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For the first time ever, Samsung has launched not one but two new Galaxy Note smartphones. This includes a compact 6.3 inch Galaxy Note10 along with a massive 6.8 inch Galaxy Note10+ model. The bigger Note10+ is available in both 4G and 5G variants.

Garry McGregor, Vice-President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia, said: “The Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are the ultimate devices for today’s power user whose mobile phone is at the centre of how they manage their lives. It features a long-lasting battery, a pro-grade camera with a full kit of lenses and a super-fast processor to deliver incredible computing power.

Galaxy Note10 rotating and showing colours
Australian colour choices include Aura Glow and Aura Black

High-end hardware

In a nutshell, the Galaxy Note10 and 10+ benefit from many of the same high-end components and features as Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S10 5G premium smartphone. This includes processors, graphics, memory, battery technology and the rear-facing 4-camera array.

Compared to the Note9, the Note10 has a 33 percent faster CPU and 43 percent faster GPU.

The four rear facing cameras include standard, wide and ultra wide lenses, along with a ‘time of flight’ camera for 3D depth perception on the Note10+. We’ve covered this excellent camera system at length in our Galaxy S10 review, which you can read about here.

An almost ‘infinite’ screen

The edge-to-edge cinematic Infinity displays are nearly bezel-less, and the Note 10+ takes up 94% of the front of the device. Samsung is an expert in display technology and the Dynamic OLED display shows it. Colourful and bright, it support HDR 10+ with dynamic tone mapping and a wide colour range. The displays are said to be brighter than previous Note phones, and are UL Verified for 98 percent colour and brightness uniformity.

Galaxy Note10 and S-Pen

There’s nearly no ‘notch’ to house the camera array either. Instead, there’s one very small circular window positioned in the top centre edge and is hardly noticeable. This may come as a relief to those who don’t like the larger top right camera oval found on the Galaxy S10.

All about S-Pen

What really sets the Galaxy Note apart from its premium smartphone competitors is its S-Pen, or stylus.

This year, the S-Pen takes another leap forward. It While the stylus on last year’s Note9 could be used as a remote shutter for taking photos, the new S-Pen can perform ‘air actions’. These are pen ‘gestures’ that control different camera functions as well as helping you browse and play your media, without ever touching the screen.

For example, with an upwards flick, you can switch been the front-facing selfie camera and the rear camera. A sideways gesture can move you from photo to video mode. You can make a ‘c’ motion to zoom in or zoom out, and a tap of the pen’s button can start recording.

Galaxy Note10 showing Air Gesture feature
The new S-Pen ‘air actions’

You can use gestures to browse through your photos and videos with a sideways swipe, or click the button to play back a video or start a music track.

When testing this, it took about a minute to get the hang of the gestures. After that, it’s quite easy to flick your pen to control the camera. The system detects fairly small gestures, so you can be subtle about it. Gestures will come in handy when your phone is out of reach, such as on a tripod, selfie stick or propped up on a desk.

Samsung has opened up the Air Actions SDK for developers so they can create customised gestures for new ways to interact with games and applications.

Handwriting to text conversions

The S-Pen has always been great for scribbling down notes. However, hand-written notes are not searchable, and not so great for sharing. Now, the Galaxy Note 10 can convert your hand-scrawls into text in real time. You simply write notes as usual, draw a marquee box around what you want to convert. Your text can then be imported into a Word document or PDF or copied to an email or text message.

The artificially intelligent conversion engine is taught to understand different styles of handwriting by analysing hundreds of thousands of different examples.