The only current smartphone with a stylus is back — at its usual time, in the fall. A month before the new iPhone and Huawei Mate, a couple of months before the Google Pixel. The window is very convenient, because at this time the Galaxy Note 10 should be the main flagship without alternative. But was he good enough for it?
Against the backdrop of the Huawei storm, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 scandal has long been forgotten — and it seems a little ridiculous, even if you remember. But then it seemed that the reputation of the series was buried and this would be the last «note». Even if the Koreans will release a new flagship with a stylus and a huge display, they will call it something else. But time heals. Three years have passed — and that’s it, the healing has already happened, newsworthy events do not last long now.
But the Samsung Galaxy Note in 2019 seems to be returning to the old days, when it was not just the current Galaxy S plus a stylus and a couple of additional chips, but a really impressive device compared to the spring flagship, which inevitably evoked associations with a burrowing tool. This happened due to the good old “split” smartphone trick: along with the 6.4-inch Note10, a 6.8-inch Note10 + is also presented, which can surprise with a display diagonal. He got us for testing.
Its key differences from the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy S10 +: a modified design (more «square» and with a front camera embedded in the screen right in the center), a slightly improved platform (Exynos 9825 Octa vs. Exynos 9820 Octa), an additional camera on the rear panel (TOF for working with depth of field), and, of course, the pen — with advanced control options without touching the screen. At the time of writing, only one version of the smartphone was on sale — with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of non-volatile memory — at a price of $ 820. Very expensive, but maybe worth it?
|Samsung Galaxy Note10+||Samsung Galaxy Note9||Samsung Galaxy S10+||Apple iPhone Xs Max||Google Pixel 3XL|
|Display||6.8 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, 1440×3040, 498 ppi, capacitive multi-touch||6.4 inches, Super AMOLED, 1440×2960, 516 ppi, capacitive multi-touch||6.4 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 × 3040, 522 ppi, capacitive multi-touch||6.5″, Super AMOLED, 2688×1242, 458 ppi, capacitive multi-touch, TrueTone technology||6.3 inches, P-OLED, 2960 × 1440 pixels, 523 ppi, capacitive multi-touch|
|Protective glass||Corning Gorilla Glass 6||Corning Gorilla Glass 5||Corning Gorilla Glass 6||No information||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|CPU||Samsung Exynos 9825 Octa: eight cores (2 × Mongoose M4, 2.73 GHz + 2 × Cortex-A75, 2.4 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55, 1.9 GHz)||Samsung Exynos 9810 Octa: eight cores (4 × Mongoose M3, 2.7 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55, 1.8 GHz)||Samsung Exynos 9820 Octa: eight cores (2 × Mongoose M4, 2.73 GHz + 2 × Cortex-A75, 2.31 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55, 1.95 GHz)||Apple A12 Bionic: six cores (2 × Vortex + 4 × Tempest)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845: Quad-core Kryo 385 Gold @ 2.8GHz + Quad-core Kryo 385 Silver @ 1.7GHz|
|Graphics controller||Mali-G76 MP12||Mali-G72 MP18, 900 MHz||Mali-G76 MP12||Apple GPU (4 cores)||Adreno 630, 710 MHz|
|RAM||12 GB||6/8 GB||8/12 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
|Flash memory||256/512 GB||128/512 GB||128/512/1024 GB||64/256/512 GB||64/128 GB|
|Memory card support||There is||There is||There is||Not||Not|
|Connectors||USB Type-C||USB Type-C, mini jack 3.5 mm||USB Type-C, mini jack 3.5 mm||Lightning||USB Type-C|
|SIM cards||Two nano-SIMs||Two nano-SIMs||Two nano-SIMs||One nano-SIM and one e-SIM||One nano-SIM|
|Cellular 2G||GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz||GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz||GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz||GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz|
|Cellular 3G||HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz||HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz||HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz||HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz||HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz CDMA 2000|
