Samsung unveiled two new versions of the Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday with fast 5G network connection and improved camera features. Samsung says that this is is to cater for people who want the power and functions of the Note but prefer a smaller phone.
It’s all relative though; the Note 10 has a 6.3 inch screen, while the Note 10+ gets a 6.8 inch screen, which makes the Note 10 seem almost compact in comparison.
There are a few other differences. The Note 10+ gets the better camera, with a quad camera set up to the Note 10’s triple camera. The 10+ also gets the bigger battery, which makes sense, more RAM and a larger capacity option with a 512GB version.
Both get the new S Pen features. Samsung’s smart stylus now supports gestures, which means you can control your camera, for example, by pressing the button on the pen and gesturing. Through Bluetooth Low Energy “Air action” gestures, you can control music playback or the camera from a distance – hold down a button on the pen and rotate it to have the camera on a tripod zoom, for example. Samsung is also opening up this S Pen gesture capability to developers.
When you jot notes on the screen with the S Pen, something you could always do, you can now convert that handwriting to text and export the results to the Microsoft Word. You can also use the S Pen to help you do more precise video editing.
With emphasis on improved video and photography features, which helped Huawei become the world’s No.2 smartphone vendor, Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note 10 will appeal to YouTubers and fans of social media.
The Note 10 borrows a few style pointers from the S10 family. There’s the Infinity-O display, which basically means the front facing camera is a hole punched out of the pretty impressive display. The screen stretches almost from edge to edge of the AMOLED display, which is how Samsung has squashed a massive screen into a slim enough phone.
Samsung is offering three colours in each size. For the Note 10+, you can choose from black or what Samsung is calling Aura Glow. It looks like chrome until the light hits it, and then you see different colours show up, depending on the light. It’s hard to describe, but it’s an impressive effect, and it’s almost a shame that you are bound to cram the phone into a protective case and cover it up. Selected European markets will also be getting a white version of the 10+; The Note 10 gets a pink colour in selected markets.
Samsung does well on its cameras, as previous versions of the Note and the flagship Galaxy S range has shown in the past. You can expect more of the same – great still photos, impressive video footage and some intelligent camera features. The live focus feature has been extended to the video camera for the latest version of the Note, which makes for some interesting effects. You can drop the background out to black and white for example, leaving the subject in colour, or blur it out to make your subject stand out.
The improvements to sound are also useful, with the sound zoom cutting out background noise and giving better sound. That gets the thumbs up, because video conditions are rarely perfect.
If you are a fan of the Note, you’ll already know about Dex. That is Samsung’s way of bridging the gap between mobile and desktop. This year, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft so you can connect your phone with your PC, get notifications on your laptop, enable screen mirroring and receive calls.
While the Note 10 and 10+ are great for working, Samsung was also keen to push the phone’s entertainment and leisure credentials. It’s a bit of an all-rounder. You can shoot and edit video on the device, with some decent editing tools at your fingertips, and Adobe has some software optimised for the Note 10. It’s like a mini editing studio in your pocket.
It’s no slouch on games either, tackling some power hungry mobile games with ease.
The Note 10 will be sold starting at £869 while the bigger Note 10 plus will start at £999. The Note 10 model with 5G capability will start at £1099.99. The phone will go on sale from Aug. 23.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ specs
|Note 10+||Note 10|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie
One UI 1.5
|Android 9 Pie
One UI 1.5
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
|6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED
|Processor||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855|
|Rear Camera 1||12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV||12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV|
|Rear Camera 2||16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV||16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV|
|Rear Camera 3||12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV||12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV|
|Rear Camera 4||VGA DepthVision
f/1.4, 72° FoV
|Front Camera||10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoV
|10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoV
|Security||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO 7CA LTE Cat.20, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO 7CA LTE Cat.20, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Dimensions||162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm
|151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm
|Colours||Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Blue||Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black|