The Samsung Galaxy Note series has been historically the best Samsung had to offer for a smartphone. And for years that has remained true, because the Note always had the best display, best specifications, and best cameras. But what’s different this year is Samsung launching not one, but two Galaxy Note smartphones. Those are – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.
Also, a lot of people started complaining about the specifications of the new Note 10, saying that it was a downgrade from the Galaxy S10+. But after getting hands-on with the device, it will be very clear that this notion is baseless and false, as was the case with us. Also, to note, the Galaxy Note 10+ is perhaps the best all-rounder smartphone on the market right now.
Now before anyone gets to any conclusions, let me elaborate further.
The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ may not be the best. Since it can’t match the Huawei P30’s incredible zoom or night modes. Nor does it have a fluid 90Hz display like the OP 7T. Heck, it doesn’t even have the headphone jack that Samsung held so near and dear till the S10 lineup.
So, what gives? Well, while it doesn’t have a highly specialized camera, it still boasts of a camera setup that works well for just about anyone. The same goes for the display, which though not a 90Hz panel but still is the best-looking one seen on any smartphone.
And to probably top it off, the best speakers ever heard on a smartphone accompanies that display. Moreover, for every shortfall, it more than makes up by doing many other rights.
Time to dig deeper into the Specifications and Features.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus | Specifications
|SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10+|
|DISPLAY TYPE||6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED Display, 19:9, 60Hz|
|SIZE||77.2 x 162.33 x 7.9mm, 196g|
|DISPLAY COLOR PALETTE||HDR10+|
|PROCESSOR||Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9825|
|STORAGE||256GB/512GB UFS 3.0 + MicroSD slot up to 1TB|
|SPEAKERS & AUDIO||• Stereo speakers and earphones: Sound by AKG
• Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
|HEADPHONE JACK||• No
• USB C earbuds in the box
|FRONT CAMERA||10MP 2PD AF F2.2 (80°)|
|REAR CAMERAS||Quad Camera
• Ultra-Wide: 16MP F2.2 (123°)
• Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF F1.5/F2.4 OIS (77°)
• Telephoto: 12MP F2.1 OIS (45°)
• Depth Vision Camera: VGA
|WIRELESS CHARGING||Yes, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless Power Share 9W|
|FAST CHARGING||• Yes, Samsung Superfast Charging, 45W PD
• 25W charger in the box
|BIOMETRICS||Ultrasonic In-display Fingerprint scanner|
|WATER & DUST RESISTANCE||IP 68|
|SOFTWARE||Android 9 Pie with One UI|
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus | In the Box
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus | Design & Build
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is made immaculately out of premium materials as one has come to expect these days. And as usual, the phone emanates of exclusive craftsmanship. It does so by having the metal frame sandwiched between two layers of curved glass. This curved glass is probably Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 6 but there’s no official mention of that.
Samsung is offering the Note 10+ in four colors. And though, the issue with fingerprints and smudging remains and is quite noticeable at any angle. And due to the nature of glass sandwich designs, the Note 10+ is very slippery in the hand.
With everything said, the Note 10+ though is not for one-handed usage and the tall 19:9 aspect ratio really doesn’t help either. Reaching both the top and bottom ends of the screen is a chore. But it’s hard to be not impressed by the almost all-screen design.
Now moving on to the punch-hole camera. It is placed in such a way that it doesn’t take up any usable space for UI elements. Although, many of you might not prefer this approach too. And to be honest, what really matters ultimately is personal preference – so while some of you may prefer the middle, some may like no notches at all.
The S-Pen and USB-C connector placements remain the same at the bottom, and so does the speaker grille. At the top is the hybrid and dedicated SIM slots.
Along with these, the Note 10+ is also IP68 certified, which is a huge step in the right direction design-wise compared to some of its rivals.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus | Curved Dynamic AMOLED Display
Samsung has always been at the forefront of smartphone displays with their AMOLEDs and the Note 10+ is no exception. In fact, the phone comes with Samsung’s new Dynamic AMOLED panel, which on the face of it is just a better display than last year’s Super AMOLEDs. The screen measures in at 6.8” diagonally and has a resolution of WQHD+ or 1440 x 3040px. The aspect ratio comes in at 19:9 while pixel density comes in at a crisp ~498ppi with HDR10+ support.
