Samsung has huge plans for Black Friday — here’s what will be on offer

Samsung Black Friday Samsung

Black Friday is getting closer and shops are gearing up to give you some juicy discounts. Samsung is among the latest companies to give potential buyers a preview of the deals it will unleash come the busiest shopping day of the year.

Our regular readers will already know we like Samsung’s latest flagship phones. Luckily for those wanting to pick up one of these devices, Samsung will cut the prices of all three of its 2018 flagships as part of its Black Friday deals.

This will see the company reduce the 128GB Galaxy Note 9 from $999.99 to $799.99, the 64GB Galaxy S9 Plus from $839.99 to $639.99, and the 64GB Galaxy S9 from $719.99 to $519.99.

If you’re already happy with your smartphone, you may be pleased to know Samsung will also reduce the price of some of its accessories.

Editor’s Pick

The price of the Galaxy Watch will be slashed by $70, meaning you will be able to pick one up for $279.99. The Gear IconX Bluetooth earbuds will get a price cut from $179.99 to $129.99. One of the cheapest deals on the site will see a pack of two wireless chargers cost only $39.99.

As well as smartphone-related items, Samsung will discount many of its other electronic products. This includes TVs, monitors, notebook computers, SSD storage, and soundbars. If there is a Samsung product that you are thinking about buying, it is well worth taking a look at the full list.

Be sure to check when the deal will begin if you spot something you want to buy. While many of the offers will go live on November 16, others will go live on November 15, 18, 22, or 23. Click the button below to head over to the Samsung online store and check the offers out now.

Next up: Black Friday 2018: Here are all the deals you can expect

Samsung talking Android Pie beta this week, may launch same day

Samsung Galaxy S9 Sunrise Gold (3 of 9)

  • Samsung has confirmed it will reveal its Android Pie beta software at its developer conference this week.
  • The company is likely to launch the beta program for Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus users shortly after.

Samsung has added the Android Pie beta program to its list of talking points at this week’s Samsung Developer Conference 2018 event. The new event on the calendar, spotted by SamMobile in the conference app, suggests the company may also launch the beta in the coming days.

Editor’s Pick

Samsung said those attending the event would be able to “explore the new Galaxy UX” through the beta, but little else was mentioned about it. If the software is usable or presentable at the show, presumably it’s in a decent shape. We had expected Samsung to launch the beta sometime soon, so it seems likely it will use the event as a platform to do so.

The beta will likely be available for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, giving select users a chance to test the new software before its official rollout (probably sometime in the new year). In the U.S., this may only apply to Snapdragon models with specific carriers.

Samsung Developers conference app screenshot. Sam Mobile

We don’t know exactly what the new software (Samsung Experience 10) will deliver in terms of features, but we have encountered some leaked screenshots which have offered some clues as to the design changes (like an abundance of headers and bubbles).

Meanwhile, Samsung has also said it will show off how its upcoming folding phone works at the conference.

The Samsung Developer Conference 2018 begins tomorrow and runs until this Thursday. We’ll be bringing you all the announcements as they happen.

Samsung’s new Facebook picture is its biggest foldable phone tease yet

Samsung Mobile folding phone logo Samsung Mobile

  • Samsung has teased its foldable phone on the Samsung Mobile Facebook page.
  • The image shows the Samsung logo folded in half.
  • Samsung is widely expected to unveil the first details about its foldable phone at the end of this week.

Samsung has once again teased its foldable smartphone, this time via the profile picture of the Samsung Mobile Facebook page. The image is of a folded Samsung logo, and judging by the number of likes and comments attached to the post, it has got people pretty excited.

The latest teaser comes just weeks after a Samsung video on Twitter hinted at the device via an animated icon that moved in a similar way to how we expect the phone to fold.

The company is widely expected to reveal details about its foldable phone at the Samsung Developer Conference at the end of the week. However, we don’t what exactly the company is planning to unveil.

In a conference call with Korean media outlets, Samsung reportedly said it intends to unveil the phone’s user interface at the event. Samsung has previously said it wants the foldable phone to offer a unique user experience and the new UI will likely be a crucial part of this.

Editor’s Pick

However, we still don’t know if the phone itself will make an appearance or, if it does, whether the device will be anywhere near a final product.

