Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (6.8 inches) Review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is the latest device from the company, offering a bigger display, an improved design, and an even faster processor than the Note 9.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, bringing with it a larger display, a faster processor, improved cameras, and a new dual-lens rear camera. The phone is the latest in a long line of Samsung’s phablets, and it’s the largest the company has ever released. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is Samsung’s latest attempt to take on Apple’s iPhone XR and iPhone XS.

Specifications for the Galaxy Note 10

  • Weight: 196g
  • Size: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm
  • Android v9.0.
  • 6.8-inch screen size
  • Resolution: QHD+
  • CPU: Octa-core chipset
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB
  • Battery: 4,300 mAh
  • Rear camera resolution: 16MP + 12MP + 12MP + VGA
  • 10MP front-facing camera
  • Waterproof: IP68
  • Headphone jack: “NO!”
  • Stylus: S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Display

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

  • The massive 6.8-inch Quad HD+ screen lends itself to the S Pen for notes.
  • The center punch-hole embeds the front camera inside the display.
  • The punch-hole is 26% smaller than the S10 Plus camera hole.
  • Beware of annoying false touches from a lack of bezel

We are kind of hankering for the innovation of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and other foldable phones because the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus screen is so large.

With an edge-to-edge design, pixels spill over the left and right sides of the phone, taking up nearly the entire front. In many ways, the curved display is satisfyingly sharp thanks to its fine point.

Samsung’s Super AMOLED screens have always been praised for their vibrant colors, pixel-dense Quad HD+ resolution, and high peak brightness. Now that it’s been maximized, it seems extra immersive and worth all that hand stretching.

The OnePlus 7 Pro’s display doesn’t have a fluid, silky-smooth 90Hz refresh rate. If you tightly wrap your hand around the screen, you will feel false touches due to its curved edges. However, no other phone has a screen like this.

This sounds almost as big as a 6.5-inch iPhone, doesn’t it? Not really. The iPhone XS Max is a fraction of a millimeter smaller in width and girth, and it weighs less. In height, it is only a few millimeters taller.

Samsung’s bigger-screen, the smaller-body trick involves embedding its front camera into the display through a center-aligned punch hole. We found it easy to ignore when watching Netflix because it is 26% smaller than the top-right camera hole on the S10.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Design

sAMSUNG Galaxy note 10 plus

  • A slick glass back means you’ll want a case to avoid dropping it.
  • There is no headphone jack, but a microSD card slot remains on the Plus.
  • Aura Glow, Aura Black, Aura White, Aura Pink, Aura Red

No matter what, you’ll want to hold on to the behemoth Note 10 Plus tightly. Not only is the device slippery, but it also stretches beyond your natural grasp. That’s how big it is.

We feel the same way about the Aura Glow color. In addition to being difficult to handle without a case, the glass back and slick aluminum frame smudge so badly.

But in the right light, the mirrored finish has a mesmerizing rainbow effect, making the Note 10 Plus literally your new favorite shiny toy. Quite stunning.

As a result of the streamlined screen and small punch-hole camera, there is no room for the IR scanner used in the Note 9 and Note 8. We tested the ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint sensor instead, which worked well in our tests. We’re pleased with how it works.

Additionally, this year’s note has one fewer button. As a result, the power button is now on the left side, along with the much-maligned Bixby button. I like it. Sadly, Bixby is still a completely mediocre voice assistant, and the power button does require some getting used to. However, you’ll be much more aware of this new “everything” button and stop pressing it by mistake, thinking it’s the volume down button.

Some design decisions aren’t so great-the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack isn’t here. Samsung instead uses a USB-C port, so you can plug in the USB-C headphones that are included in the box. It was inevitable.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Magic tricks with the S Pen

samsung galaxy note 10 plus

  • The best way to take notes, mark up screenshots, and sign forms.
  • Returning to features we love Remote Camera Shutter, Screen Off Memo:
  • Air Gestures and “better” handwriting recognition are just okay.

The S Pen stylus is the Note’s secret weapon, and the phone comes with some neat new features. However, you won’t justify the price tag for this expensive phone.

With the S Pen unsheathed from the bottom right corner of the Note 10 Plus frame, the returning functionality is far more compelling. Despite being shorter and thinner, it still achieves the same high-quality fine-tipped note-taking.

If you can pop out the stylus quickly, Screen Off Memo remains the fastest way to jot down quick notes. The Note 10 does not need to be turned on.

Using the S Pen’s Bluetooth LE capabilities, Remote Shutter is the best way to take photos from afar. The Note 10 Plus has a gyroscope and an accelerometer for even more magic with “Air Gestures.”

