Let me begin by saying that Samsung went all the way in designing, software integrating and bringing a whole new side of the S-pen with the new Galaxy Note 10 Plus. We have been using the device since a month now and we came across a ton of stuff, which even this comprehensive review is small for. There is much to talk about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, so let’s get to it. This is our review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus uncensored and uncut.
Design and Display
As soon as you rip the plastics, split the box open (where this beauty lies) you get to see a luxurious smartphone that will tenderly ask for attention. And within minutes you will magically fall in love with it. A super-large 6.8-inch touchscreen is at your beck and call that merges into the side rails smoothly. There are no rough edges on this smartphone and one gets to experience an exceptional glass design on front and back. The infinity-o design is wonderful to look at and the edge to edge screen experience with just a small dot camera on the front is a design wonder. There is almost no chin on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and what you get is a full-screen experience.
So, let’s get the form factor quickly out of the way before I talk more about the display. Upfront the boxy design works for me, however, I have had mixed reactions from the audiences who saw it. Most loved it, but there were some who were neutral to it and some who found the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be more attractive, mostly the under 20 generation. The right side of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is plain while the left side holds the power button as well as the volume rocker keys. The bottom has the primary microphone, the USB Type-C charging port as well as the speaker grill. But here lies another gem, the all-new S-pen. Will talk about it more in the performance section of this review.
The top part of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus has the secondary microphone along with the NANO SIM tray. Turn it around and you see this neat aura glow back panel that has been inspired by the rays of light. Which is why you get to see a rainbow-like VIBGYOR effect on it. Here you can see the Samsung branding and yes, the version of Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus selling here is manufactured in India as well. Which means you do not get a Snapdragon (SD) but an Exynos CPU here, is it better or worse than SD? Read the performance section to know more.
Also, on the back panel, you will find the vertically placed camera bump with silver trim. This houses three cameras in it with the fourth one and the LED flash placed neatly by its side. This sums up the nifty design, let’s come back to its display. For both work and pleasure, we found the screen to be perfect. Working with the S-pen to take notes, juggle between pages and apps on it was a treat. The text on the screen is crisp and the colours are vibrant. The brightness is just great and the screen does not wash out under the sun.
We played a lot of games and videos on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the screen never stuttered. The smaller-than-usual punch-hole front camera also did not hinder the gaming and video experience on this smartphone. The screen is easy on the eyes, in day or night. We kept throwing doozies at it and the device kept hitting it out of the park. What a wonderful experience this smartphone is. So, like usual we gave it the stress test to see if it would heat up or the battery might die quicker than usual.
Performance and Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is not just a beauty on the outside, but has the brains to go with it on the inside. It is a machine crafted to do your daily tedious jobs and much more without breaking a sweat. Since we are reviewing the Indian version of the smartphone this one comes with Exynos 9 series (9825) Octa-Core CPU with a clock speed of up to 2.7GHz. This kicks in when the phone requires that much power, otherwise to conserve battery life the smartphone works at an optimal 1.9GHz with fewer cores active.
With it, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage (out of which about 12GB is reserved for the operating system and other files). Graphics are provided by Mali G76 MP12 chip, which is one of the best in class. We played a lot of graphic hungry games on the device like PUBG mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends at the highest settings and the smartphone didn’t shy away from putting its best foot forward. To put it simply, it was a delight to play video games on it. Same is the case when it comes to videos. No matter what you are watching, the latest series on Netflix or FHD videos on YouTube, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus supplies superior colours and deeper blacks. These are accompanied with a very loudspeaker system, but the sound gets better with the supplied AKG earplugs, which come in the box.
We ran our usual set of tests on it. On AnTuTu the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus scored a fiery 3,46,631 points. On Geekbench 5 the device managed 627 on single-core test and 2,185 on the multi-core test. The compute score on Geekbench 5 came out to be 4,644. All of it indicates top-class performance.
