There's a subtle change to the power button with the Galaxy Note 10. And it's going to annoy every smartphone user that buys the Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10 Plus. And here's why.
The Galaxy Note 10 moves the power button to the left side of the phone. Seems weird, right? Samsung has had the power button on the right side for, basically since it's very first smartphone. So why the move to the left? One word. Bixby.
The power button on the Galaxy Note 10 also doubles as the Bixby button. Now when you press and hold the power button, it opens up Bixby. Which is, well it's okay. Just don't press and hold the power button if you don't want to use Bixby. But there's more to it than just that.
Since the press and hold function of that button is now set to Bixby, how are you going to restart the Galaxy Note 10? Well Samsung has found a way to do that. Pull down your notification shade, and next to the gear icon (for settings), there is a new icon, which looks like a power button – and that's because it is a power button.
That new icon will open up the power menu, so you can shut off your phone or restart it at will. It's a nice thing to have, until you remember the fact that you can't just press and hold the power button anymore to do the same thing.
Samsung has changed one of the core functions of smartphones (in general) with the Galaxy Note 10. Not just Android smartphones, but all smartphones. Even the iPhone allows you to press and hold the power button to bring up the power menu. Which means that is muscle memory for literally everyone that has ever had a smartphone.
When companies do things like this, it usually backfires and they go back to the way it used to be. And Samsung may end up doing just that. Remember that this is really just a change for the sake of change. Think about it. Why did Samsung move the power button to the left side, and why did it combine it with the Bixby button? It's to force users to use Bixby more than they (perhaps) wanted too.
Samsung has been trying ways to get its customers to use Bixby for a couple of years now, since it debuted on the Galaxy S8 two years ago. And this might be a step too far, for most people. So far, it doesn't appear that you can disable the long-press for Bixby either, which is something Samsung does with every new smartphone release and then walks it back when customers are upset about that decision. So that will probably change with the first update that the Galaxy Note 10 gets.
This power button thing is definitely going to be a scandal for Samsung. Even though it doesn't really seem like a big deal, what's the first thing you do when you try to turn off your phone? Press and hold the power button. It's probably the one function of a smartphone that hasn't changed in nearly 10 years. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out for Samsung in the coming weeks.