Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review (Exynos variant): Still The King Of Big Phones

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Over the years, Samsung’s Notes have maintained a reputation for being unconventional superphones. These phablets have competed in their own league and have managed to appeal to both mainstream users and niche loyalists who value productivity-oriented tools, extra-large screens, and distinctive approach on offer. (Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review हिंदी में पढ़िए

The new Galaxy Note 10+ pushes the boundaries even further in every which way. And just in case you are hesitant to embrace the plus-size, Samsung also has a backup Note 10, but it has clearly distinguished Note 10+ as the mightier of the two. 

New Notes will face different sort of challenges from their predecessors. The smartphone landscape has radically changed from when Samsung launched its first Galaxy Note, and many of the unique attributes of this series are now common traits. For instance, consumers are now accustomed to large size screens with weird aspect ratios and minimal bezels across all budgets. Also, powerful performance hardware including flagship Qualcomm chipsets is now available on numerous affordable flagships and on the new breed of dedicated gaming phones. 

In such an environment, is Samsung’s Note lineup still relevant? In our Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review, we will share our experience and our opinion in detail, and try to answer if Samsung’s 2019 flagship is a good buy or not.  

Page Contents:

Galaxy Note 10 Plus Price in India and Specs

Model Galaxy Note 10 Plus
  • 6.8-inch @60Hz3040×1440 (WQHD+
  • Cinematic Infinity-O
  • Gorilla Glass 6
  • Dynamic AMOLED
  • HDR10+
  • in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Samsung One UI
  • 7nm Exynos 9825 octa-core 
  • (2x 2.73 GHz Mongoose M4 + 2×2.4 GHz Cortex-A75 + 4×1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • 12GB
  • 256/512GB UFS 3.0
  • Expandable up to 1TB (Hybrid slot)
Rear Cameras
  • 12MP (f/1.5, f/2.4) Wide Primary sensor, OIS
  • 12MP (f/2.1) Zoom Telephoto sensor, 2X Zoom, OIS
  • 16MP (f/2.2) Ultra-wide angle sensor
  • 3D ToF VGA depth lens
  • 4K@60fps; 720p@960fps
Front Camera
  • 10MP (f/2.2) Dual Pixel PDAF
  • 4300mAh
  • 45W fast charging support (25W bundled)
  • 20W Wireless charging and 15W PowerShare
India Price
  • Rs. 79,999 – 12GB + 256GB
  • Rs. 89,999 – 12GB + 512GB

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Unboxed

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 comes in eco-friendly packaging (no plastic, recycled paper). As for box content, the biggest omission is the audio jack to Type-c dongle. Here’s what you do get in the Note 10 Plus box.

  • Galaxy Note 10 Plus
  • Basic soft TPU case, nothing fancy
  • Sim Ejector Tool
  • Extra nibs for the S Pen 
  • Good-quality AKG earphones with Type-C port with spare earbuds
  • 25W fast charger
  • USB Type-C to USB Type-C Cable
  • Documentation 

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S10+ review (Indian variant) – More than an iterative upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Design and Build

Samsung’s Notes have traditionally been unapologetically big, but for good reason. The idea has been (or at least it used to be) to deliver more real-estate than an average phone to fit in more content, which among other things is also helpful in improving the efficiency of doing real work on phones. Now that conventional phones are big enough, do the scaled Note 10+ feel absurd at last? After living with the phone, we’d say no. 

Size comparison: Galaxy S10 vs Galaxy Note 10+ vs OnePlus 7 Pro

In size, the new Note is bigger than the Note 9 that it succeeds and also the OnePlus 7 Pro that somehow seems to have ventured a bit too far, but it’s slimmer than the two, has a higher screen-to-body ratio, and is noticeably lighter. In fact, the Note 10 Plus is even lighter than its compact sibling, the Galaxy S10. 

