Samsung Note 10 Review: Overview & Price

In this Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review we go over everything you need to know about this impressive 2019 smartphone.

We go through the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 specs, design, camera and much more. As well as this we showcase the best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals here in the UK.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 release date was back on August 7th in New York at the annual Samsung Galaxy unpacked event.

With shipping starting shortly after on August 23rd, based on what we have heard its fair to say this phone has sold exceptionally well.

This is no surprise as the Note range does particularly well as it targets those who prefer a much bigger smartphone.

Here are some of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 specs;

  • IP68 water resistance
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 3500mAh battery life
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ display
  • 8GB RAM

As you can see the Note 10 is well equipped to deal give you fantastic performance, but also strong battery life and plenty of onboard storage too.

However this does come at a price, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is currently £869 here in the UK.

The Note 10 does come with the S-pen, which is why most Note fanatics’ love and stay loyal to the Note range.

This allows you to draw on the display and gives you an experience that is offered nowhere else, but the Samsung Note range.

But is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 waterproof? Find out shortly in this review.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Note 10 has to offer..

Samsung Note 10 Review: Design & Display

One of the first things you will notice about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 design is that it is absolutely huge.

With a 6.3-inch display, this phone certainly isn’t for those with small hands, the Note range is even known to be a two-handed phone for some people.

The Note 10 comes in quite the range of colours; you have Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Pink or Aura Red.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Aura Black for just over 6 days to conduct this Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review.

We have to say that the Note 10 definitely feels nicer in the hand than the Note 9, one reason for this could be that it is slightly smaller than the Note 9.

However, we think it has to do with it being lighter and thinner too, allowing you to easily grip the phone when needed.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 weighs in at 168g, which is 33g lighter than the previous Note 9.

You will be glad to know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is waterproof, with an IP68 rating which means it is water-resistant in up to 1.5metres of water for 30 minutes; it is also dust resistant too.

We would recommend investing into a case and screen protectors though as this will help keep your phone in tip-top shape.

If you do happen to drop the phone don’t panic too much, as the Note 10 is coated in Gorilla Glass 6, which is extremely strong glass, but we can’t guarantee that the glass won’t crack or damage your phone.

The Note 10 design is still boxy just like the Note 9; the front of the phone is taken up mostly by the display, which we will come to shortly.

The device does have a small chin and extremely thin bezels around the edges of the phone, but it now has a hole-punch selfie camera just like the one seen on the Samsung Galaxy S10.

samsung galaxy note 10 design
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns

This allows the phone to keep as much real estate on the display rather than having to use a notch which houses sensors and the front-facing cam.

Flipping the phone over will reveal the Samsung branding in the centre of the device, with the triple camera set up which is in the top corner.

The left-hand edge of the device is home to the volume rocker and the power button, which is slightly below.

Samsung has now opted to ditch the Bixby button, so now you will need to hold down the power button for a few seconds to activate this feature.

At the base of the Galaxy Note 10, you will find the USB-C connector, which is used to power the phone, with a speaker at one side of the connector and the S-Pen to the side of it.

Sale
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Dual-SIM 256 GB 6.3-Inch Android Smartphone - Aura Glow (UK Version)
  • The Galaxy Note10 elevates mobile videography and photography to the next level featuring a combination of advanced imaging technology and software
  • The Galaxy Note10 comes with a newly designed S-Pen enabling you to convert your notes to text and export that text to an array for formats - including Microsoft Word
  • The Galaxy Note10 integrates bleeding-edge AR and 3D capabilities into the camera. Along with an ultra wide camera, It opens up an entirely new medium for creators
  • Translate and convert - translate singe words or full sentences by hovering over text with your S-Pen

The stylus pen is something completely unique to the Note range, and it allows you to draw, game and more without the need to place your grubby fingers on the phone.

Up at the top of the device is the SIM tray which sits completely alone and by itself.

Samsung has decided to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Note 10, forcing users into using a pair of wireless headphone instead.

This is to be expected as we are now in 2019, with the Samsung Galaxy Buds being a fantastic option for those looking to invest into some buds.

Another big option Samsung has removed is the MicroSD slot, which now means there is no option to expand storage should you need it.

As a whole the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 design is impressive, we love that it still keeps its traditional boxy shape and is slightly smaller than the Note 9.

