Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review: the highest quality Android phone for your money – CNET

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Samsung makes great phones that can be used to check almost any box for what you expect from a device: a clear, brilliant screen. Great cameras, Strong battery life. But it's been years since all the parts came together so that I sit back and say, "Wow." The Galaxy Note 10 Plus does this in a way that Samsung phones have been denied ever since tragic Galaxy Note 7,

This is not just a phone that has it all – it is a phone that I really want to use. The Note 10 Plus is the overall package and the best phone that Samsung has made for years.

The prismatic aura glow color I tested is extremely impressive. Almost all of the features are top notch, and Samsung has even worked to bridge the gap between its camera tools and camera-centric competitors like that Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3, The Note 10 Plus also resolves my two main complaints about spring Galaxy S10 Plus (This is still a great phone): The fingerprint reader on the screen is much more accurate this time The special night mode of the camera improves the photo quality in low light conditions,

Even the main drawbacks of the Note 10 Plus are easy to swallow. There is no headphone jack (Samsung was one of the last big holdouts). You may need to relearn how to turn off the phone with the on / off switch and take screenshots. The depth detection camera doesn't do much. And it's expensive – starting at $ 1,100 (£ 999, AU $ 1,699) with a 5G version that costs $ 1,300 (GBP 1,099 or AU $ 1,999).

Note that the Note 10 Plus is not a mainstream phone. It is still aimed at power users who want a large device and actually use the supplied S Pen. It's overkill for people who want a smaller phone or are not interested in the pen at all.

Samsung also hired smaller version of the Note 10The 6.3-inch screen costs $ 150 less than the plus screen and is $ 949. Samsung also uses the technical data (e.g. less RAM, no microSD card memory), but can still do 90% of what the Plus model can do. I'll check that out soon. Scroll to the bottom for a full comparison of specifications.

When you are on the fence, remember that the iPhone 11 (probably in September), Google Pixel 4 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro (probably in October) are around the corner. But for the first time in a long time, I can tell power users: why wait? The Note 10 Plus is excellent and worth buying.

What's in this review: Read on to find out the best and worst of the Note 10 Plus and see how good the new camera features are, how long the camera doesn't have a headphone jack, how gesture control works, how long the battery lasts is still enough and how you can compare it with other phones from other manufacturers.

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Look at this beauty.

Angela Lang / CNET

Best grade 10 plus functions

  • Sophisticated, angular design with Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides.
  • Prismatic Aura Glow and Aura Blue (USA only).
  • Symmetrical camera positioning forward (this Wallpapers use it well).
  • Fast, accurate fingerprint reader on the screen.
  • Fast performance with the Snapdragon 855 chipset.
  • Excellent photos with pretty good standalone night mode (more below).
  • Camera software such as the built-in video editor and the video in portrait format are well executed.
  • S The pen is convenient and easy to use. less accidental key presses.
  • Gesture control with the S Pen makes sense.
  • Fast wired and wireless charging (25 or 15 watts).
  • The new screen recorder app is a nice touch – you can also record audio.
  • Samsung DeX is easy to set up on Windows and Mac.
  • Link to Windows works as advertised to mirror selected content from Note 10 on Windows 10 PC.
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The S Pen lies comfortably in the hand.

Angela Lang / CNET

Worst Note 10 Plus features

  • No 3.5 mm headphone jack.
  • The AR camera only works with an underdeveloped app (future 3D scanner).
  • Power / Lock / Bixby button on the left makes Switching off and taking screenshots is difficult at first,
  • Yes, you will want a case.
  • It's a stain magnet – you have to keep cleaning the phone all the time.
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Your USB-C port and your headphone jack are now one and the same.

Angela Lang / CNET

Photo quality, night mode, portrait video, video editing


  • 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens
  • 12-megapixel wide-angle lens (main camera with double aperture)
  • 12 megapixel telephoto lens
  • Depth recognition camera
  • 10-megapixel front camera

The Note 10 Plus has the same main cameras as the Galaxy S10 Plus (it adds this depth-detection lens), but Samsung has gone to great lengths to improve the phone's software, and this helps make the phone easier to use to take pictures.

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The Note 10 Plus has a 3D depth detection camera that fits the three main cameras.

Angela Lang / CNET

Daytime photography is excellent, but that dedicated night mode is where Samsung really reinforces it. This mode, available in the camera app, takes a few seconds to process a photo and really draw colors and details from a dark scene. I wish Samsung would add a countdown clock so you know how long you can keep the phone still, but photos taken in this mode can make a big difference.

Samsung's color processing can be overexposed in some night mode scenarios where the auto mode actually produces a more engaging image with higher contrast. Therefore, do not plan to use it every time.

The Note 10 Plus also does interesting things with video. Live focus video The mode adds depth to the video, and you can choose between four filters for both the front and rear cameras. Jaw lines and extremities can blur, and some of my curly hair is smeared in the background, but the focus on the face is reasonably good.

Another new function increases the volume of the music source when you zoom, I tried it on four different music acts and … John Travolta does the shooting, Called zoom-in audio, it works as advertised, but some scenarios are more effective than others. It is difficult to reposition the focus when you zoom, and the image quality suffers when you zoom in too closely.

Applause all around for the baked video editor It allows you to add songs, crop and add text. It's great to be able to quickly produce a simple video on the device and share it instantly.

AR doodle is a feature that first came on the market because it is unique and highlights the performance of the S Pen. You jump into video mode and can take a short video of yourself, someone else, or a scene in the world around you (it seems to time out after a minute). For example, I had fun hugging my punk side (Watch the video if you're curious) and write a text about the San Francisco skyline.

As funny and silly as AR Doodle is, it still takes work and has no clear sense of purpose. With a few pen tips, writing is difficult, the strokes have disappeared over time, and there is no clear way to create a still image of your finished artwork. Side note: AR Doodle does not use a depth detection camera.