It is a very well known saying that the best time to buy a phone is when a new flagship has arrived go for the previous year’s flagship.Two purposes are served this way i.e you get a flagship and you get it at a pretty lower price than the time of its launch.Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus will not serve the second purpose but I assure you that even now, with Galaxy Note 20 Ultra already in the market, you will be getting one of the best premium devices.
As to why the second purpose will not be served is because the Galaxy Note 10 Plus still costs 625$ or 85000 INR for the base model.In India you get refurbished Note 10 Plus via Amazon for ~60000 INR which is still a lot of money.
Now let’s come to the main question.Why am I talking of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus now? The answer to it is I used it for the last week and I felt that even deep in 2020 the Note 10 Plus is a device to reckon and in my personal opinion it is better than the best of many 2020 flagships.The following will hopefully clarify why I am saying this.
Like its predecessors the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus also has those sharp edges.The phone itself is very big and weighs 196g.Still it is quite thin at 7.9mm.The front and back are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and the body is Aluminium.The phone comes in Aura Glow,Aura White,Aura Black and Aura Blue.The back is glossy,reflects light and attracts lots of fingerprint smudges.
The first thing that struck me on using this phone is the presence of power button on the left.It is definitely not an issue but most phones nowadays have it on the right.So for 1-2 days I often felt for it and then remembered.Obviously for those who are using it for a long time they will face problems when they switch to a new phone.Even if they upgrade to the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.then also they will find the power button on right side and the S-Pen on the left.On the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus the S-Pen is on the bottom right.
The back houses a triple camera module with the flash and TOF sensor beside it.The camera bump is nowhere near to being as pronounced as of the Samsung S20 or Note 20 Ultra series.On the front is a small punch hole selfie shooter.Bezels are as good as being invisible.
In spite of the stylus slot the phone is IP68 certified water and dust resistant.It supports dual 4G nano SIM and you have the option of expandable storage via micro SD card which shares a sim slot.There is no place for 3.5 mm jack but you can use the USB Type C headphones from AKG official Samsung partners.
Samsung displays specially on their flagships are simply the best in the world.There is no question about that.The Galaxy Note 10 Plus features a 6.8″ Dynamic Amoled display, with curved edges and supporting maximum resolution of 1440×3040.The aspect ratio is 19:9 and pixel density is~498ppi.As usual Always on Display is featured and HDR10+ is supported.
The settings menu gives you a lot of customisation options but correctly only two for the colour representation of display.Natural and Vivid are the options.The big bright Amoled display is a visual treat for the eyes when you are watching videos.The stereo speakers are awesome and maybe one of the loudest and clearest present on any phone.
OS, PROCESSOR AND STORAGE
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus was launched on August 2019 and hence comes with Android 9 on unboxing.You can update it to Android 10 easily.The skin on top is OneUI 2.5, perhaps the best after stock Android.OneUI has so many features that it will need a separate post to explain in details.Among the best ones is the Knox security very essential in this modern age of hacking.
Under the hood is the Exynos 9825 which runs on 7nm technology.It has an octacore processor (2×2.73GHz,2×2.4GHz,4×1.9GHz) and the GPU is Mali-G76 MP12.This is the global variant and our US friends get Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.This has been a complaint from many users and they demand Snapdragon chipsets in place of Exynos counterparts.
I agree with them but I also need to mention that in daily use you are not going to experience any problems as such.Yes extensive gaming sessions will make the phone hotter and battery drainage is more but importantly no lags during heavy games will be observed at least I didn’t find any.Still for so much money we should demand the best available.
12GB RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 internal storage is present in the base variant. Another variant comes with the same RAM and 512 GB onboard storage.As I mentioned one can expand storage via micro SD card which shares SIM slot.
The triple camera module on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus houses a 12MP primary camera with dual aperture f/1.5-2.4,a 12MP f/2.1 telephoto lens with 2X optical zoom and a 16MP f/2.2 ultra wide sensor.There is a fourth TOF 3D depth sensor.The primary and telephoto lens come with OIS.
There is no jaw dropping feature like 108MP lens or 100X zoom but on a whole the cameras are good.The dual aperture of the primary camera helps in low light imaging.Here are some camera samples :-
As you can see HDR which is auto is pretty impressive.The images are detailed and yes colours are a little saturated but that is liked by most of us.Even the ultra wide camera produces true colours with good HDR and details.The following images will make it clear.
The telephoto lens with just 2X optical zoom is ok and there’s not much difference.In fact after zooming in the image loses some of its brightness.The Single Take feature liked by most of you is also available.Many modes like food photography is available but the most important is the night mode.
As you can clearly see the Night Mode brightens things up impressively.Night mode is also present on the 10MP f/2.2 punch hole front camera and it too does a pretty good job.
Videos of 4K can be [email protected] 30/60 fps on rear camera and @30fps from front camera.Live focus videos,slow motion and super slow motion videos can also be captured.The primary and telephoto Camera comes with OIS and Super steady mode is supported on the ultra wide sensor as well.
The S-Pen or technically the stylus takes the Samsung Note series to an uncatchable height.This bluetooth integrated stylus is a work of art and a proof of mankind’s technological advancements.As soon as you take out the S-Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus even if the phone is locked you can scribble down notes.
The latency of the S-Pen in Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is 42 seconds while that of the recently launched Note 20 Ultra is 9 seconds. Believe me in practical the difference is barely visible.Unique feature like smart select is available in the S-Pen settings menu by which you can select any portion of the screen.
Other features like scribbling notes, writing something on photos is possible with the S-Pen.Gestures like swiping the S-Pen in air for certain operations is also enabled.You can even shoot photos with the click of the stylus.This has a unique advantage.Though there is no ultra wide front camera lens with the help of S-Pen you can capture ultra wide selfies.You just have to keep the phone at a certain distance and click the pen.Here’s an example.
Besides the customery pattern and password lock there is an in display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which in my experience is not at all up to the mark.The fingerprint registration itself is a tough process as you have to press hard.If there was no Always On Display or if you have kept it off then it is difficult to find the exact spot for fingerprint.Even with the spot marked the success rate atleast for me was not good.
Face Unlock is also available via the front camera.So it is not so secure but is genuinely fast.The problem I have is that even after face unlock you have to swipe up.
A quite big 4300mAH battery is present in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus which supports 45W fast charging.Although you get a 25W charger in the box you can buy the 45W charger.15W fast wireless charging is also available along with 4.5W reverse charging.My in hand experience says the battery life is quite good unless you have extensive gaming sessions or video calling and photography sessions.
The fingerprint sensor is not trustworthy, front camera could have been better,the telephoto lens just has 2X optical zoom and the Exynos Processor are the cons I found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.None of these can be termed as the worst and none will hamper your daily use enormously.On the other hand the S-Pen, the primary camera features,big RAM and storage,the excellent display,DeX (desktop support) mode,a Samsung only feature, actually makes the Galaxy Note 10 Plus a recommendable premium flagship.
I will go even further in saying that if you already have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus you don’t need to upgrade to the Note 20 Ultra.What are your thoughts? Please let me know in comments.