The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ (Galaxy Note 10 Plus) have been on the market for a few days, and Samsung is already improving them with the rollout of the latest from Google, the September 2019 security patch.
September 2019 patch brings security improvements
The September 2019 security patch, bearing firmware versions N970FXXU1ASHE and N975FXXU1ASHE for the Galaxy Note 10 series, consists of security improvements from both Google and Samsung.
Google fixed 4 critical CVE items, 15 high CVE items, and 1 moderate CVE item from 2018. Samsung's own security improvements include blocking the authentication circumvent for USB configuration, preventing brute force attacks on screen lock passwords, and Factory Reset Protection (FPR) bypass via Smart Switch.
An FPR bypass by the status bar is another vulnerability Samsung patched up in the latest September 2019 security patch release. Samsung's security improvements total 17.
Among the changes Samsung brings with the September 2019 security patch are audio quality improvements for wired headphones.
Samsung's commitment to improving wired headphone audio quality for its users is commendable, though ironic — considering that Samsung removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 10 series.
Samsung was considered to be the last between itself and Apple to remove the headphone jack. The company's ads made fun of iPhone users having to use a "double dongle" to charge their headphones and listen to music simultaneously.
The Korean juggernaut failed to mention the headphone jack's removal at its Galaxy Unpacked 2019 event last month, most likely to anger customers and push away handset sales.
There's a good reason behind Samsung improving the wired headphone audio quality outside of appeasing its customers, however: Bluetooth headphones don't have the best audio quality and, despite their wire-free experience in music listening, the Bluetooth technology inside them still has a ways to go before it competes with wired audio quality.
Samsung's decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack to increase the battery life of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, the company said in a statement to CNBC. Removing the headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 10 series frees up Samsung to use the incredibly small space in its smartphones for other components that may prove to be more important
And yet, Samsung only made a larger battery with the Galaxy Note 10+, a 4,300mAh battery, up just 300mAh from the Galaxy Note 9. The 3,500mAh battery in the regular Galaxy Note 10 is a downgrade from the 4,000mAh battery found in the Galaxy Note 9.
The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ will receive two years of Android system updates and three years of Android security patches before they are permanently retired forever.
This means that the Galaxy Note 10 series will be one of the first in Samsung's "Galaxy" to receive the newly-released Android 10 update. Of course, Android users who want the best in system updates and security patches must "pay to play": the regular Galaxy Note 10 retails for $950 USD while the Galaxy Note 10+ retails for $1,050 USD. The Galaxy Note 10+ 5G model costs between $1,300 and $1,400.
For comparison, Samsung's first-generation foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, costs $1,980 USD. In the US, Verizon Wireless is the first to offer the Galaxy Note 10 5G model for purchase, with an exclusive on the 5G variant for at least 30-60 days.