We didn’t appreciate Samsung’s craftsmanship with Galaxy S10 enough, not until we had to cycle through a series of 2019 flagships which simply couldn’t match up in terms of ergonomics. The Galaxy Note 10+ exhibits the same finesse and it’s surprising how quickly this phone with gargantuan 6.8-inch screen size has grown on us. 

It must also be mentioned that the broader-than-usual display makes the Note distinct and majestic. It’s a small detail that adds to the Notesy feel, something that fans of the series will surely appreciate. 

We have the Aura Glow color option with us and the effect is quite elegant. The phone is mostly bluish-silver but reflects different colors with light falling on it. The look isn’t essentially very different than the ceramic finish that we had on Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.

In case you still have reservations or would rather have a smaller phone, Samsung has the more compact and lighter Note 10 that is missing a few basic features, but none that you can’t live without. 

Both the Note 10 and Note 10+ are missing the 3.5mm audio jack. The fact that this omission has been on the cards helps soften the blow. The AKG Type-C earphones and wireless headphones I use make up for the loss to an extent, but I still prefer using wired headphones while traveling and on Note 10 you won’t be able to charge and plug wired headphones simultaneously. 

Samsung also removed the Bixby button or rather the Power button this year. What used to be Bixby key doubles as the Power button. The one-button approach makes sense but we’d have preferred this key on the right edge. Samsung adds the option to configure this contentious button as the usual power button, so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.


The side frame is made of Aluminium, which was also the case with the last years Note 9. Based on our experience with the last year’s Note, the aluminum frame is no cause for worry (our Note9 survived some pretty nasty drops). Speaking of durability, the Note 10+ is also IP68 rated for dust and water resistance. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review: Biometrics

Just as on Galaxy S10-series, the 3D touch home button (which we quite liked) has been replaced by the Ultrasound in-display fingerprint sensor. The good thing is that the in-display fingerprint sensor is now positioned farther from the bottom, which makes it a lot easier to access.

Samsung’s ultrasound sensor has its advantages, but it’s still slower and more inconsistent than optical sensors we have experienced on OnePlus and Huawei phones. The Face Lock is relatively faster, but it’s still a two-step process since you will need to press the power button first. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Display

As expected, Samsung uses a great quality sharp 2K AMOLED panel on the Note 10. The screen is HDR10+ compliant and is protected by Gorilla Glass 6. It was a pleasure consuming multimedia content on the Note 10+ and we cherished vivid colors and finer details while streaming high-quality content from Netflix (Yes, the phone is obviously DRM L1 certified). 

The plastic film screen protector on our review unit hasn’t been applied properly, and the placement of the cut-out is a bit off, which is perhaps why the circular notch in the center feels a bit distracting at times. We’d still prefer a continuous screen, but the minor deviation on the Note isn’t a big deal and we wouldn’t have the cut out any other way. The status bar to the left side of the selfie camera shows app notification icons (fits around 5 icons) and the right side is for system settings icons.

Samsung doesn’t add DC Dimming to the panel and like all other AMOLED displays, the Note 10+ uses PWM to control the brightness that can make using the phone in dark ambiance an inconvenience for people who are sensitive to flicker  

Also Read: What is DC Dimming? Does your phone support this display technology?

The good thing is that the default color profile on the Note 10+ is set to ‘Natural’ and not ‘Vivid’ that comes with boosted colors and relatively cooler whites. A higher refresh rate would have felt better, but we don’t think a 60Hz refresh rate screen on a flagship is a deal-breaker as of today. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: S-Pen

The signature S Pen stylus gets a new design and a 6-axis gyroscope. Up until last year, the S Pen had a structural weak point at the joint between the silver clicky bar with Samsung branding and the rest of the pen. This is where the S Pen would break under stress (or perhaps even with minor falls, several users claim).  

The S Pen on Note 10+ has a continuous unibody design and should be more durable. The plastic used kind of feels cheap, though. The S Pen gets a few new features in Air commands and can recognize gestures (Up, Down, Clockwise and Counter-clockwise movements). However, we had to practice a lot to get these gestures to work. You will need to press the S Pen button first before you use gestures and this inadvertently triggers gestures assigned to press and double press actions.

