The wrappers are still freshly removed from the official launch last night, but we’re sizing up Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 range against its predecessor already. The Note 10 and the Note 10+ are exactly what we expected: a Galaxy S10-esque revision of the S Pen-packing line, but with a centre-mounted front-facing camera.
Not only is it a nice evolution from this year’s S10, but it also packs some impressive upgrades under the hood. Here’s Stuff’s look at what’s different – and based on our hands-on experience so far, what’s better – about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 compared to the Galaxy Note 9.
There was a lot to love about the Galaxy Note 9, but the Note 10 just has so much more to love with its edge-to-edge display. During a time in which phone designs were rapidly evolving, the Note 9 didn’t seem to have caught up with the pack. And that made the phone larger than it needed to be.
But enter the Galaxy Note 10. Just look at those curves, that screen… It’s nearly all screen on the front: 93.7% on the standard Note 10, in fact. There are still little slivers of bezel there (more on the bottom than the top), but they’re less noticeable, letting the display shine for itself.
Sizing it up
For the first time, Samsung has more than one size of the Galaxy Note, because we wouldn’t expect a bigger Note. But now, it’s got smaller bezels than ever — which allows more space for an even larger screen. The standard Note 10’s screen comes in at 6.3in, which is a smidge smaller than the Note 9’s 6.4in display, but then there’s a Galaxy Note 10+ that opts for an enormous 6.8in display.
Granted, the standard Note 10 sees a couple of spec downgrades from the Note 9. It has a 1080p display instead of Quad HD, and also a smaller battery. But then, the Note 10+ packs in even more functionality and features than the Note 9.
And the upside of the lower-specced Note 10 is the price differential between the models. This makes the top-spec Note range slightly more accessible for the general population. You still get the S Pen stylus with either model, of course, and it packs some added features this time around too.
Samsung is taking a cue from the Huawei playbook with the Galaxy Note 10, offering it up with one out-there mirror-finish option. It puts the simply-backed Note 9 to shame, assuming you like a flashy phone. Which we do.
Both phones are available in Aura Glow and Aura Black colour options, while the Note 10+ comes in Aura White and the standard Note 10 has Aura Pink as its third.
The Note 9 had one of 2018’s best camera setups, but the Note 10 is even better. The standard Note 10 keeps the triple-camera setup from the Galaxy S10, while the Note 10+ adds a time-of-flight (TOF) sensor for a quad-camera array. Both are incredibly versatile.
On both, you get an excellent 12MP main sensor with the same kind of variable aperture tricks as before, but then you also get a 12MP telephoto zoom lens and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens that essentially zooms out. It’s super handy. All told, you have more options to snap photos and better overall quality too.
It’s 5G-ready, unlike SA
Both Note 10 models are equipped for 5G service on top of 4G LTE, letting you tap into next-generation wireless service… assuming South Africa gets a functioning 5G service soon (looking at you, Rain…).
More than likely, it provides future-proofing reassurance — especially considering 5G will start to roll out more broadly. This means you’ll be able to adopt it right away. Once, SA catches onto the trend, of course.