|Cellular 4G||LTE Cat. 20 (2000/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 38 , 39, 40, 41, 66||LTE Cat. 18 (1200/200 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40 , 41, 66||LTE Cat. 20 (2000/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40 , 41, 66||LTE Cat. 16 (1024 Mbps): bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38 , 39, 40, 41, 66, 71||LTE Cat. 16 (1024Mbps): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 66, 71|
|NFC||There is||There is||There is||Yes (Apple Pay)||There is|
|Navigation||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo|
|Sensors||Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer||Light, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer, heart rate sensor, pressure||Light, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer, heart rate sensor, pressure||Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer||Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer|
|The fingerprint scanner||Yes, on screen||There is||Yes, on screen||Not||There is|
|Main camera||Quadruple module: 12 MP with variable aperture ƒ / 1.5-2.4 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.1 + 16 MP, ƒ / 2.2 + TOF camera, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization in the main and telemodules, led flash||Dual module: 12 MP with variable aperture ƒ / 1.5-2.4 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.4, hybrid autofocus, optical stabilization in both cameras, LED flash||Triple module: 12 MP with variable aperture ƒ / 1.5-2.4 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.4 + 16 MP, ƒ / 2.2, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization in the main and telemodules, LED flash||Dual module: 12 MP, ƒ / 1.8 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.4, autofocus, four-LED flash, optical stabilizer in both cameras||12.2 MP, ƒ/1.8, phase detection autofocus, dual LED flash, OIS|
|Front-camera||10 MP, ƒ/2.2, autofocus, no flash||8 MP, ƒ/1.7, autofocus, no flash||Dual module: 10 + 8 MP, ƒ / 1.9 + ƒ / 2.2, autofocus with the main camera||7 MP, ƒ/2.2, no autofocus, no flash||Dual module: 8 + 8 MP, ƒ / 1.8 + ƒ / 2.2, autofocus with the main camera|
|Nutrition||Non-removable battery: 16.34 Wh (4300 mAh, 3.8 V)||Non-removable battery: 15.2 Wh (4000 mAh, 3.8 V)||Non-removable battery: 15.58 Wh (4100 mAh, 3.8 V)||Non-removable battery: 12.06 Wh (3174 mAh, 3.8 V)||13.03 Wh (3430 mAh, 3.8 V) non-removable battery|
|Weight||196 grams||201 grams||175 grams||208 grams||184 grams|
|Operating system||Android 9.0 Pie, native shell||Android 8.1 Oreo, native shell||Android 9.0 Pie, native shell||iOS 12||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Current price||$820 for 12/256 GB version||$520 for 6/128 GB version, $720 for 8/512 GB version||$620 for 8/128 GB version, $920 for 12/1024 GB version||from 820$ to 920$||$420 for 64GB version, $520 for 128GB version|
⇡#Design, ergonomics and software
The Samsung Galaxy Note has always been distinguished by healthy conservatism in design — it was clearly created for a serious audience, for whom all the games with the cunning placement of the front camera or the iridescent back panel are useless. That’s all, these times have passed — now Note is also playful.
«Ten» clearly inherits the style of the current Galaxy S, but with a few amendments characteristic of the series. The most important — the camera, inscribed directly into the screen, has been moved from the corner to the center. This improves its perception, especially since it is a single, and not double, as in the Galaxy S10 +, module. But to call such a solution elegant also does not turn the tongue. We are looking forward to the «invisible» front cameras.
The second difference is the changed proportions of the body, which has become more square. The frames around the screen are just as minimal, even the «chin» is almost invisible. The screen is curved around the edges. Due to this, the dimensions of the gadget with a 6.8-inch display are more or less within the normal range — the smartphone, albeit with a creak, fits in your pocket. And it doesn’t weigh that much — 196 grams. For comparison: the Galaxy Note9 with its 6.4-inch display weighs 201 grams, and the iPhone Xs Max, which even at the start of sales seemed unnecessarily bulky, is 208 at all. But using Note10 + is still not very convenient, and in many ways just due to the small frames, combined with a curved display and relatively thin (7.9 mm) edges, there are too many false clicks. It is absolutely impossible to operate the device with one hand.