Air Gestures allow you to rotate the camera view clockwise or counterclockwise and swipe through menus by moving your finger left and right. This was almost too much to learn.

With the S Pen, we could take selfies in multiple modes, snap with the camera app, and take endless Live Focus shots. The majority of it worked, but you should have brought a tripod.

In New York City, it’s not easy to take remote photos with the Note 10 without a tripod, since the city is filled with trash cans and few flat surfaces. By sticking this on the ground, you’ll get lots of unflattering low-angle shots. Is a tripod really something you’re going to carry around with a smartphone?

Better handwriting recognition is another new feature of the S Pen. Unfortunately, mistakes still occur. A few times, it had problems converting our handwritten words “This is a text” into printed text. Nevertheless, it is better than before.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Five cameras

note 10 plus

  • This is not the best camera, but it is the most fun to use, with normal, telephoto, ultra-wide, and depth-sensing lenses.
  • In low light, the 12.3MP main camera is still better than the Pixel 3 with Night Mode.
  • The Pixel 3 lacks ultra-wide and 2x zoom telephoto lenses, offering more interesting perspectives.
  • With the “Live Focus” Color Point and the new Big Circles portrait filters, this is the best selfie camera available.

The Note 10 Plus delivers on the hype of five cameras with varying perspectives and superb performances from all, as we found on the six-camera-lens LG G8.

The main 12MP camera on the back captures scenes in the bright and punchy colors that Samsung photos are known for. While not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus camera, it’s solid nonetheless.

Thanks to a dedicated Night Mode, low-light photos look better than ever. As a result, people’s skin looks like a 1990s glamor portrait when Photoshop first came out—so much unfortunate airbrushing.

Even though the smoothing is less aggressive with Night Mode enabled, we notice more noise as exposure increases. We found that it was a better tradeoff in most dark scenarios. Because of this, the Google Pixel 3 remains the overall winner for nighttime and bar-restaurant photos due to its superior post-processing in Night Sight mode.

In terms of lenses, the Note 10 Plus features a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.1 aperture and a 16MP ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Additionally, a VGA Depth lens (exclusive to the Note 10 Plus) aids in applying “Live Focus” bokeh to photos (the smaller Note 10 relies on software blurring).

With the telephoto lens’s 2x zoom, we were able to get up close without distortion, and with the wide-angle lens, we were able to get more in the frame without having to back up.

ColorPoint

Regular camera: low light test

Another highlight is the small hole in the screen that embeds a 10MP front camera. We made our subjects (often ourselves) stand out in selfie photos with fun-to-manipulate Live Focus filters.

Our favorite filter from the S10 series is Color Point, but we also like Big Circles almost as much. With this new bokeh filter, distant lights appear as if they are taking on a bulbous shape.

The Pixel 3 also takes great selfie photos, and we appreciate Google’s use of two front-facing cameras, one for wide-angle group selfies and one for normal selfies. Despite that, we enjoyed using the Note 10 Plus front camera more, and everyone was amazed by the selective black-and-white Color Point filter.

Compared to the Note 10 Plus still camera, the differences between the S10 Plus and the Note 10 are minimal. Samsung’s new phone breaks new ground in the video -if you ignore the silly features that distract from what’s truly good.

Video on the Note 10 is benefited most by its “Super Steady” optical image stabilization (OIS). We found Samsung’s newest phone offers smoother video compared to the iPhone XS Max and Note 9. It won’t make you ditch a device like the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, but when you’re gimbal-free, you’ll have the most stable video.

We applaud Samsung for bringing back its video editor, now retooled for 2019. It’s easy to use and built into the gallery app, so it’s almost like a simplified version of Adobe Premiere Rush. It also pairs well with the S Pen for fine-tuning edits on the timeline.

Since we enjoy using Live Focus photos, Live Focus video seems like a natural progression. You can blur the background behind moving subjects on occasion, especially when you use the ColorPoint or Glitch filters to contrast a colorful subject with a black-and-white scene.

Unfortunately, Live Focus Video is a bit too inconsistent to use outside of a “Hey, isn’t this video neat?” social media post. In contrast to Live Focus photos, you shouldn’t use this until the edges of foreground subjects are better defined. It’s better than the LG G8’s very similar feature, but that doesn’t mean much.

In addition to enhancing the subject you are zooming into, zoom-in audio has another function: amplification. This feature is similar to Samsung’s boom mic. This, however, just made everything in the room louder, not just the subject we were zooming in on.

Battery

  • battery life of over a day when using the default Full HD resolution.
  • The 4,300 mAh battery capacity is the largest on a Samsung phone.
  • A 25W charger is included for fast charging, but a 45W charger is also compatible.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus battery will last more than a day, and it charges faster than previous Samsung smartphones.

