One of the most anticipated smartphone announcements is now behind us, as Samsung announced its Galaxy Note 10 devices in New York. The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ were announced, and will likely be amongst the most popular smartphones in the world, in the coming year or so.
This was the first time since 2014 that Samsung decided to announce two Galaxy Note flagships at the same time, and the second time ever. There's plenty to like when it comes to the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, as it should be, considering that these are aiming to be amongst the best smartphones in the market.
On the other hand, there are also some negatives in the story, as per usual, nothing is perfect. Positives and negatives are a subjective thing, though, and we're here to share our views with you, in a new iteration in "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" series, this time around, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are the talking points.
The design of the Galaxy Note 10 series phones does come to mind when we think of good things to say about these two handsets. The two phones are almost identical in terms of the design, both are made out of metal and glass, and both are curved on both front and back sides.
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ do sport curved displays as well, and those curves are not exaggerated as they some on some other phones, so holding and using these two devices is not a huge pain… unless you really hate slippery phones, which is a downside of metal + glass design.
Speaking of the design, it's difficult not to mention those thin bezels that Samsung included here, which makes their gorgeous displays even more pronounced. The display hole is an obstruction, but that part belongs in a different category in this article.
Speaking of the display, that's also one thing that can be considered "Good" in the whole story, great even. The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ both feature Samsung's Dynamic AMOLED panels, though the Galaxy Note 10+'s offers higher resolution, as it is a QHD+ panel, compared to the fullHD+ panel that Samsung included on the Galaxy Note 10.
Both displays are gorgeous to the eye, though, and even though "only" the fullHD+ panel lies inside the Galaxy Note 10, chances are that won't bother the vast majority of people, as that is one of the best displays around, for sure.
Charging-related improvements are one of the high points of the Galaxy Note 10 series, no doubt about that. The Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S10 series offered 15W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 9W reverse wireless charging… well, the Galaxy Note 10 series improves on that, for the most part, though the improvement is more prominent on the Galaxy Note 10+.
The Galaxy Note 10+ supports 45W fast wired charging, and 15W wireless charging, while reverse wireless charging is also included. Only wired charging speeds have been improved, but we're still not sure about reverse wireless charging aka Wireless PowerShare. Do note that a 45W charger does not come included with the Galaxy Note 10+, you'll have to purchase it separately.
The Galaxy Note 10 has also seen improvements in the charging department, as it now supports 25W wired charging, but wireless charging has been downgraded. The phone supports 12W wireless charging, compared to 15W from the Galaxy Note 9. The phone also comes with Wireless PowerShare, but we don't know how fast will it be able to charge other devices.
Every time positive aspects of the Galaxy Note 10 are the topic, it's really difficult not to mention the S Pen. Samsung's very own stylus has been a part of the Galaxy Note lineup ever since the first Galaxy Note came to life, and it has evolved a lot over the years.
This time around, Samsung has created an even better S Pen stylus, by adding both an accelerometer and a gyrometer into the accessory. That enables the stylus to utilize some motion gestures, which allow you to get even more control over the camera, and some other aspects of the device. On top of that, all Galaxy Note 9 S Pen features are included here as well.
The display on both the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ may be great, and the device may look really good overall, but that display camera hole does bring the experience down a notch. Both the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ have a display camera hole, which is centered at the top of the display, and that is arguably a worse solution than the one on the Galaxy S10 series.
Both devices feature a single camera sensor on the front, so that hole is not as large as something you'd get on the Galaxy S10+, but it still sits within the content, and it does not allow you to consume media as you should on the device, when in landscape, at the very least. The phone would look much better without it.
Samsung's very own software did come a long way over the year, but it's still not where it's supposed to be. If you've used the Galaxy Note 9 or one of the devices from the Galaxy S10 series, then you know what to expect here.
During our brief time with the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, we did not experience any issues with the software, or anything of the sort, but it still feels like Samsung is trying to do everything at once. A long list of Samsung services and apps are included here, and that just doesn't feel necessary at all, and it will probably affect the phone's performance and battery life in the long run, as it has been with previous models.
So… the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are expensive, really expensive, and it's really difficult not to include that fact in "The Ugly" category. Smartphone prices have been going up year after year, and we've come to a point where flagship smartphones cost around $1,000 / €1,000, which is crazy.
Well, the Galaxy Note series of smartphones is amongst the most popular ones out there, and it wants to keep pace with both Apple and Huawei in terms of pricing, so they're both really expensive.
In the US, the Galaxy Note 10 is priced at $949, unlocked, while the Galaxy Note 10+ pricing starts at $1,049. You will see similar price tags in Europe, but in Euros, of course, though those price tags will differ a bit from one country to the next (€50 difference is possible). All in all, if you want the latest and greatest from Samsung, you'll have to spend quite a bit.
UPDATE: Wireless charging info has been corrected.