The most recent rumors suggested the phone will be usable as both a phone and a tablet and that it will have a 7.3-inch display on the inside and a four-inch display on the outside. Samsung has yet to confirm any of this.

One thing that is certain, however, is that Samsung’s effort won’t be the first foldable device. That honor goes to this device from Rouyu Technology. Hopefully, Samsung’s version will be a bit more refined, however.

Next up: Samsung foldable phone: All the rumors in one place

Q3 2018 smartphone shipments are in: how much longer before Huawei claims top spot?

huawei p20 pro vs samsung galaxy s9 quick look aa (10 of 10)

  • The latest smartphone shipment numbers from Counterpoint show big year-on-year gains in market share for Huawei and Xiaomi.
  • Despite a drop in shipments, Samsung is still number one by a fairly large margin.
  • HMD Global, owners of the Nokia brand, had the largest year-on-year percentage increase.

Huawei and Xiaomi were the big winners in Q3 2018, according to smartphone shipment figures from Counterpoint Research. While the numbers say Samsung is still the number one OEM in terms of market share, a 13 percent year-on-year decrease in shipments combined with a 33 percent increase from Huawei saw the Chinese company close the gap.

Smartphone-Shipment-Q3-2018 Counterpoint

Samsung’s total share of global shipments is now 19 percent, while Huawei has 13 percent, according to Counterpoint. The company says Xiaomi, the fourth OEM on the list, saw shipments increase by 25 percent, giving it a nine percent share of total shipments.

Apple is third on the list with 12 percent. While Apple saw only very slight growth year-on-year, Counterpoint says iPhone revenues grew 29 percent due to the iPhone lineup’s average selling price of $793.

 Smartphone-Shipment-Q3 Percentage-2018Counterpoint

The company that saw the biggest year-on-year growth by percentage was HMD — the makers of Nokia phones. It saw sales grow a massive 71 percent when compared to Q3 2017, says Counterpoint. The list suggests HMD is now the ninth biggest smartphone maker globally, continuing an incredible rise that started when HMD released its first Nokia branded Android device in 2017.

Editor’s Pick

Overall, the top ten smartphone OEMs make up 78 percent of total smartphone shipments, according to the figures. This leaves all the other OEMs — Counterpoint says there are 600 of them — fighting for only 22 percent of the market. Brands not in the top ten include those with high-profile phones such as Google, OnePlus, and Razer.

According to Counterpoint, overall global smartphone shipments fell three percent annually — the third quarter in a row that shipments have fallen. There has been much debate about why this may be — including on this site — but the tracking firm puts it down to improvements in smartphone build quality and a lack of meaningful innovation.

Next up: The most important Android smartphones since the Google Nexus 5

First Sony, now Samsung — expect 2019 to be the year of 48-megapixel camera

samsung galaxy s9 plus new camera features aa (1 of 1)

  • Samsung has announced two new smartphone camera sensors.
  • The 48MP and 32MP sensors have a 0.8µm pixel size.
  • As well as higher resolution photography, the sensors could offer improved low-light performance.

Samsung has just revealed two new camera sensors — a 48MP one and a 32MP one — expected to be used in its upcoming phones. Samsung anticipates mass-production to begin in the fourth quarter of the year, meaning the senosrs could potentially be in line for use on the Galaxy S10.

As well as a device from Samsung, it wouldn’t be surprising if phones from other manufacturers end-up with a 48MP sensor in 2019. Samsung has upped its production capacity of camera sensors and is known to sell its camera sensors to other brands including Xiaomi. Additionally, Sony — the biggest supplier of camera sensors for smartphones — recently announced a 48MP sensor of its own.

When these sensors make it to phones next year, the cameras that use the sensors will have a larger megapixel count than any previous Android device — even the Huawei P20 Pro and its 40MP sensor. By comparison, both the Galaxy S9 Plus and the Galaxy Note 9 have dual 12MP cameras, while the Galaxy A9 has a 24MP sensor.

Samsung 48MP camera sensor

The recently unveiled camera sensors are also notable as the size of each pixel is only 0.8µm. The Galaxy S9 uses a sensor with a pixel size of 1.4µm.

A smaller pixel size allows manufacturers to fit more pixels on a sensor that is a similar size to existing ones. The Sony one, for example, is only 8mm in size. In turn, this means manufacturers can add higher-resolution cameras to their phones without increasing the size of the camera module.