If you are someone who loves a big phone then you do always have the option of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display, it has a 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution.

The display has 2280 x 1080 pixels and 401ppi. This combination ensures that content is bright, colours are vivid and the overall viewing experience is pleasant for those that have opted for the Note 10.

Samsung has not opted for a Quad HD display with the Note 10, but they have implemented HDR10+ technology.

The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime are FHD compatible, which means they work perfectly with the Note 10, so this is great news if you are someone who watches a lot of movies on your smartphone.

This wasn’t a deal-breaker for us and we have to say if we didn’t know this and weren’t nerdy with displays, we would have hardly noticed the difference.

We were impressed by the amount of real estate that you get on the Note 10 display thanks to it now having a hole-punch selfie camera.

The display now has a 90.9% screen to body ratio, which is spectacular!

This means that there are no bezels at the top of the phone, which allows content to fill the display from corner to corner.

This works well on the Samsung Galaxy S10, and the hole punch option is a lot less intrusive than the notches we see on the likes of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Until Samsung device to do something like the OnePlus 7 Pro and hide the selfie camera in a pop-up mechanism, we have to say we think the hole punch is the best way forward.

The display, in general, can actually be seen as a downgrade from the previous generation as it is now only an FHD.

This doesn’t exactly fit with the ethos of the Note range, as it typically stands for having the best of everything, nevertheless, the Note 10 display is still fantastic.

As it is an OLED panel you still see the super punchy colours and inky blacks, as you would expect from this display.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 does use ‘Adaptive brightness’ by detecting the amount of ambient light in your surroundings to adjust how bright the phone needs to be.

So if you are outside on a sunny day then you will find the display is cranked up higher than usual, and the same if you are in a dark environment, you’ll find the display dims itself down to protect your eyes.

The Note 10 display does house an under the screen fingerprint sensor, perfect for securing online banking passwords to ensure nobody else can gain access to your accounts.

It is placed slightly higher than we have seen on previous Samsung devices, but it’s now in the perfect position for your thumb to naturally hit, so your barely touching the display before your phone unlocks.

Samsung has decided to keep the refresh rate of the Note 10 at 60Hz, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

But when you see the competitors like the OnePlus 7 Pro with a 90Hz refresh rate, it really is slightly disappointing.

We love how smooth the OnePlus 7 Pro is when scrolling through social media, and it’s a shame Samsung hasn’t kept up with the competition on that one.

Overall the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display is impressive, but it doesn’t have everything you would expect, it doesn’t have the 1440 display or the 90Hz refresh rate.

That being said it does have almost everything, and it’s by no means a disappointment as far as display is concerned.

Samsung Note 10 Review: Performance

One of the first things to mention about the Samsung Note 10 is the unique S-Pen, which is completely unique to the Note range.

The Stylus sets the phone apart from the competition, and the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

This pen is the main selling point for those that love to draw or have owned the Note 9 and got used to it.

The S Pen is housed inside of the phone; just at the bottom of the device is where the pen lives.

Nothing much has really changed from the stylus seen on the Note 9, but nothing has to as there is no other competition out there and it already works.

The S Pen is lightweight and extremely easy to use, in fact, you don’t even need to turn the phone on fully, meaning if your in a meeting or a lecture you can start writing on your display and it will log them into your notes app for you.

The S Pen is extremely responsive to the Note 10’s display, as it has multiple pressure levels, which allow you to create some fantastic designs.

As the S-Pen uses Bluetooth, you can now use a variety of cool features.

For example, you are now able to take a group photo by pressing the button on the pen and using it as the shutter button, this will allow you to take photos when your away from your phone.

The S-Pen also has a variety of new gesture controls, this allows you to control certain apps such as the video or gallery by moving the S-Pen is certain ways.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 specs are impressive too, under the hood it uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, but if you’re in the UK you will get the newer Exynos 9825 chip.

As well as this powerful chip the Note 10 is also backed with a strong 8GB of RAM, which keeps the phone breezing through the most demanding of tasks.

The phone comes with 256GB of internal storage, which is more than enough for the average user.

We would have appreciated a 128GB option and the option to add a microSD, as for some people 256GB can be a little overkill.

samsung galaxy note 10 specs
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns

That being said due to the amount of storage, this allows you to download lots of music, Netflix movies and applications without the phone getting clogged up.

