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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review: and this is my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review after using it for almost two months.

Now, why after two months?

Why do I have two Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Pluses here?

Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to test out both Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 variant as well as the Samsung Exynos 9825.

So this way, I’ll have more of a balanced approach to using both variants for an extended period of time and as you guys know, in these videos, I don’t go over specs.

I simply talk about my experience, what I like about the device, what I don’t like about it, what I think can be improved.

So this gonna be quite a long video, but I’ll try to include some timestamps in the comments below, so that way you can skip
to a particular section if you’d like to. Let’s get straight to it.

Now I think it’s no surprise that I really, really like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

It’s definitely one of the best smartphones you can buy right now and I have been a Note fan for the past few years.

However, this year, the Note series doesn’t mean what it used to mean for me in previous years and we’ll cover that in this review.

Right, now the first thing I wanna talk about is what makes the Note series unique and that is, of course, this S Pen.

This is what really makes the Note stand out compared to lots of other devices out there, and I still think, when it comes to a stylus on a smartphone the Note is king.

There have been lots of other manufacturers who have tried to have a stylus but the Samsung Galaxy Note series still does it best in my opinion.

And I really like it.

Now I don’t think this is something that everybody’s gonna use every single day.

I don’t use this every single day but in the situations where I do use it, I’m so glad that it’s here.

So let me give you a few examples.

I take lots of images on my smartphones and sometimes I need to do a quick few edits.

You cannot get the precision with your finger that you can get with a stylus and when you do need to make some quick edits, this is so, so useful.

I’m somebody who travels a lot as well so I get lots of documents that I have to sign, some contracts that I have to quickly go through and sign.

They’re usually very, very time-sensitive and urgent and I might not have my laptop with me or something.

So with this, I can quickly look through the documents, sign, and send and it’s so, so convenient.

And one other thing that I really like the S Pen for is the remote trigger for the camera.

So if I need to take a group shot, there have been lots of situations, I wanna be in the shot as well.

Traditionally, I’d have to set a timer and then quickly run in front which isn’t ideal.

This way I can just mount it up somewhere and then I can take pictures using the S Pen.

So, so useful.

Now having said that, there are some new features that we’ve got this year, which I do believe are quite gimmicky.

Using the S Pen, waving it around like you’re freaking Harry Potter to swipe through different camera modes and things like that.

I used it for the first day just to test it out and then I never used it again.

The same goes for AR Doodle, where you can kind of draw things on yourself or in the 3D space and then kinda walk around.

Again, you know, it’s there but it’s something that I do feel is quite a bit of a gimmick and it’s not something that I find useful.

Nevertheless, it’s not to take away from how useful the S Pen is and I really do like it.

Now let’s talk about the display.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus has one of the best displays in the market right now, as it always has done.

It’s sharp, it’s vibrant and it’s also very, very bright.

I think it’s the brightest smartphone panel on any smartphone out right now.

You can get up to 1300 nits so if you are outdoors, with really bright sunlight, you still shouldn’t have a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus’ display.

It’s very, very good.

We’ve got minimal bezels.

Now, we do have that punch out.

Personally speaking, it hasn’t been too much of a big deal for me.

I did think that I would like the side punch outs a little bit more after coming from the S10 Plus, which is a little bit more out of the way and I do still prefer that when watching movies and things like that but having the center punch out means things are quite symmetrical.

The icons on the left and right, so I do like that as well.

Generally speaking, I don’t think the punch-out is gonna be an issue for most people.

If you’re somebody who really hates the punch out, then, of course, you’re not gonna like this, but I think for the majority of people you shouldn’t have a problem with it.

Now, having said that, of course, this is something that I’ve heard so many people talk about, why doesn’t the Note 10 Plus
have a 90-hertz refresh rate?

And this is something that I was honestly hoping for.

Samsung actually makes the panel for the OnePlus 7 Pro, so I’m not sure why they haven’t included it here on the Note 10 Plus.

Maybe it’s got to do with the effect that it’s gonna have on the battery life.

Maybe they couldn’t have got it as bright as it currently is if they went for a 90-hertz refresh rate.

A 90-hertz refresh rate is something that I really do appreciate and it makes things super, super smooth.

However, I think you’re only gonna notice that if you are coming from a 90-hertz refresh rate display.

So I don’t think many people will be coming to the Note 10 Plus from something like the OnePlus 7 Pro, which has just been released recently.

Yes, it would’ve been nice to have the 90-hertz refresh rate.

I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker, but I really do hope that the next Samsung Galaxy device does have this.

Moving on to the cameras, I gotta say that the Note 10 Plus also has some of the best cameras in the market right now.

We’ve got a lot of versatility.

So we’ve got the ultra-wide, we’ve got the regular, we’ve also got the telephoto, but what I really like about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus as I liked about the S10 Plus, is the fact that these cameras are pretty consistent.

So when you are taking pictures from the three different cameras, they do have similar colors and this is something that so many of the manufacturers just completely fail on.

You can take a shot from the primary camera, as soon as you go to the ultra-wide the colors are completely off.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review

This is thankfully not the case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and it’s something that I really do appreciate.

Now as we’ve seen on previous Samsung devices, colors tend to be on the saturated side, so they’re really a bit more punchy than you’d get from other cameras but it seems like most people from the polls that I’ve done actually like this look, so, you know, it’s gonna come down to your personal preference.

A dynamic range, as well, is really, really good on the Note 10 Plus.

The ultra wide is still currently my favorite out there. What I also like is that a lot of feedback has been taken on board.

If you guys have seen my Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review, a couple of the things that I said there were firstly, we should have a night mode for low-light photography.

This is now here.

It also came as an update on the S10 Plus, so now it’s gonna take multiple exposures and it does really well in low light.

I’d say it’s not as good as some of the other competition out there but it’s still very, very good and we also now have live
focus from the primary camera as well as the telephoto.

The S10 Plus, when it was released, it only had the primary camera but I do like the fact that you can now use the telephoto camera for portraits as well.

And speaking of live focus, having the additional depth sensor here on the Note 10 Plus means the edge detection is among the best on any smartphone.

It does a really, really good job of isolating your subject.

Having played with lots of cameras, there are some situations where there might just be a little gap, say in between your arms or something, where the blur will be missed out.

The Note 10 Plus usually gets hold of this, which is quite impressive.

I do think that’s thanks to that depth sensor.

And we’ve got some great video recording here on the Note 10 Plus as well.

I’d say this is one of the best for video, especially on the Android side.

You’ve got a great dynamic range for video from all of the cameras.

You’ve also got great stabilization from all of the cameras here as well, but there are things that I think can be improved on the Note 10 Plus’ cameras.

For example, when it comes to skin tones, especially when you’re using live focus, they can be a little bit washed out.

I do prefer more of a natural skin tone.

This is something that the Note 10 Plus does struggle with, especially if you’re in direct sunlight.

And a few of the things that I fed back on on the S10 Plus are still not here.

So, for example, when it comes to the Pro Mode, you can only use the primary camera as far as I can see.

You can’t use the ultra-wide.

I’d love to dial in a few settings when using the ultra-wide so I can get more out of it, but unfortunately, that’s not here.

And also, when you’re using the super steady mode, so this is very, very good, and it gives you crazy gimbal-like stabilization on the cameras but when you do switch to it, if you’re in 4K, it’s gonna switch you down to 1080p without telling you that you’re switching to 1080p.

So my advice to Samsung would be, is just to have a little icon, maybe on the side, that tells you your resolution when you’re shooting video, so if you do switch from 4K to 1080p you switch on super steady, then at least you know that so that is a compromise.

I’m sure that a lot of people will be more than happy with because of the amazing stabilization that you get but hey Samsung, give
me some feedback, man.

There’s also a live focus video.

So this is where it’s gonna try to blur the background and use that depth sensor.

Unfortunately, this is very, very bad.

Like, it’s completely unusable in my opinion.

I’ve tried it out a few times and it’s completely hit and miss, and it’s not something that I found myself using after the first couple of times because it just was so bad.

Maybe that can be improved with the software updates.

I don’t know.

Live focus video from the front-facing camera is actually better so you do get a decent sort of effect.

You can switch between a few different effects.

It’s not something that I find myself using a lot but, hey, it does okay.

And let’s talk a little bit about the front-facing camera.

So it’s quite similar to what we’ve got on the S10 Plus.

So it’s really good.

Dynamic range is also really good and details are also there.

It still does smoothen your face a little bit even if you completely switch off the beauty mode.

This is something that I’m not a huge fan of.

If I switch off beauty mode, I don’t want any softening or smoothening happening on my face.

I am happy with the way my face looks with all of its imperfections so I wish that it would stop applying this smoothness when you completely switch it off.

You’ve got 4K recording from the front-facing camera which is great if you’re somebody who likes to vlog, but when it comes to the live focus mode from the front-facing camera, the portrait selfies, unfortunately, this is not as good as the S10 Plus.

Now, for those of you guys who saw my S10 Plus review, you would’ve seen that I really praised the front-facing camera of the S10 Plus and that was because having that second read depth sensor really did make a difference when it came to portrait selfies.

It did such a good job when it came to edge detection.

With the Note 10 Plus, I find that it really does struggle.

Now, I know it’s not gonna apply to everybody but for me personally, I have a beard.

It hasn’t applied that effect.

Right, so I’m in live focus from the front-facing camera.

You can see that it’s detected my face.

It’s saying that the effect is ready, so let’s take a shot.

The shot is taken.

Now if you go into the gallery, you can see that there is no actual live focus filter applied and I can’t adjust it or anything like that.

It’s non-existent,

even though it told me it was back when I was taking the shot.

That’s not good.

So for me, that’s been very, very frustrating.

Now, I know it’s not something that’s gonna affect everybody but this wasn’t a problem with the S10 Plus.

It’s not a problem with the iPhone, for example.

It is a problem here with the Note 10 Plus and I think it does come down to the fact that we’ve only got this single front-facing camera instead of that additional depth sensor that we’ve got on the S10 Plus.

So that is something that I have been personally quite disappointed with it.

I know it’s not gonna affect everybody but when it comes down to the front-facing camera, the S10 Plus definitely is better in my opinion.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about the build and design.

I think this is one of the best-looking smartphones out there.

Samsung has always been great when it comes to the design of their smartphones.

The fact that this is squared off as well, makes it look quite unique.

It might not be as comfortable to hold as something like the S10 Plus, but it really gives it that sort of Note feel and I really do like it.

Everything just curves in very nicely.

We’ve got IP68 water and dust resistance and we don’t have too much of a camera bump.

So the camera bump is still there, but it doesn’t rock as much as lots of other smartphones do.

I also really like this Aura Glow color which is definitely quite trippy, and it looks like Samsung has taken some inspiration from Huawei going for all of these gradient types of colors

and it does look very, very striking.

As always, because it is glass, it does attract a lot of fingerprints so I constantly find myself having to clean the back of this.

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They solve that fingerprint issue and also allow you to kind of, you know, change things up whenever you feel like it.

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Now, we still have the dual curves on the front and the back.

This seems to be a trend that Samsung started a few years ago, so you can blame them for this if you don’t like it, and it looks like the manufacturers have just really taken it too far.

Like, if you look at some of the new devices, we’ve got the new Vivo NEX 3 as well as the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, they’ve got much more curves on either side compared to the Note.

It’s something that looks super slick, in my opinion, but it’s not as practical if it comes to getting a screen protector.

There’s only a particular type of screen protector that’s really gonna work with these curved displays so it just makes things a
a little bit more difficult.

I wish that Samsung went for a flat display on the regular Note 10 and maybe the curved display for the Note 10 Plus, so at least you’d have that option.

I know not everybody’s a fan of the curved displays.

It does look really cool.

It’s not a huge deal for me personally, but, you know, I know a few people are not fans of that curved display.

Now another design change that we’ve had this year is that we’ve got all buttons on the left-hand side.

So we’ve got the volume rocker as well as the power button and that’s it when it comes to buttons.

The power button also double up as the Bixby button, but thankfully Samsung have taken that feedback on board and this time, that Bixby button can be remapped, so you can have it to just power things off when you press and hold it and that way if you
don’t want Bixby at all, you’re just not a fan of it, then you can switch it off completely.

So I’m glad that this is here right now.

It did take me a bit of time to get used to not having buttons on the right-hand side, but after a few days, when I would switch back to something like the S10 Plus, I would keep looking for the power button on the left-hand side, so I don’t think this is gonna
be a problem for most people.

Now, let’s talk about the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner.

It works really well.

It’s fast and although it might not be as fast as some of the other optical fingerprint scanners that we have out there, you have to remember that this is an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, so it’s actually more secure compared to optical fingerprint scanners so I actually don’t mind that it’s not rapid fast as some of the others out there.

And one of the things that I would advise is that I’d re-register the same fingerprint a couple of times, just so it makes it a
a little bit more accurate.

I still prefer physical fingerprint scanners, personally.

I just think that they’re faster and more convenient but having the fingerprint scanner within the display is something that is useful, so you can still unlock your phone, even when it’s flat on the table and it does work really well overall.

Now let’s talk about the software.

So we do have One UI on top of the Android and One UI is definitely one of my favorite skins out there.

It’s very smooth.

It’s clean and I really like the fact that it’s easy to use with one hand compared to lots of other skins out there.

So for example, if you’re within the messaging app, then you had this big header and all of your messages will be reachable with one hand and I think that that’s especially important for a display size this big.

Few things that I’ll recommend as soon as you get the device.

These are similar things that I recommended with the S10 Plus.

Firstly, the icons are super big when you initially get this.

I’m not sure why that is.

You can easily change this so if you go into home screen settings, you can have the home screen grid to five by six which is gonna allow you to get the most out of this very, very large screen.

It is something that I think should be at default.

I love the night mode that you’ve got on here.

So, just by tapping it in the settings, it’s gonna make everything dark.

This is supposed to be used for nighttime but I use it all the time.

It saves battery and it just makes everything look super slick.

Dark mode, all things.

And another thing that I think should be the default, but I’d definitely recommend you turn it on, is this setting here which is within the display and home screen settings, and that is swipe down for notification panel.

So by default, when you get your Note 10 Plus, if you swipe down from the home screen, you’re gonna get your app tray, and also if you swipe up from your home screen, you’re gonna get your app tray.

Now, this kinda seems pointless for both of those to do the same thing.

So if you do go into your display settings and then on to the home screen, and you switch on this swipe down for notification panel setting, what will happen is when you in the home screen and you swipe down, then you will get your notification panel.

If you swipe down again, it’s gonna bring down all of your quick toggles.

So if you are using this with one hand, look how quickly you can just swipe down, see your notifications, and also have access to
all of your quick panels, all with one hand on this very large device.

These are a few things that I think should be by default.

I’m not sure why Samsung doesn’t do this but is very, very useful and I definitely recommend it.

Another new feature that I really like on One UI is the screen recorder.

It does what it says.

It lets you record your screen and it’s nice that it’s now baked in and built-in.

Yes, it’s gonna be coming on Android 10, but I’m not sure when the Note 10 Plus is gonna be getting Android 10 and that is one of the issues when it comes to One UI and that is updated.

They’re not as frequent as what we’ve got from some of the other manufacturers out there.

So Oxygen OS and OnePlus do get updates quicker compared to what we have here on One UI and I’m hoping that this can be improved.

Now, when it comes to the audio, the speakers are actually pretty good.

I’ve not had any issues with the speakers on here.

You’ve got stereo speakers but you don’t have a 3.5mm jack.

This is something that is quite disappointing.

Considering that the Note device is usually one that has no compromises, it has everything, it is quite disappointing for a lot of people I know that we don’t have a 3.5mm jack.

And it is something that I predicted, just wanna mention, a few months ago.

I had a feeling that there wasn’t gonna be a 3.5mm jack here on the Note 10 Plus.

I’m personally used to wireless earbuds.

I use the Galaxy Buds and I really do like them.

There are a few occasions when I wish that this did have a 3.5mm jack when I don’t have anything else to hand.

It is something that I think most people are gonna now have to get used to and Samsung has now joined that trend and I don’t think any future flagship devices from Samsung will have a 3.5mm jack.

Now, one thing that we still do have on the Note 10 Plus which I thought, realistically speaking, that we weren’t gonna get
is expandable storage.

So you can get an SD card and you can expand the storage on the Note 10 Plus.

The Note 10 does not have an SD card slot but the Note 10 Plus does have.

I personally do not find myself having to use it because you do get 256 gigabytes as a base which is more than enough
for somebody like myself and it’s also a UFS 3.0 storage so it is very, very fast.

And now moving on to speed and performance.

The Note 10 Plus has been absolutely fine.

It’s been very fast, very, very snappy and that goes for both the 855 variant as well as the Exynos 9825 variant.

Both have been absolutely fine, very, very smooth.

And honestly speaking, I think on day-to-day usage, you’re not really gonna notice too much of a difference in terms of the performance between these two chipsets.

One area where I have noticed a bit of difference still is battery life.

I am still getting a little bit better battery life on the Snapdragon 855 variant compared to the Exynos 9825, not as much of a
difference as I was getting on the S10s because the S10s had the 9820.

So to put that into perspective, on the Note 10 Plus Exynos 9825 variant, based on my data usage, I’m usually getting around and about five hours of on-screen time, sometimes up to around five and a half, whereas on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 variant, I have been getting up to six hours.

So I am still getting better battery life overall in my experience on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 variant but the 9825 is a lot closer.

And this is quite interesting.

It looks like the 9825 is really just catching up to the 855 and I was expecting the Note 10 Plus to have the 855 Plus.

So that is the latest and greatest chipset from Qualcomm, and it is something that we’ve got on some of the newer devices, such as the ASUS ROG 2 phone, also the OnePlus 7T and it’s something that I was expecting Samsun to include on the Note 10 Plus because the Note 10 Plus is supposed to be no compromises, the best of the best, the benchmark for the best all-around smartphone out there.

I’m not sure why Samsung didn’t go for the 855 Plus.

Maybe it was because they didn’t want that much of a difference between the Exynos 9825 and the Snapdragon 855 Plus, which actually would’ve been there, in my opinion.

So it’s not here.

I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker by any means but it’s something that I was hoping for and I was expecting.

Now which one of these variants you get, either the 855 or the 9825, is gonna come down to your region but you can rest assured
that the difference isn’t as significant as it was on the S10 Plus.

Now, one thing to definitely note when it comes to the two different chipsets, is that the Exynos variant, in my experience, on the S10 Plus, has always got updates quicker compared to the 855.

It’s something that I covered in a previous video as well.

I’ll link that in the comments under the description and I’m hoping that that’s not gonna be the case with the Note 10 Plus.

So far the updates have been pretty consistent but we’ve not had a major update as yet.

On the S10 Plus, I’m still getting updates on the Exynos version much, much quicker, and sometimes a few months quicker compared to the 855 variant and I’m hoping that this is not gonna be the case but it’s definitely something to bear in mind.

So speaking a little bit more about battery life, I think whichever version you go for, you will get good battery life and it should get you through the day.

And I’m so glad that some of the feedback has been taken on board and we have a 25-watt fast charger out of the box.

So previous Samsung Galaxy devices for quite a few years had fast charging but it was the same power brick so I could use the same power brick that I had on my Samsung Galaxy S7 with my S9 or my Note 9 and it would still be the same speed.

But now we do have the 25-watt charger that comes out of the box, and you can also get a 45-watt fast charger.

You would have to buy that separately but the Note 10 Plus does support that.

Honestly speaking, I think the 25-watt charger is more than good enough.

I don’t think anybody needs to necessarily go out and get the 45-watt fast charger.

The 25-watt fast charger still is very, very fast.

You could get around about 50 to 60 percent in half an hour which is very, very good and on top of that, you also
have fast wireless charging which I really do like.

It’s not as fast as some of the competition out there which are going up to 27 watts which are crazy, but it is nice to have.

Wireless charging is something that I find super useful.

You can just drop it on your bedside, wake up in the morning and you can have your phone fully charged, so that is really good.

You’ve also got power share so you can charge, say, your earbuds on this or something.

It’s not something that I use all the time but occasionally it is quite useful to have it here.

Right, so that is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

What are my conclusions?

Well, as I mentioned towards the start of this video, this is one of the best smartphones that you can buy right now.

It ticks many, many boxes for a lot of people.

If you do go for this, I don’t think you’re gonna be disappointed.

It’s a very, very good device.

Having said that, this year, more than any other year, the Galaxy S device, the S10 Plus, has been closer to the Note
then it has ever been before.

I think you can get roughly about 90% of everything that you’ve got here on the Note 10 Plus with the S10 Plus for a much lower price point.

So right now, I’ve just had a look on Amazon.

The Note 10 Plus is going for just under a thousand pounds.

The S10 Plus is going for under 700 pounds.

So you would be saving roughly about 300 pounds on the S10 Plus compared to the Note 10 Plus.

Yes, you are getting more features for that extra money, namely the larger, better display.

The S Pen, in particular, the UFS 3.0 storage.

No 3.5mm jack and if for you those extra features are worth the extra 300 pounds, then buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

It’s a great overall phone and I can definitely recommend it.

However, if they’re not, then the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is a very, very good option and personally speaking, for the first time this year, I may actually be switching back to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus instead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, specially for the better front-facing camera.

That’s what I think anyway.

What do you guys think?

Definitely drop me a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

I hope you enjoyed this very long video and found it useful.


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