As for the operating system, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with Android 9 Pie OS out of the box with Samsung One UI on top. The operating system has minimal bloatware and some good to great apps. For example, you get multiple mail apps as well as Netflix, which means even Samsung wants you to work and play on this device. There is an edge screen (called Apps Edge) on the UI as well, which can be swiped in from the right. This hides most commonly used apps. Users can even customise this panel according to their own preference. Rest, most of the UI things are very similar to a stock android. Like you do get an App drawer, quick settings come down from top and one can even use gesture controls to manage functions like going back, going to the home screen and launching recently opened apps.
Now let’s talk about its most innovative feature of this smartphone, its S-pen. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with a new improved version of the S-pen that can do a lot. Users can from afar manage the phone with the S-pen. One can perform things like switching between cameras, swapping between modes and even clicking pictures with it from a distance. Think of it as a remote control for your mobile. The S-pen gets charged on its own as soon as you put it back in its holding position within the phone. One can get up to 10 hours of battery life with it. Not that you will run out of it anytime soon, as in most cases you will keep it within the smartphone. Handwriting recognition is also part of the package and even handwriting like mine is easily recognised by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. One thing we love about the new S-pen is its pressure sensitivity and also the fact that if one of the nibs of the stylus goes bad you can easily replace it, as Samsung is kind enough to supply with few additional ones in the container.
With the S-pen you can do additional tasks as well. You can even increase or decrease the volume of the smartphone remotely. Over that, for quick memos, you can write on the screen when it is in standby mode as well. So, you do not need to bring up notes if you want to take fast notes. Also, with the S-pen you can add funky animations and more to your videos and they will stick to it. In fact, the same can be done in AR (augmented reality) mode too. Yes, that is a lot to grasp about the S-pen and with so many days with the device we are still exploring something new every day.
Coming to its camera performance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus has 4 cameras at the back. A 12MP telephoto camera, 12MP wide-angle sensor, a 16MP ultra-wide cam and the last is the depth vision sensor. Some might say 12MP is so yesterday, however here the optics and pro-grade sensor technology does a wonderful job. No matter what external conditions you are in. We were able to get some fabulous shots during the day and even in low light. The subjects were sharp and the colours very close to life. In some cases, even vibrant. But what we loved shooting with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus are the videos. These are exceptional and with the Zoom mic capability, which we first thought to be a gimmick, it actually works in 9 out of 10 scenarios. Unless you are in a super noisy road in Chandni Chownk, being the 10th one. A lot of good modes can be found in the camera app and it is appt for amateur to pro photographers.
Night photography is another good aspect of the rear cams, we were able to extract some great shots. Most of them with the Tripod, because we said why not, since We have the S-pen which works as a remote control, let’s get the best shots possible. Without it too, we managed some decent shots, but if you have super shaky hands, we would suggest using a tripod at night. Edges were smooth and night portraits were good. Only the far-off objects lost a bit of detail and colour during late evenings.
The front camera is powered by a 10MP selfie sensor. A single camera is there, but that is enough to take good daylight shots. Night shots not so much. So, if you are a selfie lover who wants the best shots round the clock, you are better off with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.
Lastly let us put in a word about its battery. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with a 4,300 mAh battery inside. We knew it would last for a whole day with good amount of usage and doing daily tasks. However, to our amazement, it did last for more than a day. 32.5 hours to be exact which included an hour of gaming and 25 minutes of navigation. An hour of S-pen usage and lot of phone calls was included too. Not bad at all Samsung, not bad at all.
Verdict and Final Words
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with a price tag of Rs 79,990 and it is almost a perfect buy, and is definitely an Android trailblazer in the group of Flagships. The in-display fingerprint reader works nicely (mostly) and so does the face unlock system. It does a fabulous job with the screen, S-pen and video capabilities. AR is there and am sure will become better with time, but at the moment most will not use it. Bixby, I am still not a big fan of, however Google Assistant does most of the cool AI jobs when needed. Gaming and videos are another great aspect of the device. So, who should buy it? Well, if you want a large screen experience with good cameras, want to make great videos and content or want rock-solid security for your business needs this is the smartphone for you. Note 10 plus has something for everybody.
Super rear cameras
Fingerprint reader could have been better
Large for one handed use
For the latest gadget and tech news, and gadget reviews, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For newest tech & gadget videos subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can also stay up to date using the Gadget Bridge Android App.