Now moving onto screen brightness, we find that the Note 10+ can go up to an impressive 794nits max. on Auto-Brightness. Whereas without Auto brightness, it does 381nits, which is still on the higher side for indoor usage.
Bezels are practically non-existent on the phone. In fact, the bezels are so thin that the earpiece and proximity sensor barely fit, while the ambient sensor is located behind the screen. At the back, the camera bump is quite shallow, meaning the phone lies flat on its back despite the camera bump.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus | An All-Rounder Camera Setup
Okay, so first things first. Camera-wise the Note 10+ comes loaded with the following:
- At the Rear –
- 12MP | f/1.5-2.4 | Dual Pixel PDAF | OIS
- 12MP | f/2.1 | PDAF | OIS | 2x Optical Zoom
- 16MP | f/2.2 | Ultrawide | Fixed Focus
- TOF 3D VGA camera
- At the Front –
- 10MP | f/2.2 | Dual Pixel PDAF.
From the above-mentioned specifications, it is very much evident that the Note 10 Plus’s main camera is pretty much unchanged since the Galaxy S9 series.
Next up is the 12MP telephoto camera, which sees some improvements over the S10 lineup. The telephoto camera now boasts a brighter f/2.1 aperture instead of an f/2.4 aperture.
And finally, the third camera is an Ultra-wide 16MP sharpshooter which is featured for the very first time on a Galaxy Note. That said, the ultra-wide camera sits behind an f/2.2 aperture lens and lacks autofocus.
Also, both the primary and telephoto cameras feature OIS, while a 3D ToF VGA camera sits beside the triple camera array and feeds scene depth data.
Now, at the front, the punch-hole cutout houses the familiar 10MP sensor from the S10 lineup. Although the decision to exclude the secondary camera present on the cheaper S10+ does baffle us. Also mentionable is the aperture is now at f/2.2, down from a brighter f/1.9.
At the back, the camera bump is quite shallow, meaning the phone lies flat on its back despite the camera bump.
The camera app is an all too familiar experience with just a few tweaks. And by tweaks, we mean a few extra shooting modes.
Battery & Storage
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus gets the largest battery by far of any Note produced till date. And at 4300mAh, you would guess the device to do well with battery life, and the Note 10 Plus delivers on that promise. Not only does it ace battery tests, but it does so at its native WQHD+ resolution, which is very impressive. The phone can easily last a full day of medium-heavy usage with still some juice left to spare.
Now for the first time in what feels like ages, Samsung has finally bought comparable fast charging to its flagships. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus supports two charging speeds – 25W and 45W. Both charging is done through a USB-C to USB-C cable that complies with the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standards. But there’s both Good and Bad news.
The bad news is that Samsung supplies only the 25W charging brick in the retail package. So, if you want the 45W fast charger, you’re going to have to purchase it separately. And the 45W PD and PPS compliant first-party charging accessory aren’t cheap either at $50.
The good news is that the supplied 25W fast charger is extremely fast. Fast enough to be competitive with OnePlus’s Warpcharge 30, although falls a bit behind Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge, but that’s okay.
Coming to storage options, the Galaxy Note 10+ comes with a minimum storage of 256GB UFS 3.0 storage for the base variant. A feat that is yet to strike a chord at Apple. And if you find yourself wanting the absolute Samsung has to offer, you can always choose the 512GB variant.
Pricing & Colors
- $1099 | 256GB | Unlocked, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile | Aura Glow, Aura Blue, Aura White, Aura Black.
- $1199 | 512GB | Unlocked, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile | Aura Black.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus honestly is one of the best phones in the market. And despite a few of its shortcomings, it really doesn’t make you compromise on most of the things that really matter. It is also one of the best to hold and promises one of the best battery backups without cranking down the resolution. Yes, it doesn’t have a 90Hz display, but that is only a matter of months till the launch of the S11 so to say.
But, at the end of the day, Samsung doesn’t make phones for the spec savvy, but for those who value design, software, and day-to-day performance. And to be honest, if you are willing to spend over $1000 over a premium smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ would really be the first to get recommended by us. Yes, some phones do a few things better, but those are all one-off, whereas the Note 10 Plus is an All-rounder.
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