Samsung Galaxy Be aware 10 Evaluate: The Be aware For Everybody Else

samsung galaxy note 10 review design 2

Samsung Galaxy Be aware 10 Evaluate: The Be aware for everybody else

“The Galaxy Be aware 10 will fulfill all with a giant display and a compact dimension.”

Probably the most compact Be aware telephone thus far

Enticing Aura Glow colour

Expansive display

Useful S Pen enhancements

Day-long battery life

Digital camera is a step under the competitors

No MicroSD card help or headphone jack

The Galaxy Be aware 10 Plus stole a number of hearts at its debut, however I seemed inquisitively and in admiration of the smaller Galaxy Be aware 10. Not simply because it’s the primary time Samsung has launched two Be aware telephones, however as a result of transferring it round in my handcrafted it really feel not like every other gadget: an enormous 6.Three-inch display in a one-hand-friendly type that felt like liquid and seemed prefer it too.

I’m in love with its dimension, and my ogling gaze made me nearly miss what Samsung was telling me: This doesn’t have all of the options because the Be aware 10 Plus. I winced because the air was knocked out of me. “OK,” I assumed. “What are we lacking?”

After spending a while with the Be aware 10, the reply shouldn’t be a lot. Be aware smartphones have all the time indulged within the extra, so what occurs once you make a “lite” model? Properly, you come away with a lavish, highly effective telephone that’s nonetheless greater than what most individuals want, with a stylus besides, if that’s your factor.

In the event you’re into the larger, extra feature-packed Be aware 10 Plus, take a look at our full evaluate.

Compact design, nonetheless a giant show

What catches the attention first with the Be aware 10 is undoubtedly the dazzling, color-changing colorways. All named with the befitting “Aura” prefix, the Be aware 10 is available in Aura Glow, Aura White, and Aura Black. Aura Glow is the mannequin I acquired and doubtless the one you’ll need most for its lovely rainbow-spectrum reflections. The Galaxy Be aware 10 makes me want I may take footage of my telephone with my telephone.

samsung galaxy note 10 review design 1Corey Gaskin / Digital Tendencies

The Be aware 10 is definitely smaller than final yr’s Be aware 9, whereas nonetheless sustaining nearly the identical massive display dimension — 6.Three inches in comparison with the Be aware 9’s 6.Four-inch display. That is because of the slimmed-down bezels across the display, providing you with extra display actual property than ever earlier than; it has a few of the slimmest bezels I’ve seen on a telephone. It seems to be and feels smaller than the Be aware 9 in-hand, like a barely wider Galaxy S10. It’s snug, and I by no means thought I’d say a Samsung Be aware– of all telephones — is completely usable with only one hand.

The Galaxy Be aware 10 makes me want I may take footage of my telephone with my telephone.

For reference, the Be aware 10 Plus has a sprawling 6.Eight-inch display nevertheless it’s nearly the identical footprint because the Be aware 9. As Samsung will get higher at becoming larger screens in smaller units, it is sensible to make an excellent bigger-screened Galaxy Be aware 10 Plus, however making a smaller telephone is a welcome addition too.

Talking of the display, the Be aware 10 differs from the Plus in display decision. It has a 2,280 x 1,080 decision (401 pixels per inch). In apply, you actually received’t be capable of inform a distinction in sharpness with out making a concerted effort. It’s nonetheless the identical Dynamic AMOLED panel that’s HDR10+ licensed, vivid, and will get a lot vibrant once you’re out and about within the solar. It’s spectacular.

Note 10 screen vs. iPhone XS screenBe aware 10, high. iPhone XS, backside. Corey Gaskin/Digital Tendencies

As you may see within the comparability above, whereas the purple jacket on the topic wasn’t as darkish as it’s within the iPhone XS in actual life, the Be aware 10’s display is distinctly brighter.

There’s a casualty we must always deal with, which Samsung mentioned was within the identify of the thinner physique and massive battery inside — the beloved Three.5mm headphone jack. I, like many, am not stoked to want an adapter if I wish to use wired headphones, but additionally like many, by now, I’ve not less than one pair of Bluetooth headphones. It’s not usually I would like or wish to go wired however the choice is helpful. A USB-C to three.5mm dongle shouldn’t be included within the field, sadly, only a pair of USB-C AKG earbuds.