Thanks to the large 4,300mAh battery, we were able to achieve a 20% to 30% battery life after heavy use. The Galaxy S10 Plus had a smaller battery but a larger screen, which is roughly what we saw with the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Samsung’s power management has been greatly improved over the years, which helps further prolong battery life, as does the fact that the QuadHD+ display resolution isn’t on by default-it’s set to 1080p by default.

Besides the difference in resolution between 1080p and Quad HD+, the Always On Display setting was also off by default. By turning on the lock-screen notifications and time at a glance, we were able to appreciate the screen on a day-to-day basis. There was no noticeable impact on battery life.

Samsung finally updated its Fast Charging capabilities to 45W, an enormous upgrade over the 15W wall chargers we’re used to. Nevertheless, you’ll find a 25W charger in the box, which is a fine improvement for most people. With the 25W charger, we went from 0% to 100% in 70 minutes.

There is a 45W charger that’s sold separately that can recharge your Note 10 Plus battery in 30 minutes, and it’s another Plus-exclusive feature that you won’t find on the regular Note 10. This costs $50, but we have not tested it yet. Our review of the Note 10 Plus will be updated as soon as we get one.

As for the wireless charging capacity, it has been increased to 15W, which is good news since the 12W cap on the S10 ‘Fast Wireless Charging 2.0’ speed series felt slow. You’ll need the new 15W stand if you bought Samsung’s 12W Wireless Charger Pads Duo.

Interface

note 10 plus

  • With Samsung’s One UI, large phones can easily access menus.
  • Connect the Note 10 Plus via USB-C to a laptop to use Dex without a dock.
  • Samsung should develop Mac/PC apps for “continuity” like Apple’s.
  • It’s the same AI that couldn’t understand us in “the New Bixby.”

On such a large device, Samsung’s software has been redesigned to be intuitively laid out; everything is easy to find within its menu system, and Samsung’s camera app is one of the most robust without feeling overly complex.

Most of the Note 10 Plus’ navigation options are placed in the bottom half of the screen, within reach with your thumb. It’s easy to navigate. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when extending Samsung’s software beyond the phone.

A USB-C cable connecting the Note 10 Plus to a PC or Mac allows Samsung Dex to display your phone’s desktop view on a computer without a dock. Additionally, there is a new Link to Windows mode for receiving notifications and messages from PCs. All of that would be great if the drag-and-drop functionality wasn’t so buggy.

Specifically, we are concerned about the lack of a desktop version of Samsung Notes and other important apps. Whenever we write something down and want to look it up on a PC or Mac, there’s no reliable way to do so. Without Apple’s robust continuity software between its devices, Samsung will not be able to win us over.

Although we complained about this on the S10 Plus, porting Samsung Notes off of the device matters so much more on the S10.

It’s no surprise that Bixby is, well, still Bixby. We continue to talk to it, but it doesn’t hear us. It’s the same mediocre voice assistant every time Samsung releases a new phone. “Welcome to the new Bixby.”Always.

Performance

  • Not the fastest Android phone, but a fast one.
  • There is more than enough RAM for browsing the web on the Dex desktop.
  • The internal storage is 256GB or 512GB.
  • The smaller Note does not have a MicroSD card slot for expanding storage. 

As you’d expect from a new Note phone, the Note 10 Plus is one of the fastest phones available today. There were a few Android phones that were faster last year, but that was mostly about bragging rights.

As a result of Samsung’s 12GB of RAM, we were able to run Dex in desktop mode and open a full browser with many tabs at the same time. The Plus version has more RAM with 12GB compared to the regular Note’s 8GB, but both are likely to be fast. During our tests, we achieved a GeekBench multi-core score of 10,849.

Depending on your region, the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are equipped with either a Snapdragon 855 or an Exynos 9825 processor. Both chipsets have been tested by us. Even so, Samsung equipped the Note 10 Plus with a vapor cooling chamber designed to handle today’s 3D games as well as whatever comes next.

The Note does not come with a microSD card slot, which is exclusive to the Note Plus. In the event that 256GB or 512GB of internal storage isn’t enough for you,

Advantages and disadvantages:

Pros Cons
The best selfie camera around. The camera isn’t “the best.”
Fun-to-use rear cameras big and slippery design.
The best screen on a smartphone Expensive

Our Verdict

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus is Samsung’s biggest and most powerful phone, and its Aura colors are a visual representation of luxury throughout. Its hand-stretching 6.8-inch display is perfectly paired with the S Pen and a big battery. Technically, it’s not the fastest or best camera phone, but thanks to its five cameras and smart photo filters, we’ve had the most fun testing this phone in 2019. It’s a great phone if you want to bask in the glory of pre-foldable phones.