The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ was recently launched together with the Galaxy Note 10 in India. The Galaxy Note 10+ is the current flagship of the Samsung product range. This phone has a triple camera setting on the back and an additional DepthVision 3D sensor. In our last flagship camera comparison, we found that the Samsung Galaxy S10 + (test) offers the best overall camera performance of its generation. Does the Galaxy Note 10+ improve that? To find out, we tested the cameras of the new Samsung flagship.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ camera specifications and software
Samsung has selected first-class hardware for its Galaxy Note 10+ smartphone and has left no stone unturned in the cameras. The primary rear view camera has a 12 megapixel sensor, a variable aperture (f / 1.5-f / 2.4), a pixel size of 1.4 micrometers, a super-speed dual-pixel auto focus and even one optical image stabilization (OIS). The secondary camera is a 16-megapixel camera with an ultra-wide-angle lens, an aperture of 1: 2.2 and a field of view of 123 degrees.
Next up is a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with PDAF, OIS and 2x optical zoom. Finally, Samsung added a depth vision camera, which is a time-of-flight sensor that can be used to scan objects in 3D. At the front, Samsung opted for a 10-megapixel selfie shooter with Dual Pixel AutoFocus, an aperture of f2.2 and an 80-degree field of view.
All of this hardware won't deliver results without good software, and Samsung has stuck to its proven camera app. The layout is similar to that of the devices in the Galaxy S10 series, but now also has a pen integration. You can control the camera with the S Pen stylus via aerial actions. You can switch between the different camera modes by pressing the button on the S Pen and making a gesture. You can also take pictures, switch between the rear and selfie cameras, and zoom in or out. Although it is interesting, the same actions can be performed much faster by interacting with the display.
The camera app is equipped with functions and recording modes. In addition to the usual photo and video modes, the modes Pro, Panorama, Live Focus, Slow Motion, Super Slow Motion, Hyperlapse, Essen, Live Focus and Night are available. There are quick switching options for HDR and flash. A scene optimization feature uses AI to detect what you are pointing the camera at before you take a picture.
There are also a number of quick accesses that allow you to switch between the primary, ultra-wide angle and telephoto sensors. The selfie camera trims the frame by default, but you can switch to a wide-angle mode with a toggle switch. AR emojis are also added to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+'s standard camera app. It detects eye movements well and can even detect when you stick your tongue out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ camera performance
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ was super fast (almost real time) to save focus, and the scene optimizer set the camera correctly for all of our shots. Daylight samples had an excellent dynamic range and the phone effectively activated HDR when needed. Objects in the distance were recognizable because the primary sensor does an excellent job of reproducing details. Even when taking pictures in bright lighting conditions, we found that the phone can adjust the exposure without overexposing anything.
Switching to the wide-angle camera offers a much larger field of view. The software corrects the natural run distortion while the image is being saved. However, if you want to see how the wide-angle sensor takes pictures, you can turn this image correction off in the camera settings.
Photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ telephoto camera also had good details and objects were recognizable.
When taking close-up pictures, we were impressed by the short focusing distance of the primary sensor. This allowed us to get much closer to the topic than we expected.
The Galaxy Note 10+ was able to save focus quickly, but in this case the scene optimizer turned out to be somewhat inconsistent. In some examples, it helped the smartphone capture accurate colors, in others it looked artificial. When we photographed a bouquet of pink flowers, the scene optimizer made them look orange.
The scene optimizer also intensifies the red tones a little too much, that looks good on the phone's display, but not so much on a monitor. When recording samples with activated Scene Optimizer in poor lighting conditions, we also noticed slightly intensified colors.
Portraits have proven to be pretty good, and the Galaxy Note 10+ gives you the ability to adjust the level of blur before taking the picture. You can also change the type and level of blur after taking a portrait photo. The Galaxy Note 10+ achieved good edge detection and separated the subject very well from the background.
Portraits taken at night were somewhat less detailed.
Camera performance in low light was very good, and the scene optimization program made a noticeable difference. The noise was kept under control and the grain was not clearly visible even after zooming in. Objects at a distance were also visible. Photos taken in night mode were brighter and had better details, but looked a little blurry.
The Galaxy Note 10+ also detects whether you are using the camera handheld or a tripod and can adjust the shutter speed accordingly. When we leaned the Galaxy Note 10+ against a wall, we noticed that the lock was open much longer than a moment later when we had it in hand. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, the primary sensor is used instead of the telesensor to zoom in.
Photos taken with the selfie camera had good details, and the smartphone automatically activated HDR when taken against a light background.
By default, a beautification effect is activated in the camera app, which softens images. We also noticed that the camera slightly crushed black, reducing details in the shadows. Portrait mode is also available for the selfie camera. It detects edges and properly blurs the background. Selfie in low light conditions had fewer details.
The maximum video recording for the rear view camera is 4K 60fps. With the Note 10+, the footage can be stabilized both when recording at 1080p and at 4K 30fps. We were surprised at how well the footage was stabilized during the day during the shoot. 4K 30fps was also stabilized and there was no glimmer in the output.
Videos taken in low-light conditions showed a mild shimmer effect when recorded at 1080p, while the shimmer effect was noticeable in the 4K sample. Super slow motion video looked stunning in good lighting. Super steady mode is something we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, and we were able to record steady video even during the pace.
The HDR10 + video recording is still in the beta phase. This way, however, you can record a video that looks brilliant on an HDR television. We were able to record HDR video, but our other devices couldn't play it properly.
Another new feature for video is the zoom-in microphone function, which is intended to raise the tone of every subject to which you zoom during video recording. If you zoom in on someone who is speaking, the volume will increase, and we have found that this is most effective when there are no other audio sources nearby, as other sounds are amplified.
There are several other features, including Measure, that help you get the most out of the DepthVision camera. With the Quick Measure app, which is preinstalled on this phone, we were able to determine the distance of an object from us and the dimensions of a cylindrical container. With the upcoming 3D scanner function, the Galaxy Note 10+ can scan 3D objects. However, this has only been announced now and will be added as an update at a later date.
Samsung already had a strong camera smartphone in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S10 + (review) and now surpasses this with the Galaxy Note 10+. The hardware is not only excellent, it is also combined with the right software to achieve the best performance. The camera app is clear and, despite its many functions, not overwhelming.
The camera performance is among the best we have ever seen, and our photo examples had an excellent dynamic range. However, the scene optimizer can be a hit or a miss in different scenarios. The video is well stabilized and the zoom microphone works in favorable conditions.
Samsung has done an excellent job with the camera functionality and performance of the Galaxy Note 10+, but how is the device overall? Look forward to our full review.