The "1-Minute" Review
- No expandable storage
- No 3.5mm headphone jack or adapter included
The Samsung Galaxy Note has always been a productivity powerhouse with it’s included S-Pen and a larger display than most top-tier phones. However, it hasn’t been the most portable phone around. The latest release from Samsung sees a phone closer to the size of Samsung’s popular Galaxy S-Series with the functions and features of the Note. Does this new approach result in a great phone? Reviewers are weighing in, let's look at what they have to say.
Featuring a taller aspect ratio, the Galaxy Note 10 crams a lot more screen space into a phone nearly the same size as the earlier Galaxy Note 9.
The phone’s thin design and Gorilla Glass treatment impressed reviewers with an excellent combination of stylish looks and durability -- at least as much as a mostly glass phone can be. The dual-curved glass design also provides rounded edges that reviewers found very comfortable to hold.
Chassis also includes a holster for the Samsung S-Pen to prevent losing it and IP68 water-resistance to protect from splashes and brief submersions.
The Verge says, “... the fit and finish are at the top of what you can get from a smartphone in 2019. It’s just a really nice thing to hold in your hands.”
The phone features a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge 6.3-inch display. Running at 1080-by-2280 pixels, the full-HD AMOLED+ display with HDR10+ support and a hole-punch for the front-facing camera impressed with its punchy colors, excellent contrast, and ample detail. Whether you’re reading emails or playing games, reviews indicate the screen should look great.
Gizmodo calls it “one of the most vibrant and best-looking smartphone screens on the market.”
In terms of power, the phone includes a 2.73Ghz octa-core Exynos 9825 processor or 2.8Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 855 processor depending on the region. All regions include 8GB of RAM for snappy performance and all the multitasking you can handle.
Reviews show that both processors are excellent for gaming or multitasking and your daily tasks -- such as checking email, catching up on your social streams, or recording a quick clip while out with friends.
As expected by a phone using the top processor available, reviewers had no issues with performance. While the phone doesn’t quite beat the latest iPhone, it’s as close to Apple's performance as you can get in the Android market.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ships with Android 9.0 running Samsung’s One UI. Reviewers found minimal bloat and liked the way the software works -- especially the optimizations made for S-Pen features and gestures.
While there is an updated slated for Android 10, official release dates are currently unavailable. However, most experts expect to see updates late in 2019 or early in 2020.
If you like to keep a ton of apps installed on your phone or keep a nice collection of music or video for offline viewing, the 256GB of storage is enough to keep things running. However, with no microSD slot, you’ll want to keep an eye on storage.
The good news is that Samsung opted for UFS 3.0 storage. This means that apps launch faster and downloads are potentially quicker.
The Note 10 features a very similar camera to the Galaxy S10 -- a triple rear camera with a combination of 12MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto, and 16MP ultrawide lenses with optical image stabilization. Around front, you’ll find a 10MP wide-angle selfie shooter.
Gizmodo praised the phone for its flexibility in capturing shots, calling results “top tier.” They also loved the smooth video shooting feature for keeping high-motion videos nice and smooth.
With a smaller chassis, Samsung had to reduce the battery size. The 3,500mAh battery worried some reviewers. However, these worries were unfounded with most hitting a full day on a single charge with ease. If you need a quick battery top-up, the included charger offers 25-watt USB Type-C fast charging capable of a 65% charge in around 30 minutes.
Like previous Samsung releases, the Note 10 does not include a 3.5mm headphone jack. As this is a trend, reviewers didn’t find that unreasonable. However, the phone does not include a USB Type-C to 3.5mm either. So you’ll need an adapter if you plan to use your favorite headphones.
On the speaker front, reviewers found the phone plenty loud and well-balanced -- at least as far as phones are concerned.
Overall, reviewers loved the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. A few questioned the price, but most felt that it was one of the strongest Note models to date.
Hitech Century says, “For mainstream users seeking the Galaxy Note experience... the Galaxy Note10 is an excellent proposition that offers superb imaging quality, performance and battery life.”
CNet echoes this, saying, “Despite missing a few minor features, the Note 10's size, price and specs add up to the best all-around Samsung phone you can get right now.”
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