Both the front panel and the back are covered with tempered glass Gorilla Glass 6 — in theory, it provides good resistance to damage when the smartphone falls from a small height, but in practice this is a matter of chance. You can break a smartphone with a sixth “gorilla” by dropping it from half a meter onto a fleecy coating, or you can bang it from a meter and a half onto the parquet — and nothing. A glass smartphone on both sides looks stylish — until you start using it. The problem of all such gadgets does not bypass the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ — it is very slippery and easily gets dirty. It’s a bit of a pity to hide such beauty in a case — yes, this case is not included in the kit — but it’s scary to use it without a case. However, despite the curved edges, he at least does not try to slip off any insufficiently flat surface.
There are three color variations in Russia today: Aura Glow (as we tested), Aura White and Aura Black. Aura Blue will probably be added later. In general, there are many more of them — there is a yellow Note10, and copper, but there are none, but we have the choice that we have. The most interesting is just the iridescent Aura Glow, which almost freely changes color depending on the angle of view, but the others look very good. The design is at least not boring.
The edges of the case are made of aluminum with plastic veins, and when you look at them, you experience some disappointment. Still, we remember how Samsung mocked Apple, who removed the mini-jack in the iPhone 7, and for a long time did not really refuse the analog audio port. However, she did it at the most unexpected moment — Galaxy Note has always seemed like a smartphone for traditionalists, offering the maximum set of options, including optional ones. But the Koreans decided to slash from the shoulder right here, for which they deservedly receive a tomato volley in their direction. Probably, the 3.5 mm jack is already becoming obsolete and more and more users are switching to wireless headsets, but there were clearly no technological restrictions here — neither in terms of subtlety, nor in terms of special security — this is a purely fashion move that goes against the fact that Samsung itself said earlier. You were supposed to fight evil, not join it!
At the same time, the degree of moisture protection remained the same as that of the Galaxy Note9 or Galaxy S10 + — IP68. You can drop your smartphone to a depth of one and a half meters — and it is reasonable to hope that it will not suffer.
The controls have changed — now the keys are for some reason concentrated on the left side, where the device’s power button has also moved. It will take a few days to get used to this arrangement. But the special Bixby launch button has disappeared — the proprietary assistant is called up by long pressing the lock key. Double tapping it will activate the camera app. You can turn off or restart your smartphone by long pressing the same key in combination with the lower part of the volume key.
The fingerprint scanner on the Note10+ is exactly the same as on the S10+, an ultrasonic sensor located right below the screen. It is not bad — it reacts, in particular, to the touch of a wet finger — but far from the best on the market. For example, on OnePlus 7 Pro, which costs about half as much, and the touch area is larger, and the operation is faster. True, the OnePlus optical scanner will not respond to a wet finger. In any case, this is a normal level — the sadness of 2018, when Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 came out, has already passed. If you wish, you can replace the scanner with a face recognition system — here it uses only the front camera and works poorly in low light, but you can’t deceive it with a photograph, and it reacts quickly to the user’s physiognomy if there is enough light.
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ runs Android 9.0 Pie with One UI skin. I already talked about it in reviews of both the Galaxy S10 + and Galaxy A80, here it has not received major changes, if you do not remember about the S Pen and related features. About them — below, in a special section. Here it is worth saying that this is really the best shell in the history of Samsung — in this regard, the backlog from all competitors has been eliminated. She finally looks good, and does not seem overloaded, and works very quickly. The claims are the same — the Bixby recommendation panel instead of Google Now with ad inserts, and the Bixby assistant itself, which, unfortunately, is rather useless, climbs from all the cracks. Of the pluses, we note the Samsung Dex function, due to which the smartphone can be connected to a monitor and used as a kind of PC. Here one would complain that the function is no longer unique to the Note series (some other Galaxy can do this), but the older one still got its advantage — it can be connected to a computer simply via a cable, without additional accessories, and “emulate” it on the screen PC. Moreover, the smartphone retains full functionality, and does not go into some special standby mode.
There is also a panel that is standard for smartphones with a curved screen, just invented by Samsung — I personally never use it, but it still needs to be mentioned.
