Galaxy Note10 showing handwriting to text conversion

In practice, text conversions were surprisingly accurate, even with my fairly sub-standard handwriting. You can also colourise your handwriting, and even increase or decrease its line thickness.

You can also have a bit of fun with the S-Pen with the AR Doodle feature. The idea is that you can ‘pin’ doodles and pre-set objects to subjects in your videos, which will then be ‘motion-tracked’ in 3D. So, for example, you could draw a cheeky set of cat ears over your friend’s head, add a few balloons, and these items would stay in place, even when your friend moves their head. You can even move around them, and they will stay in place.

PC Productivity

Starting with Samsung’s DeX, which is an ‘extension’ of the Note’s Android operation system when connected to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Now, DeX enables drag and drop funcitonality between a PC and the Note10 when connected via USB. Users can also control their apps with a mouse and a keyboard, while keeping their data secure on their phone through Samsung Knox.

Galaxy Note10 showing PC connectivity

There’s also a new ‘Link to Windows‘ feature. This is more of a direct integration to a Windows PC via the Quick Panel. Samsung says: “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.” Users will also now be able to make and receive calls from their PC.

Getting creative

The Galaxy Note9’s video was already pretty good, and the Note10 is a step up. The new Live Focus video mode adds a shadow ‘depth-of-field’ effect, which separates your subject from its background by adding ‘bokeh’ or a soft focus. There are also a couple of creative modes which keeps your subject in colour while changing the background to black and white, or even a distorted ’80s VHS’ effect.

While we didn’t get to try it, the Zoom-In Mic effect lets you zero in on the audio from a single source and reduce background noise. This is possible because the Note 10 has multiple microphones, so you can effecting cut out audio from mics that are furthest away from your target.

Galaxy Note10 showing Live Focus Video feature
The Live Focus Video feature in action

Editing your video footage gets easier too, with the help of a new video editor. You can use the S-Pen to trim clips, move them around on your timeline and add transition effects.

For those wanting a more sophisticated and powerful editor, Samsung has partnered with Adobe Rush. This can also be controlled via the S-Pen.

Lastly, for games streamers and video-bloggers (vloggers) or anyone who likes creating on-screen tutorials, there’s a new screen recorder too. This can record what’s happening on screen as well as handwritten S-Pen annotations, and the view from your cameras.

Battery matters

Samsung says that the Note10 can last all day with just a 30 minute charge. While we haven’t had a chance to test its claims, the 3500mAh and 4300mAh batteries the Note10 and 10+ can apparently be 100 percent charged in just 30 minutes.

This is considerably better than any other premium smartphone, including the Huawei P30 Pro’s 70 percent battery top up in 30 minutes. However, you’ll need to purchase a separate 45 watt fast charger to get this performance, and this will set you back $69.

Samsung Note10 charging a watch.
The reverse wireless charging can top up your smartwatch or headphones

We assume that the in-box ‘fast’ charger will give you something closer to Huawei’s 70 percent charge in 30 minuets.

Otherwise, like the S10, the Galaxy Note10 can do reverse wireless charging, such as topping up your Galaxy Gear smartwatch by placing it against the back of the phone. There’s also some clever AI-driven battery management technology to throttle battery conservation up or down depending on what you’re doing.

When and how much?

Pricing and memory variants for the Galaxy Note10 range in Australia are:

  • Galaxy Note10 (256GB)                RRP$1,499
  • Galaxy Note10+ (256GB)              RRP$1,699
  • Galaxy Note10+ 5G (512GB)        RRP$1,999

The pre-order period begins August 8, with an on-sale date of August 23, 2019.