Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ hands-on: A new model changes the game, for better or worse

    When I picked up the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, it felt like I used to be holding essentially the most highly effective and delightful cellphone on the planet. A 6.3-inch show, near-bezel-less design, triple-camera array, and supercharged S Pen are all crammed into an impossibly compact design. And then I picked up the Note 10+.

    For the primary time within the Note’s storied historical past, there are two sizes to select from, and the distinction between the 2 fashions couldn’t be clearer. While Samsung has arrange the Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones to be principally bigger and smaller variations of the identical system, the Note 10+ is a transparent improve from the Note 10—a lot in order that many followers probably gained’t even take into account the smaller, lower-end mannequin.

    First, let’s evaluation the specs, which actually don’t inform the entire story…

    Galaxy Note 10

    • Dimensions: 71.8 x 151 x 7.9mm
    • Display: 6.3-inch AMOLED FHD 2280 x 1080
    • Processor: Snapdragon 855
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 256GB
    • Camera: 12MP telephoto Camera, f/2.1, OIS + 12MP wide-angle, twin f/1.5-f/2.4, OIS + 16MP Ultra huge (123 levels), f/2.1
    • Battery: 3,500mAh

    Galaxy Note 10+

    • Dimensions: 77.2 x 162.3 x 7.9mm
    • Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED QHD 3040 x 1440
    • Processor: Snapdragon 855
    • RAM: 12GB
    • Storage: 256GB/512GB
    • Camera: 12MP telephoto Camera, f/2.1, OIS + 12MP wide-angle, twin f/1.5-f/2.4, OIS + 16MP Ultra huge (123 levels), f/2.1 + DepthVision
    • Battery: 4,300mAh

    While the 6.8-inch show may make the Note 10+ look like a monster on paper, it’s not practically so huge in individual. In reality, its body is roughly the identical dimension because the 6.4-inch Note 9’s (76.4 x 161.9 x 8.8mm). That’s as a result of Samsung has significantly trimmed down the bezels on the Note 10 collection, a lot in order that the non-plus model feels downright puny. It’s not simply smaller than the Note 9 and the Note 8 both. Millimeter for millimeter, it’s essentially the most compact Note because the Note 2, and its show is definitely a tenth of an inch smaller than the Note 9’s.

    Michael Simon/IDG

    The 6.3-inch Note 10 (left) is positively tiny in comparison with the 6.4-inch Note 9.

    That makes the Note 10 really feel much less like the most recent within the lineage of premium phablets and extra like a Galaxy S cellphone that occurs to have a stylus. That’s not a criticism, nor does the Note 10 feels low-cost and even inferior. It simply doesn’t really feel like a Note. In reality, Samsung made its motivations clear throughout my briefing: This is the Note for individuals who’ve at all times wished a Note, however have been delay by its dimension. It’s actually spectacular that Samsung was capable of pack such a large-screened and high-performing system into such a small bundle, however I don’t suppose long-time Note followers will respect the dip in display dimension, even whether it is only a tenth of an inch.

    Other tweaks—just like the comparatively low-res HD display and the shortage of an MicroSD card slot, each nonstarters for Note die-hards—solely drive house that notion additional. For the primary time, Samsung has made a Note that Note followers in all probability will not need. 

    The Note 10+, however, is each inch a phablet. Its display is the largest I’ve utilized in a Samsung cellphone (or in any cellphone for that matter), and it consists of the high-end options which can be lacking from the smaller Note 10, primarily a Quad HD 1440p show. The distinction between the 2 shows is apparent at even a primary look. Even after a short while with it, I’ve no qualms about declaring the Note 10+’s show as one of the best to ever grace a smartphone.

    note 10 selfie cam Michael Simon/IDG

    The centered selfie cam gap is far much less distracting on the Note 10.

    Like on the S10, the Note 10+’s dynamic AMOLED show is a stunner. The Note 10’s design enhances it much more, with barely any bezels and a extra symmetrical digital camera cutout. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to holding a floating pane of touchscreen glass in my hand. That mentioned, the Note 10 continues to be very a lot a Note, all the way down to its trademark tight corners, flat edges, and shell colours, which in fact consists of the same old white, black, and blue. There’s additionally a brand new “Aura Glow” iridescent choice that adjustments shade based mostly on how the sunshine strikes it.

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