The pen itself has not changed compared to last year — 4096 degrees of pressure, built-in key, pleasantly clicking cap. Unless the design was slightly tweaked — the Samsung inscription and the metal insert disappeared. Seriously, there was simply no need to change anything — the stylus is very convenient, it is pleasant to use it. It again has a built-in Bluetooth module that requires charging, but you probably won’t know about this need — the new S Pen charges in a minute, and the charge is enough for 10 hours of use. For any action with the stylus, taken out of the bosom or placed in it, the smartphone responds with vibration. The S Pen hides in the same place as always — in the corner of the bottom edge.
Using the S Pen, as before, you can take handwritten notes, including those with text recognition, screenshots, including those with inscriptions on them (written can be saved separately) or highlighting individual places on the screen. You can select text with instant sending to the translator, create sketches, including those based on images already uploaded to the database. You can take notes directly on the lock screen in Always-On Display mode. Of the new features, I will note an expanded number of animated things: you can sculpt different flower hearts on screenshots and photos, and when shooting on camera, paint faces live, recording video or GIFs.
All important innovations relate to smartphone control with a stylus, but without touching the screen surface. Basically, gesture control is supported in system applications like the camera — and even then not in all. And for the first time such opportunities appeared in Note9, and now they are only expanded, although Samsung presents it as a completely new experience. In most cases, it is simply not needed, but when switching slides in a presentation organized by Samsung Dex, it is very even. The way the S Pen works in this mode is configurable, with the S Pen responding to both a single press, a double press, or a hold down of a key.
⇡#Display and sound
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ features a brand new 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display. There is no doubt about its quality — the Koreans provide a lot of panels with panels, but they put the best on their smartphones, and they almost never miss the settings. By the time of this writing, the Galaxy Note10+ screen has already managed to get the title of “best in the world”, but we still check with our own methods how much it deserves it.
The resolution of the 19:9 curved panel was 3040 × 1440 pixels. The pixel density is sufficient — 498 ppi. The «elite» milestone of half a thousand dots per inch has not been overcome, but this is not required — the clarity of the fonts and the smoothness of the picture are more than sufficient. Moreover, by default, the Note10+ display runs at Full HD+ (2280 × 1080) resolution — and you don’t even want to switch to Quad HD. Only for the sake of films in 4K resolution — they definitely look better. But I note that when you activate an increased resolution, the font in many third-party applications may seem too small to you — for some reason this rare problem has surfaced here.
As in the Samsung Galaxy S10 +, I really liked the oleophobic coating — the screen is resistant to micro-scratches and does not collect fingerprints very actively, and those that do remain are very easy to remove with any cloth. I had fewer problems with the touch screen than in the case of the Galaxy S10 + (there were no false positives in my pocket), but the problem of the curved display remained with me here. Either I have such especially crooked fingers, or it’s really inconveniently organized — but I constantly pinched the side of the display, thereby blocking any other actions with the smartphone. And it’s pretty annoying.
There is a customizable Always-On Display mode — you can choose not only what to display on the locked display, but also how. The smartphone reacts when picked up — it turns on the screen, shows the time and notifications.
We already know the set of screen settings well from other smartphones with One UI that we tested: Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy A80. The set of options in terms of fonts and scaling is quite large, but the color correction capabilities have decreased compared to last year. There are only two modes left: «saturated» (with the ability to change the white balance and manually adjust the three main colors) and «natural». In fact, they determine the color gamut in combination with the color temperature — the ability to see the picture as close to the original as possible or brighter, catchy and full color, but less natural. To watch videos with support for HDR10 + (declared in the specifications), it is recommended to use the «saturated colors» mode, in which brightness peaks are achieved.
The maximum measured brightness level when manually setting the indicator to the maximum was 423 cd / m2 — for an AMOLED display, the level is quite normal. But I measured the brightness of the display indoors under artificial light, and the Galaxy Note10 + has a non-switchable automatic adjustment of brightness to the situation and lighting. At its peak, it can reach almost twice as high, which provides conditional HDR support and absolute comfort when using a smartphone in the sun. There will definitely be no problems with this.
In rich color mode, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ uses a color gamut that is very close to DCI-P3 gamut. In the color rendering program, I set the reference values that correspond to this standard. The average gamma value is 2.09, which is quite close to the ideal, the color temperature is slightly increased (average — 7,500 K with short-term drops to 6,700 K), the average DeltaE deviation for the extended Color Checker palette (grayscale + wide range of color shades ) is 5.64 (at a rate of 3 and a reference value of 2).
