Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review


Samsung releases two high-end series every year. Earlier this year the Galaxy S-series got the new Samsung Galaxy S10 and this time it is the turn of the Galaxy Note 10. The distinctive S Pen is back again and brings new functions to the series. Note 10 is available in two models. In addition to the regular Galaxy Note 10, there is also the larger Galaxy Note 10+. In addition to a larger screen, the Plus model also has some other functions that we do not find on the regular version. In this review, we look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Main Features


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a Cinematic Infinity-O display. In this case, the O stands for the hole in the display. Here you will find the ten-megapixel front camera. The Dynamic AMOLED screen has a maximum resolution of 3,040 by 1,440 pixels and is certified for HDR10 +. Onboard we find the Samsung Exynos 9825 processor, no less than 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB or 512 GB of storage memory.

On the back, we find four cameras, where the camera set-up is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S10 that was released earlier this year. There is a main camera of 12-megapixels, a wide-angle lens of 16-megapixels and a telephoto lens of 16-megapixels. New is the fourth camera, which by the way misses the regular Note 10, namely the time of flight camera. This brings new possibilities concerning photos, videos and augmented reality. The battery has a capacity of 4,300 mAh. The S Pen is back again and supports, among other things, the so-called Air Actions, where you can control the smartphone remotely via gestures, and the possibility of directly converting written notes to a Word document.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Design


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is beautiful to see. At the bottom, you will find a small screen border, but otherwise, we are dealing with a front-filling display on the device. It is a curved display with pretty sharp curved corners. The corners are bent more sharply than the predecessors in the Note series and this new model is just a bit thinner than the Galaxy Note 9. The device is equipped with Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and the back. Yet the sharp corners and the thin design do have a small downside. Even in combination with the very large screen, the device is not always nice to hold. Operation with one hand is therefore virtually impossible. You need two hands or you will have to use the S Pen. You will find the physical buttons on the left this time. Not only the volume buttons but also the on/off button can be found on the left side of the case.



The glass case does have a major drawback. After all, it is quite a fingerprint magnet and the glass is also quite smooth. A cover is therefore also recommended, but this is of course at the expense of the beautiful design. Fortunately, Samsung has already placed a screen protector on the display. You can choose from the colors Aura Black or Aura Glow. We have tested this last device. At first, it seems to be a shiny silver case, but as soon as the light comes into play, the Aura Glow version shows all the colors of the rainbow.
Display

The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ scored very high in the Display Mate test and is not for nothing among the best smartphone screens of the moment. On the display is, therefore, nothing to criticize. The colors are fantastic, the brightness very good and the screen very sharp. There is absolutely nothing to criticize about the experience with the display. The resolution of the 6.8 scherm screen can be adjusted up to a maximum of 3,040 by 1,440 pixels. This amounts to 498 pixels per inch. The curved Dynamic Amoled screen does present a small problem and you sometimes accidentally activate something on the screen along the sharply curved side edges.

Below the display, we also find an Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner. Your fingerprint is registered in 3d. This makes the fingerprint sensor work even if your fingers are wet or dirty, that sometimes causes problems on other smartphones. It is not the fastest fingerprint sensor under the screen, but it is fine. The display is interrupted by a hole in the display for the front camera. You can find this at the top in the middle. I was not bothered by it while watching a movie or series, but this will be different for everyone.

Connectivity


All modern connectivity options that you can expect from a modern flagship are present. Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 3G and 4G and there is also a fingerprint sensor under the screen. Bad news for the fans of the headphone jack, because Samsung has omitted the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company attaches great importance to productivity with the Note 10 series. We see that for example in Samsung Dex (for a desktop environment) and Link to Windows (bring your smartphone to a Windows 10 PC).

