Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10+: First Impressions of the Phone

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is here and it’s not just one phone. but for the first time in the history of the Note series. you now have a more compact Galaxy Note 10 in addition to the standard, larger model that now goes by the name of Note 10+. So what new features do the Note 10 series bring and what’s new with the S Pen? Let’s Find Out.

Overview

First, though, an important warning: the note 10 phones don’t bring any revolutionary new features. No super zoom cameras, no new camera sensors, the same snapdragon 855 processor as in the s10 series. It’s mostly about refinement and polish.

There is one radical change though: the headphone jack is gone on both phones. Samsung was the last mainstream company to keep the convenient headphone jack, and now it’s removed it too. You don’t get a dongle in the box, but you do get a pair of usb-c in-ear headphones tuned by akg.

Bixby

One more thing stands out: there is no bixby button too! We are quite happy to see it gone. I would often accidentally press it and it would interrupt the experience. And if you want the bixby assistant, you can still access it with a long hold on the power button.

Storage

The microsd expandable card slot is only available on the larger note 10+. You don’t have a microsd option on the smaller note 10. But we don’t mind much: after all, the base versions of the note 10 and note 10+ both starts with a generous 256gb of on-board storage that would please most people. In times when other flagship phones ship with merely 64 gigs of storage, samsung shows that it can flex its muscle with four times as much as storage.

Design and Display

With all this said, let’s now look closer at the phones and, boy do they look well designed, with a solid premium feel. The bezels are trimmed to a bare minimum, making way for the beautiful and bright dynamic AMOLED screen to shine. Those screens are the true highlight here. With vibrant colors, excellent viewing angles and great contrast they are a joy. You have a 6.3-inch screen diagonal on the note 10, and a 6.8-inch size on the note 10+. One important difference between the 10 and the plus model is the resolution. The regular note 10 features a full HD resolution, while the note 10+ rocks a quad HD resolution and looks a bit sharper. But it is a tiny difference that you will hardly even notice in real use.

Camera

On the camera front, you have the versatility of Samsung’s triple-camera system: a normal lens, 2 times zoom telephoto lens now with a wider aperture and an ultra-wide angle shooter. The note 10+ model also has a fourth, depth sensor for more precise portrait shots.

New in the camera app is the fun ar doodle option where you draw on top of your video and the drawing sticks to your face and moves with it. It’s a gimmick but a fun one. You also have live focus video, meaning that you can blur the background and leave the subject in sharp focus, which looks cinematic and works mostly well.

S Pen

The s pen is here too. It’s the defining feature of the Note series. And this time it does not just have a couple of new features, it physically feels like a much more solid piece of gear. It now has a unibody design that feels extremely sturdy. Much more durable when you compare it against the plasticky feel that you had in the s pen in earlier notes. It’s a night-and-day difference. This new S pen will also automatically charge once tucked inside the note. And it features a new lithium titanium battery that lasts much longer than before. So now you can get up to 10 hours of standby time on it.

In terms of the features, all the familiar tricks are still available: you can still take the s pen out and hop up directly to the lock screen memos to quickly jot down things. The pop-up s pen menu, however, is different: it’s now a list instead of a carousel and it’s easier to navigate. Samsung has improved its notes application. So it now does a much better job recognizing your handwriting. And you can easily export those notes to a Microsoft word format.

Then, you have the new air gestures in the camera: you can still use the s pen as a remote control to take a photo. But now you can also hold the s pen button and swipe up to switch between the front and rear cameras. You can switch between camera modes and you can even zoom in using these new gestures on the s pen.

Hardware

Under the hood, the snapdragon 855 powers the show in us, while the rest of the world will get the note 10 series with the company’s 7nm Exynos chip. Both the small note 10 and the larger note 10+ will have the same processors. But they will differ in the amount of ram: you have 8 gigs of ram on the note 10 and an massive 12gb of ram on the plus model.

Battery

Of course, the larger model also comes with a bigger battery. While the note 10 will have a 3,500mah battery cell, the plus version will feature a 4,300mah battery that will last a bit longer. Both will support fast wired charge and will come with a wall adaptor that provides charging speeds of up to 25
Watts. If you buy a compatible adapter that will be sold separately, the note 10+ will be able to charge up even faster, at speeds of up to 45 watts. Both models will also support wireless charging.

Conclusion

Finally, I should say that after looking at all the new features, I grabbed the old note 9 alongside for quick comparison and it looked so outdated. Yes, Samsung might not have made anything revolutionary. But the more modern, cleaner design and the beautiful edge-to-edge screen make a big difference.

For me, the note 10 series are some of the most exciting new phones I have seen in a while.