Gadget Lab Podcast: Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, and That Bizarre Smart Home Speaker

When Samsung first launched its line of Galaxy Note smartphones, they were differentiated by their large size, their high performance, and their stylus pens. Now, as high-end smartphones all start to look, well, kind of the same, it’s harder for the Note to stand out. But Samsung has managed to do it again: think Fortnite, a selfie-snapping Pen, a massive battery, and more storage than you might ever need. The company also just launched a sleek-looking new Galaxy-branded smartwatch. The question we still have, though, is: Why does Samsung’s upcoming smart speaker look like some kind of alien overlord?

Show notes: You can find the Galaxy Note 9 story here. Also read our review of the last one, the Galaxy Note 8, which received a high rating.

Recommendations this week: Mike recommends Alto’s Odyssey. Arielle recommends Jessi Hempel’s story on Magic Leap. Lauren recommends using your smartphone to actually make a phone call: call your mom and say hi, or call a mom-like figure; and if you don’t have that, just call someone who you like and care about. She says happy birthday to her mom!

Send this week’s hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode, and Michael Calore is @snackfight. Co-host Arielle Pardes is (@pardesoteric). Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

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Stella Densmore