In the «natural colors» color rendering mode, the color gamut is close to sRGB — and we check the measurements against this standard. Gamma is 2.18 (the curves are not perfect, but the average value is normal), the temperature is slightly warmer and closer to the standard (keeps around 7,000 K), the average DeltaE deviation on the Color Checker scale is 3.75 — Note10 + unexpectedly does not falls within the limits of the norm.
We can say that the display of the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ is very good in most respects, but in terms of visual impressions of color reproduction and instrumental measurements, it is not ideal. I can’t call it the best in the world.
If we had a point system for evaluating gadgets, then Note10 + would definitely get a fine of a point or two just for the very fact of betraying oneself. A mini-jack on a flagship smartphone is now rare, and users are slowly but unstoppably switching to wireless headphones that can provide sufficient sound quality today. But for so long and securely holding on to the analog audio jack, which still remains the most valuable option (yes, even when the headphones are dead), and then suddenly, on the very smartphone that should absorb everything in general, give it up …
Yes, I’m talking about this for the second time, let’s move on. There is an adapter for a mini-jack included in the kit — and when using it, the sound quality is not too impressive. The same Galaxy S10 + I liked significantly more with a cable connection. Although this is a matter of taste — there is enough output power, the sound is spectrally rich. With wireless headphones, Note10+ sounds confident — all the necessary Bluetooth profiles are in place. The speakers are stereo — one is directed to the right / down (located on the bottom end), the second, conversational, is above the display. They are loud and produce an unexpectedly powerful and detailed sound.
⇡#Hardware and performance
Samsung Galaxy Note10/Note10+ received, as usual, two versions: for North America, with Qualcomm’s current flagship platform (in this case, Snapdragon 855, not even Plus), and for the rest of the world, with its own SoC Samsung Exynos. Moreover, improved in comparison with the one that we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S10 +, the place of Samsung Exynos 9820 Octa was taken by Samsung Exynos 9825 Octa.
It features a new process technology — 7nm EUV (Deep Ultraviolet Photolithography) technology has taken the place of 8nm LPP (Low Power Plus) FinFET technology. The components of the platform have not changed: eight cores (two Samsung’s own cores with a frequency of 2.73 GHz, two Cortex-A75 cores with a frequency of 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores with a frequency of 1.9 GHz), an ARM Mali-G76 MP12 graphics accelerator , NPU neurocomputer module, LTE-Advanced Pro Cat.20 modem, LPDDR4x RAM controller.
Samsung thus overtook its direct competitors — the Korean platform uses the most advanced technological process to date, which is used in mobile systems-on-a-chip. The lag that unexpectedly arose in the Exynos 9820 Octa has been leveled. This improvement has almost no effect on platform performance, but in theory should lead to improved energy efficiency. In fact, you can see a minimal increase in indicators in benchmarks (we did not include S10 + in the table — after all, the comparison with direct competitors and last year’s «laptop» is clearer), and Note10 + did not show any serious progress in autonomy, but more on that we will discuss in the relevant section.
The improvement in the field of neural network computing is more noticeable than in other tasks — compared to the results of Exynos 9820 Octa, an increase of about one and a half times can be recorded: 4464 points in Ludashi AI Mark for Galaxy S10+ and 6936 points for Galaxy Note10+. But this is still not enough in comparison with all competitors — Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 consistently produces more than 45 thousand points in this test. However, it is not easy to feel this huge difference on real tasks — it processes photos, glues masks, and interacts with Bixby smartphone quickly enough so that you do not feel this discomfort.
The cooling system works at the level of the Galaxy S10 + — progress in relation to the previous generation of Note is very serious, «nine», I remind you, showed an unacceptable level of throttling for a flagship. «Ten» also does not break stability records, but these are already acceptable indicators — the average performance for a 15-minute session in the CPU Throttling Test is 114.7 GIPS, and the smartphone keeps the frequencies at 79% of the maximum.
