Last night, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ devices with large screens and S-Pen for professionals and creatives.
The Note range is loved by those who want responsive stylus feedback from bigger form-factor mobile devices. The large-screen and the S-Pen have always been a great combo – both of which Samsung are continuing to innovate.
The Note 10+ is the largest Note device Samsung has released, at a screen size of 6.8″. For those who prefer a more “standard” Note size, the Note 10 sports a 6.3″ display. Both devices are less than 8mm thick.
The previous generation of S-Pen enabled users to take selfies remotely, but did not allow them to change between camera modes from afar. The new S-Pen features a six-axis accelerometer to fix this issue, and enables users to control the Note from far away with gestures of the pen. The S-Pen Software Development Kit (SDK) is also now open to developers of Samsung apps to enable these gestures to work with other apps apart from the camera app.
The Note line’s triple camera systems take note of Huawei’s popular triple camera system, and features a 16MP Ultra-Wide lens, 12MP Wide lens, and 12 MP Telephoto lens. On the Note 10+, the camera array features an additional DepthVision camera which can construct 3D models and allows for better subject distinction from the background.
A new feature, Zoom In Mic, allows users to zoom into sounds that are far away. This enables the video to match the audio and is one of the more practical innovations on the new Note devices.
It also features SuperSteady – the same technology used to stabilise video as in the Galaxy S10. This technology has been tried and tested by Galaxy S10 users to stabilise shaky video with GoPro level stabilisation.
Depending on your stance on preinstalled apps, the included video editor is either a pro or a con. Amateur content creators will most likely appreciate this editor, but more advanced creators will likely need to download another app.
Facial tracking features have vastly improved. The biggest showcase of this technology is AR Doodle, which allows users to attach S-Pen drawings to live photos. We tested it last night and it was very impressive. It shows off the AR capabilities of the Note 10 and should usher in developers to utilise the AR platform.
The Note 10+ features a Depth vision camera to further enable AR capabilities on the rear camera. One can now 3D scan an object with the back camera. These 3D scans can then be 3D printed or attached into an existing video. Samsung US animated a plush toy and attached it to someone virtually to demonstrate the capabilities.
Samsung’s DeX has finally broken free of the clunky dock. It has also shifted away from the “bring your own screen, mouse, keyboard, and dock” to “just plug the Note into a computer”. The new DeX app for Windows and Mac will allow its users to use DeX in a window, and integrates fully with its host operating system to drag and drop files between the computer and the device.
The insides feature impressive hardware, including a vapour cooling chamber to prevent overheating while the phone is performing at maximum processing capacity. In terms of memory, the Note 10 comes with 8GB and the Note 10+ is packed with a whopping 12GB of RAM. Both devices come with a maximum storage capacity of 256GB, while the Note 10+ can be expanded by up to 1TB with a microSD card.
Regions lucky enough to get the Galaxy Note 10 5G will be utilising the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile platform, the leader in 5G modem technology. South Africa has not been confirmed as a launch country for the 5G version of this device.
The battery has also been optimised, with what Samsung calls Intelligent Battery. This enables fast wireless charging and super-fast cable charging at 45W. Samsung says one can get an all-day battery experience from a 30-minute charge. The catch is: a 25W charger comes in the box so users will have to purchase another charger to fully experience 45W charging – a very Apple-like move.
In another Apple-like move, the latest Note devices are also missing a headphone jack. Three years ago, Apple removed the headphone jack from its iPhone and many are still alive to tell the tale, so Samsung Note users will be fine, especially as wireless earphone technology becomes more accessible.
The devices come in three colours in South Africa: Aura Glow, Aura White, and Aura Black.
Preorders start today, and the devices will launch on 30 August. Samsung says the Note 10 will cost R18 999 while the Note 10+ will cost R22 999.