Is the Galaxy Note 9 too big for most people?

Few phones fill out a spec sheet quite like a Note. Samsung's wildly popular Galaxy Note lineup has always been about packing in all the latest and most powerful specs, and the Galaxy Note 9 is no exception. It comes packing a Snapdragon 845, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage — not to mention water resistance, wireless charging, a headphone jack, and the ever-important S Pen.

Those big specs demand a big phone, though. The Note 9 features a gorgeous, massive 6.4-inch display — the biggest to ever grace a Samsung phone. Even with Samsung's minuscule bezels, that's a lot of phone to handle, especially if you like to use your phone in one hand. So is the Note 9 … too big?

That sort of depends on how you use your phone. The Galaxy Note line has never been about one-handed usability in the first place, and to use one comfortably, you need to throw that idea out the window. This is a two-handed phone through and through, and using it as one makes it significantly easier to handle — a PopSocket can help a lot with this.

You'll also have to either start wearing pants with extra deep pockets or just get used to part of it sticking out at all times. The Galaxy Note 9 is a whopping 162mm tall, after all.

That all sounds inconvenient to someone like me, who carries a Galaxy S9 specifically because of how often I use gesture typing or scroll through Twitter and Slack with one hand. But for some, the Note 9's benefits can outweigh the inconvenience of having such an imposing stature.

A huge screen is one of the biggest reasons to buy a Galaxy Note, but sometimes it's more hassle than it's worth.

Having a 6.4-inch display gives you a huge, open canvas for the Note 9's halo feature, the S Pen. Whether you're drawing in Screen Off Memos or signing a document, it's nice to have ample screen space to work with. That huge screen is also great for watching videos — so much so that YouTube has named the Galaxy Note 9 a "Signature Device," which basically just means that it's one of the best ways to view YouTube content.

No matter how many benefits the Note 9 brings, though, it still won't be a good fit for everyone. Some people's hands are just too small to work with such a massive phone, and even people with bigger hands may still prefer easy one-handed usability.

If you're not sure how you'd handle the Galaxy Note 9 and don't want to wait until pre-orders are over to find out, just try out a Galaxy Note 8; they're more or less the same size (the Note 8 is a hair taller while the Note 9 is just a bit wider), though the Note 9 has an easier-to-reach fingerprint sensor.

How do you feel about the size of the Note 9 and the Galaxy Note lineup as a whole? Have you been a longtime user that's unfazed by huge phones, or are you tired of the ever-expanding selection these days? Let us know in the comments below!

See at Samsung (opens in new tab)

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.