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ unexpectedly loses to the Galaxy S10+ in terms of the maximum available storage capacity — it does not have a terabyte version. There are only options for 256 and 512 GB, but the UFS 3.0 standard. This is the second smartphone on the market with this type of memory after OnePlus 7 Pro — and this, among other things, affects the impression of its work. The laptop is really very fast, applications open almost instantly. If desired, the memory can be expanded with a microSD card with a capacity of up to 1 TB — but for this you will have to sacrifice a second slot for a SIM card. The amount of RAM is fixed and, one might say, redundant — 12 GB.
⇡#Communications and wireless communications
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ has two nano-SIM slots, and one of them, as I mentioned above, is combined with a memory card slot. With both SIMs, you can go online via LTE. A modem is installed here that can work with LTE category 20: the theoretical download speed reaches 2 Gb / s, transmission — 150 Mb / s. All the bands necessary for working with 4G networks in the CIS are in place — the list is generally very extensive, most likely you will not experience connection problems in any of the places on the planet where there are base stations at all.
But in terms of working with SIM cards, I did not like the Galaxy Note10 +. I used it with two cards — and the smartphone behaved capriciously: from time to time it stopped seeing one of the SIM cards, then found it and demanded to reboot; from a certain moment, the notification “updating data on the SIM card” began to appear on the screen every now and then; once the network fell off altogether and returned only after rebooting the gadget. You usually expect fewer problems from a flagship.
All standard wireless modules, with the exception of the infrared port, are present: NFC (with Samsung Pay support), Bluetooth 5.0 (with LE and aptX; you can output a signal to two devices at once), Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ ac/ax (Wi-Fi 6). The ability to use the Galaxy Note as a Wi-Fi repeater has disappeared.
The navigation module works with the main systems: GPS (including A-GPS), GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo. He does it quickly, without failures and with high quality.
Samsung didn’t come up with almost anything with the Galaxy Note10 camera — it just took the module from the S10 and installed it in its autumn flagship without any changes. On the one hand, the logic is cast-iron: if you start to come up with something, you can come up with the situation of Huawei last year, where the Mate 20 Pro was inferior in terms of shooting quality to the spring P20 Pro. On the other hand, the Koreans are no longer in first place in the camera competition and could take care of this problem. But here the same “almost” worked — a TOF camera was added to the identical triple module, which measures the depth of the frame, which nevertheless made it possible to take first place in the DxO Mark summary table of ranks, albeit due to a greatly improved (largely due to this move) filming. In the photo — the situation is the same as in the spring.
The main camera in Note10 + received a 12-megapixel sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 microns (dimensions — 1 / 2.55 ″) and a lens with a variable aperture of ƒ / 1.5-2.4. Relative focal length — 27 mm. Autofocus — phase, using the Dual Pixel system, there is an optical stabilizer.
2x optical zoom provides a 12-megapixel module (1 / 3.6″, 1 μm) with an ƒ / 2.1 aperture lens (there is a slight increase compared to the S10, whose zoom lens aperture was ƒ / 2.4) and focal length 52 mm. It also works with phase autofocus (it used to be contrast) and an optical stabilizer. A 16-megapixel module (pixel size — 1 micron) with a viewing angle of 123 degrees (equivalent focal length — 12 mm) is responsible for the wide angle, the relative aperture of the lens is ƒ / 2.2. There is no longer autofocus or stabilizer is not provided. There is no need to talk about a serious increase in the quality of shooting relative to the Galaxy S10, but there is something. For example, now with zoom you can feel more comfortable in the dark — the increased aperture helps, and the improved focusing system, and anti-aliasing algorithms work more correctly. Surprisingly, I liked the work of the wide-angle module more, which, it would seem, has not changed in any way — at least during the day, edge sharpness and color reproduction are very good. Automatic correction of distortions, natural for wide-angle optics, in place. It is disabled, but I recommend not to touch this setting, it works great.
