Galaxy Note 9 leak sees Samsung focus on specs over design as release date approaches

Anthony Cuthbertson
Is this the Samsung Galaxy Note 9? It looks almost identical to the Galaxy Note 8 but should feature much-improved specs: Android Headlines

A new leak of the Galaxy Note 9 suggests Samsung has settled on a design for its premium device and is sticking with it.

An image that appears to show the front of the smartphone reveals an almost identical design to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

The latest leak, courtesy of AndroidHeadlines, comes less than a month before the expected release date of the Galaxy Note 9, which is expected to be unveiled at an event on 9 August.

Full specs will be revealed at the launch, though many have already surfaced in previous leaks. It is expected to feature an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB or RAM and a minimum of 64GB of storage.

The camera will likely be upgraded, as well as the battery capacity. The price is likely to be around the same as the Galaxy Note 8 at its launch – somewhere in the region of $1,000.

Samsung will also be hoping to avoid repeating the same issues faced by the Galaxy Note 8, which experienced battery issues that meant certain devices were unable to charge or turn on after their battery drained.

The decision to stick with the same design for the Note 9 follows the trend of major smartphone manufacturers choosing to focus its updates on the inside of the phone rather than the outside, with the physical design largely remaining uniform amongst the high-end handsets.

Real design innovation is being left to smaller device makers and startups, as shown by the recent unveiling of the Finney phone by Sirin Labs.

Described by its developers as the "world's first blockchain smartphone", the Finney features a second screen that slides out from behind the phone.

A similar slide-out feature is also being adopted by manufacturers like Oppo, who are introducing pop-out cameras so that they can make an all-screen device.

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a media event at Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 12, 2017 (JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The desire to maximise screen space saw Apple introduce the controversial "notch" design for the iPhone X, a decision that Samsung mocked in subsequent advertising.

It is therefore not surprising to see that Samsung decided to go against the flow of other smartphone makers in copying the Apple's design choice.