Samsung Galaxy Note 10(+) – Preview A smaller Note for the first time

Spread the love

There was an extra device in the Galaxy S series this year: the S10e, and we were excited about it . The Note series also consists of two smartphones this year. Apparently, Samsung believes that enough (price) space has now been created among the absolute high-end models to market a smaller and cheaper variant of the two most expensive Galaxy series. Traditionally, however, the Note series is all about the largest screens. That is why it is quite striking that there is suddenly a smaller Note 10.

In addition, Samsung has added a large number of new functions, of which we have gained a first impression. For example, a lot of so-called Air Actions have been added, which you can perform with the stylus, and you can draw live on faces in the camera app. In the camera area, artificial background blur in the video mode is also a striking newcomer and the video stabilization is said to be further improved. Samsung also reported that Note users do much more with video than the average user. For example, Samsung has even built in a function that is intended for vloggers.

Two Notes and their design

Given the dimensions and weight of the devices, the Note 10+ is actually the successor to the Galaxy Note 9. It has thinner bezels, making the screen diagonal much larger. The smaller Note 10 is a lot shorter than the Galaxy Note 9, but at the same time it has an almost as large screen. The device is also a lot lighter than the Note 9 and both Note 10 devices are lighter, although you don’t really feel that difference in the case of the Note 10+.

Device S10 Note 10 S10+ Note 9 Note 10+
Length (mm) 149.9 151.0 157.6 161.9 162.3
Width (mm) 70.4 71.8 74.1 76.4 77.2
Thickness (mm) 7.8 7.9 7.8 8.8 7.9
Weight (g) 157 168 175 201 196
Screen diagonal 6.1 6.3″ 6.4 6.4″ 6.8″
Screen resolution 1440×3040 1080×2280 1440×3040 1440×2960 1440×3040
Screen ratio 19:9 19:9 19:9 18.5:9 19:9
Pixel density 550ppi 400ppi 522ppi 514ppi 495ppi
Screen area (cm²) 93 99 103 104 115

The design of the Note 10 and 10+ is an elegant further development of the shape of the Note 9. Compared to the S series, recent Note devices do not have a round, but a flat top and bottom. The design is also clearly different compared to the Note 9. The top and bottom are rounded differently than with the Note 9, which you mainly see at the corners of these smartphones. Samsung has said goodbye to the chamfered edges. The new Galaxy Note 10 devices are also thinner than the Note 9. Samsung has shaved off a millimeter.

The bezels below and above the screen of the Note 10 devices are smaller than those of the Note 9. The bezel above has been trimmed the most. One of the things that makes that possible is the ear speaker, which is gone. The screen itself now serves as a speaker and that’s something we’ve seen more often lately. We haven’t been able to listen to it extensively yet, but we have already experienced that it can sound great.

The iris scanner has also had to clear the field, returning face unlock to the relatively unsafe Android standard with two-dimensional recognition. We weren’t entirely happy with the unlocking of the Note 9 and that was also due to the fingerprint scanner that sits quite high on the back. The fingerprint scanner is behind the screen on the Note 10 phones, instead of on the back. That is a good choice in this case, because it is more accessible. We think the scanner on the back is fine with short phones, but it is often less ideal with a large device such as a Note. Fortunately, the fingerprint scanner under the screen is the same ultrasonic scanner as in the S10 devices and the speed is therefore excellent.

What else is often in the top bezel? Of course, the front camera. It is now in a hole in the screen, just like the S10 models. In this case, however, the camera is in the center of the screen instead of on the side. That of course benefits the symmetry, but our first impression is that we think it’s a little less ideal if you watch videos or photos in full screen. Usually more happens in the middle of the screen than in the far corners.

The new Aura Glow color of the Note 10 smartphones is special. We’ve never seen a device that could take on so many different colors in different types of light. This reflects the high-end character of the phones, because whether you like it or not, it gives a luxurious look. After all, a lot of thought has gone into the way the light refracts on the back of this device.

Another clear difference between the Note 10 and 10+ is the screen size, but also the screen resolution and thus the pixel density. The Note 10 has a relatively low screen resolution. It’s an elongated 1080p screen, and the last Note to come out with that resolution is the Galaxy Note 3. Still, a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch isn’t bad. If you focus with your eyes from as close as possible, you can see the difference with a 1440p screen, but in principle that is not the case at normal viewing distance. The OLED screen of the Note 10+ devices has support for HDR10+, just like the Galaxy S10 series, and naturally looks great again. Actually, we don’t have to waste any more words on that at Samsung.

A notable absence on the Note 10 devices is the 3.5mm port. Samsung has held on to that for a long time and just when the trend of omitting the port does not really seem to continue, Samsung is removing it for the first time. The S10 series still has it.

