Note 10 Plus review: Damn, that’s a good phone

    Samsung makes glorious telephones that verify practically each field of what you’d need in a tool: a transparent, sensible display screen. Great cameras. Strong battery life. But it has been years since all the person components have come collectively in a means that makes me sit again and say, “Wow.” The Galaxy Note 10 Plus does that in a means that is eluded Samsung telephones because the tragic Galaxy Note 7. This is not only a telephone that has all of it — it is a telephone I genuinely need to use. The Note 10 Plus is the whole package deal and the very best telephone Samsung’s made in years.The prismatic Aura Glow shade I examined is totally putting to take a look at, the options are practically all best-of-breed and Samsung has even labored to shut the hole between its digital camera instruments and camera-centric rivals just like the Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3. The Note 10 Plus additionally fixes my two main complaints about spring’s Galaxy S10 Plus (which remains to be a fantastic telephone): the in-screen fingerprint reader is dramatically extra correct this time round, and the digital camera’s devoted evening mode improves photograph high quality in low gentle.Even the Note 10 Plus’ largest drawbacks are straightforward sufficient to swallow. There’s no headphone jack (Samsung was one of many final main holdouts). You could have to relearn how you utilize the facility button to show off the telephone and take screenshots. The depth-sensing digital camera does not do a lot. And it is costly — beginning at $1,100 (£999, AU$1,699) with a 5G model that prices $1,300 (£1,099 or AU$1,999).
    Keep in thoughts that the Note 10 Plus is not a mainstream telephone. It nonetheless targets energy customers who need a huge gadget and can truly use the included S Pen stylus. It’s overkill for individuals who need a smaller telephone or are utterly uninterested within the stylus.Samsung additionally launched a smaller model of the Note 10, which has a 6.3-inch display screen and prices $150 lower than the Plus, coming in at $949. Samsung additionally pulls again on the specs (e.g., much less RAM, no microSD card storage), however it might nonetheless do 90% of what the Plus mannequin can do. I’ll begin reviewing that one quickly. Scroll to the tip for a full specs comparability.If you are on the fence, keep in mind that the iPhone 11 (probably due in September), Google Pixel 4 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro (probably coming in October) are across the nook. But for the primary time in a very long time, I can say to energy customers: Why wait? The Note 10 Plus is excellent, and value shopping for. What’s on this evaluate: Read on for the very best and worst of the Note 10 Plus, then stick round to find out about how good the brand new digital camera options are, life with out the headphone jack, gesture controls, all-day battery life and the way it compares to different rival telephones.View full gallery Just take a look at this magnificence.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Best Note 10 Plus featuresSophisticated, squared-off design with Gorilla Glass 6 on each side.Prismatic Aura Glow and Aura Blue (US-only) backing.Symmetrical front-facing digital camera placement (these wallpapers put it to good use).Fast, correct in-screen fingerprint reader.Snappy efficiency with the Snapdragon 855 chipset.Excellent pictures, with fairly good standalone evening mode (extra under).Camera software program, like built-in video editor and portrait mode video, is effectively executed.S Pen stylus is comfy and straightforward to make use of; fewer unintentional button presses.Gesture navigation with the S Pen is smart.Fast wired and wi-fi charging (25- and 15-watt, respectively).New display screen recorder app is a pleasant contact — you’ll be able to seize audio, too.Samsung DeX is simple to arrange on Windows and Mac.Link to Windows works as marketed to reflect choose content material from Note 10 to Windows 10 PC.View full gallery The S Pen is comfy to carry and use.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Worst Note 10 Plus featuresNo 3.5mm headphone jack.AR digital camera solely works with one underdeveloped app (3D scanner to return).Power/lock/Bixby button on the left makes powering off and taking screenshots difficult at first.Yes, you are going to need a case.It’s a smudge magnet — you will have to continuously clear the telephone.View full gallery Your USB-C port and headphone jack at the moment are one and the identical.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Photo high quality, evening mode, portrait video, video enhancingCameras: 16-megapixel extremely wide-angle lens12-megapixel wide-angle lens (most important, dual-aperture digital camera)12-megapixel telephoto lensDepth-sensing digital camera10-megapixel front-facing digital cameraThe Note 10 Plus has the identical most important cameras because the Galaxy S10 Plus (it provides that depth-sensing lens), however Samsung’s put a number of effort into enhancing the telephone’s software program, and that goes a protracted option to making the telephone simpler to make use of for taking pictures.  View full gallery The Note 10 Plus has a 3D depth-sensing digital camera to go together with the principle three.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Daytime images is great, however the devoted evening mode is the place Samsung actually steps it up. This mode, discovered within the digital camera app, takes just a few seconds to course of a photograph, actually drawing out colours and particulars from a darkish scene. I want Samsung would add a count-down clock, so you know the way lengthy to carry the telephone nonetheless, however pictures taken on this mode could make a giant distinction. Samsung’s shade processing can overbrighten in some night-mode situations, the place auto mode truly produces a extra pleasing, higher-contrast picture — so do not plan to make use of it each time. The Note 10 Plus additionally does attention-grabbing issues with video. Live Focus video mode provides a depth impact to video, and you’ll select amongst 4 filters for each your entrance and rear cameras. Jawlines and extremities can blur, and a few of my curly hair smeared into the background, however the deal with the face in all fairness good. Another new function turns up the quantity on the supply of music once you zoom in. I examined this out on 4 totally different musical acts and… John Travolta doing the twist. Called zoom-in-audio, it really works as marketed, however some situations are more practical than others. It’s laborious to reposition the main focus as you zoom and picture high quality suffers once you zoom in too carefully. Applause throughout for the baked-in video editor that permits you to add musical tracks, trim and add textual content. It’s nice to have the ability to rapidly produce a easy video on-device and share it out instantly.AR Doodle is a function that acquired a number of press when it first got here out, as a result of it is distinctive and highlights the facility of the S Pen. You hop into video mode and may document a brief video of your self, another person, or a scene on this planet round you (it seems to day trip after a minute). For instance, I had enjoyable embracing my punk facet (see the video if you happen to’re curious), and skywriting over the San Francisco skyline. 

    Fun and foolish as AR Doodle is, it nonetheless wants work and does not have a transparent sense of objective. Some pen suggestions are laborious to put in writing with, strokes disappeared over time, and there is not any clear option to take a nonetheless photograph of your completed murals. Side word: AR Doodle does not use the depth-sensing digital camera.

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