Samsung Galaxy Note 10 & 10 Plus Hands On

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All right, so what’s new with the Galaxy Note 10? Well the design does look a little bit different from the Note 9. So you’re still getting the same boxy shape versus curved on the S10 series. They’ve also reduced the size of the aluminium frame, and have increased the amount of glass, so durability is certainly a question mark. And yes, they have a curved display, so there’s that.

Interesting Displays

The next step is the display resolution, and keyboard warriors prepare those fingers because this is gonna get really interesting. So the Note 10 comes with a 6.3″ 1080P Dynamic AMOLED display. That’s right 1080P on a flagship phone. Let that sink in for a moment. You see to give you a little bit of context, the Galaxy Note 5 featured a 1440P display with a higher pixel density than the Note 10… and that’s a four year old phone. Let’s move on the Note 10 Plus, which comes with a 6.8″ QHD+ display and all of these models are HDR10+ Certified, just like the S10. I did wish that Samsung went with a 90Hz screen, but unfortunately we’re still stuck with 60Hz.

Now you might also notice the camera cut out at the center. It actually reminds me of Raven from Teen Titans. You guys might disagree with me on that, but nonetheless it looks different from the Galaxy S10 which had its camera located on the top right hand side. I have mixed feelings about this type of implementation, but I’d like to hear your thoughts about this. Do you prefer this design over the S10? Also, I should mention that the selfie camera features a 10MP sensor with an F2.2 aperture. It’s certainly a downgrade from the Note 9 which featured a F1.7 / 8MP sensor. So I’m really curious to see how this would play out in low lights environments.

Oh, and let’s take a moment to say farewell to the headphone jack. I mean we saw this coming and there is another feature that they took off and that’s expandable storage on the Note 10, but not the Note 10 Plus, which I think is ridiculous.

RAM / Storage / Battery

Samsung is only offering one variant of the Note 10 and that comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Note 10 Plus comes with 12GB of RAM with users being able to choose between 256GB or 512GB of storage. By the way, they are UFS 3.0. Now the battery size has also been reduced on the Note 10, so it features 3500mAh, which is 500mAh less than the Note 9, 600mAh less than the S10 Plus. But the Note 10 Plus features a 4300mAh battery.

You see at this point the Note 10 doesn’t really look all that impressive on paper, but it gets worse. So pay close attention here. So both the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus come with 25W chargers out of the box, but the Note 10 Plus supports Samsung’s new 45W chargers and those are sold separately. Here’s another fact, the Note 10 supports 12W wireless charging, whereas the Note 10 Plus can support up to 15W. The rest of the features except for the S Pen are essentially a copy and paste from the S10 series.

So you get a IP68 water resistant rating, wireless powershare, wireless charging, the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is supposedly the same from the S10. I really wish that they made some improvements here.

S Pen

All right, so let’s switch gears and talk about the S Pen, the most important feature of the Note series. I actually really enjoyed my time using S Pen on the Note 9 albeit not as extensively, but it was pretty cool to play around with. So the S Pen on the Note 10 is slightly redesigned to make it more ergonomic, but they added some more features over the previous generation. It can edit your handwriting, and they’ve also implemented Air Actions, which is basically gesture controls. With the S Pen you can swipe by holding the button and navigate through the gallery, music, skip through video. You can use that to switch between the three different cameras as well at the back. Then there is AR Doodle, and as the name suggests you can doodle with the S Pen on a person and it would track that work, which is pretty cool.

Samsung DEX Updated

Samsung DEX is also getting a pretty big update. So with previous Galaxy phones you needed an HDMI cable and a monitor to get DEX started up. However with the Galaxy Note 10 all you need is the included USB cable that comes with the phone, and you can plug it into a notebook computer or a desktop PC and DEX will automatically start up. Essentially it will open a window within Windows and you can seamlessly transfer files back and forth. But I thought the whole point of DEX was to replace your notebook, your PC, or your whole computer. This just seems to be… I mean if you have a laptop on you why would you switch over to DEX? Because Windows is still superior to DEX in my opinion, but I mean I’m curious to investigate this a little bit further on so certainly stay tuned for that. Now you can also use a regular DisplayPort cable and hook it up to a monitor and pair the Note 10 with other accessories and have DEX as a standalone setup.

To wrap things up, let’s quickly go over the cameras. Well actually there isn’t anything new here. The Note 10 features the exact same triple camera layout as the Note 10, so you get the ultra-wide angle lens, standard lens, and telephoto lens, with no hardware improvements. I do like the vertical style of these cameras or the horizontal on the S10, but that’s just me. I should also mention that the Note 10 Plus comes with a depth sensor that lets you track or scan an object in 3D and then you can do all sorts of creative stuff with it, which is pretty cool, I’m actually really looking forward to testing out when I get my hands on that.

But I also want to give a few thoughts between the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus. One of the things that I noticed was that the Note 10 is actually a little bit smaller than the Note 9. So essentially what they’ve done is they’ve taken the Note 9 and they’ve chopped those bezels from that phone, and they made the Note 10 with kind of underwhelming specs. However, the Note 10 Plus feels very much similar to the Note 9 in terms of size. And it feels about the same, albeit that thin aluminum frame is a bit concerning to me. I’m not sure how durable that would be, but I guess we’re just going to have to test it out in the long-term. So definitely stay tuned for our full review.

So pricing for the Note 10 starts at $950 for the base model and the Note 10 Plus starts at $1100, while the 5G version is a Verizon exclusive. So here’s my quick take on the Galaxy Note 10, and please don’t consider this to be full review. You See I’m pretty disappointed with this announcement, because if you take a step back and analyze what the Note series was really known for is things like a bigger display, bigger battery, S Pen, a headphone Jack, expandable storage, all of those come to mind. It was the phone for super users, but the Note 10 comes with compromises and that’s kind of unacceptable considering the close to one thousand dollar price tag. It comes with a 1080P display, shorter battery life, no expandable storage. It just doesn’t sound right. The Note 10 Plus on the other hand looks like an upgrade over the Note 9 with a bigger battery and bigger display and more. I think Samsung is trying to capitalize on the S Pen with the regular Note 10, but guys you don’t have to spend that much money to get an awesome flagship Android-like experience. The Galaxy Note 9 is still an awesome phone. Heck, the Galaxy S10 is definitely worth its price or its current price right now. In fact, we’ve been seeing a lot of inexpensive phones getting really good as well. So at this point, I really want to know your thoughts about the Galaxy Note 10. Are you disappointed? Are you excited? Let me know!

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