It’s been a week since the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ went official, and as always, I have decided to go for the Plus variant of Samsung’s latest flagship. Not everyone on the SamMobile team wants to buy the Note 10+, which might surprise some of our readers. The Galaxy Note 10’s more compact design has caught the fancy of some of us, but for me, having a large battery has always been an important requirement, so the Note 10+ is what I’ll be getting.
Of course, it’s not just a large battery that makes the Galaxy Note 10+ attractive, and here are a few features — some of which apply to the Note 10 as well — that I liked on the phone and why I’ll be getting one. Once you’re done reading, do let me know what your favorite Galaxy Note 10+ features are and why you decided to purchase the phone.
7nm Exynos 9825 chipset
I love the Galaxy S10+, and Samsung has fixed all of my major complaints with software updates, making the device better than it was at launch. However, one thing that has never stopped troubling me is the not-so-impressive battery life. I can get through an entire day and the S10+ never leaves me worried, but it simply doesn’t offer the kind of battery life I had expected with that 8nm Exynos 9820 chip inside the phone.
The Note 9 lasted nearly as long for me with its 4,000 mAh battery, and that phone had a 10nm Exynos chip (the Exynos 9810). I guess what I’m saying here is that the shift from a 10nm process to an 8nm process didn’t bring the kind of benefit I had expected, which is why I’m excited to see the 7nm Exynos 9825 in the Note 10 and Note 10+, especially after having seen how the 7nm Snapdragon 855 inside the Galaxy S10 performs in the battery endurance department. Fingers crossed the Exynos 9825 actually delivers on higher efficiency on the Note 10+.
25W fast charging
I’ve always looked forward to faster charging speeds on Galaxy phones. The 15W Adaptive Fast Charge tech Samsung has been using for years is not slow when it comes to 0 to 100 charging times, but shorter bouts of charging are almost painfully slow, especially when you don’t have a lot of time and want to quickly top up your phone’s battery. And that’s where 25W super fast charging comes into the picture.
We’ve already seen the Note 10+ go from 0 to 100 in record time with the bundled 25W charger, and it’s a feature that’s excited me more than the larger battery on the device. Will I buy the 45W charger later down the line? Probably, as that will no doubt be even faster at topping up the battery in a short duration, but even 25W charging will be enough for me.
The improved telephoto camera
I’m glad to see Samsung finally brought an important upgrade to the telephoto camera that every flagship since the Galaxy Note 8 has featured: The 12MP telephoto camera on the Note 10 and Note 10+ has an F2.1 aperture, slightly wider than even the ultra-wide camera, which has an aperture of F2.2. I always hated how previous phones used digital zoom in low-light conditions, and while DxOMark’s camera testing implies that’s the case on the Note 10 and Note 10+ as well, I’m hopeful they don’t rely on digital zoom as often as previous Galaxy flagships did with their F2.4 telephoto sensors.
Even if they do, well, Night mode can now be used with the telephoto camera, so there is a way to make sure the phone won’t switch to digital zoom. Night mode is supported on the front camera as well – that’s not something I’ll use much, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be useful for others. Here’s hoping Samsung brings Night mode for selfies and 2x zoom photos to existing devices as well.
Single, centered front camera punch hole
I’m also happy to see Samsung didn’t opt for a dual camera setup on the Plus model this time around. The Galaxy S10+’s pill-shaped cutout isn’t exactly a nuisance once you’ve used the phone for a few weeks, but the second front camera offers no substantial benefits in general nor in my day-to-day life, so I’m not sad to see it go.
And it helps that the Note 10’s camera cutout is at the center. That’s better than a corner cutout for one major reason: Android’s status bar has no icons in the middle of the screen, and you won’t see the network and battery indicators pushed to the left. That just looks bad on the Galaxy S10+, and Samsung will hopefully stop with its experiments and settle on the centered punch hole position for future flagships as well.
256GB of base storage
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Why does this guy need all that storage if he’s just gonna switch to another phone six months or a year down the line?” Well, it has to do with recording videos for me: With just 128GB of storage, I was always worried about running out of space and having to go back and delete existing videos to record new ones. I hate file management and I’m not very orderly (my work desk is a sorry sight and my PC desktop is littered with shortcuts), so having more internal storage is always an advantage.
And since I use two SIM cards, a microSD card is not an option for me, so 256GB of storage should be just right. I’ll be able to record videos without concern of running out of space and the 256GB won’t be too excessive for someone changing their phone every six to twelve months. Of course, there’s also the matter of price. The 512GB Galaxy S10+ was too costly compared to the 128GB model, partly because Samsung chose to use a ceramic back on the 512GB and 1TB variants. The Note 10+ has 256GB of base storage for $1,100, and even the 512GB variant is priced slightly lower than the 512GB S10+.
And, of course, the S Pen
The S Pen, naturally, is a general feature of the Galaxy Note lineup that sets it apart from the rest, and I like having access to the stylus for a variety of things. Selecting part of a text (especially in the Messages app, as you can only copy the entire message if you don’t have the S Pen), cutting out snippets from images to share them on WhatsApp, and swiping more precisely on the keyboard are my primary use cases for the S Pen, and every time I have to use a non-Note phone for work at SamMobile, I seriously miss having access to the stylus.
The remote functionality added to the S Pen last year with the Galaxy Note 9 is also quite handy, especially for taking photos. Whether you’re setting the phone on a surface and taking photos of yourself with a group of people with the rear camera or taking a selfie while the phone is in your hand, it’s great to be able to capture photos remotely by pressing the S Pen button. Well, just as long as you remember to hide the stylus from sight instead of having it stick out from your hand, which can somewhat ruin a picture in my opinion.