After Computex 2018, I published an article with a similar title. In summary for that article, we covered Computex 2018 by using two smartphones – one performer and another heavy-lifter. But then the Samsung Galaxy Note9 came and we reviewed it, and soon our trip to Taipei followed. Hence, we revisit this topic once again.

This article is not sponsored by Samsung. It is done purely from my own objective to test how the Galaxy Note9 can handle stressful everyday use.

Let’s refresh again on what smartphone we used during our first trip and how we chose them.

Recapping the performer and the heavy-lifter

Smartphones For Traveling Samsung Galaxy S9 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1)

We brought two phones – first one is the Samsung Galaxy S9 as the performer since it takes fantastic pictures and videos, has the features that I find most helpful – especially the clipboard in Edge Panel  and able to do heavy amounts of tasks without lagging. Its utmost reliability ensures that it wouldn’t hang during the most crucial moments and I can trust the camera to snap great pictures despite how hasty and blurry I was at certain times. Computex is hectic.

Samsung Galaxy S9

The second phone we brought was the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1), also known as the heavy-lifter. We chose this phone for one reason – its humongous 5,000mAh battery. Coupled with the power-efficient Snapdragon 636 chipset, it’ll surely last a day in WiFi hotspot mode while connected to 2 other devices – which is exactly what I need to keep posting on social media all day long.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1)

But that has proven to be quite inefficient as well. I have to carry two phones and charge both of these phones at the end of the day. For our particular setup, we had a couple of other problems. The Galaxy S9 couldn’t survive half the day and we still need a power bank. The ZenFone Max Pro (M1) has a terrible camera. And it doesn’t support LTE-A (a.k.a. LTE Advanced or 4G+) which caused some choking when multiple devices needed to download large files. Not a big deal but something nice to have.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note9

So the new Galaxy Note9 has arrived. We even reviewed it here and gave it a 9.3/10 with a gold award. I loved it so much that I thought – hey, why not bring it out to this round’s Taipei trip and see if Samsung’s claims are true for that all-day battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Travel Taipei (3)
Taken with the Galaxy S9.

The reason why I want to focus on the battery life alone is because the biggest issue that plagued the Galaxy series thus far is the battery life – and the Note9 has a 4,000mAh battery. I replaced two phones and a power bank with only one Galaxy Note9 for this particular test.

Samsung Galaxy Note9

We already know that the Galaxy Note9 takes fantastic pictures and performs admirably well in day-to-day tasks since the Galaxy S9, so we don’t have to worry about that. Also, the Galaxy Note9 supports LTE-A and it can achieve mind-boggling speeds.

Can the Galaxy Note9 perform while heavy-lifting?

Good question. The answer is yes. Here’s why.

We know that the Note9 is already doing what the Galaxy S9 can do – and yet Samsung claims its battery can last for a day. In our case, the battery should last until we went back to the hotel.

I imported all my data to the Galaxy Note9 and unplugged it from the charger in my hotel room at about 7.30am and headed downstairs for breakfast. That marked the start of this test. I have also changed the resolution to 2220×1080.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Travel Taipei (1)
Taken with the Galaxy S9.

There were a few apps in particular that I had to use constantly – the camera, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, some Facebook Messenger, and also WiFi hotspot for the laptop that I was carrying around. I also played The Room: Old Sins while waiting for our transport to go back to the hotel.

We reached back to the hotel at about 6pm and here’s the result of my heavy usage throughout the day.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Taipei Trip battery test

Yeah, 16% left after 10 hours and 46 minutes out the door. I actually admire how long it lasts, and it was a risk for me since I didn’t bring any power bank with me. I could have prolonged the battery life if I didn’t play The Room: Old Sins, but well – traffic bored me.

When I was back at the hotel, I left the Galaxy Note9 plugged into the Adaptive Fast Charger for about 30 minutes and I was off for the night again without having to worry about my battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Note9
You need a converter to plug it into the Taiwanese power plug.

As stated by the battery usage statistics, the camera app itself was used for 1 hour and 14 minutes. I took some fantastic pictures throughout the trip – and let’s take a look at some of the pictures that I’ve took.

I have also created a special Flickr album for this Galaxy Note9 x Taipei photo trip. Some pictures are taken in manual mode, but a majority of them are in full auto. I’m not a great photographer in any particular way – just randomly taking pics of whatever that I think looks great.

Click here to check out the full album of pictures in our Flickr album. I uploaded 112 pictures into the album. All metadata are shown there together with some other randomly shot pictures.

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Final thoughts

In conclusion, the main question is this – can the Galaxy Note9 be the single best smartphone for work and travel? Perhaps. I could prolong the battery by not playing games.

Personally for me, yes – the Samsung Galaxy Note9 can perform while doing the heavy-lifting. It takes great shots even at night and the battery lasts relatively long but I’ll still bring a power bank just in case of emergencies.

For those who want to travel light while take great pictures and able to do lots of other things while on the go, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is a surprisingly choice.