The Bixby button has additionally disappeared, properly, form of. Technically it’s the facility button that has disappeared, and the previous Bixby button is now a sleep/wake key. Press and maintain the button, and it calls upon Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant. So how do you flip the telephone off? There’s a brand new software program button within the notification drawer, or you may customise the bodily sleep/wake key within the settings menu to supply up the facility menu once you press and maintain it, successfully disabling Bixby.

The S Pen

The S Pen, nonetheless accessible from the underside of the telephone, has some aesthetic adjustments; particularly, there are beveled edges you probably received’t discover except you’re evaluating it on to final yr’s S Pen. The stylus does add some gestures to its repertoire within the type of Air Actions. Very like we noticed on the recently-announced Galaxy Tab S6, you may maintain the button on the S Pen and wave it like a magic wand to change between digital camera modes or media inside a gallery, in addition to zoom the digital camera with a round movement to the left or proper.

For probably the most half, these work properly in apply, although it could take just a few tries to get used to the gestures. Air Actions are helpful for taking photographs or video on a tripod setup however in any other case may not get a lot use in your every day life. Extra integrations might crop up in third-party apps, although, because of the open software program growth equipment for third-party builders. For the time being, it really works in Samsung’s Gallery app and YouTube.

samsung galaxy note 10 review design 3Corey Gaskin / Digital Tendencies

The S Pen has additionally turn into extra professionally-viable with a brand-new Microsoft Workplace integration. Now, you may take written notes within the Samsung Notes app and transcribe them into editable textual content, after which export it to a Phrase doc. Samsung’s transcription know-how is pretty correct, deciphering my terrible penmanship adeptly, punctuation and all. Nonetheless, writing on a display this dimension, you’re unable to suit full sentences on one line, which is able to create some formatting points you’ll have to rectify when transferring to a Phrase doc. It may be useful for shorter notes and lists, although, and it’s impressively educated on 62 languages and hundreds of handwriting samples, so it ought to transcribe properly for a great quantity of individuals.

The opposite draw back is that the transcribed textual content exhibits up on the Phrase doc in a textual content field — which means it’s worthwhile to reduce it from the textual content field after which paste it inline on the doc. It’s a bit clunky. Nonetheless, it is a good step in the direction of making the Be aware 10 a extra common instrument for productiveness, and hopefully, we’ll see extra choices for export with third-party apps like Google Docs.

The S Pen has turn into extra professionally viable with a brand-new Microsoft Workplace integration.

The final new trick for the S Pen is an app known as AR Doodle. It brings the S Pen’s drawing performance to actual life, transposing your doodles into real-life objects and faces with augmented actuality and face-tracking know-how. We’ve seen this earlier than from apps like Google’s Only a Line app; it’s not a characteristic I see myself utilizing ever nevertheless it was mildly entertaining to mess around with. Facial monitoring works properly however issues can appear to get just a little off observe when plotting objects round you reasonably than simply on faces.

Home windows integrations and DeX enhancements

Maybe extra interesting is a seamless answer to the long-awaited hyperlink between your telephone and pc, akin to what Apple gadget house owners get pleasure from with their iPhones and Macs. As I discussed earlier, Samsung and Microsoft teamed up for some particular options, and this explicit one builds on Microsoft’s Your Telephone app, which helps you to see notifications, messages, and your current photographs on a related Home windows PC or laptop computer.

Samsung’s two key additions are the flexibility to take telephone calls and mirror your Be aware 10 on a Home windows gadget. Whereas the previous will probably be enabled at a later date, the latter is reside, proving to be a enjoyable method to work together together with your telephone for duties and even enjoying video games — like just a little digital field to run Android apps. There’s a slight lag in gaming nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly usable.

Setup is pretty straight-forward — now we have a information you may comply with. All that’s required is a sign-in to your Microsoft Account in your Be aware 10 and registering your linked units — nevertheless it’s not practically as plug-and-play because the hyperlink between iOS and MacOS, which has a safe handshake behind the scenes by way of your web connection and a easy “would you want to make use of this characteristic” immediate. Samsung and Microsoft’s implementation additionally solely permits you one gadget to pair together with your telephone, forcing you to de-register by way of the web site should you’d wish to hyperlink one other laptop computer or PC. That is one other strike towards its seamlessness, as Apple units don’t have any restrict for connections.

Joel Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies

Samsung’s DeX mode, which permits a desktop Android interface when its telephones are related to an exterior monitor, can now additionally run on Home windows and Macs, just by connecting your Be aware 10 by way of USB cable. You’ll have to obtain the Samsung DeX app in your pc however no information out of your telephone will get saved on the PC except you progress it there.

Basically, it’s just a little digital machine that pops up and runs in your pc in its personal sandbox. It really works as supposed, and could be a straightforward method to switch recordsdata, however there doesn’t look like way more you get out of this integration aside from one other display with peripherals on which you’ll run DeX.

Speedy efficiency, RIP MicroSD playing cards

There’s a great quantity to love within the efficiency space, however some curious omissions really feel like they have been made for the sake of making separation between the Be aware 10 and the Be aware 10 Plus. The Be aware 10, just like the Be aware 10 Plus, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor. The place it differs is RAM: the Be aware 10 has 8GB and the Be aware 10 Plus has 12GB. Extra RAM isn’t essentially a great factor, and 8GB is a lot. By way of per week of heavy and different makes use of, I can’t consider a single occasion the place I assumed, “Rattling, this wants extra RAM.” This will probably be ample now and sure the close to future too.

Listed below are some benchmark outcomes:

AnTuTu 3DBench: 363,358
Geekbench Four CPU: Three,370 single-core; 10,707 multi-core
3DMark Sling Shot Excessive: 5,624 (OpenGL); Four,895 (Vulkan)

The Be aware 10 beat the Be aware 10 Plus in AnTuTu and 3DMark scores, which isn’t uncommon because it doesn’t have to energy as massive of a display with a excessive decision. These scores are excessive and place the Be aware 10 in our record of best-performing telephones, which additionally embody the likes of the OnePlus 7 Professional and the iPhone XS.

My primary concern is storage. You solely get 256GB for the Be aware 10 (Be aware 10 Plus consumers can select between 256GB and 512GB), and there’s no MicroSD card slot, regardless of there being one on the Plus mannequin. For a $1,000 gadget aimed toward energy customers and professionals, it is a robust capsule to swallow. In actuality, 256GB must be greater than sufficient for most individuals, however I can’t assist however really feel like this restrict was made arbitrarily.

Flicking across the Android 9 Pie working system and testing out options confirmed a speedy telephone by all accounts. Each day duties are dealt with right away, whereas multitasking and gaming confirmed equally pleasing velocity and fluidity. One UI, as all the time, is feature-packed with menus inside menus inside menus. I nonetheless very a lot recognize Samsung’s creature comforts like a button to scroll to the highest of lists, which sadly isn’t current in each app, and the graceful aesthetics of Evening mode, the corporate’s darkish consumer interface setting. Its means to show internet pages black is truthfully the one purpose I take advantage of Samsung’s browser over Google Chrome as a result of it seems to be that good.

I can’t consider a single occasion the place I assumed, ‘Rattling, this wants extra RAM’.

What about 5G? The subsequent-gen community know-how isn’t broadly accessible but and can take just a few years to totally develop, however In the event you have been hoping for 5G on a Be aware gadget, you’ll need to get the Be aware 10 Plus 5G, particularly. It’s the identical precise telephone because the Galaxy Be aware 10 Plus, simply 2 grams heavier and it could actually hook up with 5G networks.

A powerful however acquainted digital camera

The triple-camera setup on the rear is a primary for a Be aware telephone, following its debut on the Galaxy S10 vary. Sporting comparable three lenses and megapixel pairings because the S10, the Be aware 10 brings collectively a 12-megapixel primary lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. Whereas the Be aware 10 has the identical variable aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.Four) on the principle digital camera, the telephoto lens has a wider aperture than the Galaxy S10, which makes a giant distinction in low-light photographs. There’s additionally now a Evening Mode you may manually allow, and it additionally works for the 10-megapixel selfie digital camera, which has a narrower f/2.2 aperture over the S10.

Packing top-flight digital camera specs, however no time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, the Be aware 10 nonetheless has a few of the finest you will get in a telephone digital camera and due to this fact a few of the finest outcomes. Although tweaks over the Galaxy S10’s triple-camera setup are slight, they make a noticeable distinction – in good methods and unhealthy.

The nice comes with the telephoto lens and low-light efficiency. Adjustments to aperture make the Be aware 10’s telephoto lens a a lot better performer than the S10, particularly in low-light. In such cases, the S10 couldn’t herald sufficient mild to light up all the shot, the place the Be aware 10 may. In reality, the Be aware 10, total, picked up extra colour and element in lower-light scenes than the S10, not simply in evening pictures.

samsung galaxy note 10 review 4 vs s10 photo sample telephoto regular 52

samsung galaxy note 10 review 1 photo sample telephoto regular 76

Galaxy S10 Telephoto Lens, Common Mode
Galaxy Be aware 10 Telephoto Lens, Common Mode

The unhealthy is that a few of the time I discovered the S10 to be a extra correct performer in daytime and dynamic scenes. However a big a part of the digital camera expertise is identical between the 2 telephones. Flip on the Evening Mode characteristic on these two, and our favor once more lies with the S10, which didn’t over-brighten and over-sharpen as a lot because the Be aware 10 did with Evening Mode enabled. In reality, I favored the S10’s Evening Mode over just a few competitor’s respective evening modes.

So, how’s the Be aware 10 form up towards perennial images powerhouses just like the Pixel Three and iPhone XS? As talked about, the Be aware 10 takes good footage with regards to element and the benefit with which you’ll set off the shutter and are available away with a satisfying photograph. However in comparison with these two, the Be aware 10 has a marked tendency to over-brighten, over-saturate, and over-sharpen in daytime and nighttime photographs.

This over-brightening contributes to total flatter scenes on the Be aware 10, significantly in low-light, in comparison with the Pixel Three and iPhone XS, regardless of the Be aware’s beautiful element seize. All three seize nice photographs, however the iPhone’s extra correct colour seize and unmatched HDR processing most frequently produced probably the most correct pictures. The Pixel Three is available in second behind the iPhone XS in colour accuracy but additionally produces extra pleasing distinction with its extra saturated colours in sure scenes, significantly darker sunsets or equally dynamic pictures, the place dialing up distinction could be favorable. The iPhone’s HDR tends to even issues out extra, illuminating all the scene extra adeptly than both the Be aware 10 or Pixel Three.

In low-light, the Be aware 10 does present higher noise discount than each the iPhone XS and Pixel Three, however each different side of the photograph was usually too out of whack as compared. Having a wide-angle lens is the principle benefit of the Be aware 10 over the Pixel and iPhone, and it captures some pleasing and distinctive pictures you simply can’t get in any other case. However the subsequent iPhone is rumored to have a wide-angle digital camera, so competitors will simply get fiercer.

All in all, the Be aware 10 is a wonderful images instrument, which captures photographs nearly as good as its opponents — however not on a regular basis. Regardless of the extra versatile three-camera setup, I’d personally desire the iPhone XS or Pixel in my pocket for his or her higher picture processing, which produces extra favorable pictures in a greater variety of scenes.

On the video aspect, Samsung has added its Stay Focus Video mode from the S10 5G. It’s portrait mode however for video, so that you get a background blur impact round topics. However as a result of the Be aware 10 doesn’t have the time-of-flight sensor on the again to seize depth info just like the Be aware 10 Plus, blur results can solely be utilized by facial recognition, and due to this fact can’t be used for pets or objects, not like the Be aware 10 Plus. Frankly, neither is ideal and each look reasonably synthetic and inauthentic, particularly when the topic strikes, however it could be good to have the ability to do greater than faces on the Be aware 10 (the video pattern above is from the Be aware 10 Plus).

The Be aware 10 options an audio zoom characteristic for movies, dubbed Zoom-In Audio. A number of mics are used to focus on audio on the topic within the body whereas firming down the environment, intensifying the centered audio the additional you zoom in. It really works properly in my testing, efficiently drowning out the background noises to the purpose the place the topic was most distinct.