54 Comments
  • Essentially the S9+ size but just in a rectangle so it shouldn't bother many people. Considering they're happy with their wider iPhone 8+. So I think a lot of people will find it comfortable :)
  • I didn't think so. It's a Sony shape, but it really isn't larger than a S8+.
  • I love the note9, played with it for 1hr at Verizon. Wow we, it's humungous. I use the s8+ which for my use is very compact. I think the s9+ would be a better fit for myself, still on the fence!
  • I typically buy the + model of any device that offers it. However, when you pick up the standard S9 it actually feels way more comfortable. Makes you wonder.
  • I quite like the size of this Note 9. Being a former owner of the Mega 6.3, I've been hoping Samsung would release a new model. Unfortunately it comes with premium pricing.
  • Haven't we had this same article every time a new larger phone comes out? I haven't seen it but it does sound that different from the Note 8.
  • I agree. Seems like a pointless blog to fill space.
  • Note 9 is the perfect size
    Note was never intend for one hand
    It’s S pen is the reason you buy this amazing huge phone. I wish I didn’t buy my red iPhone 8plus. Other wise I would have bought the note 9. Samsung is so much better than apple
  • Meh, size is subjective (insert low hanging fruit come back here) But seriously if it's to big then one would not get any plus size phone of any make. Since all of them are close or near or are over the 6in size.. Just an article to get them clicks...... But I like a huge phone my hands are on the large size. Cant stand a small phone....
  • When you get my age, you can't see as well as you did 50 years ago. A big screen is great. There is a reason why you see so many seniors toting around Iphone 7+ and 8+ devices. The Note 9 is perfect for wife and I.
    Just traded two Wesley Snipes Black Note 8's for a Blue one for me, and a pupley one for the wife.
    The Note also makes me look cool.
  • Wesley Snipes Black, too funny. Darkness people
  • The actual screen on those phones are really small. Esp compared to note 9
  • eh, my gf said it felt too big for a while but she got used it eventually.
  • Lol, they usually do get used to it ;)
  • I said the same thing when I upgraded my iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 Plus; I loved using the large screen and thought it cumbersome or awkward to use but I would eventually get used to it -- and that I did. Being impatient for the Note9, I upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus to the Samsung Galaxy S9+. I really should have waited. lol I'll be sure to wait for my next two iterations of their Note before upgrading again (I upgrade on an average of every other year or so).
  • YES!!!!...unless you carry a purse.
  • My wife still uses her Note 5. Why - because of it's size. Small hands. Why the Note? Because of the S-Pen. Not so much the S-Pen features, but that it docks with the phone so it's never lost. That's it. Not sure what she thinks about the larger Notes. That she hasn't switched is probably telling. Also $1000.
  • This phone is no bigger than my current phone with a 6" screen do to it's smaller bezels and it should fit in your pockets with easily without sticking out. The thing I find big about this phone is the price.
  • Yes, it's wayyy too terribly big. I don't understand why someone just can not create a phone with about a 5.5" (or less) 18:9 display with small bezels. The only company to really do that so far is Sony with the XZ2 compact. It just doesn't sell well cause it's basically unavailable unless you pay unlocked prices. Manufacturers just don't get it. If they make a smaller version of One Plus 6, or Smaller version of a G7, or Smaller version of a Galaxy S9, or smaller version of the U12+ (with real buttons), then put it on ALL carriers, then actually market it with advertisements, it will sell millions of units.
  • It would be great to have flagship phones that can be used with one hand without the awkward hand-gymnastics required to handle these giant phones. Apple and Samsung are the last ones that offers a flagship phone smaller than 6", and they're still lacking features compared to their plus versions (dual cameras and less RAM). I'm currently using a Oneplus 6 and size is the only complaint I have, if oneplus made a smaller version of it, about the size of an iphone x, it would be perfect
  • Totally agree and I have a Note 8. I am using a Mate 10 Pro and a Zenphone 5Z currently and one of those two will be my daily and the other will go back. I had over 10 hours SOT on the Mate, but I prefer a phone that weighs in the 150's or less and the 5Z checks that box.
  • You are aware of the Iphone X, yes?
  • no. you buy this phone to use two handed a lot of the time. Stylus in one hand, phone in the other, it has all kinds of one handed assistance features to make it super easy to one hand this phone.
    Most people are just too dumb to know they are there.
  • There's a difference between being dumb and ignorant/naive. Don't be too judgmental.
  • Is it here yet?.....
  • I'd actually like a 7in phone with no bezel but hoping for dual 6in screens
  • In 2018 it is average sized.
    I know more women with note series phones than men. I have asked the question before and what I have heard is that they like the screen size for seeing things much clearer than the old small phones plus most have purses/ hand bags and don't put their phones in their pockets for very long and any case even when they don't have a purse. Not one woman that has held mine has said they didn't like the size. It is not an issue. Especially since a lot of people came from Apple iPhones which had been heavier and more cumbersome and they were fine with that till now.
  • I've got a 6.99 inch Honor Note 10, so no the Note 9 isn't too big! Lol
  • Definitely not. People keep on harping on about the screen size instead of looking at the phone's footprint. One of the phone's I have presently is 177×77×7.7mm but only has a screen size of 5.98 inches. The Note 9 is 162×77×8.8 mm and has a screen size of 6.38 inches. I have average to small hands. I'm used to large phones.