This has plenty of advantages. Manufacturers won’t have to make space for the sensor by removing other tech, such as the headphone jack (which it has been rumored even Samsung is considering). The smaller size of the camera module will also make it easier for OEMs to include higher resolution sensors in multiple camera setups.

One difficulty with making sensors with a smaller pixel size is that — using existing pixel isolation tech — each individual pixel would be unable to capture as much light. Isolation tech is important as it stops light bleed between pixels.

The Sony Xperia XZ3.

However, Samsung says it has countered this with its Isocell Plus technology. This tech replaces the metal barriers which surround the pixels on its older sensors with a new material developed by Fujifilm. It says this material reduces light reflection and optical loss to deliver “higher color fidelity” and a “15 percent increase in light sensitivity.” This should ensure there is no loss in performance — despite the smaller pixel size.

Meanwhile, Sony promises that its 48MP sensor will use a Quad Bayer color filter array where adjacent 2×2 pixels come in the same color to ensure that — despite the small size — the pixels will still deliver high sensitivity.

Both Samsung and Sony says the sensors will include tech that should offer improved results in low-light conditions. They will do this by merging four pixels into one, producing an image with a resolution of either 12MP or 8MP — depending on the sensor used.

Editor’s Pick

Additionally, the Samsung 32MP sensor will get a real-time HDR feature which Samsung says could deliver improved HDR performance while recording or streaming video, even in low-light settings. The Sony sensor will allow 4K shooting at 90fps.

While this year we have seen smartphone makers improve their cameras by adding multiple lenses and fancy software tricks, next year could be all about phones with a high megapixel count.

Next up: All the exciting things phones could do with triple camera technology

Samsung lists its first 512GB microSD card, but it ain’t cheap

HTC U12 Life hybrid dual SIM and microSD card tray

  • Samsung is set to release its 512GB microSD memory card.
  • It’s not cheap, though. It is currently listed on the German version of its website for 289.90 euros (~$330.75).
  • Samsung is currently selling some of its other microSD cards at a heavily reduced price.

Those waiting for Samsung’s 512GB microSD card may not have to wait much longer as the company has listed the card on its official website in Germany. Spotted by AllAboutSamsung (via SamMobile), the listing suggests it will cost 289.90 euros when it goes up for sale.

Samsung 512GB memory card Samsung

The 289.90 euro price tag in Germany is quite a step up from the price of the 256BG version of the card. This currently costs only 99 euros in Germany or $109.99 in the U.S, making double the capacity close to three times the cost. The card is also listed on the U.S. version of the Samsung website, but as yet we haven’t seen a price, or an indication as to when it will be on sale.

The card will be part of Samsung’s Evo Plus range of expandable storage, boasting read speeds of up to 100MB per second and a write speed of up to 90MB per second. If Samsung’s other Evo Plus microSD cards are any indication, it will also have a 10-year warranty and be water resistant.

Editor’s Pick

If you are in the market for a new microSD card and don’t mind getting one with smaller storage, Samsung has reduced the price of some of its other Evo Plus memory cards. The 256GB version of the card is available with $70 off for $109.99, the 128GB version is available with $62 off for $37.99, and the 64GB and 32GB versions are available for $21.99 and $13.99 respectively.

Next up: Best microSD cards — here are our top picks for adding storage

There are a lot of big phones out there, but which is right for you?

Let’s face it: big phones are here to stay. Samsung first made people want them with the original Galaxy Note, and we have not looked back since. Even companies like Apple, which stuck to smaller smartphones for years, eventually followed the trend with the iPhone 6 Plus in 2014.

There are now more options than ever when looking for a smartphone with a big displays — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is especially true right now, as the fall has brought a ton of new phones, many packing large screens.

Whether you are undecided or simply want a second opinion, here is our list of the best big phones available right now. 


Best all-around: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best big phones you can buy

Want a big 6.3-inch AMOLED display and equally-large 4,000mAh battery? They’re here. Looking for at least 6GB of RAM and at least 128GB of expandable storage? Look no further. Hate notches? There isn’t one in sight. The Note 9 even comes with the series’ characteristic S Pen, which now adds tons of extra functionality via Bluetooth. The phone has no peer when it comes to its sheer number of features.

Why you should buy

  • The bright and large display is the best on the market,
  • If you can think of a software feature, it probably has it.
  • The S Pen brings features that no other phone has.

