Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review

The Samsung Galaxy Note brand has been a symbol of excellence in the smartphone industry.

These phones are known for their tall and sleek design, and they’re probably the most technically perfect pieces of hardware as far as smartphones are concerned.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is no different. With a huge 6.8-inch display and a hole-punch camera, the phone gives you perhaps the largest screen on any phone. However, does that justify its $1100 price tag?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is the one of the best smartphones on the market

The Display

The Note 10 has a 6.8-inch screen and an infinity O Display, which basically means it has a hole-punch for a front-facing camera.

The display is the signature OLED from Samsung, which is considered one of the best in the industry.

Year by year, these displays have impressed with their color saturation and industry-standard brightness. However, this one doesn’t quite match up with the best in the industry now.

The reason is that a company by the name of OnePlus came out with a 90 Hz display this year. And that phone, the OnePlus 7 Pro, starts at $669. While this is a nit-pick for some, it really is something that should’ve been delivered for $1100. And since the Note is known for being the smartphone that has everything, there’s no excuse.

The S-Pen

The S-Pen is a remnant from the days of the Nokia E-series phones. While many tablets have use for them today, no major smartphone has them except the Note.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus has given the stylus some air gestures this time around. So you can wave the stylus around like a magic wand and fast-forward videos, or scroll through settings.

Whether that’s something you’ll be using in your daily life is beside the point. Every phone has a gimmick and this is the Galaxy Note 10’s.

The S-Pen still does everything that you know it to do. It still takes notes on the lock screen. It still takes photographs with that button at the bottom. And it still fits neatly in that pocket inside the Note 10.

However, the S-Pen, for me, has never been a feature that I really use. It’s not something that I would buy if Samsung decided to remove it someday.

That being said, a feature that has been with the phone for so long can be forgiven for only holding sentimental value. As long as it’s not affecting space for the battery or for any other internals I’m good. However, it seems Samsung could’ve done with removing the S-Pen this time to make room for the headphone jack.

The Internals

Yes, I know, the headphone jack is now gone from almost all smartphones, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good decision.

Yes, Samsung provides you with a pair of USB-C headphones out of the box, but their quality is poor. I hate the fact that I have to discard my headphones completely because the industry has moved on. Either way, I’ll give Samsung props for at least sticking with it as long as it had.

The rear Camera on the Note 10 is a triple-camera system. There is a 16 MP ultra-wide lens with a 12MP regular lens. There is also a 12MP telephoto lens which helps take portrait shots. The front camera has a 10MP sensor. All of this is pretty standard.

There is high dynamic range that is in line with most flagships and the photos all turn out pretty great. The Pixel 3 is still the undisputed champ here.

The other internals of the Galaxy Note 10 are the best in the industry. It has 12 GB of RAM, 256 of Storage and a Snapdragon 855 processor. You can even add $100 more to get the 512 GB version.

There’s a 4,300 mAh battery which can last you throughout the day. However, you probably won’t get as much battery life here as with the Huawei P30 Pro or OnePlus 7 Pro. In our battery tests, the Note 10 gave 4-5 hours of screen time on heavy use. This includes watching Netflix, streaming YouTube, playing videogames, browsing the internet, etc.

That being said, the internals of the Note 10 pack a punch and will definitely give you more juice than the average phone.

The Performance

The performance of the Note 10 is top notch. The internals really translate to give you fast and fluid motion. The One UI that Samsung rolled out has really optimized the performance of their flagships.

While the S Series and the Note phones used to feel bloated when compared to other flagships, they do seem much faster now. The animations are more fluid, the scrolling speed is much faster, and there are nearly no hiccups. The real test will be to see how the phone fares 6 months or a year down the road. That’s when the effects of bloatware will begin to show.

Bixby

And speaking of bloatware, let’s talk about Bixby. The smart assistant from Samsung still has a dedicated button on the Note 10 just like on the S10. The assistant still doesn’t do much and is bad at recognizing commands when compared to Google Assistant.

By the way, you can still access the latter on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which completely makes Bixby unnecessary.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is a solid phone all around. It is the best phone that Samsung has ever built.

However, that’s really not saying much today. Smartphones have reached a plateau of performance upgrades. And the Galaxy Note 10 really doesn’t differentiate itself from the competition in any major way.

It looks like a Samsung offering, without a doubt. However, there is no it factor to make me suggest this phone over any other flagship out there.

Score: 8/10

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