  • I use my S9+ almost exclusively one-handed, and it's never been a problem for me. I don't have unusually large hands either, but I do have a fingerstrap/stand on the back of the phone... BUT I rarely ever put my finger through it... It just helps to have a nub to improve grip and reachability of the screen. Even without it, I can teach all areas of the screen I need to..only gets awkward if I'm sitting down leaned back.
    The Note 9 is almost the same size as the S9+ and I plan to pre-order it, so no, not too big... And NO, don't throw the idea of one handed use out the window! Also, why do I keep wanting an even bigger screen? I use my phone in the car a lot (safely mounted, with a smart car dock app), and the bigger the screen the safer it is to use.
    Plus I'm starting to have eye strain issues as I'm getting older (had to change dpi on my work computer, zoom my browsers in, etc)... So a bigger screen also helps me there. Lastly, a out it being too big for a pocket - my S9+ only sticks out the front pocket of I think 1 pair of gym pants and 1 sweatpants... All other 10-15 pairs of jeans/pants/shorts it clears the pocket just fine.
    Is it uncomfortable to sit down with a big phone like this in your pocket tho?... To me, yes. But years ago I just got used to taking my phone out of my pocket when I sit down (not just due to comfort, but also cuz I know I'll eventually need it for something and it's awkward to fish any phone out of your pocket when seated, esp if you're in the car w/ a seat belt on!) ... So I'm fine with its pocketability too. Just my 2¢.
  • I like the size this will be my fourth Note had 2,4,7 now 9 I still have my note 7 never turned it in and I use it on att didn’t turn it on for 2 years thougt I’d try it this week put a SIM card in its all good the update that was to disable it is no longer be pushed out so I can use it now it’s stuck on Android 6 but I don’t care haven’t had any problems with it
  • I am a Note user and I like the large models. I am looking forward to the note 9! I enjoy going to best buy to check out the variety of phone they feature... The iPhone 10 was impressive, the screen was Stunning! But I felt the phone was to small!
    Than there was the Pixel Xl phone.. The build quality, Look like Cheap plastic! That screen! Not good but this could be there connection?
    Not impressed!
    But overall nice variety!
  • Not too big and most definitely not wide enough! I have a Note 8, and have had a Lumia 1520 and an HP Elite x3 and the visual gains from a large screen have always outweighed the "inconvenience" of trying to bear up under the awful burden of a large screen that is still not paperback-sized. I really love the S-Pen but the narrowness of the screen is a severe limitation. Most of us don't write in East Asian script that can be entered and displayed vertically, so it is a source of irritation that you can only use the S-Pen to write a word or two before having to go to the next "line" for the next word.
  • I suppose one can get used to anything. For years I used a Palm device which required stylus input. It feels like going to device+plus+input is a step backwards, no matter how good that "pen" is. I'm one of those who thinks these devices are just too damn big now. The Note 9 will be great for some folks who want that size, and I have old eyes, too, but screens are getting better. As for me, I wish the things would start shrinking back to sub-5^ screens.
  • It's basically the opposite of my XZ1 Compact in terms of size. I owned a Nexus 6 before so I don't mind either way.
  • honestly the note 9 is not much different than the s9+ or my note 5 as i compared them all in the store before pre-order. i've had a bunch of notes & i'm petite. looking forward to the new note :)
  • Does it still not have a smaller overall size then the plus size iPhones? I really don't se the reason for this article. We've been ok with big phones for a while now...
  • I switched from Note 8 to S9+ and have got use to the size... checked the Note 9... looks and feels great in the hand... but again I have to get use to the size....
    I love the boxy look of the Note 9...
    I have pre booked it thou... let's see
  • I've not seen it and I'll tell you yes. I went with an s9 instead of a plus because inhate how big phones are getting
  • It's a smidgen bigger than the S9 Plus. It will be fine for most people.
  • It's a smidge bigger but when you actually hold both the Note will feel bigger.
  • I use the Galaxy app One Hand Operation in conjunction with Good Lock. It works great. Swiping from the edge to do recents, last app and back. It's just another thing (along with the S Pen) that keeps me locked into the galaxy phones. Love The Beast.
  • I'm 6'2" with long fingers. Uh, anything smaller than the Note line up or S+ making typing difficult for me. I need a big keyboard. Sure... Whatever, get a smaller phone if that fits you better. Companies aren't willing, yet, to offer smaller phones in a thicker form factor to match specs of the big phones. If I were Samsung, I'd offer a thicker, full spec phone... It would do very well for smaller handed people.... Nothing wrong with that.... Clothes are made for different sized people too. Without compromise!
  • Too big for me. My LG v30 is perfect size for me. It's also way lighter which is great for situations like running or working out with your phone.
  • I've been seeing articles like this since the original Evo 4G was released with its "huge" 4.3inch screen. Lol.
  • No, not too big for people that want a large phone. It is rather brick-like, but it's supposed to be.
  • Do you guys ever get tired of writing this same stupid article every year that a new Note is announced? Hell's bells why don't you guys think of something else to say?
  • I wish it was larger. A 6.7 ...6.8 inch screen would be perfect!!!
  • No such thing as too big. The bigger the screen the better! More please
  • Wasn't this question already answered when Note 8 (or earlier) was launched?
  • The Note 9 is as the Note phone is supposed to be, big. You take it or leave it.
  • YouTube has named the Galaxy Note 9 a "Signature Device," which basically just means that it's one of the best ways to view YouTube content » Really???... All it really means is that the phone is compatible with Google ´s own codec !
  • "Most people" won't buy a Note 9 not because of how big it is but for the price.
  • it's not about big hands or small hands. it's more about fitting in my Pocket's