Samsung Galaxy Note 10 First Impressions

“The world’s most powerful Note”. Of course, this opening line was true, but by how far? Is Samsung’s newest flagship worth the high price tag? Let’s see.

After a long, rambling, unnecessary introduction, talking about the usual buzzwords; innovation, 5G, security, Samsung got down to business.

Let’s just put this out there, these phones are beautiful. The only slight blemish is the hole-punch camera, but even that is about as small as it gets. It comes in the colour “Aura Glow”, which seems to glisten every colour of the rainbow. The devices are thin, which is surprising considering the battery and S-Pen. At this point, though, it must be mentioned that the design closely resembles the Huawei P30 Pro’s.

Speaking of the S-Pen, it is back this year with Samsung’s latest Note devices, and it really is more powerful than ever. It can now recognise handwriting better, as well as different languages. But there’s more. It has a 6-axis motion sensor, which allows you to use the device by essentially using the S-Pen as a magic wand to trigger different actions, primarily in the camera app. However, I have some serious concerns about accuracy. For example, if you swipe up 5 times quickly, how will it know that you aren’t swiping down?

Next up, is the camera. It is essentially unchanged from the S10, except the video capabilities, which are considerably improved. Personally, I don’t video much with my smartphone, but if you do, this might be a worthwhile upgrade. Then they showed a Super Steady clip that was very clearly completely faked. Come on, Samsung.

Next up, they showed an AR Doodle mode that allows you to film people with doodles around a person’s face, and around the user themselves. That seems cool, but I can’t actually see myself ever using this feature. The Note 10 Plus has a “DepthVision” which is just a ToF lens, but it seems much more capable than the one on the Huawei P30 Pro. They also demonstrated a 3D recreation of physical objects by circling it. Huawei has a similar feature, but it is much more finicky and much less effective.

Now, for the specs. “Laptop-level storage”. Oh, that’s all you’re going to say? Fair enough then.

The Note 10 has the latest Exynos 9825, or the Snapdragon 855, depending on where you are. It also has a Vapour Chamber, which, from the video they showed, is completely huge, and should keep your phone cool, even when gaming. Next up, is the huge battery, and super fast wired and wireless charging. Wired charging is 45 watts, which is very fast, and wireless charging is still so bad that they won’t tell us its speed. There will also be a 5G model of the Note 10 Plus. Not that most people care, of course, as most carriers don’t support it, and most cities don’t have support for it anyway.

Wait, is that it? Seriously? Oh, wait, no, there’s more. It has Wireless Powershare. You know, exactly like the S10? And it has a new version of Samsung DeX, which still basically nobody cares about. Now, it works on your laptop.

So, concluding thoughts. The Note 10 has a marginally bigger battery, which will likely cancel out due to the larger display. It comes with, admittedly, very fast wired charging, and the same slow wireless charging that it has had for about a year now, at 12 watts. One model, likely ridiculously expensive, has 5G, which less than 1% of the population can use. The camera is literally identical to the S10 5G’s, just shuffled around a bit. The S-Pen is literally the only reason that I can think of that would convince someone to upgrade to this phone. I can’t say that nobody should buy this phone, but I can confidently say that 99% of people reading this shouldn’t. And on that Note (pun intended), I’m signing off. Oh, and they’re crazy expensive.

So what do you think? Will you be pre-ordering the Note 10? If so, which model? Let me know in the comments below.