Suffice to say, S Pen gestures are a mess. While the new S Pen is more durable, for all practical purposes it isn’t any smarter than what we had last year. The S Pen related software on phone, however, is. The Note 10+ can detect what you scribble and convert it to word doc. S Pen Air command that pops every time you draw it out also gets a refreshed interface. 

I, for one, draw S Pen a lot when we are doing office work on our phone or in other situations when we need precise touches (for instance when using WordPress in phone browser or when we switch websites to their desktop interface while in Chrome on Android).

Features like Glance, Magnify, the option to use S Pen as a remote shutter or the ability to quickly jot notes even on sleeping display are quite useful at times. AR doodles are fun too. But what really makes S Pen indispensable is how handy it is in signing documents when on the move. This is a legit corporate requirement and at times as been cited to us as the sole reason for buying Samsung’s Notes. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Performance and Software

Performance, even in the long run, hasn’t been a problem with Samsung’s Flagships since Galaxy S9. The Note 10+ is adept at handling demanding usage, including gaming and aggressive multitasking. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Samsung uses top-shelf hardware, a 7nm process based Exynos 9825 paired with currently the fastest UFS 3.0 storage on phones and 12GB RAM for the base model. Unlike the smaller Note 10, the Note 10+ gets a dedicated card slot. 

UFS 3.0 speed: OnePlus 7 Pro (left) vs Galaxy Note 10+ (right)

One interesting new addition is Samsung Dex support on PC. Just have the Samsung Dex for Windows or Samsung Dex for macOS on your PC and connect your Note 10+ using any random USB cable and you’ll be all set. This makes Dex a lot more useful and productive for all classes of users. And the Note 10+ has enough power to carry the Dex experience remarkably well.

You can simply drag stuff from your PC and drop it into your phone using Dex (not vice versa) or directly access your phone apps with your private account logged-in securely on any PC.  The laptop support will ensure that more people will try and appreciate Dex this year, and we are hoping that would translate to better developer support. For now, Dex is quite interesting and useful but simultaneously feels like work in progress. Samsung Dex is out of beta and has gotten a lot better with subsequent updates. 

The One UI software has been designed to simplify usage of big-screen phone and deserves a large chunk of credit for why the big Note 10+ doesn’t feel user-hostile. It is also one of our favorite custom skins for Android.

One minor peeve point that we have is that Samsung gets a bit pushy for its own apps and services. Users still have the option to switch to, say, Google services but Note 10’s software will be more rewarding if you own Samsung smart products and use Samsung’s native app – which is perhaps fair. This isn’t a conflict we face with interfaces that are pro-google, but that’s because for better or worse we are heavily invested in Google’s services. 

The Galaxy Note 10+ has the latest set of connectivity options and call quality is excellent in our area. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Camera

The Galaxy Note 10+ has four rear cameras. A 12MP sensor with a variable aperture, a 16MP wide-angle sensor, and a 12MP sensor with a telephoto lens (2X Zoom). A fourth ToF sensor is also present and it helps with better depth mapping. The telephoto camera assembly and the main 12MP camera are optically stabilized. 

On the front, the Note 10+ has a 10MP selfie camera with dual pixel PDAF. The camera app is intuitive and we didn’t find any difficulty locating options that we were looking for. 

We noticed an appreciable improvement in images clicked using the main 12MP camera in broad daylight. Samsung has significantly improved its image processing software and the Note 10+ can capture an amazing amount of detail in proper lighting. 

In daylight, images have warmer tones and a slight yellow cast but turned out quite remarkable. Details are particularly awesome.

The wide-angle camera isn’t an afterthought here. Samsung gives the sensor equal importance as the primary 12MP sensor, and you’d find it particularly useful during outdoor trips. 

Colors are well balanced, even for shots taken indoors in low light. At times the camera fumbles in tricky low lighting conditions, which is natural.