Neural networks, of course, are also used when shooting with Samsung — this is a well-known “frame optimization” technology from the Galaxy Note9: the smartphone diligently tries to recognize the scene and refine the frame accordingly. The gadget does this very carefully — sometimes it is very difficult to notice the differences between a frame with and without “optimization”. But what exactly has changed is that there is no overkill with this feature, as was the case with the Galaxy S10. Remember the night «stars»? This will not happen here. Almost always, the work of “frame optimization” benefits these very frames — you can safely leave the add-on enabled. The Galaxy Note10 also knows how to give recommendations — in addition to simple advice to switch to a zoom camera or a wide-angle module to get a more effective shot, it can also offer some kind of composition, but it does it all the same clumsily, it’s better to think with your head.
There is also a night mode in the arsenal of the Samsung Galaxy Note10 +, in which the smartphone’s camera takes many frames with different exposures and then combines them into one with extended dynamic range, smoothed noise and increased sharpness. The difference between the normal mode and the night mode is noticeable to the naked eye, but it can not always be interpreted in favor of the latter: very aggressive post-processing harms the visual impression of the pictures, which sometimes look too unnatural. This is especially true of Samsung’s traditional weak point — software sharpening: a problem that was already forgotten was again clearly visible here. I can’t unequivocally recommend the night mode, as is the case with the flagships of Huawei or Google Pixel – but in fairness, the Galaxy Note10 + does a good job without it.
The portrait mode itself, which Samsung calls “live focus”, has remained unchanged: the smartphone takes a picture with background blur and the addition of various special effects — for example, it can “wrap” the background in a circle or let it “beam” from the center, or, let’s say, keep the center object colored by decolorizing the background. But the quality has changed a lot. First, the mode is now available with two focal lengths — both with the main camera and with the zoom module, which is great for shooting portraits. Secondly, the object and the background are separated noticeably better — the TOF camera added to the smartphone’s arsenal clearly influenced here.
“Live focus” can be used not only in portraits — but the selection of nature should be approached carefully, the focus will work (sorry for the tautology) not always.
The interface of the camera application in One UI is well known from several smartphones of the Korean company that we have visited — no one began to redo it for Note. The interface is simple, concise and very logical, with clear icons and thoughtful navigation. Instagram Tab Integration* in place, as well as the ability to remove it — the set of modes in the carousel can be configured independently. By the way, Instagram* added to the image viewing menu, from where they can be sent directly to the social network without going into its application. There is the possibility of shooting in RAW format, on the spot a special mode for shooting food, slow and fast shooting, gluing hyperlapses. In general, in terms of the capabilities of the camera application and its interface, Samsung is perhaps the leader today.
The overall quality of photography inspires respect: we note an honest color reproduction for all three cameras and a very good dynamic range — primarily for the main one. In terms of the capabilities and quality of shooting in the dark, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+, perhaps, loses to both the Huawei P30 Pro and the Google Pixel 3 (even a higher aperture does not help), but in normal lighting it is not inferior to anyone (and the ability to close the aperture helps here). It is impossible not to say about the backlog of the Koreans in the zoom — today you will not surprise anyone twice. This opens up a solid space for Samsung to work in the future.
When it comes to video, the Samsung galaxy S10+ was already ahead of all Android smartphones. The Galaxy Note10+ has solidified this lead. First of all, this concerns shooting with stabilization — it is just as effective, but the viewing angle is now wider. Stabilization is available for all standard shooting modes up to 4K30p. It is possible to record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second — but in this case, only the optical stabilizer works and it is impossible to shoot on modules other than the main one. It is worth lowering the frequency to 30 frames per second, as the possibility of expanding the viewing angle or activating a double zoom is added.
Like the latest Huawei flagships, Note10 + offers the ability to blur the background with the imposition of various filters (like a BW background with a colored person in the frame or its own Glitch filter with color distortion in the eighties spirit) — this mode does not always work stably and only with a person in the frame frame, but if you get used to it, you can make very interesting videos. There is a mode for shooting super slow motion video (960 frames per second), but with a resolution only up to 720p — here Samsung is inferior to the leaders in this regard, Sony Xperia. But you can choose the length of the piece removed with extreme slowdown — 0.4 or 0.8 seconds. And finally, the possibility of a sound zoom has been added — when a sound-producing object approaches, the sound emanating from it is amplified. In terms of overall features combined with raw video quality, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ is by far the best smartphone in the world.
The selfie camera in the Galaxy Note10 + is quite standard — 10 megapixels, on-screen flash, aperture optics ƒ/ 2.2, but there is an autofocus rare for front cameras. The manufacturer does not focus on the selfie module — apparently, he believes that such a solid unit simply did not stop. He copes with his duties, in any case, confidently. The same «live focus» effects as on the main camera are available, and the blur is not bad at all, despite the lack of a secondary camera. There is a “beautifier” with numerous settings, selfie moji (including a personal one, when the smartphone scans your face and creates a cartoon character based on the “seen” cartoon character) and various masks. New AR toys have also been added, including those using the S Pen — you can draw directly on the face in the frame (both with the main camera and with the front one) and both take photos and record videos or gifs. By default, it is proposed to shoot with a small zoom — a software crop is used, files with a resolution of 6.5 megapixels are recorded. At any time, you can switch to «extended», 10-megapixel, mode.
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ has a 16.34Wh (4300mAh, 3.8V) battery. There is a 300 mAh increase over that of the Note9 or S10+. This is logical with an enlarged screen, but does not lead to any outstanding results in terms of autonomy. With a creak, the battery lasts for a full day with an ordinary load or for 10-12 hours at maximum. For a smartphone with a 6.8-inch display and such a powerful filling, it’s probably not bad, but Note doesn’t have any advantage over competitors, it doesn’t emphasize its special “business” status.
But in our standard HD video playback test at maximum screen brightness, with wireless connections turned on, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ delivered an excellent result — more than 20 hours. But that’s partly because of the dark roller we’ve been using for a few years now. With the colorful and vibrant Full HD video that comes to replace it, things aren’t so great anymore — just over 10 hours. In any case, these are very good numbers, the autonomy of Note10 + can be called good.
The Galaxy Note10+ supports up to 15W wireless charging, which can be purchased separately. Moreover, he can charge gadgets (primarily wireless headphones) himself — in 9-watt mode. The most important innovation is support for USB PD 3.0, which allows you to purchase a 45-watt device and charge your smartphone in 35 minutes. With a bundled 25-watt adapter (with a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable, by the way), it takes 65 minutes. This is also quite fast for such a large battery. I also note the improved energy saving system, which tries not only to cut off all possible processes, but to adapt to the user using «artificial intelligence». This reduces its effectiveness, but increases comfort when using a smartphone with a low battery.
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ is, in the language of the leader of the world proletariat, an arch-flagship. With a starting price of $820, it automatically becomes a smartphone for the elite. Those who are ready to overpay for a stylus, the opportunity to get a 6.8-inch display and special abilities when shooting video. For $720 — the price of the Samsung Galaxy S10+ — you get the same stylus, but 6.3 inches and no TOF camera in the rear module. After the iPhone Xs Max broke the $1,000 barrier in its ultimate version, nothing is scary anymore, but the word “expensive” still doesn’t disappear anywhere.
Yes, the Note10+ offers a unique combination of a nearly seven-inch screen and pen, there is simply no other like it, but against the backdrop of the rapidly depreciating Note9, does this offer look so appetizing?
This is a rhetorical question. If we talk about the immediate advantages and disadvantages of the Galaxy Note10 + as a thing in itself, then everything is pretty good. We will not forget, we will not forgive the disappearance of the 3.5 mm jack, but otherwise we have a cool screen, an elite-level camera, excellent performance, good autonomy and the absence of really significant shortcomings. Only a couple of ergonomic moments are embarrassing (the power key is on the left side, a very large case with a curved display), but they are insignificant. This gadget has a rather narrow audience, but it shouldn’t be disappointed.
- the hardware platform is weaker than the Snapdragon 855, but a very fast drive (UFS 3.0);
- excellent quality of both photo and video shooting;
- functional stylus S Pen;
- beautiful 6.8-inch AMOLED display;
- good autonomy and fast charging;
- very nice design.
- no mini-jack;
- ordinary zoom, and there is no autofocus on the wide-angle camera;
- imperfect ergonomics;
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court has made a decision that has entered into legal force to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On countering extremist activity”.