Especially being as the display is nice and big, we found we wanted to make use of it by downloading a lot of movies onto the phone.

If you are someone who feels like 256GB of internal storage is not enough, maybe you work from your phone and need to store spreadsheets and power points on there, then the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 does come with a built-in 512GB so it may be more suited for you.

We would have liked to seen 5G support on the Note 10, however for some reason Samsung has decided to skip that feature on this phone.

Sale
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Dual-SIM 256 GB 6.3-Inch Android Smartphone - Aura Glow (UK Version)
  • The Galaxy Note10 elevates mobile videography and photography to the next level featuring a combination of advanced imaging technology and software
  • The Galaxy Note10 comes with a newly designed S-Pen enabling you to convert your notes to text and export that text to an array for formats - including Microsoft Word
  • The Galaxy Note10 integrates bleeding-edge AR and 3D capabilities into the camera. Along with an ultra wide camera, It opens up an entirely new medium for creators
  • Translate and convert - translate singe words or full sentences by hovering over text with your S-Pen

If you are looking for a 5G compatible device then the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is your next best option, as this is fully compatible with 5G and all it offers.

The performance of the Note 10 is great; the phone is capable of navigating through the UI effortlessly with no lag whatsoever.

As mentioned previously due to the display refresh rate, its certainly doesn’t feel as quick as the OnePlus 7 Pro.

That being said we tested the Note 10 on PUBG and it was perfect, no lag or fps drops and thanks to that huge display it made the gaming experience fantastic.

Coming from a Samsung Galaxy S10 we can comfortably say that the Note 10 gaming experience is better, the game loaded up extremely quick and the phone didn’t heat up after extensive periods of gaming.

The speaker set up on the Note 10 is great too; with stereo speakers, this works well to enhance gameplay.

Listening to music is awesome but again you will need to invest into a pair of wireless headphones to do so.

Thankfully Samsung has included a pair of USB-C AKG in earbuds in the box, which sounds a lot better than the standard buds that come in the box when purchasing an iPhone.

When it comes to software the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 uses Android 9.0 Pie with One UI layered over the top.

Samsung has taken a different approach this time, as usually, One UI is extremely simple and easy to navigate, with the Note 10 they have added some extra features that enhance productivity and gaming on the phone.

The first of which being ‘DeX’, this is Samsung’s PC interface for Note series, this allows you to plug the phone into a monitor and essentially use the phone as a PC.

Samsung has also partnered with Microsoft to make it easier to access notifications, images and messages through a PC.

When testing DeX we found that it doesn’t work as well as it looks like it’s going to on paper, with it having quite a lot of bugs and being laggy.

That being said it is an extremely easy way to move images from your phone over to your PC.

The Note 10 also has some new gaming modes, which allow you to stream games through the PlayGalaxy app.

Other than this the software side of the Note 10 is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S10, with the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ feature to help you kick your social media habit and more.

Samsung Note 10: Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 camera set up is more than capable of capturing some fantastic shots, whether that is in day or night.

The Note 10 now has three lenses, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel regular lens as well as a 12-megapixel telephoto lens.

This telephoto lens handles portrait modes and offers a 2x optical zoom.

However, the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro offer an impressive 5x zoom.

One thing you will notice between the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus is that the regular Note 10 does not have the extra depth sensors on the back.

This allows optimisations for Bokeh shots and gives better depth effects when shooting images.

See Related:

*Samsung Galaxy S10 Review*
*Google Pixel 4 Review*
*Samsung Galaxy Buds Review*
*iPhone 11 Review*

Both the main lens and the telephoto lens from the Note 10 have OIS (optical image stabilisation), just like the S10.

This uses technology to keep the phone’s camera steady, which ensures when you’re zoomed in the Note 10 camera does not shake and stays steady.

This is essential for those that love to take plenty of photos but may not have the steadiest hand.

Now as mentioned previously the Note 10 S Pen has some pretty cool features that allow you to take photos without being near the phone.

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 AR camera features allow you to zoom in from the pen and snapshots without even touching the screen, this works well for group selfies and ensures you can get all of your friends in the shot.

The distortion correction helps to keep the edges of the image looking clear and helps to counteract the fisheye effect.

