Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review: The best Android smartphone till date, PERIOD!
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review: The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ doesn't come cheap, not even the base variant, which starts at Rs 79,999. But, has Samsung improved an already-perfect smartphone? Let's find out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review: What's the only thing that could possibly stop you from buying a Samsung Galaxy Note device? The fact that you probably don't have enough money for it. Or, you have so much that you opt for an Apple iPhone instead. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ doesn't come cheap, not even the base variant, which starts at Rs 79,999. We got our hands on this beautiful device about two weeks ago and in our first look, had asked you to believe all the hype surrounding this new offering by Samsung. So, we wanted to spend enough time with it before giving a full review that helps you make a smart decision about this premium handset. And, the time has finally come.
To recall, Samsung has launched two Note devices this year - the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+. Both the smartphones come with several improvements on the previous device on paper. With the new Note 10 series, Samsung is offering you an improved S Pen, biggest display on a Note device ever, faster processor, never-seen-before camera features and a lot more.
Do all these features help Samsung improve an already-perfect smartphone? Let's find out.
A premium smartphone feel
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is exactly how a premium smartphone should feel like. And, this could be one of the biggest reasons why users will be tempted to buy it. It simply looks great in your hands! Before we dive into that, let's address everything that's wrong with the phone. The biggest change that you would notice on the Note 10+ is that the power button has been moved to the left panel and it will take a lot of time for you to get used to it. I have been using the device for almost two weeks now and still, end up holding the phone the other way. Also, there is nothing on the right panel which feels a bit odd.
The Galaxy Note 10+ doesn’t feel that big or heavy in your hand despite its 6.8 display - 0.4 inches more than what you get on the Note 10. Surely, it is not made for one hand use. The phone has been launched in three colour options in India: Aura Glow, Aura Black and Aura White. While a lot of users might like the Aura Glow variant, it has its own disadvantages. One, it is tough to keep the phone clean as it gets frequent fingerprint smudges. Two, the variant could draw a lot of attention and I am not yet sure if this is the most ideal option to take inside a movie theatre or any other place where you would prefer remaining under the radar.
Now, moving on to the positive part. You take the Note 10+ out of the box, hold it in your hands and you know, the money has been spent in the right place. This is even before your turn on the device! Despite using a bigger display, the South Korean electronics giant has kept the phone incredibly compact. It measures just 7.9mm thick and weighs in at just 196 grams.
While more and more manufacturers are claiming to offer us a better screen-to-body ratio, Samsung has done an incredible job here with what its calls the Infinity-O display. There are almost no bezels on the screen and you get a really vivid and immersive experience. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung has probably come closest to offering a full screen display to smartphone users. The other design elements including the cradle for the S-Pen and the USB-C port, are very similar to what you would get on the Note 9.
WATCH Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ first look -
At the bottom, you get the Type-C charging port and as many of you would notice, there is no 3.5mm jack. A lot has already been said and written about this. But then, Samsung is offering you a Type-C earphone so there’s really no reason to complain. Alongside the charging port you get the S Pen which is the biggest highlight of the Note devices, this time even more, with the improved features.
Best Display on an Android Smartphone
In 2019, display has become a big thing for smartphone manufacturers. As consumers have turned towards smartphones for streaming videos and playing games, every company is trying to achieve the best possible screen-to-body ratio and offer an impressive viewing experience. This is the reason why we have seen so many experiments with the front camera and even, the positioning of the fingerprint scanner. And, while we have seen highly impressive displays this year on devices like OnePlus 7 Pro, Samsung S10 and Asus 6Z, the Note 10+ offers you the best display on an Android phone till date.
The smartphone uses a 6.8-inch AMOLED display (3040 X 1440 resolution) and allows you to switch to FHD+ or HD+ for saving battery as well. While the company has used 60Hz display refresh rate instead of 90Hz refresh rate that was used on OnePlus 7 Pro, it hardly makes any difference.
This is where you get to see the true value of a bigger screen as well. You can freely stream content on the Note 10+ and enjoy your favourite show or series without missing out on any details. The colors are well saturated and contrast levels are just right. It is probably an ideal screen size for playing games as well.
The Stylus Magic
The S Pen is what gives the Note devices a true edge over its competitors and with the Note 10+, Samsung has taken this experience to the next level, probably beyond imagination. While you can continue to do the basic stuff just like before, the biggest addition this year is Air Gestures. This means that you can control certain aspects of the device without having to actually touch it. The S-Pen uses the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors allowing you to wave it in the air and control the device, turning it into a virtual remote control for the Note 10+.