Why you might want to pass

  • The phone starts at $1,000.
  • Bixby continues to not be particularly good and its button cannot be officially remapped.
  • Based on precedent, software updates will be slow to arrive.

Learn more about the Galaxy Note 9


Best Galaxy Note 9 alternative: LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ in hand showing home screen

The story of the LG V40 ThinQ starts and ends with its five cameras — three around back and two up front — something no other phone’s done. Even though we were not very kind to the V40 ThinQ, the phone has potential options not seen in other phones.

Why you should buy

  • The phone can take regular, wide-angle, and telephoto shots.
  • The 32-bit Quad DAC pumps out great audio through the headphone jack.
  • The Google Assistant button is actually useful.

Why you might want to pass

  • The images do not live up to the hype.
  • The features do not justify its almost-$1,000 price tag.
  • Based on precedent, software updates will be extremely slow.

Learn more about the LG V40 ThinQ


Best big phone with stock Android: Google Pixel 3 XL

Pixel 3 XL - best big phone for stock fans

It might not have the bells and whistles of the Galaxy Note 9 and V40 ThinQ, but the Pixel 3 XL focuses on speed, ease of use, and being helpful. We didn’t call the Pixel 3 XL the Android iPhone for “the clicks” or lulz, but because it is the Android phone designed to appeal to everyone else. Its value is more than just specs on paper.

Why you should buy

  • The software is extremely fluid and gets updates directly from Google.
  • The single rear camera delivers an excellent and consistent photo-taking experience.
  • The learning curve is one of the smallest we have seen from an Android phone.

Why you might want to pass

  • You do not want to spend $899 on a smartphone.
  • Most of its headlining software features will trickle down to existing Pixels.
  • There is a lack of widespread availability.

Learn more about the Google Pixel 3 XL


Best big phone on the cheap: Honor 8X

It’s not as flashy as the Galaxy Note 9 or as fluid as the Pixel 3 XL, but the Honor 8X one of the best mid-tier smartphones and one of the best affordable big phones you can buy. This is a supersized phablet that comes in at under 300 euros (~$345), yet it delivers snappy performance and a stunning design. Look no further than the Honor 8X if you want a smartphone to make your wallet happy.

Why should you buy

  • The 3,750mAh battery has no problem surviving two days of use.
  • The premium design, performance, and storage options are a cut above your typical mid-tier smartphone.
  • You can buy four Honor 8Xs for the price of one Galaxy Note 9.

Why you might want to pass

  • The camera performance is hit or miss.
  • Dated hardware choices, such as a Micro-USB port and single bottom-firing speaker.
  • There is no IP rating.

Learn more about the Honor 8X


Best non-Android: iPhone XS Max

In any discussion of big phones, the iPhone XS Max is the elephant in the room. Notch haters will gravitate to the top, but everyone else will focus on the smooth performance, fantastic display, and great cameras. It may be cliche, but the iPhone XS Max is what happens when hardware and software meet in the middle as equals. Also, you really don’t have many other options for non-Android these days, with Windows Mobile pretty much dead.

Why you should buy

  • The A12 Bionic and iOS 12 optimizations deliver excellent performance.
  • The display rivals the Galaxy Note 9.
  • The phone slots in nicely with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem.

Why you might want to pass

  • The phone starts at $1,099.
  • The software does not make proper use of the large display.
  • Reports of phones not charging and antenna problems.

Learn more about the iPhone XS Max


We will continually update this list as manufacturers release more phones. You should also look out for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 X, though we haven’t had enough time to fully review them. Perhaps one or both will make the list soon!

If you feel like we left something out or believe we nailed it, let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus update hub: front-camera upgrade rolling out

samsung galaxy s9 update

Update, 10/16/2018, 04:09 AM ET: Samsung is rolling out the October 2018 security patches to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, along with a front camera upgrade.

SamMobile spotted the 244 MB update earlier today; it’s said to be rolling out in Germany with firmware versions G960FXXU2BRJ3 and G965FXXU2BRJ3, though the accompanying screenshot SamMobile provided is in Dutch.

The changelog says the backlighting has been improved when shooting with the front camera and faces will now be brighter. It sounds like a small, but worthwhile upgrade, though the phones remain on Android 8.0 Oreo for the time being.

