Galaxy Note 10+ - Samsung's Phablet Flagship Is Bigger, More Powerful But Is It Better?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now comes in two sizes, a more modest 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 10, priced starting at $949, and the bodacious 6.8-inch Galaxy Note 10+ (Plus), the latter of which we have on tap for review here today that retails starting at $1099. They're not cheap but everything about the Galaxy Note 10 series is premium and feature-packed. Both devices sport Samsung's fantastic Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display technology, similar to what can be found in the Galaxy S10 series. The Note 10+'s display offers HDR10+ color fidelity, low blue light emission Eye Comfort certification and 1200-nits peak brightness, though it sports slightly less-rounded corners. However, the Galaxy Note 10 series also has just a single 10MP front-facing camera, so that Infinity-O punchout in the display is now a significantly smaller, single bullet hole right in the center of the near bezel-free top area of the device. It's tiny and does a nice job of getting out of the way, without the need for mechanical camera periscope or flip-up mechanisms.
In fact, most things about the new Galaxy Note 10+'s industrial design speak to extremely efficient ergonomics for a phone in its size class. With a 6.8-inch display, you'd be inclined to think the Note 10+ is huge and unwieldy, but it's actually somewhat compact for the amount of screen real estate it offers. For average-sized hands, one-handed navigation isn't a problem and compared to its 6.4-inch Galaxy Note 9 predecessor, the 6.8-inch Note 10 is literally less than a millimeter taller and wider, but almost 1mm thinner as well.
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie With Samsung One UI|
|Display||6.8" Dynamic AMOLED (3040x1440 QHD+), 498ppi, HDR10+, Infinity-O, Reduced Blue Light|
|Cameras||Rear: Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°), Wide-angle: 12MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°), Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)
Front Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°), RGB Depth: 8MP FF, F2.2 (90°)
|Processors||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 - 2.84GHz, 64-Bit octa-core, Adreno 640 graphics|
|Memory & Storage||12GB RAM, 256 - 512GB UFS2.1 storage, microSD expandable
|Dimensions||162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm (196 grams)|
|Colors||Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Glow
|Media & Audio||Stereo Speakers, No Headphone Jack, Sound by AKG
|Battery & Power||4,300 mAh w/ Wireless Charging, Qualcomm QuickCharge And Wireless PowerShare|
|WiFi & Bluetooth||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+|
|Carrier Networks||World-wide network/carrier compatibility, up to 7 CA, LTE Cat.20
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Compass, Magnet (Hall) Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, HR Sensor|
|Ports, IO, Location||USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)|
|Materials And Protection||Metal frame, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, IP68 Water and Dust Resistance
|Security||Embedded Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner, 2D Face Recognition
Galaxy Note 10+ Key Hardware And Power Specs
The other standout aesthetic you may have noticed with our particular Galaxy Note 10+ is that its adorned in what Samsung calls an Aura Glow finish. Other color options are Aura White and Aura Black, but as you can see, this silvery, iridescent finish has a rather unique way of reflecting color and light. Depending on how and where you're holding the Galaxy Note 10+ with Aura Glow finish, you're treated to a veritable rainbow of colors, similar to that of the aurora borealis we suppose. Regardless, things can become a bit smudgy with fingerprints back here for sure, so keep the microfiber cloth handy or slap a clear case on this beast perhaps.
Galaxy Note 10+ Camera Array - More Of The Same Great Hardware
When it came to the camera setup of the new Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung was careful not to mess with the success of the Galaxy S10+ series camera array, instead opting to apply just a few small tweaks. The Note 10+ primary rear camera is a 12MP f/1.5 / f/2.4 shooter with optical image stabilization, which is identical to the Galaxy S10+. Also on board is a 16MP camera with f/2.2 aperture and offering 123 degree Ultra-Wide Angle shots. However, the third rear 12MP telephoto camera with 2X optical zoom on the Galaxy Note 10+ offers a slightly wider f/2.1 aperture lens versus the Galaxy S10+ f/2.4 aperture, which should make for better low light sensitivity in general for indoor shots, at least in telephoto mode.
In addition, there's a fourth camera sensor on the back of the Galaxy Note 10+. It's an f/1.4 VGA DepthVision sensor that should help capture improved portrait mode shots with better detail and background separation. More on that in our camera performance section ahead. Finally, where the Galaxy Note 10+ does give up a slight bit is on the specs of its front-facing camera. Again, here we have a single camera lens with f/2.2 aperture versus the f/1.9 primary shooter of the Galaxy S10 series, which is also coupled with an 8MP fixed-focus depth sensor. Though you might not miss the slightly better light response of the f/1.9 aperture Galaxy S10 series selfie cam, if you're into portrait mode selfies, the S10 series might get the job done with better accuracy, though the Note 10+ does have a portrait selfie mode as well.
Still The Best Pen Stylus In The Business And IP68 Water-Resistance
One of the areas you might logically think Samsung had to compromise on the Note 10+ would be its Ingress Protection, or IP rating for water and dust resistance. However, though the Galaxy Note 10 series does quite literally have a hole and deep silo in the bottom of it to house and charge its Samsung S-Pen, the Note 10 series does in fact maintain its IP68 water-resistance rating. It's an impressive feat perhaps, but it certainly adds cost and it's one of the reasons OnePlus hasn't gone the way of an IP rating for its flagship devices yet. Regardless, the bold and yes beautiful Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ comes equipped to handle the elements, or up to about 5 feet of water for as much as 30 minutes to be exact, according to Samsung.
Finally, there is the Galaxy Note 10 series' note taking experience which is now also augmented with air actions, or gestures that allow you to use the S-Pen as a remote control of sorts for various phone functions. And yes, writing on that big, beautiful 6.8-inch AMOLED HDR+ display works quite well, with excellent tracking accuracy and fluid responsiveness to touch and pressure levels. In fact, the Galaxy Note series has always excelled at marrying Samsung's best-of-class OLED display technology with excellent pen stylus support and the Note 10+ is no exception. And as you can see, the Note 10+'s tiny front facing-camera port hole is as minimally invasive as any front display-mounted phone camera has ever been, notch or otherwise.
Let's look at the software and user interface of the Galaxy Note 10+ as well as its camera setup and performance, next...