Note9 versus Galaxy Note10
Note9 left, Note10 right

In part, it is due to the 19:9 versus the Note9’s 18.5:9 screen. But the most significant change is the negligible top and bottom bezels enabled by the centre-top Infinity O-Hole camera and under-glass fingerprint sensor.

The power/Bixby key and volume up/down are now on the left. Initially, I found the ‘side’ key as Samsung calls it, a nuisance as it tended to launch Bixby if you pressed for a microsecond too long until I found where you can disable that and return it to a double press for the camera.

Now to turn it off, you must press the power and volume down keys or use the notification panel. This is a little confusing as you also use the keys for screen capture (or swipe your hand across the screen). BTW you can now screen record and overlay a video of you as well.

I suspect the Galaxy Note10 will become the Note of choice, especially for those that did not want to carry a Note9 due to size/weight.

Let’s highlight the main differences – the Left to Right columns following are Note 10, Note 10+ and Note10+/5G. Our review is only for the Galaxy Note10, and we will update it later if we receive review units for the others.

We also have to apologise that the short review period and unfavourable weather did not enable the standard photography tests.

Screen (the 5G is the same as the Note10+)

Galaxy Note10 Note10+
4G or
/5G
Size: 6.3-inch, 2280 x 1080
PPI: 401ppi
Ratio: 19:9
STBR: 91%
Dynamic AMOLED
6.8-inch, 3040 x 1440
498ppi
Same
91%
Same
Colour depth: 16M
Brightness: Claimed 1200 nits on Auto
Average/peak 750/790 nits
Contrast:  Infinity
Grey-to-grey: 8ms – suitable for games
HDR:  HDR10+ (like Dolby Vision san royalty fees and also scales HDR/HDR10/Dolby Vision)
Colour gamut: 100% DCI-P3
Delta E: 2.5 (excellent and customisable)
Settings: Natural (sRGB) and Vivid (DCI-P3) and Vivid White balance (cool to warm) as well as RGB.
Not tested yet but will be similar    
AOD: Clock: digital clock, analogue clock, world clock, and edge clock (option to choose the colour.) Calendar: Month view calendar, Today’s eventsImage: select an image from Gallery and set it as an image for the AOD screen.Animated GIFSong information Edge Panel display on right side Same
Glass: Gorilla Glass 6
Screen protection: Factory fitted
Same
Notch: Infinity O-display Same
Daylight readability: As good as it gets Same
PWM: At 236Hz. Because this screen is so bright, highly sensitive users may notice with brightness ramped down.
Low Blue Light TUV Rheinland certification
Same

How can you fall in love with a screen?

When its Samsung’s Dynamic OLED albeit the Galaxy Note10 has a 1080p display, and the others have 1440p. In reality, 99.999% of Note owners will default to the battery saving 1080p anyway. And it is one way that Samsung has kept the Galaxy Note10 cost in check.

Screen summary: We have yet to test the Note10+, but this is a screen worthy of a Note flagship.

Power

Processor Exynos 9825 7nm
2×2.73GHz Mongoose M4
2×2.4GHz Cortex-A75
4×1.9GHz Cortex-A55
Same Same
GPU Mali-G76 MP12
Game Boost mode
Adobe Rush video edit
H263/4
Same Same
RAM/Storage 8GB LPDDR4X
256GB UFS 3.0
No microSD
12GB
256 or 512GB
microSD to 1TB
Hybrid dual SIM
Same as
Note10+
Dedicated micro SD slot

The Galaxy Note10 and its brothers share the same processor. It has a healthy 8GB of RAM and 256GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage.

The Exynos has two ‘heavy lifting’ Mongoose cores, two A75 cores (also heavy hitters) and four A-55 for most work. This is an advance on typical 4+4 Big/Little architecture – it is now Thumping Big/Big/Little and helps battery life and temperature management.

We threw every heavy load test we could at it passed all with ease.

GeekBench5 is 832/2262 which is faster than the S10 at 789/2096 and Note9 at 501/2187 (multiply by five to get equivalent GeekBench4 ratings).

The 15-minute CPU Throttling test shows 153,312GIPS to 127,555GIPS (average 141,660GIPS or 88%). That is excellent and shows that Samsung has perfected the vapour chamber cooling for this super chip. Interestingly the four smaller cores are the ones that throttled – the two Mongoose and two A-75 are rock solid.

The unit got a little warm at around 40° on the back and front. Don’t put it in your pocket at 100% prolonged load.

GPU: The Mail-G76 MP12 is a powerhouse GPU and can handle all modern mobile games at maximum fps. There is a Game Booster and Game Launcher to allocate resources to the gameplay.

RAM/Storage: Critics will point to no microSD slot expansion in the Note10 (not its bigger brothers) but conveniently forget the massive 256GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage. BTW UFS 3.0 is high-speed – sequential read and write are 1500/600Mbps compared to the Note9 at 800/200. It is also a good 35% faster than the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

With ultra-fast Wi-Fi and OTG support for 2TB external disks, no microSD is something we can live with.

And something completely different is the close integration with Windows 10 devices that allows seamless transfer of files and storage – more on that later.

SoC summary: It and its Qualcomm SD855 version (sold in the US and China) are among the fastest smartphones for 2019.