Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ hands-on review
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Few smartphones are quite as legendary and influential as the Galaxy Note line. Over the years since the original Note N7000, back in 2011, Note handsets have pushed many envelopes. Putting productivity and prosumer needs first is what helped the Galaxy Notes define the "phablet" category and bring new life to the stylus accessory. Naturally, a loyal fan-base followed, one that Samsung is particularly proud of and tends to flaunt at every new Note launch.

Eight or so years later the Galaxy Note family has an incredible weight on its shoulders and more than a few uphill battles to fight at the same time. So they've approached these challenges by delivering two distinct Note10 this year - the Galaxy Note10 and its Note10+ sibling.

Having two concurrent Note models is not a first. Take the Note Edge as an example, but mostly the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, which came out alongside its flagship Note 3 sibling. Even so, having two Note models hasn't been a thing for a very long time and could be perceived as a change in mentality. Either that or a sign that the Note is finally conforming to the ongoing trend of stretching out smartphone lineups in an attempt of saturating the market.

Marketing aside, we can't really complain about having more options. Also, the regular Note10 is not that different from its bigger sibling. A few inches smaller and carrying a few mAh of juice less, one ToF camera fewer and some slight downgrades to charging are not enough to be detrimental to the overall Note experience. What you get with the Note10 is essentially a Galaxy S10-sized, or thereabout, device complete with all the Note features. A formula which will appeal to many.

That being said, there is no doubt that the Note10+ is the true heir to the proud Note line. A new Dynamic AMOLED panel, now taller and with more pixels than ever manages to outdo even the Note9 in terms of sheer productivity real estate. A new ToF camera, more battery and a new and improved S Pen only sweeten the deal further.

If nothing else, the Note10 duo is definitely bold and offers plenty of exciting new features. Sure, it has lost some of the features the Note series had before, but this only comes to show that the Galaxy Note has undergone some major changes to its formula. Ones that are likely to shape its future. Join us on the following pages as we offer our initial impressions from the Note10 and Note10+.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ hands-on review
Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ hands-on review at a glance

  • Body: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm, 168 grams, IP68 rating.
  • Screen: 6.3" Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED, 1080 x 2280px resolution; 19:9 aspect ratio; 401ppi; HDR10+ certified.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9825 (market dependent)
  • Memory: 256GB storage, no microSD slot with 8GB RAM (LTE) or 12GB (5G).
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie, Samsung One UI.
  • Rear camera:Wide (main): 12MP, 1/2.55" sensor, f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length (77° FoV), dual pixel PDAF, OIS. Telephoto: 12MP, f/2.1 aperture, 52mm equiv. focal length (45° FoV), PDAF, OIS. Ultra-wide: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 12mm equiv. focal length (123° FoV), fixed focus.
  • Front camera: 10MP, f/2.2 aperture, 25mm equiv. focal length (80° FoV), dual pixel PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear: up to 4K 2160p@60fps, EIS up to 2160p@30fps; HDR10+ recording. Front: up to 4K 2160p@30fps with EIS.
  • Battery: 3,500 mAh Li-Ion (sealed), 25W wired fast charging. 12W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax(Wi-Fi 6); GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+.
  • Misc: Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor; stereo speakers (bottom-firing + earpiece).
  • S-Pen: BLE S-Pen 5.8 x 4.35 x 105.08 mm, 3.04 grams unibody, Lithium titanate battery (LTO) up to 10 hours of stand-by, 6-axis sensor, including Gyro and acceleration sensor.
  • Body: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm, 196 grams, IP68 rating.
  • Screen: 6.8" Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 x 3040px resolution; 19:9 aspect ratio; 498ppi; HDR10+ certified.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9825 (market dependent)
  • Memory: 12GB RAM with 256GB/512GB storage, hybrid microSD slot.
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie, Samsung One UI.
  • Rear camera:Wide (main): 12MP, 1/2.55" sensor, f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length (77° FoV), dual pixel PDAF, OIS. Telephoto: 12MP, f/2.1 aperture, 52mm equiv. focal length (45° FoV), PDAF, OIS. Ultra-wide: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 12mm equiv. focal length (123° FoV), fixed focus. DepthVision: ToF VGA, f/1.4, 72° FoV
  • Front camera: 10MP, f/2.2 aperture, 25mm equiv. focal length (80° FoV), dual pixel PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear: up to 4K 2160p@60fps, EIS up to 2160p@30fps; HDR10+ recording. Front: up to 4K 2160p@30fps with EIS.
  • Battery: 4,300 mAh Li-Ion (sealed), 45W wired (charger sold separately) Super fast charging. 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax(Wi-Fi 6); GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+.
  • Misc: Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor; stereo speakers (bottom-firing + earpiece).
  • S-Pen: BLE S-Pen 5.8 x 4.35 x 105.08 mm, 3.04 grams unibody, Lithium titanate battery (LTO) up to 10 hours of stand-by, 6-axis sensor, including Gyro and acceleration sensor.
  • Bigger, heavier body: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm, 196 grams.
  • Bigger, higher resolution display: 6.8", 1440 x 3040px resolution, 498ppi.
  • More RAM, bigger storage option and microSD card slot: 12GB RAM, 512GB storage, hybrid microSD slot.
  • Additional ToF camera: DepthVision: ToF VGA, f/1.4, 72° FoV
  • Bigger battery and faster charging: 4,300 mAh, 45W wired (charger sold separately) Super fast charging. 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0.