Galaxy Note fans rejoice, the wait for the next iteration in Samsung’s stylist based flagship model is here. Yesterday (August 7) in Brooklyn, the South Korean tech giant led by its CEO DJ Koh unpacked the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.
Galaxy Note 10 vs. Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The first thing you will notice about the new Note 10 and Note 10 Plus is how beautiful of a device it is and of course, the size of it. Coming in 6.3 inches is the Galaxy Note 10, while the luxurious Note 10 Plus is a 6.8-inch marvel. In hand, I was impressed at how light both devices were despite the plus version being slightly heavier. They didn’t feel ridiculous while I played around with the phones for a bit. Like the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus both variations of the Note 10 Dynamic AMOLED With HDR10+ certification and Dynamic Tone Mapping giving users a complete edge to edge experience with no distractions. Improving on the S10 design where they placed the hole-punched front-facing camera on the right of the screen, it is now a single camera located in the middle of the Note 10’s screen.
Gone on both models is the headphone jack, unfortunately. Samsung claims it made the decisions to part with it to free up space phone for more battery capacity. So you will be forced to either go wireless or use the USB-C headphones that come with the phone. You can also use a dongle adaptor, Samsung does not supply you with one sadly. While on the subject of the battery, the Note 10 packs a 3,5000 mAh versus the Note 10 Plus 4,300 mAh. Both models do feature wireless charging, and 30-minute quick charging using a 45-watt wired charger that Samsung boasts will last the entire day.
The button configuration on the phone has also changed. The Bixby button has been removed. It is now replaced with the power/lock button on the left side of the phone directly underneath the volume controls. If you want to trigger Bixby, just press and hold down the button, to open the camera, press the button twice.
As far as storage, the Note 10 comes with 256GB while the Note 10 Plus comes with either 256 or 512GB. The MicroSD card slot is not on the Note 10 but is present on the Note 10 Plus. The lite version of the Note 10 packs 8GB of RAM versus 12GB for the Plus. The phones come in an array of different colors which Samsung labels with “Aura” due to the fantastic shine each color gives off. The one model that caught everyone one’s eye, including mine, was the “Aura Glow” finish, which was absolutely stunning in person.
Both the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus utilize the same in-screen fingerprint reader used in the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. While there are a good number of differences, both models are still relatively the same with a slight edge going to the Note 10 Plus understandably.
Pro-Grade Camera System
The Pro-Grade camera system introduced with Galax S10 and S10 Plus gets a boost. Users will still be able to seamlessly switch among the different lens located on the rear. Instead of them being positioned horizontally like on the Galaxy S10, the cameras are now vertical. As mentioned about there is only one front-facing camera now. Samsung notes that better software for taking portrait selfies and now “Night Mode” allowed for the removal of the second camera.
- 12-megapixel dual-aperture lens
- 16-megapixel wide-angle lens
- 12-megapixel telephoto lens
- 10-megapixel front-facing camera
Where the two models differ is the Note 10 Plus’ inclusion of a fourth 3D depth-sensing camera on the back. It will allow users to take portrait video (Live Focus Video), allowing blur effects, so the subject is the main focus. Note 10 Plus owners will also be able to draw on top of their photos and videos using the S Pen now with a new feature called AR Doodle. It was a hit among everyone at the event. If you shoot a video of someone while using AR Doodle, the camera will track their movements so everything you drew on them will follow them. Another cool feature AR Doodle will allow is the ability to save the file you created as either a JPEG or movie file. Once saved, you will be able to share it on any platform and not with just Note 10 users, unlike Apple’s Live Photo feature.
Samsung also showed off the 3D depth-sensing camera’s ability to scan objects and turn them into a moveable 3D render. During the presentation, we got to see “DepthVision” in action using a teddy bear, I also saw someone do a person, and both were very accurate.
Last but certainly not least, Samsung introduced to Zoom-In-Mic video recording. While filming, users will be able to push background noise aside to focus on the sounds they want. Plus a new and improved version of “Super Steady” helps to film action sequences while removing bumps and shakes.
The S Pen Gets Upgraded
There is still a country for people who love to work with stylists. Samsung has brought back the S-Pen with some upgrades. Last year’s version of the peripheral introduced Bluetooth capability allowing Note 9 owners to do things like snap a picture by just using the S Pen remotely. The Note 10’s S Pen gets an upgrade. You will now be able to operate the phone and certain features using gestures or as Samsung describes it Air actions.
By holding down the button and flicking your hand left, right, up and, down, you will be able to switch cameras, change songs on Spotify or even sitch slides during a PowerPoint presentation. There are more advanced gestures, for example, if you make a circular motion, you can zoom in or out while using the camera. While trying it out, it didn’t work perfectly, but after a few tries, I was able to get some of the gestures to work. Nothing some practice won’t fix, but I don’t think its something most Note users will be using all of the time.
While I am not the biggest fan of mobile gaming, I left the Barclay’s Arena very impressed with the Note 10’s ability to run big games. I got to try out the forthcoming Call of Duty mobile game which Samsung is partnering with. I was absolutely blown away with how great the game looked on the phone and how smoothly it ran. The controls were easy to figure it out, but if you’re not a fan of using the on-screen configuration, you can connect and controller using Bluetooth.
The product expert on hand also explained that the game will automatically match you with other players using controllers. So you won’t have an advantage over others who instead use the on-screen controls. If you’re worried about your Note 10 or Note 10 Plus getting hot while the game is running there is a solution for that. Thanks to the”world’s slimmest” vapor chamber cooling system which will help deliver optimal performance during gameplay while keeping the phone cool.
Depending on what game you are playing, the AI-based Game Booster will optimize the performance and power consumption of the Note 10 without sacrificing performance quality. Gamers will also be able to screen record as well, so Samsung definitely had Twitcher and Mixers in mind.
Link To Windows
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Narayana Nadella was on hand to talk about Samsung’s partnership with his company. With Link to Windows (yes some people still use it) you will be able to sync your Note 10 straight to your Windows 10 desktop. Once connected via the cable that comes with the phone, you will be able to view your messages, notifications, photos, and even mirror your screen.
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are available for pre-order right now. The 6.3-inch Note 10 starts at $949 while the Note 10 Plus will cost $1,099. The Verizon timed exclusive 5G version of the Note 10 Plus will run you $1,299. The Note 10 comes in three colors Aura White, Aura Black and Aura Glow. The Note 10 Plus comes in an extra Aura Blue color that is only available in the US through Samsung or Best Buy.
I was thoroughly impressed, but I’m looking forward to getting more time with the Note 10 for further review.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz