Samsung makes the Galaxy Note 10 official

NEW YORK—Samsung has officially taken the wraps off of the Galaxy Note 10. As usual, this is a device that is close in design and specs to the Galaxy S device released early this year, but with some mid-cycle upgrades. What’s new for the Note line is that it now comes in two sizes: the Note 10 and Note 10+.

There are two Galaxy Note 10 screen sizes to pick from. The vanilla “Note 10” version has a 6.3-inch, 2280×1080 OLED display, while the Note 10+ has a bigger, 6.8-inch 3040×1440 display. I feel like I say this every year, but the 6.8-inch version is one of the biggest displays ever fitted to a smartphone, besting the 6.67-inch OnePlus 7 Pro, the S10+’s (and Note9’s) 6.4-inch display, and the S10 5G’s 6.7-inch display.

As usual for Samsung, the Note 10 will have a different SoC depending on what market you’re in. Some markets, like the US and usually China, will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, while others, like Europe, will get Samsung’s newly announced Exynos 9825 SoC. Shipping with the Snapdragon 855 in the US is a bit of a disappointment given that the 855 is not even Qualcomm’s fastest chip anymore. That honor belongs to the up-clocked Snapdragon 855  which recently launched with the Asus ROG Phone 2.

The Galaxy Note 10 is $949 and gets 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 3500mAh battery with 25W wired quick charging. The bigger Note 10+ jumps up to $1,099 and gets 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage, a 4300mAh battery, and 45W wired quick charging.

For a whopping $1,300 you can get a 5G mmWave version of the Note 10+, which has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There are apparently no other differences compared to the Note 10+, like, say, a bigger battery.

A big surprise this year—well, it was a surprise when it hit the rumor mill, at least—is that Samsung is killing the headphone jack with the Galaxy Note 10. Samsung once ran ads criticizing the iPhone’s need for a headphone jack dongle, but now Galaxy Note 10 users will be in the same boat. Samsung actually deleted all of those dongle ads from its YouTube channel in the run-up to the Note 10 launch, but the Internet never forgets.

The other fan-favorite feature getting cut—from the smaller Note 10, at least—is the microSD slot. Nearly every Samsung device has supported this expandable storage slot, but for some reason, it won’t be on the smaller model.

The Galaxy S10 brought Samsung’s “Infinity-O Display” to flagships. Instead of cutting a big notch out of the display for the front camera, Samsung sticks a camera behind the display and laser-removes any pixels that are blocking the camera’s view. The result is a screen with a perfect circle cut out of it, like someone took a hole punch tool to it. On the Galaxy S10, this hole punch spot was in the top-right corner of the device. On the Note 10, it’s dead center in the top of the display.

The bigger Galaxy S10+ and S10 5G variants came with two front cameras, with the extra camera serving as a wide-angle lens and for 3D effects like fake bokeh for portrait mode. On the Galaxy Note 10, even on the bigger versions, there is only a single front camera.

The S-pen is still here, and still has all the same features introduced with the Note9. A small battery and Bluetooth antenna let you use the pen as a remote control of sorts, with the single button doing things on various screens, like taking a picture in the camera app. New in the S-Pen is a six-axis motion sensor, allowing you to wave the thing around like you’re Harry Potter. In addition to the single button press, you now get a left and right flick action that will let you do things like change camera modes or skip music tracks.

All the other features from the Galaxy S10 have been ported over, too: an in-screen fingerprint reader, NFC, IP68 ingress protection, DEX compatibility, and more.

The corners of the Note 10 display are sharper than ever, and the whole body of the phone is now as rectangular as it has ever been. As usual, the front display of the phone is curved along the long edges, and the back is curved, too. The back is still glass with wireless charging.

The smaller Note 10 has three cameras on the back, while there are now a whopping four cameras on the back of the Note 10+. Everything gets a 16MP main camera, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 12MP telephoto. The Note 10+’s fourth camera is a depth sensor.

You can pick up the Galaxy Note 10 for $950, $1,100, or $1,300 on August 23.

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