Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung took off the veil from it’s latest line of Galaxy Note devices and for the first time in years, there is more than 1 variant of the phone. The phablet that started it all now comes in a standard, more manageable size, in the form of the Note 10 and a bigger and more featured and premium Note 10+. The latest and greatest Note however has tough completion to deal with like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, the Google Pixel 4 XL, OnePlus 7T Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro which means it has a lot to prove especially with the rivals in its wake being all exceptionally great and each with a special quality that sets them apart, can the Note 10 really make a difference or is the end of the line for the phone that started the entire phablet segment…

The cheaper of the 2 new Note devices stands in tough territory, can it make way for its own?

On the design side of things, the Note 10 is quite different from its predecessors. On the front things are different as the Note 10 also goes all on board with the all screen design, however it does so in a different fashion to the previous Galaxy S10 range. The Note 10 has a 6.3inch Infinity O design Super AMOLED display that runs at a resolution of 1080x2280 at 401ppi. While the Infinity O display on the S10 series featured the punch hole camera on the right side top corner of the display, it has now been moved right to the center of the upper edge and houses the front facing camera. With the new display the Note 10 now has a 93.2 screento-body ratio that is significantly up from the Note 9 that was down on 83.9%. This has allowed for a much smaller body footprint making this enormous display sized phone super handy and comfortable and also one of the reasons why this is a better choice than the bigger Note 10+ even though it has a bigger display and a couple more features, it is simply too big to manage.

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The back is still a gloss glass finish and the camera system has been housed in a pill bump on the left side of the phone and is available in 3 finishes that build up on the ones from the S10 lineup — Aura Glow, Aura Black and Aura Pink— each with a very shimmering appeal and throwing different shades whenever light strikes them, it’s simply a very beautiful phone to look at from the rear. On the front, while it has an incredibly gorgeous display, the cyclops look of the phone doesn’t allow for the word beautiful as a compliment, but it’s certainly unique and remarkable. The in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner has also moved up the screen slightly to be at a more approachable and natural position as the body dynamics of the phone are different from the S10 lineup and is appreciated. 

The Galaxy Note 10 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 9825 chipset that is based on a 7nanometer architecture like the chips from Apple have been for the last few years giving it a big boost and ready for the future or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 if you’re in the States. The processor is mated to a healthy 8gigs of RAM and 256GB of base in-built storage which are very good specs. It gets 3500mAh battery on board which Samsung claims is going to be more than enough thanks to the efficiency of the new chips, however that is to be tested in the future. However there are certain things missing from the Note 10 and are exclusive to the bigger Note 10+ such as expandable storage with a microSD card and it even gets 12GB of RAM which is always better. The Note 10 also gets really loud speaker setup that is tuned by AKG which makes it good enough even if you’d like to use it without headphones. Then there is also the reverse charging technology setup that debuted on the S10 lineup — Wireless PowerShare as Samsung likes to call it and will charge and Qi enabled device like the Galaxy Buds. 

The Note 10 gets fast charging and comes with a 25W fast charger in the box, however the Note 10+ gets even faster charging that’ll top the phone for an entire day’s usage within 30 minutes thanks to the 45W charging capability, but there is 15W fast wireless charging compatibility with Qi wireless charging pads that offer the capability. To be fair, there’s a lot that the Note 10+ offers quite a lot more over the Note 10 which is unlike the differences most phone with 2 size variants come with. The Note 10+ feels more like a Note 10.5 rather than just a plus sized phone as it gets the DepthVision Camera system, expandable storage, bigger battery with faster charging, about 4GB more RAM and more built-in storage as well as the bigger screen. However both the phones miss out on the headphone jack which is a little hypocritical on Samsung’s part after mocking Apple for it for years. It gets a USB-C port for charging and extensions and there’s also AKG USB-C earphones in the box which is a good touch since most Android phone-makers are making them an additional purchase. There’s also the S-pen on the Note 10 which also gets upgrades, the biggest one being Air Gestures which lets you use the Pen without actually touching it on the surface of the screen, and while they’re a gimmick, they’re made possible thanks to 6 axis sensors built into the pen which is good from a technical point of view. The S -pen also gets massive battery life of 10 hours and will recharge from 0 to 100 in 6 minutes. Apart from these new upgrades, the experience of the pen is the same as before. 

The cameras on the Note 10 are a great upgrade from the Note 9. It gets a triple camera system on the back, with a 12megapixel wide lens that is the primary sensor with the variable aperture tech from the S10 lineup which allows the lens to switch between f/1.4 to f/2.4. The Ultra Wide lens is 16 megapixels and has 123ยบ field of view and a 12megapixel telephoto lens that has upto 2x optical zoom and also looks after the LiveFocus shots — Samsung’s portrait mode. Turns out, this is the same system as the S10 Plus and feels a little odd since this is supposed to be a new phone. All the major updates are given to the bigger Note 10+ only so that feels like a disappointment. However that doesn’t make it a bad camera, it’s one of the best out there but definitely not the best, and the results are the same as the S10 Plus with images having a focus on being more vibrant and warmer than life.

All in all the Galaxy Note 10 is a great phone no doubt, and for the money it’s good worth too if not necessarily the most bang for buck phone out there. However it does miss out on quite some features that set the Note apart from the S series which are available on the pricier Note 10+ only which feels like a letdown. But if the phone is taken for it’s own individuality, its a great choice, with the great display and proven cameras from the S10 Plus and decent power at it’s disposal, you’ll be making a good choice picking the Note 10 up. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is available for 75000INR.