Samsung Galaxy Note10 – my precious, all is well in the world again
4.9Overall Score
Name: Samsung Galaxy Note10
Price (RRP): $1488
Manufacturer: Samsung

You may ask why the strange LOR headline. Well, that is the way I, and many hundreds of thousands more, feel about the Samsung Galaxy Note series. No one, not wizard Gandalf, brave Frodo or even my wife can stand in the way of me getting a Galaxy Note10 or Note10+.

Gollum
And I have a little more hair and better teeth!

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 and it is bigger brother the Note10+ (and even a 5G version) are objects of envy and desire to a bald (or hirsute) journalist or Gollum. Why? It has something that no other has – an S Pen.

If you want to know more about my rational desire, read “Confessions of a wannabe Samsung Galaxy Note10 user” here.

OK if you do not read that let me sum up

  • 39% of Note owners are evangelical about the S Pen (like me)
  • 61% would miss it if they did not have it (even if they do not use it all the time)

That is 100% of Note owners. And the Note10 series S Pen has even more features.

Let me position the Samsung Galaxy Note10, Note10+ and 5G

  • 6.3-inch Galaxy Note10 costs $1499 for the 8/256GB version
  • 6.8-inch Note10+ costs $1699 for the 12/256GB/microSD to 1TB version
  • 6.8-inch Note10+ 5G costs $1,999 for the 12/512GB/microSD to 1TB version
Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+

Now that is a significant chunk of change, especially as Telstra et al., can no longer hide the cost in a ‘bundle plan’.

We judge phones against comprehensive paradigms and then slot them into price categories.

  1. Foldable $2500+
  2. Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
  3. Flagship $1000-1599 (account for about 10% of sales)
  4. Premium mid-market $800-999 (10% and often last year’s flagship at run-out price)
  5. Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
  6. Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
  7. Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the market – good for pre-paid and children)

The Galaxy Note10 at $1499 represents 300 Dominos pick-up Pepperoni pizzas, a half-decent lappy (that is a Windows PC, not a dance), three excellent mid-market Samsung Galaxy A50 smartphones, three decent 50-inch smart TVs, 70+new release DVDs, ten months Netflix subscription, food on the table…

Suddenly you realise that your previously bundled smartphone costs real money.

 That may be fine for businesses that can immediately write-off such devices or claim them as tax deductions, but for Joe and Jane Average it must be about need over want.

To counter this, Samsung is pushing its trade-up program, and it includes Apple iPhone 5s, Google Pixel, Samsung S5 and Oppo R17/Find X or later. For example, my Note9 512GB gets up to $410 and an iPhone XS Max 512GB gets $950 trade-up.

Alternatively, Latitude Finance offers 24-months interest-free (Latitude Card terms apply, e.g. $198 fee over two years plus 24.99% penalties for not paying it off in time).

Also, some Telco’s and recyclers like Alegre offer cash-back schemes (usually at lower rates).

So, ask yourself – how much do you need the S Pen, or will you be happy with a Galaxy A50?

The answer, now, is that the 6.4-inch Galaxy A50 is a damned good handset and you would be mad to spend more. But we all aspire to more, so more is what you get.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 (includes comparisons to the untested Note10+/5G)

Website here

Manual here

Note that the Australian model is SM-N970F with a C-Tick in the regulatory information screen. It comes only in Aura Glow or Aura Black.

Do not buy any with an SHV prefix, nor the N or W suffix, nor the Qualcomm SD855 model – these are not for Australia.

In the box – Samsung Galaxy Note10

  • Galaxy Note10
  • USB fast charger Power Delivery 2.0 5V/3A, 9V/2.77 (25W) or PD 3.0 from 3.3-11V/2.55-3A (28W)
  • AKG premium USB-C buds/mic, braided cable, and replacement tips
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter
  • Clear plastic bumper case
  • S Pen and replacement tips

First impression

I am currently a 6.4-inch Note9 user, and the 6.3-inch Galaxy Note10 (remember it is the base model) looks and feels so much smaller. The Note9 is 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm x 201g and the Note10 is 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm x 168g – yes significantly smaller. Even the Note10+/5G is smaller and lighter than the Note9.