Undoubtedly one of the best Android smartphones available.
Samsung has already proven themselves to be a sheer force with their Android-based smartphones. They’re also the only ones who have somehow made the perfect phablet with an equally awesome stylus now known as the S Pen. Others may have tried to copy it, but ultimately the Note series is undoubtedly one of Samsung’s best devices.
This brings us to the Note 10+, it’s actually one of two Note models released this year and we have the larger model to play with for a couple of weeks. The Galaxy Note 10+ comes with a massive 6.8-inch QHD+ display, it’s massive because the device is literally all-screen, with a small hole in the middle for the front-facing camera.
To be honest, the Note 10+ is too big for my hands, which is why the regular Note 10 with a smaller 6.3-inch display is enough. But a large screen does have its benefits, and there’s clearly a market for users who prefer having a large viewing estate.
This is where the Note 10+ clearly excels – the 1440-by-3040 pixel AMOLED screen is gorgeous. Colors look brilliant and black levels are deep and whites are so bright I squinted my eyes when it was at full brightness. It’s also HDR10+ compliant, so expect those HDR videos to look even better on the Note 10+’s screen.
Samsung’s own 7nm Exynos 9825 powers the Note 10+ and also comes with a generous 12 GB of RAM. There’s also 256 GB and 512 GB of storage, along with a microSD card slot that supports up to 1 TB cards – this means that the Note 10+ is able to hold up to 1.5 TB of storage (that’s more than the 500 GB hard drive I have on this laptop where I’m writing this review).
Other features include a fingerprint scanner buried under the display, and the power button on the side also acts as the Bixby button. Samsung also employs its One UI on the Note 10+, which has been refined and easier to use. There’s still a couple of bloatware and some apps that you can’t remove, but One UI is a huge improvement compared to the Samsung Experience and that horrendous TouchWiz UI.
The beefy hardware meant that the Note 10+ handled every app flawlessly. I’ve browsed websites and opened almost 50+ tabs, switched to Netflix, listened to Spotify and even did some editing on Snapseed and not once did I see it struggle.
But of course, what makes the Note 10+ great is the S Pen. Tucked neatly inside the body of the device, this digital stylus (that now supports Bluetooth) has evolved into one of the best writing tools for smartphones (or phablets). Samsung has somehow perfected the S Pen’s use, and it’s clear when you start using Screen Off Memo or even drawing images on any app that the experience just gets better every year.
There’s a new feature called Air Gestures that lets you use the S Pen as a wand and live your dream of being Harry Potter. Jokes aside, the feature actually works thanks to a clever combination of the gyroscope and accelerometer. For example, I can rotate the S Pen clockwise and it will zoom in on the subject when I’m using the camera.
The rest of Samsung’s enhancements are baked neatly inside the Note 10+. I’m still not a fan of Bixby, but at least Samsung is now allowing you to turn the feature off so you can forget it and use Google Assistant instead.
The Note 10+’s camera is similar to the S10+: a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with f/1.5-f/2.4 aperture along with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera and another 12-megapixel telephoto camera along with a time-of-flight sensor. It’s exactly the same camera array that you will find on the S10+, so expect to get the same results for the camera.
The camera app also has a lot of options and modes that you can try when shooting images or video. Our favorite is the Live Focus mode that blurs the subject behind and adds some effects – while other smartphones have done a similar thing before, the difference is that Live Focus happens in real-time.
The massive 4,300 mAh battery is enough to give you more than a day and a half’s worth of power which should satisfy even power users. Just in case you need to charge, the 25W charger can give you more hours to play with your Note 10+ with just a couple of minutes of charging. Like most Samsung flagships, wireless charging is also supported along with the ability to charge other devices (Wireless PowerShare).
This phablet also comes in three colors: Aura Glow, Aura White, and Aura Black. Aura Glow will easily remind you of Huawei’s flagship smartphones, which change in color depending on how the light hits the exterior. It’s a cool-looking design I must admit, but prepare to put it on a case because it attracts fingerprints like crazy.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+’s price starts at 3,999 AED for a 256 GB version and 4,499 AED for the 512 GB variant. These smartphones aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for the best phablet available, the Note 10+ is the best choice – dare we say it’s even one of the best Android smartphones available.
+ Incredibly gorgeous screen
+ Superfast hardware
+ S Pen is as useful as ever
– The Note 10+ might be too big for some
Final Rating: 5/5