Rounding out the video options are enhancements to steadiness within the Regular Shot video mode in addition to the addition of this characteristic to Hyperlapse movies. You even have a local video editor that’s extra highly effective, because it now helps you to add transitions, music, and even doodles from the S Pen to your motion pictures. Utilizing it’s straight-forward and helpful for shorter clips, however you’ll undoubtedly wish to plug into DeX or switch the recordsdata to a pc for something longer than a few minutes.

Is the battery capability sufficient?

samsung galaxy note 10 review design 6Corey Gaskin / Digital Tendencies

The Be aware 10 Plus is filled with an enormous Four,300mAh battery, and it nonetheless will simply barely final you thru a full day. I used to be apprehensive after I heard the Be aware 10 solely has a Three,500mAh battery capability, however fortunately it’s able to lasting a full day. You possibly can head to mattress most nights round 11 p.m. and nonetheless have 20% to 30% battery capability remaining.

We’re nonetheless working our battery check on the Be aware 10, however will replace this story when it has concluded with the outcomes.

Even higher, after years of lagging behind the competitors in quick charging know-how, the Be aware 10 lastly provides a 25-watt brick within the field. Nevertheless, whereas it charged our Be aware 10 Plus from zero to 100 in simply an hour and two minutes, it persistently took us an hour and 30 minutes to recharge the smaller Be aware 10 — and we tried it by way of a number of shops. It’s not as quick as we’d like, however nonetheless speedier than telephones just like the iPhone XS. You possibly can’t even purchase the particular 45W charger for even sooner charging because it solely works with the Be aware 10 Plus, which is a disgrace.

Wi-fi charging remains to be accessible, as is reverse wi-fi charging, which helps you to recharge units like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and even the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 by putting them on the again of the telephone.

Worth, availability, and guarantee

The Samsung Galaxy Be aware 10 is $950, which is $150 lower than the Be aware 10 Plus. It’s accessible now, and you may take a look at all of the offers and costs from varied carriers on the Be aware 10 and Be aware 10 Plus right here.

Samsung affords an ordinary restricted guarantee that covers producer defects one yr for the reason that date of buy.

Our Take

The Galaxy Be aware 10 is the one Be aware telephone I’d ever use because of its small dimension. It’s enjoyable, lovely, quick, compact, however the one purpose I nonetheless have a second telephone in my pocket is as a result of I do know I can do higher with the digital camera. Even whether it is versatile, it falls a step in need of the competitors.

Are there higher alternate options?

For underneath $950, you will get the iPhone XS, Pixel Three, and even the OnePlus 7 Professional. With the iPhone XS and Pixel Three, you’ll sacrifice a wide-angle lens (and a telephoto lens on the Pixel Three, although it’s confirmed to be an incredible zoomer with out it) however achieve longer-term software program help and faster updates, in addition to higher digital camera efficiency. The iPhone XS additionally has extra premium supplies, utilizing chrome steel as an alternative of aluminum. The Pixel Three has an older processor, half the RAM, and received’t look practically as gorgeous with its massive bezels and dated design. You could wish to wait a month or so for the Pixel Four to essentially step issues up.

The OnePlus 7 Professional has comparable internals and a triple-camera setup for just a few hundred much less, additionally missing expandable storage just like the Be aware 10, but additionally misses an IP water-resistance score and wi-fi charging. It does have a 90Hz display, although, which makes utilizing it an absolute pleasure. Try our information to the most effective smartphones for extra.

Need extra choices? Examine our record of the most effective smartphones offered in the present day.

How lengthy will it final?

The Galaxy Be aware 10 will final you greater than three years, and after chances are you’ll begin to see some indicators of battery degradation. The IP68 water resistance score means it’s protected from drops within the pool, however it’s wrapped in glass, so chances are you’ll wish to seize a case.

Samsung sometimes helps its telephones by way of software program updates for 2 years, so anticipate to get Android 10 and Android 11, however in all probability not Android 12.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. In the event you’ve been dying for the S Pen expertise however felt that Be aware units have been simply too large, the Be aware 10 is right here to save lots of you.

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