It's not uncommon for smartphone battery life to degrade over time, but my Note 8 suffered a notable hit when I installed the Oreo update earlier this year. In our original review, I pointed out that our Note 8 routinely ran for a full working day and that over quieter weekends, that figure ballooned to a day and half before it required a charge. Not long after the Oreo update went live, however, I started noticing the phone would lose more than 20 percent of its remaining battery capacity overnight.
Others have reported the issue, too, and despite a couple hard resets to try and clear things up, that pronounced battery drain still pops up. A more recent Note 8 that Samsung provided us for comparisons didn't exhibit this issue, so it's possible Samsung fixed something in later production runs. That said, I'm not the only person to run into this, and it unfortunately detracts from an otherwise lovely smartphone.
Should you upgrade?
Based on the seemingly endless leaks we've seen in recent weeks, the Galaxy Note 9 is shaping up to be a valuable -- if not exactly groundbreaking -- update. We'd be willing to bet it gets the Galaxy S9 Plus' improved camera. At least one version of the phone should come with 512GB of internal storage. And despite a body that looks awfully like the phone it replaces, the Note 9 is expected to come with a bigger battery: Think between 3,850mAh and 4,000mAh. These are valuable changes, sure, but they aren't exactly game changing.
The biggest change to the standard Note formula might be the S Pen's new role as a sort of Bluetooth remote control, and yeah, consider us cautiously optimistic. If Samsung can give people a new way to use the S Pen that doesn't just involve poking at a screen, people who otherwise wouldn't care about styluses may finally have a reason to go Note.
If you don't already own a modern Galaxy Note, the Note 9 is the obvious one to splurge on. But if you're still proudly rocking your Note 8, don't feel any great pressure to upgrade: One year later, it's still one of Samsung's all-time greats.