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In the world of phones, there are few that have built the kind of cult following that the Samsung Note series has. Originally seen as unorthodox and slightly unnecessary, the Note has since cemented itself in the phone market.

So how does the ultimate version of the ultimate Note stack up?

It has been almost a year since Samsung officially launched the Note 10 and almost two months since I have owned mine. Normally, I am the last person to buy a flagship phone. My ownership history will back me up on this. Prior to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, I had a Xiaomi Pocophone F1 and before that, there was the Asus Zenfone 3 which is an excellent piece of tech by the way. Through a bit of good fortune, I ended up having a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ to use as my phone until the next one comes along.

Speaking of which, there have been recent leaks of what the next generation Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will look like.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ fast charging and lock screen display. Image: Samsung Press Global
Fast charging tops up the large battery in no time

First thoughts?

The first thing you notice about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the sheer size of the thing. It feels a little bit awkward to hold and typing with one hand is pretty much out of the question unless you have massively long thumbs. For those of you who wear skinny jeans, your phone will probably need to be carried around elsewhere as it does not fit in the pockets and the edges prod you when seated.

In saying that, it feels great to hold though the body is a large fingerprint magnet. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a sharp look to it despite its size and even in the stock standard colours of black and white, it’s a thing of beauty.

The specs

This is a phone review so I will have to dump some tech bits in here somehow. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ excels in performance. The octa-core 855 Snapdragon processor makes light work of Messenger’s chat heads, music in the background and whatnot. It also makes use of Android 9 which is of course can be upgraded to 10. The operating system is easy to use and in typical Android fashion, you can customize pretty much everything if you wish to.

Modern phones tend to eat storage for breakfast but the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is prepared with a 256GB internal storage and the option to upgrade that figure through an external SD card. Something that looks unlikely for most.

The 6.8 inch curved Dynamic AMOLED display is a treat to view and it makes a good case for watching Netflix on your phone instead of the laptop. The colours are well defined and the icons are sharp. It’s a great display and you have the ability to tone down the definition if you would like to conserve a bit of battery life. Speaking of which, the 4300mAh battery is a colossus and it does exactly what it is supposed to. I tend to use my phone quite a bit and with that, I can only get through about 60% in a day. Excellent stuff if you ask me. However, having the screen brightness on a higher setting does drastically affect the battery life. