Like clockwork, Samsung last evening announced the new Galaxy Note 10 which for the last 8 years has been its most innovative offering, for many, tantamount to a Swiss Army Knife in a smartphone avatar. For the first time, the South Korean giant is also offering two versions of the device — one Galaxy Note 10+ which comes with a huge 6.8-inch screen and the standard smaller 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 10. The new Note 10 is an important phone for Samsung as its profits have gone down massively with the S10 sales disappointing, on top of the Galaxy Fold fiasco. This phone has to be a home-run for Samsung.
What you need to know
- This is basically a souped-up Galaxy S10+. The larger Note 10+ comes with 12GB RAM apart from a new Exynos 9825 processor for markets like India, while the smaller one comes with 8GB RAM. Suffice to say, both these phones will be plenty fast for all kinds of tasks be it Call of Duty mobile or hyperactive multitasking.
- Samsung is known to make the best smartphone screens — the dynamic AMOLED screens on both these phones should be visually amongst the best, but the one thing they don’t have is the 90Hz refresh rate that makes the OnePlus 7 Pro display so supple. At 6.3-inches and 6-8-inches these phones are very large while retaining a tiny hole for the 10-megapixel selfie camera in the middle.
- The design of the phone has been refined with more boxier angles and new gradient colours which Samsung calls Aurora. These look stunning. The one compromise that the new designs bring with them is the removal of the headphone jack and microSD card slot (only on standard Note 10). Samsung though has plenty of storage inside with 256GB of UFS 3.0 memory. Samsung blames some of these removals on the larger battery, but the thing is people loved some of these things about the Note line which is gone.
- Finally, Samsung is embracing fast charging. The larger Note 10+ gets 45W charging which makes it amongst the quickest charging phones. Even the smaller Note 10 gets 25W fast charging. These phones also get fast wireless charging at 15W and 12W respectively. The batteries are also big at 4,300mAh and 3,400mAh. This will make a huge difference to productivity junkies, though neither a wireless charging pad or a fast-charging brick for the maximum speeds come with the package.
- The camera technology is derived and updated from the Galaxy S10. On the standard Note 10, you’re basically getting the same triple camera system, while the + model gets an additional time of flight (ToF) sensor. ToF sensor allows for scanning objects in 3D and even printing them apart for allowing for a nicer bokeh mode. Samsung now allows for blurred backgrounds on videos and it has a new 3D audio mode which focuses on the audio coming from a zoomed-in subject.
- Samsung has announced a broad partnership with Microsoft which will deeply integrate its services in Note 10. The Note 10 will support Microsoft’s My Phone app for Windows 10 which will parse messages onto the desktop. Later in the year, it will even allow phone calls. Services like OneDrive is getting integrated with the Gallery app while Outlook mobile will be embedded in the phone for the best mobile email experience. One can even expect something around the XCloud cloud gaming service in the near future.
- The Galaxy Note 10 features a new version of its DeX software which basically allows users to use the phone as a desktop when connected to a monitor, mimicking a Windows-like interface on a big screen. Now, this feature also works within a window on Mac and Windows notebooks allowing you to use your phone with the PC you already own. This makes things way more useful, potentially.
- The Note line has been famous because of the S-Pen. Like every year, we get a new S-Pen this year. It does a bunch of cool stuff. You have air gestures which can be used to remotely operate functions of the phone like the camera while video blogging. Samsung also uses machine learning to understand your handwritten text and turn it to rich format text. This makes your notes searchable and easier to share.
- Hardcore PC gamers will appreciate the new Play 2 link software which allows users to stream PC games to the Note 10 over a peer 2 peer connection. Users will also be able to control the games using the Galaxy Note 10+. Not many details are out, but on the face of it, this looks cool.
- The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ launch in India for a starting price of Rs 69,999 for the 8GB/256GB and Rs 79,999 for the 12GB/256GB variants. These phones will be available on Flipkart, Amazon, PayTM, Tata Clique and Samsung.com. Likely, the phones will go on sale in India on August 23, which is also the global launch date.
If you’re an iPhone user, then safely you can yawn past this one as there is nothing mindblowing, but iterative improvements which will attract long-time Samsung users.