6.5-inch display," Spoonauer said.

Screen size likely fails to qualify as innovation, but Spoonauer finds the remote feature on the Note 9's now Bluetooth S Pen, the phone's all-day battery life, improved processor cooling and especially its camera's flaw detection, all impressive features.

"It's not just about the megapixels that you have now," Spoonauer said. "It's about artificial intelligence."

The Note 9 recognizes what one photographs with it and automatically adjusts light, focus and coloring accordingly, which Spoonauer also sees as another feature destined to spark competition.

"I think Samsung is taking direct aim at Apple," he said.

The world's largest purveyor of smartphones, Samsung offers its Note 9 at a very premium $1,000 price point that matches the iPhone X. More Americans carry iPhones than Samsungs but globally Apple ranks as the No. 3 smartphone seller in the world.

I don't know if Apple cares about market share as much as it does about profit and making its users happy," Spoonauer said.

The nation's first $1 trillion company, with the fastest phone on the market and a level of brand loyalty as impressive as that enjoyed by any company in the world, Apple is expected to release its response to the Note 9's screen, camera and S Pen sometime next month.

"They're saying smartphones are starting to hit a wall," Spoonauer said. "I think the next big wave is going to come next year when we get the first 5G phones for super-fast speeds."