Samsung’s just taken the wraps off its Galaxy Note 10 series of smartphones at its Unpacked event in New York. The launch ends months of speculation, with three models revealed for Australian launch on August 23.
The Galaxy Note series has been one of the central pieces of the Samsung’s product range for years now, standing for power, performance, pen input and big screens. While competitors may have caught up on screen size, the Note 10 is still crammed full of tech aimed at the power user.
This year there’s two sizes of Note – Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ – with some specs differing between the two. The standard Note 10 carries a 6.3-inch display, while the Note 10+ pushes the screen size upward to 6.8 inches – the largest ever display on a Note smartphone. The Note 10+ will also come in a 5G variant that pushes its specs to the max.
Samsung’s known for its displays, so you can expect the Galaxy Note 10’s displays to be stunning. They feature Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED display technology, with HDR10+ certification and Dynamic Tone Mapping in tow. Your photos and videos, along with your apps, will look great.
As rumoured, there’s a single front-facing camera at top center on the front, set into the screen with a more subtle hole-punch than we saw on the Galaxy S10 earlier this year. The Infinity O display is a nice evolution past competitors’ waterdrop-notch displays and really gives the Note 10 a distinctive look. There’s little else on the front of the device, save a small top and bottom bezel.
The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that debuted in the Galaxy S10 also makes an appearance here on all models.
Power and Performance
The Note 10 uses Samsung’s newest Exynos processors, built with 7nm technology. They run faster and cooler than anything before them, and should make the device a performance powerhouse while going relatively easy on the battery.
There’s a massive amount of RAM crammed into both models too – 8GB on the Note 10, and a whopping 12GB on the plus model.
Australian models will both come with 256GB of storage. The Note 10 has no microSD expansion, while the Note 10+ does – and the 5G version has 512GB of storage.
Battery-wise, we’re looking at a 3,500 mAh battery in the Note 10 and 4,300 mAh in the Note 10+.
Both models support fast charging on wired USB (25W on Note 10, 45W on Note 10+ – but only 25W in the box) and wireless fast charging (12W on Note 10, 20W on the plus).
Samsung ignited the modern arms race on Android cameras, and while the focus has shifted to other manufacturers in recent years their camera prowess shouldn’t be underestimated. While the Note 10’s cameras seem pretty standard by comparison to some of the wild things coming from elsewhere, we’re expecting it to be a solid performer.
The Note 10 features a triple camera array on its rear, with Samsung’s dual-aperture camera (12MP, f/1.5-2.4, 77°) taking on main duties aided by an ultra wide angle camera (16MP, f/2.2, 123°) and a telephoto (12MP, f/2.1, 45°). The main and telephoto sensors both have optical image stabilisation on them.
The Note 10+ steps things up a little with the addition of a fourth camera providing some depth functions for use with AR and some 3D scanning functions. It’s fairly low resolution, though (it’s been a while since we’ve seen VGA on a spec sheet) so it’ll be interesting to see how detailed those scans end up.
On the video front, you’ll find the built-in video editor and Adobe Rush helping you make the most of the Note’s camera. You can also capture from the front facing camera while doing a screen capture, so you can add context and reactions to your recordings.
The Note 10, as you would expect, carries an S Pen inside its body. It’s been redesigned (again) and is now a unibody device that continues to use a Bluetooth Low Energy connection to its host.
The addition of Bluetooth to the S Pen in the Note 9 saw a bunch of features like remote camera control added to the device, and they make a return here.
You can also use the S Pen to control some aspects of your Note with gestures, or Air Actions. There’s an SDK so developers can add support for the features into their apps, as well.
There’s also handwriting recognition, and an AR Doodle feature in the camera that’ll let you draw in scenes.
Pricing and Availability
Australians can expect preorders to go live later today (August 8) with local availability on August 23.
We’re getting a pretty straightforward product set for the Note 10 series, with the standard Galaxy Note 10 (packing 256GB storage) at $1,499 and the bigger Galaxy Note 10+ (also with 256GB storage) at $1,699. If you’re in a 5G coverage area, you might like to move up to the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, which runs an extra $300 at $1,999 but gets 512GB storage.
There’s three colours on offer this year – Aura Black, Aura White, and Aura Glow
While we’ve seen smartphone prices break through the $2k barrier in recent years, it’s commendable that Samsung’s kept all the local Note 10 variants under that point – just.
If you’re in, and excited enough to pre-order, you’ll get a free set of noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones (AKG NM700NCM2, announced last week, RRP $499) for your hard-earned.
Carrier and retail listings are expected to be announced through the course of the day.