The best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 alternatives for under $600

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a great phone, but carries a hefty price tag. Here are some other options with similar features at half the price.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was one of the most anticipated smartphone releases of 2018, but there are quite a few glaring reasons not to buy one. As noted by out sister site CNET, it is similar to the Note 8, slow to receive updates, and has a dedicated Bixby button that can't be reassigned.

Then, there's perhaps the biggest deterrent—the price. A 128GB Note 9 costs $999, while the 512GB model will set you back $1,250. That's a heavy cost for any smartphone user.

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Thankfully, there are plenty of top-tier Android smartphones that come in around half that price. While you likely won't be able to get all the same features of the Note 9 without spending big, you can find a phone with a few of the same features at a fraction of the cost.

Here are the five best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 alternatives for under $500:

1. Essential Phone

The 128GB Essential phone—created by Android founder Andy Rubin—features a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge Quad HD Display and all-day battery life. It has a 13MP rear camera and it runs purely Android, so it will get updates faster than the Note 9. Currently, the Essential Phone is $355 on Amazon.

2. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

For a rival phablet experience, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro can be purchased for $550 on Amazon at the time of this writing. Available in 64GB or 128GB versions, it has a massive 4000 mAh battery and a 20MP intelligent rear camera, besting the 12MP camera of the Note 9.

3. OPPO R15 Pro

The OPPO R15 Pro features an AI-powered camera with 3D lighting effects and other enhancements similar to flaw detection in the Note 9. It has a 6.28-inch full screen and is water resistant. It is offered with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. It's also pretty easy to find on eBay for under $600.

4. Honor View 10

Another option with 128GB of storage and 6GB or RAM is the Honor View 10 from Huawei. It has a 24MP AI camera, face recognition to unlock, and Honor SuperCharge for faster charging. The 3,400mAh battery should last a while, too. The Honor View 10 is $529 on Amazon.

5. OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is a dual-SIM phone, so it's great for business travellers. It also has 6GB of RAM and a 16MP rear camera. It also won a CNET Editors' Choice Award.

Also see

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Image: CNET

By Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.