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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Why it's the biggest phone of 2018 Jason Hiner and Larry Dignan discuss the Samsung Galaxy Note 9's key business features, interesting enterprise use cases, specs, and more.

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.

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Image: CNET