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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Series Review: Pros and Cons

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Series Review: Pros and Cons

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Series was officially released on August 8. 

It is the first flagship for the latter half of the year 2019. Note 10 Series offers two variants - Note 10 and Note 10+, four different versions, including the 5G version.

In terms of parameters, their similarities include: 

• Note10/10+ is equipped with Snapdragon 855/Exynos9825 SoC; 

• UFS 3.0 flash memory; 

•Rear triple camera (12MP+12MP+16MP), a primary sensor with F1.5/2.4 variable aperture, a 10MP front camera; 

• Both support wireless charging and reverse charging; 

• Both have the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner; 

• Both support dual speakers; 

• IP68 waterproof and dustproof, Corning Gorilla Glass 6; 

• With S Pen, no headphone jack. 

They differ in various aspects, including: 

• Both feature the Samsung punch-hole notch screen: Note 10+ has a 6.8-inch screen, with 2K resolution; Note 10 has a 6.3-inch screen, with 1080P resolution; 

• Their ROM starts from 256GB. However, Note 10 comes with 8GB RAM; Note 10+ comes with 12GB RAM; 

• Note 10 supports 25W quick charge, uses a 3500mAh battery; Note10+ uses a 4300mAh battery, support up to 45W quick charge (standard 25W); 

• Note 10 and Note 10+ are 7.9 mm thick; the former weighs 168g, the latter 196g; 

• As for the camera, Note 10+ supports ToF 3D lens. 

As for the design, Note10 series smartphones use a rectangular panel on the front: 


For those who are used to the curved screen, they may not look so pleasant in pictures. However, they look more harmonious in reality.
Both the screen and the back panel are curved: 


The bottom and top are similar to the Huawei P30 Series but more radical: 


The screen-to-body ratio is very high, coupled with Samsung's premium screen, bringing an excellent visual experience. Nevertheless, I prefer the edge-to-edge hole-punch display of S10 Series. 

On the back, triple camera or quad camera aligned well on edge, which is similar to the design of Huawei P30 Pro. Some criticize that the cameras of Huawei P30 Pro look ugly in the first half of the year; in comparison, the horizontal alignment of Samsung Note 10 Series appears more harmonious. 


The latest Samsung smartphones have eventually applied the iridescent color. Some smartphones in iridescent colors released earlier look coquettish. The monochromatic Samsung Note 10 Series seems fresh. 

The flagship of the latest Samsung Note 10 Series is Note 10+. The standard model, Note 10, is inferior in screen resolution, memory, battery capacity, quick charge, ToF, and so on. 

The screen of the phone is the most outstanding feature and Samsung's biggest competitive advantage. Neither the screen of the upcoming iPhone nor that of Huawei Mate 30 Series are comparable. 

Note 10 Series uses an extraordinary SoC like most mainstream Android smartphones. However, the SoC falls behind in the process compared with the upcoming A13 and Kirin 985 (990?) which use EUV technology. The SoC will be less competitive in the 5G era when power consumption will significantly increase.

As for the modem, X50 modem used in Note 10 5G version lags behind in both the process and network compatibility. The process affects battery life, while the network compatibility affects the application. 

Based on the above, if you like Note 10 Series, it's more sensible to buy the 4G version rather than the 5G version. Avoid buying Note 10 whose battery capacity is only 3500mAh.

Samsung claims to usher smartphones into the 5G era; however, it is obvious that Samsung falls behind Huawei in the 5G network. The ambition will probably be the slogan. 

Note 10 Series still uses a 1/2.55-inch CMOS image sensor, with F1.5/2.4 variable aperture, with equivalent 54mm focal length, 1/3.6", and a wide-angle lens (1/3", 16MP). The configuration might still be mainstream in 2018, but by 2019 it is outdated. 

Xiaomi has just announced that Mi Mix 4 will use a super 1/1.33-inch CMOS sensor. Below is the comparison between several mainstream CMOS sensors: 


From the above, you can find the image sensor size of the primary camera. Generally, the larger the image sensor, the better. This advantage may not be apparent when the specifications are similar. However, algorithms can't make up for considerable differences in specifications.

It is reported that Huawei will use dual 40MP cameras in Mate 30 Pro. There will be an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, and 1/1.5-inch primary sensor, as well as a telephoto lens.

If so, Note 10 Series will be inferior to Mate 30 Series in camera performance, which cannot be made up with excellent mobile phone dealers.

Of course, there is no doubt that Samsung smartphones have a better screen. 

What's more, the latest Note 10 Series features considerable storage memory and flash memory, which is praiseworthy. 

Moreover, Samsung has introduced 40W super quick charge to Note 10+, considering that Xiaomi is also about to use 45W super fast charge. Among the six mainstream mobile phone brands, only the one uses 5V 1A power adapters will stand alone.

