Samsung Note 10 and Note 10+ Revealed – Hands On in New York

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The most powerful Note devices yet, the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus were launched in front of a full house in Brooklyn, New York. We were fortunate enough to be invited out to get an early look and be part of the big announcement.

Key Features

  • All new Infinity O dynamic display
  • Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9825
  • Note 10 Plus 4,300mAh / Note 10 3,500mAh
  • Updated camera system with powerful creative tools
  • Supped-up S-Pen with bluetooth control and 6-axis motion detection
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner
  • Fast-wireless charging 2.0 / Super-fast 45W wired charging
  • IP68 Water and Dust resistance

Shipping from August 23, the Note 10 starts at $949 with 8GB and 256GB of storage, while the Note 10 Plus starts at $1099, but offers 12GB RAM/256GB on board storage and microSD expansion up to 1TB. There’s also a 512GB Note 10 Plus available for $100 more, we’ve yet no pricing on the incoming Note 10 5G.

Galaxy Note 10 Design

The Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are large devices, as to be expected. But the Plus appears significantly larger than the Note 9. That’s due to the increase in screen size, bumped up to 6.8in QuadHD+, which offers a much larger and insanely immersive display. Featuring an all-new Infinity O display with centrally placed camera. Both Note 10 devices are virtually bezel-free. At less than 8mm, they are super slim and all five colours options have a beautiful iridescent finish that refract light, demanding attention.

Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus side by side

The Note 10 has a 6.3in FullHD+ display and is closer in physical size to the Galaxy S10, but has no microSD slot and only has a 3,500mAh battery. The new smaller Note is an interesting addition to the lineup. It will prove popular, but makes the S10 much-less attractive to anyone in the market for a high-end device. It’s not all positive though, we’re disappointed to see that Samsung has ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack, keeping it would have been an easy win.

Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen

S-Pen gets an upgrade over last year’s neat bluetooth remote control feature. This year, the S-Pen also houses a 6-axis motion detection system and gyroscopes. This enables users to use the S-Pen to control the Note 10 with gestures alone, like a mini-wizard’s wand. Samsung has also opened up the SDK so that app developers can weave this functionality into their controls too.

Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus Camera

Specs-wise there’s no real surprises with the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus. They both have a 12MP main camera with f1.5-2.4 dual aperture OIS lens, 12MP second camera with f2.1 telephoto lens and a third 16MP camera with an f2.2 wide-angle lens. The Note 10 Plus has the edge with Samsung’s VGA “DepthVision” camera. Front-facing Samsung has given the Note 10 a 10MP selfie camera with an f2.2 lens. This seems notably under-powered compared to some of the resolutions we’ve seen from recent competition, such as the P30 Pro’s 32MP unit.

That said, Samsung has brought the powerful “pro” photography features of the Note 9 and S10 to the Note 10’s video functions, with a couple of additional tricks. This means that you can use features like background blur or “live bokeh” during video recording. There are a number of other modes that also take advantage of the phone’s powerful camera, including AR creation and 3D layering – all within the device.

Note 10 Plus with Quad Camera setup

Samsung analysed millions of frames of footage to train the Note 10’s camera algorithms to keep footage Super Steady when moving and recording. The camera can detect speed and shakiness to stabilise footage and the examples showed during the announcement, including running upstairs and skating, were very promising indeed. The Note 10 Plus’ DepthVision camera will allow users to scan objects in the physical world and allow users to bring them to life inside the device. This of course isn’t anything new, but with the power under the Note 10’s hood, this is the best implementation of the technology we’ve seen in a mobile device to date.

Video creatives will also appreciate that the Note 10 comes with a full video editing suite built into its software, making creating on the go more effective than ever before.

First impressions

Samsung has definitely delivered the most powerful Note device we’ve seen yet, but that was too be expected. We hoped for a little more, at least in the way of camera specifications. But it does appear they’ve done a lot of work in adding new functionality, particularly in the video creation department so that is welcome.

Galaxy Note 10

Samsung has the the air of an undisputed champ that no longer needs to get out of bed for its 5am runs and it shows. The Note 10 and Note Plus are without doubt cracking devices, that offer a lot. But are they enough to justify the upgrade if you’re an existing Note 9, S9 or S10 user? Especially considering that they’re not even 5G compatible, you’ll have to shell out a little more for the Note 10 5G – Another possible misstep in our view. Then of course is One UI, it’s better than ever, but still not the most popular OS among Android users.

The Note 10 Plus is our pick of the two as it offers the best of Galaxy in a single device, it has the larger 4,300mAh battery, superior screen and more RAM. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus appears to offer a supremely powerful setup that will allow owners to be creative, productive and entertained more comprehensively than ever before. What do you think of these new devices? Tempted?

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