This is as cool as it sounds. You can move the S Pen to flip the camera, change different modes and click images by simply clicking the button given on it. Want to zoom in on a subject? Simply draw a virtual circle with the S-Pen and camera will start zooming in. Yes, all the spy novels that you have read and the gizmos therein will certainly start making sense after you get hands on this device.
However, as fun as these gestures are, it will take some time before you get used to them and start having a seamless experience. In fact, chances are that you might struggle to begin with and even end up clicking a lot of stupid pictures.
Apart from this, you can do the usual stuff with the S Pen like using the notes app, scribble notes even when the phone screen is locked and put your comments on screenshots. All of this adds to the productivity of the device.
Do We Even Have to Talk About the Performance?
Take this as more of a formality because the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the most powerful Android smartphone available in the market. With the Exynos 9825 processor and 12GB RAM, it has the potential to even outscore the laptop you are using. The device is available in two storage options - 256GB and 512GB - with an option to expand that to 1TB with the help of a microSD card.
You can switch between apps and do multitasking with ease on this smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 10+ comes with Android 9 Pie with the Samsung One UI. You get all the basic Samsung apps like calendar, contacts, image gallery, music player, and web browser software. There is also Samsung Pay and Samsung Notes on the phone, the latter too getting a major update with the ability to pinch to zoom, change colors of text after you enter it and handwriting to text.
Thanks to Samsung's new partnership with Microsoft, you also get pre-installed apps by latter like Outlook, Office Mobile and LinkedIN, making life more comfortable. Add to that, the Samsung DeX Mode and you get everything you could possibly ask from a smartphone. This mode allows you to connect the device to a screen with a USB connection and it transforms the phone into a PC.
I haven't really used the Galaxy Note 10+ for long-hour gaming but the device seems ideal for even that. I didn't face any issue with the few games I tried on it.
Another highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is its highly impressive 4,300 mAh battery which easily lasts for a day even with high usage. And, in case that's not enough, you can change the brightness and display quality to make it last longer. The phone is shipped with a fast charger that refills the juice within minutes.
One issue that I noticed is that if you leave the Note 10+ charger at home and are forced to use a normal charging cable, it can take hours to get it fully charged.
A Gift for Photography Enthusiasts
On the Galaxy Note 10+, you get a quad camera setup with a 16MP Ultra Wide lens, 12MP Wide Angle lens, 12MP Telephoto lens and an additional DepthVision Time of Flight (ToF) camera. The camera module is vertically aligned at the back along with an LED flash. The camera performs its true magic in daylight and the images taken are sharp, bright and of top quality.
You get the best results while using the depth effect and the ultra-wide lens. The latter has always been a positive point of the Samsung smartphones and impresses once again. Samsung has also introduced an unbelievably amazing Night Mode on this device which allows you click images in almost no light! But, do not expect the quality of images clicked in low light to be same as others. The grains here are clearly visible in most cases and even if you are using the Night Mode, it requires you to keep your hands steady for a few seconds to be able to click good images.
On the front, you get a 10MP selfie camera which does its job perfectly well.
Samsung has also given some useful features for videos. With the Galaxy Note 10+, you can add live focus or portrait effect to even your videos. This significantly improves the quality of your phones and is no less than a gift for content producers and photography enthusiasts.
Samsung has also added an audio zoom-in feature which allows you to record clear audio while shooting videos. But, for this, you need to actually zoom in the video. This may allow you to get clear audio but somewhere the video quality is compromised. While this is an amazing innovation from Samsung, I want see in how many cases it actually proves to be useful.
There is so much to explore and write about on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ that this review could have been another 1000-word longer but I have tried to keep it as simple as possible. Rest, you can play around with the device and find more than there is. For now, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the most exciting smartphone to have launched in 2019 and undoubtedly, the best Android phone till date. It does come with a few flaws, but offers a top-quality display, a power packed performance, great camera specs and something that you don't get on any other device - the S Pen.
The base variant of the Galaxy Note 10+ that comes with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage has been priced at Rs 79,999 and the top-end variant that offers 512 GB storage would cost you Rs 89,999. As the device comes with a microSD card support, it makes more sense to opt for the base variant which could cost you lesser if combined with cashback offers and discounts.
For some, the Galaxy Note 10+ might be a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. And, if you have the money, spend it on this smartphone to get a truly amazing experience.