S Pen, which comes with Samsung Note Series, is also the most brilliant feature that distinguishes it from S Series. As the phone screen gets bigger and bigger (e.g., the 6.8-inch Note 10+), the pen will bring a better and better experience.

Although Note 10 Series has a big pen which takes up much space, the thickness is merely 7.9 mm. Note 10 + is even more admirable, which accommodates a super big battery whose capacity is up to 4300mAh. The weight of the phone is perfectly controlled, too! 

I admit that Samsung is proficient at making use of the internal space. Among Android phone manufacturers, only Huawei is its match.

Regardless of several problems, Note 10 Series is excellent. However, the even more outstanding screen, radical design, admirable workmanship, and unique pen are all typical features of Note 10 Series smartphones.


Whether Note 10 Series will live up to users' expectations? Here are a few questions to be answered. 

(1) Are the differences between Note 10 and Note 10+ huge enough to support the positioning of the flagship? Or, when users choose to give up S10+, is Note 10 Series attractive to them? 

(2) Is the camera performance of Note 10 Series competitive? Merely relying on the DxOMark is not enough. Whatever good scores it gets, consumers won't choose MFT and give up full-frame camera. Note 10 Series is to its counterparts, as the MFT sensor is to the full-frame camera. 

(3) Note 10 series claims to usher into 5G era, but its 5G modem lags behind. If Huawei is more radical, integrating 5G modem directly with SoC, how should Samsung Note 10 Series react? 

We're in a special period, the eve of the arrival of the 5G era when the pace is critical. Those walk two steps ahead might be martyrs; one step forward might be a hero; the rest would be the conservative. 

The camera and mobile network are the two most important factors on smartphones. So far, Note 10 series doesn't excel in these two aspects.
Honestly, I like these two phones. Compared with the design of Note 9, Note 10 Series smartphones are much more fashionable, but I don't see a promising future. 


Samsung is in a crucial crossroad, facing fierce competition. Samsung S10 Series is different from last year's Note 10 Series, especially in the design, winning a good reputation. But Samsung should not end here.

After Huawei P20 Pro ushered phone image sensors into a brand new era, small image sensors are doomed to failure. Making revolutionary variable aperture is far from enough.

I've drawn such a conclusion before the release of P20 Pro. Looking back, I think this conclusion is right. Huawei has successfully moved from the mid-range to the top-notch with the breakthrough of camera. 

One might wonder why Huawei has been far more ahead of Samsung all of a sudden. 

Did DxOMark make a profit from the ranking?

Actually, for photography, the bigger the size of an image sensor, the more outstanding it will be! 


When Samsung still values the 1/2.6-inch 12MP CMOS sensors, Huawei uses a 40MP 1/1.73-inch super CMOS sensor with F1.8 aperture.
I believe many people are quite familiar with "pixel density." However, don't be fooled by the manufacturers. What matters is the size of a CMOS sensor.

That's the reason why you know full-frame cameras and APEC cameras, instead of the pixel density of a DSLR camera. 

For CMOS sensors, the size is measured by the diagonal length. The smaller the denominator, the bigger the area will be. The sensor size is the square of the diagonal length. 

In other words, Huawei's CMOS sensor is 2.25 times as large as Samsung's. Do you know the difference now? 

Some people might still ask, "F1.8 aperture? Isn't it worse than Samsung's F1.6?"  

They are wrong. The definition of the aperture is F = effective aperture diameter/focal length of the lens. 

In other words, the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. 

When the equivalent focal length is 27mm, the larger the CMOS sensor is, the longer the focal length of the lens, and the larger the aperture.
In other words, the F1.8 lens of Huawei P20 Pro is bigger. 

The Huawei P20 is good enough, with a CMOS primary camera (2.3" F1.8, 27mm) and a 20MP B&W sub-camera (1/2.78", F1.6).

In terms of hardware, Huawei has surpassed Samsung, which has been playing its old tricks.

If you term P20 as a regular improvement of Mate 10 Pro, P20 Pro is a smartphone that has changed the rules of the industry. 

Its appearance is as significant as Xiaomi Mix, the pioneer for the full screen. 

From then on, for whatever manufacturers want to maintain their glorious status (including Apple and Samsung) improvements on the camera are necessary! 

Apple and Samsung were dominant phone manufacturers, but so arrogant that even in 2017 and 2018. As you can see, the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S9 only has a single rear camera.

Do you want something better? 

Sorry, please raise the budget! 

The advent of P20 and P20 Pro has pushed mobile cameras to a new high. 

Can Apple and Samsung do these things? 

Of course, they can. 

But they refuse to do, which is disappointing! 

"Anyway, I'm the front runner. Why not run slowly?" 

Huawei P20 Pro urges all mobile phone manufacturers to think highly of the camera. It will be a bliss for consumers, especially photography enthusiasts. 

That's why a loyal Apple fan acclaimed Huawei P20 Pro.











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