TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Highly anticipated: After months of hype, rumors, and general anticipation, Samsung has finally revealed its latest flagship smartphone: the Galaxy Note 10. The device is all-screen, with the base model containing a 6.3" "Cinematic Infinity Edge" display and a small hole-punch for its front-facing camera.
However, that's just the base model. Unlike previous Note devices, the Note 10 will have two main variants: a basic version, and the Note 10+, which upgrades the screen to 6.8". Both models house an in-display fingerprint sensor and "Dynamic AMOLED" technology, so the colors and blacks should be just as accurate as ever, and Samsung promises HDR10+ certification and "Dynamic Tone Mapping" for a wider color range and brighter visuals.
The Note 10's screen comes in at 2280x1080p, whereas the Note 10+'s gets upgraded to 3040x1440p. In terms of cameras, the basic Note 10 includes three rear lenses: an "Ultra Wide" 16mp lens, a 12mp Wide-angle lens, and a 12mp Telephoto lens. The Note 10+ has the same, but adds an extra "DepthVision Camera" into the mix.
Samsung says these lenses will offer a "pro-grade" camera experience, with features like live video focus (for easy background blur and DoF adjustments), a "Zoom-In Mic," and an automatic footage stabilizer called "Super steady."
So, with the screen and cameras out of the way, what sort of hardware does the Note 10 pack? In terms of processors, we're looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC in the US, but a new 7nm Exynos 9825 chip for other countries (including the UK). The base Note 10 includes 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but the Note 10+ houses 12GB of RAM with the same amount of storage. All versions of the Note 10 will run Android 9.0 Pie.
Regarding charging and battery capacity, the base Note 10 features a 3,500mAh battery, whereas its bigger cousin has a 4,300mAh version. Both devices promise "Super fast charging," which can allegedly give you a full day of phone usage on a single 30-minute charge. The Note 10 and Note 10+ also feature Samsung's recently-announced PowerShare technology, allowing you to drop your Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds, or any other "Qi-enabled device" onto the device's rear to transfer power between them.
It's worth noting that the Note 10 is the first device in Samsung's line-up to contain both 5G and LTE options. The downside is that the 5G version is only available as a Note 10+ variant, and only to Verizon customers. If you get the "ordinary" Note 10, you're out of luck.
Of course, the Note 10 wouldn't be a Note without an S Pen, so the stylus is naturally returning this time around, but with some nice improvements. For starters, the new S Pen will let you perform "Air" actions, which are essentially off-device stylus gestures that let you control certain aspects of your smartphone without direct interaction. These gestures are also open to developers, so you can probably expect to see Air controls in your favorite games or apps in the future.
The new S Pen also boasts handwriting-to-text functionality, so you can quickly jot down notes in various text editing apps (including Microsoft Word) and see your scribbles convert to editable letters, numbers, and symbols.
The S Pen itself has seen physical improvements, too. The device now features unibody construction, which should make it more durable than ever before. Unfortunately, it'll probably be just as easy to lose, as Samsung doesn't seem to have included any Note 10-specific S Pen locator features.
With all those improvements out of the way, let's discuss some of the Note 10's more controversial changes. To start, it's the first-ever Samsung device to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a single USB-C port.
Given that the company was one of the last remaining hold-outs in this area (virtually every other smartphone maker has already removed it), this will undoubtedly be disappointing to many potential customers. Further, the Note 10 does not contain MicroSD support, and notification LEDs have been canned as well due to the new screen restrictions.
Finally, an answer to the number one question on everybody's mind: how much does Samsung's latest flagship actually cost? The standard Note 10 will run you a whopping $949, and the Note 10+ raises the bar to $1,099. The Verizon-exclusive 5G Note 10+ is even more expensive at $1,299.
You can reserve your unit – unlocked or otherwise – right now via Samsung's official website, and in one of three colors, to boot: Aura Glow, Aura White, and Aura Black. The Note 10 ships out on August 23.