Speakers


Entertainment on a smartphone has never been my thing at all. Why should I watch movies or series or play games on a small screen if I also have a large television at home? The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ lets me adjust my opinion somewhat. This is not only due to the fantastic 6.8-inch display but also to the sound. Especially when you switch on Dolby Atmos, the double speakers (above and below) will provide you with more than enough sound. And if the quality of that sound is also fine, then Samsung has put a real entertainment monster on the market with the Galaxy Note 10+. It's great how Samsung managed to get the sound from a much larger speaker. Instead, we are dealing with two small stereo speakers in a smartphone. The sound is rich in detail in all layers and even something of the bass seems to come from the small speaker. The supplied earplugs from AKG are also of excellent quality.

Cameras


Three of the four cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ are identical to those of the Samsung Galaxy S10. There is a primary sensor of 12-megapixels, a wide-angle lens of 16-megapixels and a telephoto lens with a two-times optical zoom of 12-megapixels. In general, these cameras deliver good photos, especially in daylight. Photos have a lot of detail, beautiful colors and look natural. In a dark environment, the quality quickly drops, also in the night mode. Noise is quickly visible, whereby the device is unable to compensate for the higher ISO value with software. In contrast to the two cameras on the front of the Samsung Galaxy S10 +, the Note 10+ has only one camera on the front. This generally delivers excellent performance.



Samsung has introduced some new functions, in part to the fourth time-of-flight camera. Unique in a smartphone is the addition of bokeh videos. With Live Focus, you can not only take photos with a sharp foreground and a blurred background, but this is also possible on the device with video. However, the results vary, as the subject is not regularly cut properly. So you will have to make such a video several times and then hope that the result is satisfactory. Also new is drawing in augmented reality. With the camera app, you can draw live in 3d. You can then walk around your creation. So you can draw mustaches or a beard on a face, after which it will stick to it and you can walk around it. Nice to have a try,
for the rest, the 4k videos on the device are of excellent quality, whereby the device also manages to leave the Huawei P30 Pro behind. In terms of photos, the Huawei P30 Pro remains the winner.



Battery life


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a large battery of 4,300 mAh on board. This will certainly make it to the end of the day, but two days without recharging you are unlikely to make it. Fortunately, you can quickly recharge the device and wireless charging is also supported. A 25W charger is included as standard. This allows you to fully charge the device again within an hour and a half. It is therefore remarkable that the device supports fast-charging up to 45 watts. However, you will have to purchase a 45W charger separately for around 50 euros. A remarkable choice from Samsung, especially since the device is already well priced.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Software


Samsung and software is always a thing. By default you get Android 9.0 Pie on the device and Samsung also uses its own software shell OneUI. For the user, this means a whole range of Samsung apps. Nice for the Samsung enthusiast, but less fun for people who don't use it.

Yet it all works pretty well. Samsung has made a step forward with OneUI. Menus are generally very well-arranged, with the settings menu, in particular, making it quickly clear where you can change a particular function. An app drawer is also available as standard. You can change several things, such as the order of the Android icons at the bottom of the screen, and there is a dark mode present. There are functions available to make operation with one hand a bit easier and in addition to the standard Android icons, you can also opt for operation with gestures. The S Pen can also play a role in this, with various Samsung apps allowing you to use the so-called Air Actions. The built-in screen recorder is also great for directly recording images of what is happening on the screen.

I am slightly less satisfied with Bixby, the smart assistant from Samsung. Although a physical Bixby button is fortunately absent this time, you only have to swipe to the left from your home screen to be immediately overloaded with dozens of windows. It's unclear, unnecessary and actually, we just want the Google Discover feed here instead of Bixby.

However, if you are used to OneUI and Samsung's view on Android, then you are good with the software on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. When you start the device for the first time, you can check which apps may be pre-installed. Unfortunately, you cannot choose everything and you will always be stuck with applications that you cannot remove. Despite the well-arranged menus for the settings, OneUI sometimes just wants too much, bombarding the user with an abundance of windows. Slightly less crowded and full, in our opinion, would have liked. Knowing Samsung, Android Q will take a while, but during the test period, several updates appeared for the device. The last security update of August is therefore available.



Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ - in use


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is large, very large. Operation with one hand is therefore virtually impossible. However, if you take this fact into account and you can live with it, then Samsung has launched a fantastic device with the Galaxy Note 10+. The hardware is fast, the display is excellent, the speakers bring a full sound experience to the smartphone and the design of the glass is a feast for the eyes. The software might drop a few stitches here and there, but once you have mastered OneUI you can work well with it. The device is perhaps not as comfortable in the hand as some other flagships, this is mainly due to the sharp corners, but it is annoying nowhere.

The updated S Pen is a welcome addition to the device. The stylus fits well in the hand and this time has a physical button. It sometimes takes a while to find out where the button is exactly, but it all works reasonably well. In addition to the fact that you can quickly make notes on the screen with the S Pen, the Air Actions are the biggest innovation with the Note 10+. The new S Pen lets you control the device remotely using gestures. For example, you can remotely control the camera app and, by pressing the button and making a gesture from bottom to top, open the selfie camera. Do you want to use a different camera function? Press the button and gesture from left to right to swipe through the menu. Do you want to zoom in with the camera? Press the button and make a circular motion with the S Pen in your hand.

You have to move fairly precisely and make straight lines, otherwise, you will soon be on the wrong menu. Is it fun to do it once? Hell yes. Is it useful? Opinions on that will be divided. You have to make fairly accurate gestures, otherwise, you will quickly adjust all kinds of things that you did not intend to do at all. In particular, zooming in does not work well, with regular wrong gestures being detected. The S Pen not only works within the camera app but can also be used in other Samsung applications. Samsung has opened the doors for developers to be able to bring the Air Actions to third-party applications.

Another useful function of the S Pen is to convert written notes directly to the text in, for example, a Word document. Do you have a meeting and are you taking notes? You can convert it directly to a text file. You do not have to worry that your handwriting is difficult to read, because even my gibberish has almost always been converted into a Word document. Here too the question is whether it is really useful because you cannot put so many written texts on the display. And to make a separate text file from each note, you only get more work done.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is one of the best smartphones of the moment. The device has a beautiful design and a fantastic screen. The hardware is fast and the new functions of the S Pen are also an added value for the device. Yet this smartphone is not for everyone. The extensive possibilities of the S Pen, Samsung DeX and Link to Windows will not be used by everyone. I also caught myself leaving the S Pen in the case regularly. Are you a business user? Then this might be the device for you. The Note 10+ offers real added value during meetings, presentations or during creative showers. Are you just looking for a good smartphone without these extra functions? The average consumer can also do very well with the Samsung Galaxy S10 + off the feet. Even then you have a large display and fast hardware at your disposal. The camera set-up is also almost the same. However, the device is now considerably cheaper than the starting price of 1,099 euros for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.

Performance


In terms of performance, we can be short about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. Everything you let this device do will be done quickly and without delays. The Exynos 9825 processor is fast enough, the working memory of 12 GB is perhaps even a bit too much and the (expandable) storage memory of 256 GB or 512 GB will ensure that you have more than enough storage space available.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Conclusion


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is perhaps the best smartphone of the moment. The display is fantastic, the hardware is fast and you will also not find a better smartphone in the entertainment field. Yet this device is not for everyone. The various functions of the S Pen, Link to Windows, Samsung Dex, SmartThings and Bixby will by no means be used by every consumer. This smartphone is therefore especially ideal for the business user who needs the creativity and flexibility of a smartphone. For the ordinary consumer, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ may have too many functions that will not be used and then it would be a shame to spend more than a thousand euros on a smartphone. If you do choose this device, then we understand that very well.

Negatives


  • OneUI is (sometimes) too busy
  • No 45W fast charger included
  • Not for everyone
  • Pricey device

Pros


  • Fantastic screen
  • Fast hardware
  • Renewed S Pen
  • Excellent speakers
  • Glass housing

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