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  • Liling Tan

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs Note 10: Sometimes Smaller Is Better

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

  • Note 10 is the winner for us thanks to the smaller size making the phone feel better in the hand

  • Great displays, improved sound quality and new features like instant handwriting to text conversion are a winner

  • AR Doodle seems superfluous, but might be good for a laugh if using with children

Which one should you get, the Note 10+ or the Note 10? You probably already know, but here’s why we think the Note 10 is the winner. 

The screen on the Note 10+ is a 6.8″ display while the Note 10 is smaller at 6.3″. Both are AMOLED displays and are HDR10+ compatible, but the Note 10+ has a higher resolution at 3,040 x 1,440 versus the Note 10’s 2,280 x 1,080.

Samsung has gone almost bezel-less with these and they’ve moved to a punchhole design in the middle of the screen for the front camera, instead of keeping it off to the side like the Galaxy S10. Displays are great on both phones and sound quality has improved as well, with top and bottom firing speakers that are hard to accidentally cover with your hands when holding sideways.

The Note 10 has up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the Note 10+ comes with 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Only the Note 10+ has a MicroSD card slot.

The cameras on both phones are the same, with the exception of the DepthVision camera which is only on the Note 10+. Image quality has improved slightly over the S10 and S10+, and Night Mode is better now too. However, Night Mode is a little slow, but it appears to be something that can be fixed via software.

The S Pen is improved as well; it feels even more solid in the hand and with the introduction of air gestures, you can look like a Harry Potter character waving your (tiny) wand-like pen at your phone to flip between front and rear cameras, zoom in and out and more. Frankly, the air gestures aren’t quite as polished as we hoped they would be, with the gestures not being recognised once in a while.

Of course, there’s the much-talked about AR Doodle feature, where you can use the S Pen and draw on objects in your camera’s field of vision and the drawings will stay on the object as you move the phone around. You’ll get a clearer picture of how it works in the video above. It’s a fun feature if you’re using it with kids, but we can’t really see professionals or most adults using this.

With Samsung working alongside Microsoft, now users can jot down notes and have it converted immediately to text. That’s the kind of stuff we want to see in the Note series, for productivity and work.

The power button and Bixby button are now the same, with all the buttons on the left side of the phone. Bixby has been getting better, and the combining of the buttons should make a lot of people happy. The 3.5mm headphone jack has also been removed, but seeing as how most people are using wireless earphones these days, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Battery capacity are different between the two as well, but both last a solid day on a full charge and there’s 25W wired charging out of the box. There’s also the option for 45W charging but the charger doesn’t come with the phone, so that’s an additional cost. Wireless charging is still available, but it’s not as fast as some of the other phones available out there.

So why do we feel that the Note 10 should be the phone to get instead of the Note 10+? The reason is because of the design of the Note 10+ and how it doesn’t feel as good in the hand.

The waterfall design of the screen means that it doesn’t feel secure in the hand and the bigger screen of the Note 10+ makes it even harder to hold without a case. In our opinion, the Note series shouldn’t come with curved glass since it’s hard to write or even select text with the S Pen on the curved edges.

The Note 10 and Note 10+ are an evolution, not a revolution, so it might be hard to suggest an update if you’re holding onto the Note 9, S10 or S10+. Note 8 or S9 users might find it more worthwhile to upgrade, but we highly recommend getting the Note 10, because bigger isn’t always better.


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