I confess. Since the Note5, a Galaxy Note has been my daily drive, and I am proud to admit it. The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is this year’s power-user phone. So, if you are one of the 90% that won’t spend more than $600, don’t need a stylus or would never consider driving a luxury muscle car – do not pass go!
Go! The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is not for everyone. At $1499 to $1999 it should appeal to those that need its unique functionality or those that simply want the best. The Note-series offers envelope-pushing features that are still leading-edge, even a few years later.
And you can read Val’s hands-on, first look here. Val is known for his somewhat fruity taste in phones, but he is more than impressed with the speed, power and flexibility of the Galaxy Note10. Although he makes it clear that the primary reason to buy the Galaxy Note10 is its Stylus or S Pen.
“It is a game-changer, unique – a phone that lets you write or draw on the screen. The S Pen is like a magic wand allowing air gestures (to control the device/camera/music/movies) and more. And it can turn your scribble into text. There is nothing else like it.”
Let me tell you about the Galaxy Note series
I started using the Galaxy Note5 after release in August 2015. I wrote at the time, “Samsung has done it again producing an ‘11 out of 10’, flagship-class, phone/phablet with an astoundingly useful S-Pen/stylus input that works whether the screen is on, or off. The Note5s compelling feature is its highly accurate S-Pen stylus. On all other fronts it has worthy competitors in battery life; wireless and USB fast charging; front and rear cameras; screen sizes; screen to body ratio, IPX rating; and software user interfaces.”
Nothing has changed, yet the Galaxy Note10 has eclipsed all its worthy competitors by having uber top-draw specifications and the legendary S Pen.
Let me tell you about the S Pen
As a journalist, I need to take notes. While I could use an A6, recycled paper, spiral-bound notebook and a quaint thing called a pen; the Note series allows me to scrawl notes on glass – whether the phone is on or off.
When interviewing, I start the voice recorder and then start an S Pen note over the top. It allows me to scrawl (yes that is a technical term) brief important points at staccato pace and significantly reduces the need for me to transcribe the recording to text.
Many times, I have had a brilliant idea in the middle of the night and reached for the Note to note it down. Apart from the obvious question of what the hell I scrawled in the wee smalls, it served to remind me of the idea or task.
I am not a doodler, but the S Pen allows me to interrelate thoughts or themes just as I would on paper.
A very unscientific Twitter poll last year for the Note9 found that of the 200 respondents (honour system that they own a Note)
About 61% don’t use the S Pen regularly – that leaves 39% who do.
That 39% were evangelical.
S Pen – I use it every day. The only phone that can replace a Note is a newer Note. The Note line is the true flagship in the Galaxy line-up. It’s going to take a much ‘
I thought the S Pen was a gimmick until I started using it. I now use it all the time, and I can’t remember what it was like without it.
Of the 61%, this is a typical response.
S Pen – I don’t use it often, but I would miss it if I didn’t have it. When I am doing more serious tasks, I like to use it for the more precise pointer interaction vs my fat finger. Also, I really like using it for copy and paste. I don’t really write or draw with it, so I’m not the biggest target audience for it but for what I use it for it is great.
This is my first Note. I bought it for the huge AMOLED screen and great camera. Anything else is a bonus. I honestly don’t use the S Pen as much as I thought I would. This is the best phone with or without it.
And that is how I feel about the Galaxy Note series
You want the most technologically advanced phone (at the time), and the S Pen is a bonus.
The new S Pen has so many new features like handwriting to text conversion and air gestures that it will change the 69/31 proportion for the Note9 – possibly to 30/70 in the S Pen’s favour.
The new 45W charging (OK you need to buy a 45W USB-C PD charger) gives 0-100% in 30 minutes. I use Qi charging, so my Note is always ready, and I usually get two days from it at a pinch. Still, it is impressive.
Link to Windows: The Galaxy Note10 integrates Link to Windows directly into the Quick Panel. With one click, users can connect to their Windows 10 PC. There, they can see notifications, send and receive messages, and review recent photos without pausing to look down at their phone.
And that camera – it is pro-grade. The 6.3-inch Note10 and 6.8-inch Note10+ have three rear cameras (16MP Ultra-wide, 12MP Wide and 12MP telephoto). The Note10+ has a TOF 3D sensor for depth vision – it will even measure things and take 360° 3D images. Add to that live focus, special effects and zoom-in mic and video recording in 4K has never been easier. The S Pen can is an editing tool as well.
Specifications – Galaxy Note10
There is the Galaxy Note10 with a 6.3=inch screen and 4G LTE. The 6.8-inch Note10+ comes in 4G or 5G models.
|Item||Note 10||Note10+ 4G||Note10+ 5G|
|Screen||6.3-inch, 2280 x 1080|
401ppi, 19:9 ratio
Gorilla Glass 6
3040 x 1440
|Processor||Exynos 9825 7nm|
2×2.73GHz Mongoose M4
Game Boost mode
Adobe Rush video edit
microSD to 1TB
Hybrid dual SIM
|Same as |
|Rear camera 1||12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, |
Dual Pixel PDAF
|Rear Camera 2||12 MP, f/2.1, 52mm |
(telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, AF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
|Rear Camera 3||16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm |
|Rear Camera 4||N/A||TOF 3D VGA camera||Same as |
|Selfie||10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm |
Dual Pixel PDAF, HDR
3.5mm – no
|Wi-Fi AX VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM |
BT 5.0 aptX and more
NFC (Samsung and Google Pay)
USB-C 3.1 gen 1
|Other||Fingerprint sensor under glass|
|S Pen||7.9mm 4096 PP|
BT LE, Active
Lithium titanate bty
6-axis sensor, including Gyro and acceleration sensor.
25W USB-C, PD 3.0
20W Qi charge
12W Reverse charge
option 45W PD 3.0
|Colours||Aura Glow |
|Size||151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm|
|162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm|
|Same as |
|Price|| $1499 |
|Pre-orders by 22 August||AKG ANC Wireless Hehones (N700NCM2) $499||Same||Same|
GadgetGuy’s take – Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the most advanced phone on the planet
It is an important and very influential device for Samsung. It is the best-of-the-best and features flow down to the next Galaxy S and A series.
Naysayers are pointing to the loss of the 3.5mm audio jack and the loss of storage expansion on the Note10 (not Note10+). Given the configurations and pricing the Note10+ or 5G offer the best features and value.
Add to that the pre-order bonus of AKG’s top-drawer $499 ANC headphones and Samsung’s trade-up offer – these phones become surprisingly affordable.
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone offer the Note10/10+/5G at 24-36-month interest-free terms when you take out a post-paid plan.
Unless you have your heart set on a 5G (and you probably won’t be able to get 5G reception anyway) or number share with a Samsung Galaxy or Active watch, it is far better to buy the phone outright and go on far more economical pre-and-post-paid plans from Woolworths, Aldi or Boost.
For me – it is not just the next generation. Camera and handwriting recognition alone are the reasons to upgrade.