There are many ways to describe to the Galaxy Note 10+ but Samsung selected the best one for its marketing: powerful.
There is no denying that the handset that I have been using for the last two weeks is the most powerful I have used, possibly ever and if you’re reading this because Apple’s phones have started to bore you, welcome to the reason Apple should be very worried.
Let’s start with the internals
Inside the Note 10+ is Samsung latest 7nm processor the Exynos 9825. Running at a peak of 2.73GHz this handset has oomph and handles games as if they were a text message.
Alongside the Galaxy Note 10+, the Galaxy S10+ feels a bit, dare we say, weak at times.
Take multi-tasking. While playing Eternium I also control Spotify Connect and chat on WhatsApp. Usually switching between these apps presents a slight, but noticeable, delay. That delay is not present in the Note 10+.
The difference from 8nm to 7nm is incredible and it’s something that honestly has to be experienced to be believed.
For comparison, the Galaxy S10+ earns 810 for single-core and 2033 for multicore on Geekbench 5 while the Note 10+ earns 837 for single-core and 2225 for multi-core.
Those with the Note 9 look away now because that phone scores just 507 in single core and 2 057 in multi-core.
Compared to last year’s Note 9 which is running on a 10nm process, the Note 10+ is faster, especially for single core applications like games.
As anecdotal as this may seem, the Note 10+ also feels more powerful to use. Apps launch quickly and there is no delay whatsoever while switching between apps.
The Note 10 houses a 4 300mAh battery and it is, well, it’s Samsung’s best effort to date.
We have noted an average battery life of two business days but on quieter days you could get another half-day out of the Note 10+. It isn’t uncommon for us to forget to charge the phone over the weekend and then panic about charging it at lunch time on Monday.
But even then, charging is so fast downtime between charges is minimal.
From empty a full charge takes one and a half hours but after an hour you will have 80 percent capacity.
While Samsung uses four sensors in its camera array only three are part of the bump. The Time of Flight camera sits off to the side but that’s hardly an issue.
In the bump you will find a 12MP F1.5-2.4 sensor with a 27mm lens, a 12MP F2.1 sensor with a 52mm lens and a 16MP F2.2 sensor with a 12mm lens.
This translates into a wide, ultrawide and telephoto lens and examples of how well it performs can be seen in our gallery below.
Up front is a 10MP F2.2 sensor with a 26mm lens and it takes some damn crisp selfies.
The ability to take slow-mo video returns but once again you are limited to a HD resolution so while it is cool, it looks pretty awful on the 3040×1440 display. The feature works but it is still very much a gimmick.
Samsung has added the ability to edit video on the Note 10+ but the functionality is rather limited and you’re not going to be editing the next Emmy winner on your handset, at least not yet. Still, it’s a nice addition and for editing content for Instagram or other social platforms, it works just fine.
To sum up
So far the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has lived up to the marketing hype of being the most powerful phone ever, from the Samsung stable at least.
There are of course quirks such as the Bixby and power button now being programmed to one button (this can be remapped) and the lack of a 3.5mm jack (Samsung includes AKG earbuds with a USB Type C connector) but these are minor pocks on an otherwise brilliant piece of kit.
The performance is simply incredible and it has me considering swapping my S10+ out for a Note 10+ just for how much smoother it runs.
Battery life is incredible and considering that a few years ago a larger battery meant a recall, Samsung really has come a long way in terms of its development.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is better than it was in the S10+. Unlocking the handset takes less than a second and we’d go so far as to say that Samsung’s tech is getting closer to that of the fast as lightning physical scanner we saw in the S9.
The S-Pen is a great addition and the introduction of gestures is a brilliant touch. Being able to take photos from afar or manage a presentation is cool but is it a gimmick? Definitely. The use case for scrolling through a presentation on your phone is one we don’t see coming up often. That having been said, the base functionality of the S-Pen as a stylus still works so it’s hard to criticise it.
Truth be told, there is very little to criticise about the Note 10+. It is a stellar handset from the halls of Samsung and if you’re looking to switch from the Cupertino Colossus to the South Korean Kings, this is the handset to do it.
With Huawei’s future – at least in terms of official support for Android and its accompanying apps – an uncertainty at the moment, Samsung has the chance to capitalise and it has.
From here on out you can expect some great things from Samsung, and the Note 10+ is just its opening dance.
Disclaimer: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ was sent to Hypertext for review for a two week period. The review was conducted independently and without input from Samsung. The device will be returned.
[su_box title=”Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ specifications” box_color=”#f37021″]
Operating system Android 9.0
Chipset Exynos 9825
Rear camera 12MP F1.5-2.4 sensor with a 27mm lens, a 12MP F2.1 sensor with a 52mm lens and a 16MP F2.2 sensor with a 12mm lens
Front camera 10MP F2.2 sensor with a 26mm lens
Battery 4 300mAh
Biometrics Facial recognition, ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
Price R22 999