You can still charge the Note 10 devices wirelessly and they have also been made suitable for Super Fast Charging with 45 watts. The charger that comes with the devices is only 25 watts, so Samsung sees this as an option. When asked, the reason for this appears to be that this charging technique is not very healthy for the battery in the long term. Samsung therefore advises against using the 45W charger every day, but only if you really need it. In itself we can agree with that, but it is difficult to check whether this reasoning is correct. Anyway, charging with 25 watts is not heavenly either.

Especially for gamers and heavy users, it is interesting that Samsung puts a different soc in the Note 10 series than in the S10 devices. The Exynos 9825 with the new 7nm process with EUV is more economical than the Exynos 9820 that Samsung makes at 8nm with more traditional lithography, and which is in the S10 devices. There is also a vapor chamber againbuilt-in. It would be the thinnest ever, according to Samsung. In any case, during our first touches it turned out that the device does not always stay super cool, because when we were busy for a while, it got quite a bit warm. Also new is that the AI ​​Game Booster adjusts the performance settings of the Note 10(+) to the game. So for Farm Ville, the processor will run slower and the battery will last longer, while the processor will be clocked higher with Call of Duty: Mobile, which is available first on the Note 10 according to Samsung.

New features

The Note series is for those who remain pensive, so Samsung’s emphasis is on that too. There are a number of new features for the S Pen. With the Note 9 you could use the pen for the first time to print in the camera app and switch to the front camera. A few new Air Gestures have now been added. This way you can direct the pen left and right with the button pressed to switch modes. You can also zoom by drawing circles with the button pressed. The latter often didn’t work the way we wanted, but it might take some getting used to. The intention is that you can place the device somewhere and, for example, photograph yourself. That can be quite useful in specific situations, although we didn’t use it very often with the Note 9.

You can also convert handwriting into text. That went well and quickly during our hands-on, although we still have to test how accurate it is. Also new is that you can now draw in different colors on the always on screen. Of course we will dive into all the new functions of the S Pen during our review, but at first glance they are not hugely indispensable new functions.

Camera, with focus on video

The camera is of course also very important for a device in the highest price range. The cameras are the same as those on the Galaxy S10 and S10+. So we don’t have to think about that for long, and the quality will also be equivalent. One difference is that there is an extra camera on the Note 10+. That is not a camera that you as a user switch to and take pictures with, but a time-of-flight camera.

The Note 10 and 10+ also lack a camera compared to the Note 9, namely the second front camera of the S10+, which also serves to see depth. Now we prefer to see it on the back, also because it makes the camera hole at the front bigger, but somehow it is strange to leave it out of the very expensive Note 10 devices.

The time-of-flight camera on the back of the Note 10+ has a few advantages. The first and most obvious is that it is used for Live Focus mode, which creates artificial background blur. This now also works in video mode. This did not work completely flawlessly during the preview session, but the software was not finished either. This is also possible with the smaller Note 10, but according to Samsung it works less well. You can also use the time-of-flight sensor if you want to know, for example, whether certain furniture fits in your home. According to Samsung, there are more and more apps that support this. Whether the extra time-of-flight sensor is a valuable addition, we will hopefully test soon in the review.

Another new function is a lot less serious and that is ‘AR doodle’. You can now draw live on videos in addition to photos. For example, you can draw a mustache or glasses on someone’s head, which will also remain on his or her face. Also, the electronic stabilization would be improved and if you zoom in while shooting a video, the ambient noise from sources that are not in the frame is filtered out. This feature is called Zoom in mic.

The screen capture tool has also received a new feature. You can now record the screen, while your head is recorded with the front camera and shown in a circle at the top of the screen. That should come in handy for vloggers. The function worked easily and well during the hands-on.


We are not completely crazy about the new features of the Note 10 series, but it is fair to say that the major innovations often come with the S series and those innovations are basically all on the Note 10 (+). The features that the Note 10(+) adds are more specific. For example, the S Pen improvements are interesting for a smaller audience and the focus on video is also more niche-oriented.

What we can say after this preview session is that the Note 10 and 10+ are again very fast and high-end phones, which seem to work properly, for a high price. However, the price of the larger Note + has risen another hundred euros compared to the Note 9 and although you get twice as much storage memory as standard, that is considerable. The smaller Note 10 is perhaps the more interesting smartphone of the two, as it has a suggested retail price of 950. So if you don’t necessarily want the largest screen, but find the stylus and the other Note-specific features attractive, you might be able to pick it up for a relatively nice price in the long run. This device also has 256GB of storage memory, but no less than 4GB less RAM. The cool camera is also missing and the screen resolution is lower,

Soon we will find out how the devices behave in practice and whether there are more differences between the two Samsung smartphones, for example in terms of battery life.

You might also like