Now more than ever, Samsung's Galaxy S+ phones are becoming eerily similar to the Note series. The Note used to be Samsung's way of touting all of the latest and greatest tech it had to offer, and while this is still the case, the same can be said for this year's Galaxy S9+.

Samsung needs more than just the S Pen to make the Note 9 stand out from its own phones and the rest of the competition, and luckily, all signs are pointing to something exciting for this year's release. Here's what we know so far!

March 29, 2018: Samsung may launch the new Note as early as July

Samsung's Galaxy Note series usually makes its debut in August, but according to a report from The Investor, the Note 9 could launch much sooner.

Samsung typically starts producing its OLED panels for Note devices in June, but it's said that the company will be moving ahead of schedule this year and start production as soon as April. As such, we could see the Galaxy Note 9 released as early as July.

The reason for this change? Although not confirmed, it's reported that this is a result of unimpressive sales of the Galaxy S9 and Apple's own OLED production requirements for two of the iPhones it's expected to release this September.

March 23, 2018: A new report suggests that the Note 9 will have an in-display fingerprint sensor

As bezels continue to shrink, the mobile industry is being forced to come up with new ways to implement biometric security systems. This means moving fingerprint sensors to the back of phones, and in some cases, replacing them entirely with face-unlock setups.

According to a report from The Korea Herald, Samsung will use the Galaxy Note 9 as its first phone to ship with an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Per a source that spoke with The Herald

Samsung Display has prepared three or four solutions for Samsung Electronics to embed the fingerprint sensor inside of the main display, and both are seriously considering one of the solutions.

In addition to this, the anonymous source also noted that –

The delay in deciding on the final concept for the Note 9 is due to the work in adopting the in-display fingerprint sensor. A final decision on adoption of the technology will be made by this month.

Previous reports from earlier this month have indicated that Samsung would skip out on an in-display sensor for the Note 9, so it's hard to say for sure what'll come of this considering the back-and-forth we've heard. The Galaxy Note 9 would be a perfect showcase for this new technology, but if the sensors don't meet Samsung's criteria quite yet, we may not see this tech arrive on a Samsung phone until the S10.

February 27, 2018: Bixby 2.0 could make an appearance on the phone

During MWC 2018, Samsung's chief of mobile, DJ Koh, spilled some beans regarding Bixby 2.0.

Bixby 2.0 is expected to be a big improvement compared to its current iteration, offering things like a more natural-sounding voice and availability on more devices. Speaking to ZDNet, Koh said –

At this speed, I think we will be able to unveil Bixby 2.0 when we launch the Galaxy Note 9.

When will the Galaxy Note 9 be released?

Samsung typically releases its Galaxy Note series in the second-half of the year, often in mid-to-late August.

It was reported on March 29 that Samsung had begun production of OLED panels for the Note 9 two months earlier than it usually does, suggesting that this year's Note may be released as early as July.

How much will the Galaxy Note 9 cost?

Pricing for the Note series has steadily been going up each year, as has the majority of the smartphone industry.

The Galaxy Note 8 costs $950 unlocked, and I'd expect the Note 9 to cost either the same or slightly more. Apple proved with the iPhone X that people aren't afraid to shell out $1000+ for a new smartphone, and I don't consider it to be out of the question for Samsung to follow suit with the Note 9 – especially if it adopts newer technologies like an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+: Everything you need to know!