The wide-angle camera isn’t an afterthought here. Samsung gives the sensor equal importance as the primary 12MP sensor, and you’d find it particularly useful during outdoor trips. 

Normal shot

Images shot in the dark are quite bright, but you can also use some night mode assistant to further brighten up such shots. This comes at the expense of a slight delay. 

The portrait mode is now smarter and much better with edge detection. This is one area where the Note 10+ still falls behind Pixel 3. There are several portrait lighting effects in the app which are quite fun.

Samsung also adds portrait mode to videos, but this doesn’t work well when you are shooting moving subjects and I don’t think I will be using it very often. 

Videos also get a zoom-in audio feature, which works in a subtle way. Samsung also adds a new video editor that’s simple to use and quite effective.

The performance of selfie camera has also noticeably improved over Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 9. Metering sometimes goes haywire when there’s a light source in the selfie frame, but we can see that Samsung has addressed this issue.  

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ camera experience was better than what we’d expected going into this review. It’s flagship-grade and quite fun. Perhaps it doesn’t beat Pixel 3 in lowlight and for portraits, but Samsung narrows the gap and we quite loved the photography experience Note 10+ offers. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Battery and Audio

Samsung has been very conservative with fast charging on its phones and its adaptive fast charging has been restricted to 15W for the last few years. This year, Note10+ embraces universal USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard and directly leaps to 45W fast charging. 

The charger bundled in the box is rated for 25W and can top up the Note 10+ in around 1 hour 20 minutes. The same fast charging tech (25W) was also used on Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A80.  Since Samsung isn’t using any proprietary charging technology, you will have the option to source 45W USB PD 3.0 chargers from other third-party manufacturers and get the same charging speeds.  

Fast charging aside, the battery backup is an incremental improvement over what we had with Note 9. The 4300mAh battery can last for more than a day of moderate to heavy usage, but you will need to keep the charger handy on particular heavy usage days. 

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus has powerful stereo speakers and also a slit at the top edge to get fuller output from the top speaker. The bundled AKG earphones are also excellent for a pair of box earphones. The audio output via speakers and via headphones is quite impressive. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is an excellent phone and we quite like what Samsung is pitching. The Notes are meant to be big and bold, and true to the theme, the Note 10 Plus delivers powerful hardware and a premium experience. It’s still an incremental update over what we had last year, but the more we use it – the more we can appreciate the nuances.  

The Note 10+ has a fabulous display, a thoughtful, slim design, smart OneUI software, simpler Dex implementation, and improved fast charging. It’s also the most comfortable big phone that we have used this year. Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro still might have an edge when it comes to still or rather portrait photography, but the Note 10+ too has a great camera and should be particularly appealing to videographers. It’s also our personal favorite Android phone for 2019. 


  • Elegant design 
  • Display quality 
  • Performance 
  • Battery mileage
  • Stereo speakers 
  • Dex on PC


  • No audio jack 
  • low-light selfie camera performance


Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Review: Quick Bytes

I am ok with big phones but am worried that the Note 10+ might just be too big. Is it?

If you like big phones, you will love the Note 10+. Samsung deserves some appreciation for getting the design right. The Note 10+ is lighter and slimmer than almost all big phones out there, and that’s why handling is no bother.

How much has the S Pen improved this year?

The Galaxy S Pen gets a gyroscope that allows you to wield it like a magic wand and assign actions like upward movement, clockwise turn, anti-clockwise turn, etc. to different actions. Unfortunately, these gestures don’t work as they should. But yes, S Pen is not unibody and structurally more durable.

How is the battery backup on the Galaxy Note 10+?

The 4300mAh battery lasts for a day, but not more. For similar usage, we get a tad better mileage on the Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro.

Is the Note 10+ camera better than the Pixel 3 camera?

In daylight or proper lighting, Samsung narrows the gap – thanks to improved image processing. In low light and with portraits (or live focus), Pixel phones are still ahead.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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