That being said there is no auto-focus here, so we wouldn’t recommend taking close up shots with this lens.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 camera is impressive especially in daylight, images come out with plenty of detail and dynamic range is strong too.

The Note 10 camera is very much the same as the one seen in the Samsung Galaxy S10, the ultra-wide lens is fantastic and offers you the ability to create an image with a 123-degree field of view.

samsung galaxy note 10 camera
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns

This is perfect for taking photos where you wish to capture the great scenery, as it allows you to capture much more than you would with the regular camera.

This lens does not perform quite as well as the main lens, as it has more scenery to capture the detail does lack slightly, however, the images still come out ready for Instagram.

The main lens performs fantastically in good lighting; will plenty of modes such a portrait, live focus, hyper-lapse and more.

Portrait mode is fantastic for taking social media-ready shots, the subject separation is great and there are high amounts of detail.

The Note 10 even has a dedicated night mode that works very well too, this does take a couple of seconds to capture the shot but the camera draws in as much ambient light as possible and can make a photo that would usually look like a black empty photo show decent amounts of detail and look lit up.

One of our favourite lenses to shoot with is the ultra-wide in night mode, this boosts saturation and produces some great shots, and detail is maintained at the expense of some sharpness.

The 10-megapixel-selfie camera uses autofocus to capture some great selfies, so no need to worry about how far away you are holding the phone.

Selfies have superb dynamic range as well as plenty of detail, you can choose from the default crop mode or a wider 10-megapixel shot.

When it comes to video recording the Note 10 can shoot in 4K at up to 60fps with the main cam, the footage looks great but there is no EIS (electronic image stabilisation) at 60fps, only OIS.

4K video at 30fps has better detail and natural processing, this is the setting we found ourselves shooting in most, and thanks to the OIS there is no need to invest into a tripod as the footage is nice and steady.

You can also shoot video footage with the telephoto lens and the ultra-wide but they are in 30fps, the footage comes out with great dynamic range and plenty of detail.

Live focus video is a cool mode too, which blurs the background of your subject to increase the detail of the subject.

Samsung Note 10 Review: Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 battery life is decent, but we did expect a little more.

The phone has a 3500mAh cell which feels isn’t quite strong enough to power this phone for as long as we expected.

We found that between six to seven hours of screen on time is what we were averaging.

However, this does depend on how you are using the phone, as if you are someone using the display quite heavily as in gaming or watching HD movies, you will find the battery life drains a lot quicker.

Thankfully the Note 10 does come with some impressive fast charging features, which allows you to plugin for 15 minutes and grab enough charge to see you through the day.

The Note 10 charge is now a super fast 25W, this is done via the new USB-C toting charge, and you can charge the phone fully from 0 – 100% in around an hour.

This is excellent considering the size of this battery, and we found that the fast charging features make up for the not so great stamina of the phone.

The Note 10 battery does also have Qi charging, which lets you charge up other Qi devices.

This works well with the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the Galaxy Watch Active 2, as you are able to simply place these devices on the back of the Note 10 and charge them up when they are running low.

As a whole battery life on the Note 10 is decent, it’s not going to blow you away with how long it last but we feel the quick charging features definitely will.

Samsung Note 10 Review: Summary

So should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 10?

Well if you are a fan of the bigger sized phones and think you like the sound of the S-Pen then this could be the phone for you.

However, given the price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals we do feel it is slightly overpriced right now.

With an impressive OLED display to work with the pen, it makes for easy note-taking and accurate drawings when needed.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 specs are impressive, with plenty of RAM and internal storage to keep you breezing through anything you throw at the phone, as well as storing a ton of music and video footage on the device without the need for a microSD, not that you have the option anyway.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Dual-SIM 256 GB 6.3-Inch Android Smartphone - Aura Glow (UK Version) 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 camera is strong too, not quite as good as the Note 10 Plus, but equally as strong as the Samsung Galaxy S10, with a cool ultra-wide and telephoto lens to take some stunning shots.

The dedicated night mode is capable of capturing awesome shots in the dark, and the S Pen gestures allow you to take shots without being close to the phone.

Battery life is average, but the quick charge features are spectacular, with Qi charging allowing you to charge other devices too.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is waterproof, with an iP68 rating which allows you to dunk the phone in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.

We hope you have enjoyed our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review, feel free to check out the best deals in the UK at the to of the post and our other mobile phone reviews here.