The highly anticipated Note series is back and it has been officially launched in Malaysia. The Galaxy Note10 Plus paved another road to innovation with its S-Pen that it does not only able to snap photos remotely, but now it also comes with gesture controls.
Galaxy Note10 Plus
First up, lets dig into the (high) specifications of this beast.
- SoC: Exynos 9825 (7 nm), Octa-core (2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2×2.4 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4×1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Mali-G76 MP12
- OS: Android 9.0 (Pie) with One UI
- Storage/memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, microSD, up to 1 TB
Dynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
6.8 inches, 114.0 cm2 (~91.0% screen-to-body ratio)
1440 x 3040 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~498 ppi density)
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- Build: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 6), aluminum frame
- Main Camera:
12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.1, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.0µm, Super Steady video
TOF 3D VGA camera
- Selfie Camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4300 mAh battery with fast charging 45W, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Stylus (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro)
First Impressions and Design
The new Galaxy Note10 Plus is a beast, that was my first impression of it. It is after all, Samsung’s flagship monster made for those who love to draw directly on the screen. I don’t blame them. The responsiveness of the new S-Pen is super accurate. I can never write my name or signature on a mobile device without it looking like a child’s handwriting. But with this new Note10 Plus, I have beautiful handwriting.
The size of the Note10 Plus is huge. First thing you will feel when you hold it in your hand is the weight. It’s big and it’s a little heavy for some. But it feels super solid. The unit that I was testing is Aura Glow, a colour which looks different in some angles while having the rainbow colour look to it. It is however, a fingerprint magnet. I would opt for the Aura White colour because it looks plain and elegant, most of all you can’t see your fingerprints in it.
While most other brand’s flagship devices are into elevating front cameras or that kind of gimmick, the Note10 front camera comes with a little cut-out dot right at the mid-top section. I don’t know about you guys but I prefer it being at the side like the S10+.
Now the overall look of the phone is different than the Note9. First of all, the camera placement is now on the left side if you’re looking at the back and there’s no fingerprint sensor. As how Samsung’s flagship is made nowadays, the fingerprint sensor is now located under the front display.
The Note9 has a dual rear camera setup while this Note10 comes with 3 camera setup plus 1 ToF (time of flight) depth sensor camera. In this case, the ToF sensor is used to more accurately measure depth to give that bokeh effect.
On the right side of the Note10 has zero buttons because everything is moved to the left side. At the top there’s the SIM/MicroSD slot, stereo mic and speaker (for calls and audio) while at the bottom is the usual USB type-C port, second stereo mic, bottom speaker grille and the S-Pen.
As I said earlier, the Note10 is pretty heavy and big so it may be a problem for those with small hands to operate single handedly. It is also quite slippery, in my opinion. But if large screen phone is your jam, then this phone is brilliant.
Performance and Usage
When it comes to performance, nothing beats a good long test on gaming and Antutu. If you’re an avid gamer, you will know that PUBG Mobile will look great on a powerful device – especially when you set the graphic settings to the highest configuration. That’s exactly what I did with the Galaxy Note10 Plus.
With 256GB of internal space and huge 12GB of RAM to run the game, I was in for a treat. Let me tell you this, at full high graphic settings, the Note10 Plus produces smooth high quality gaming experience with PUBG Mobile. I never want to stop playing, actually. The movements and smoothness of the graphic is flawless. With its large 4,300mAh battery, gaming time was extended to about 4 hours non stop. Yes, I can get myself engrossed in PUBG for that long.
It was the best gaming experience I ever had on a mobile device, period. Why not right? It is the best from Samsung at the moment and the 12GB of RAM helps a lot! And the stereo speakers sounds great too.
As for the Antutu 3D Benchmark score, the Note10 managed a score of 359,723 on my test unit. It sits in the top 5 in the ranking list at the time of testing. I took a screenshot of that test but it went missing somewhere. My bad. If I find it, I’ll post it here later on.
The overall usage is awesome. I really enjoyed using the S-Pen to scribble around and drawing mustaches over some photos. Jotting down some notes is fun too whereby you can write something in your own handwriting and convert that into normal text format. Cool right? That is what the Note series is built for anyways.
Having said that, the S-Pen’s new innovation is something cool to mention as well. Instead of it being a remote trigger for the camera, it can also be used to control the camera using gestures. For instance, you can adjust the camera zoom just by doing the pre-designated gestures or to select different camera modes. This is really good when you’re having the phone placed on a tripod for that group selfies.
Also to note that on a full battery charge (without gaming), the Note10 Plus lasted me close to 2 days of use.
Now lets focus on the camera performance. The Note10 Plus camera comes with 3+1 camera setup, with the one being the said depth sensor. With it, you will be able to take some nice portrait shots with some cool bokeh effects. This is known in Samsung as the Live Focus function. I use this a lot. I mean, a lot. I also use it with my S10e to take that lovely portrait shots. So basically it’s the same technology for all Galaxy flagships.
The Note10 also comes with much improved night mode. It is able to take good shots at night with little lighting and less grainy problems, less “noise” as photographers calls it. Most of the photos I’ve taken is during low light or in total darkness, as you will see them below.
So let’s see some photos.
All I can say is that the camera doesn’t disappoint. I managed to get clear and vibrant shots 99% of the time even during low light. That 1% is for some shots taken while on the move or in a moving vehicle.
What I love about it is the Live Focus shots as well as the Ultrawide Angle shots. Unfortunately I was testing the Note10 during the severe haze weather, therefore I don’t have much wide angle landscape shots that I can show.
While we’re on the subject of Live Focus, the same function is also available in video mode. You can now take some cool bokeh effect while using the video. This made it look more nicer and having that professional touch a little bit. But, the video live focus is something still new with the Galaxy series so do expect it to be a little bit wonky. The focus can sometimes be off and the effect can appear fake most of the times. Hopefully Samsung can fix this problem soon with new software updates, maybe.
No doubt that the new Galaxy Note10 Plus is my current favourite from Samsung and it lived up to its name.
The ample internal space is very useful for long term usage and I’m sure that this Note10 is pretty much future proof, thanks to its powerful chipset and huge 12GB of RAM.
Gaming is very pleasing with the Note10. It eliminates the lag, the stutter, the boring low graphic effects for any games available. I think It spent too much time playing PUBG Mobile on the Note10 Plus but it was well worth it.
If you’re looking to be creative, the new S-Pen on the Note10 is really good. You can use it to draw, colour and even sign your own name with ease. I use it a lot for taking selfies, I bet you guys will use it for the same reason as well.
So what’s my take on the new Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus? It’s a 9/10 for me. More can be done in the camera performance like better video live focus. This can be a winning point for Note series, or for the entire Galaxy series as well. But as for the performance, daily usage, entertainment, social media and other normal tasks, the Note10 Plus reigns supreme.
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus is available for purchase starting from RM4,199.00 at Samsung’s official online store.