As the update is now rolling out in Europe, it will likely reach the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Meanwhile, it looks like Samsung is gearing up for an Android Pie beta program. These betas typically last until the year’s end, with the final update rolling out soon after. We should have more on this, including how you can sign up, soon.


Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Android update hub page. This page covers all major U.S. carriers with a quick reference table for each and a log with links to further details. It will be regularly updated with the latest Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update information, but note that we won’t be covering general security patches in our list.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest updates.

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus Android update

The Galaxy S9 series was released in February 2018 and became the first Samsung flagship to run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. Since then, Google has released the Android 8.1 update and Android 9.0 Pie, but S9 owners are still waiting for any concrete rollout details.

Editor’s Pick

The Galaxy S9/S9 Plus will almost certainly pick up Android Pie, though we don’t know when. Samsung is likely to roll out a beta program for this in the run-up to 2019, as it has with previous updates to its Galaxy flagships, which some of you may be able to get involved with.

Despite supporting Project Treble, it’s yet to be seen whether Samsung will roll out major updates any faster than in the past.

It also seems likely that the S9 series will eventually be updated to Android Q, but we’ll no doubt have to wait until 2019 to hear more on that front.

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus update US

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 updates – US Android 8.1 Oreo Android Pie
Verizon TBC TBC
AT&T TBC TBC
T-Mobile TBC TBC
Sprint TBC TBC
Unlocked TBC TBC

samsung galaxy s9 plus update

Verizon Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*AVZW ) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*AVZW) update:

  • June 21, 2018: Verizon rolls out the June security update for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

AT&T Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*AATT) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*AATT) update:

  • The AT&T Galaxy S9/S9 Plus has yet to receive any noteworthy updates.

T-Mobile Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*ATMB) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*ATMB) update:

  • March 14, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, improves camera and face unlock stability.
  • June 22, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out a Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, which includes the June 2018 Android security patch, various bug fixes, and system improvements.
  • July 9, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out a Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, which includes RTT updates, enhancements to DIGITS, various bug fixes, and system improvements.

Sprint Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*ASPR) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*ASPR) update:

  • The Sprint Galaxy S9/S9 Plus has yet to receive any noteworthy updates.

Unlocked US Galaxy S9 (SM-G960U) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965U) update:

  • June 25, 2018: Samsung rolls out an update with the June 2018 Android security patch, along with various bug fixes and system improvements.

International Galaxy S9 (SM-G960F) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965F) update:

  • June 6, 2018: Samsung adds support for dual voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) in India.
  • July 18, 2018: Samsung rolls out an update with the July 2018 Android security patch, along with stability improvements for AR Emoji and Super Slow-Mo.
  • October 16, 2018:

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or tip us!

Display wars still on: Galaxy Note 10 tipped for bigger screen than iPhone XS Max

Galaxy Note 9

  • Speculation suggests the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will have a 6.66-inch display.
  • This would be larger than any previous Galaxy Note or Galaxy S series device.
  • It would also mean the Note series would once again have a larger display than the biggest iPhone.

Samsung is opting for a 6.66-inch display on next year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10, according to a recent report from The BellThis would not only be the largest size display on a Galaxy Note or Galaxy S series device, but would also be larger than the display on the iPhone XS Max.

While the Note lineup has historically had a larger display than the biggest iPhone, the screen on the iPhone XS Max (6.5 inches) is slightly bigger than the one on the Galaxy Note 9 (6.4-inches), though the iPhone does have a notch.

The Bell‘s article does not state how a display of this size will affect the overall size of the Galaxy Note 10. As the device’s bezels will likely continue to decrease in size, it may not result in the phone’s dimensions being that different.

The Bell acknowledges that it is still early in the phone’s development cycle. However, it says that since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster, the company has extended the amount of time it spends developing phones from six months to one year (a decision that could explain this).

The article also quotes an industry insider as saying that while it is possible the phone’s specs will change over the next year, it is unusual for the display size of a phone to change after it has been decided.

Editor’s Pick

This isn’t the first rumor we have heard about the Galaxy Note 10. Back in September, it was said that Samsung has reportedly given the phone the codename DaVinci. Meanwhile, just last week we heard that Samsung is considering removing the headphone jack from the device.

What are your thoughts on the news? Let us know in the comments.

Next up: Best phablets of 2018 — Which ones made our list?