Samsung Galaxy Note 10 carries forward the fad of big-screen phones introduced by the Note series. It's certainly one of the biggest screens you have seen on a Samsung phone that comes with a few other improvements. You also got the S Pen, the flagship stylus project of Samsung. So how does the Note 10 actually turn out? Let's find out in our review.
Design and Style
Note 10 packs the big screen yet doesn't weigh you down. It's also the smallest phone you get with the S Pen. Note 10 is even slimmer and lighter than the Note 9 (5.9-ounces compared to 7.1-ounces). You can call it the most compact phone with a big 6.3-inch screen.
When it comes to ease of use, one-handed operation rules! It's made for those smaller hands and one-hand operation is also comfortable. You can also slip it into your pockets easily thanks to its compactness.
Note 10 can be called a phablet, though you don't feel you are holding one. Design-wise, it's not at all cumbersome to live with.
The Galaxy Note 10 comes with a 6.3-inch Infinity-O display. The bezels are almost missing, which makes the screen appear much bigger than it is. You only have a small hole for the front camera on the top in the middle.
Resolution-wise, the Dynamic AMOLED display features 2280x1080 pixels. It's full HD+, provides great colors and sports the HDR10+ tag. The Note 10 Plus packs a 3040x1440, Quad HD+ panel though you would find it difficult to spot differences.
Note 10 is also among the brightest at 674 nits of full-screen brightness. You get accurate colors and the black stays black even at the highest brightness. The screen also covers a wide range of the RGB spectrum, making viewing a pleasure.
The icing on the cake would have been a 120Hz refresh rate, which is missing, even in the Note 10 Plus.
Samsung has used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 CPU in Note 10, which makes it one of the fastest Android phones. But soon other brands like Asus can over perform the Note 10 powered by the 855+ processor with higher clock speeds.
The smaller version of Note 10 comes with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM. You get an extra 4GB RAM in the Note 10 Plus. 8GB seems to be enough for the Note 10 and you don't generally come across any performance issue. Note 10 also features the UFS 3.0 storage technology which boosts the standard read and write speed.
Samsung also satisfies us in the graphics department recording high scores in benchmark tests. You should also be able to run graphics-intensive games without any troubles.
The camera in Note 10 is the same one from the Galaxy S10, so you shouldn't expect much improvement. You have three cameras on the backside which includes one wide-angle 12MP lens, another for taking ultra-wide 123-degree images and a 12MP telephoto lens. The 2x optical zoom is adequate, though other phones in the same price range have 5x optical zoom.
There's a Live Focus mode you can switch to while taking videos. You can use Live Focus to manipulate backgrounds and add special effects. The features do their job, but you can't really call them professional grade. Samsung also gives you an improved video editor to do your cutting and trimming from one interface.
Samsung has added a few more ways to use your S Pen in the Galaxy Note 10. Earlier, you could only convert your handwriting to text in Galaxy phones that came with S Pen. Now, you can save the text and convert it to a PDF or Word file on-the-fly.
You can also convert your handwriting to text in real-time, as you are writing. But to access this feature, you have to navigate through a series of keyboard menus. Samsung surely needs to make the S Pen features more accessible.
The Air Actions gestures for the S Pen have also got a new face. You can now swipe between camera modes by pressing the button of the S Pen and moving it in the air. There are several other functions like this, e.g., zooming in by moving the pan in a circular motion in the camera mode.
DeX for PC
You can now take advantage of the emulator feature offered by Samsung in Note 10. Just plug in the USB-C cable to your laptop and manage your phone on the big screen. Of course, you will need to install the DeX desktop app.
The software is not much use if you already have access to Windows or Mac. Maybe Samsung will provide more functions in the future, which will make this feature useful. For now, it's just easier to manage files and content on your phone using DeX for PC.
We also noticed some limitations in the software running on Windows. You can drag-and-drop files from PC to mobile using DeX, but not the other way around.
For reasons unknown, the Note 10 battery is only 3,500 mAh. The Note 10 Plus ships with a 4,300 mAh battery while Note 9 had a 4,000 mAh capacity. The cut in capacity gives Note 10 less longevity compared to both its predecessor and higher version.
Samsung provides fast charging in both wired and wireless modes. You get a 25-watt charger that reaches 50% from zero in about half an hour.
- Good build and design
- Bright and color-true display
- Compact phone with big screen
- Decent performance
- Easy to use and hold
- Good video recording
- 256GB storage and 8GB RAM standard
- Fastest charging Samsung phone
- No 3.5mm headphone jacks
- No external storage
- Battery is not very powerful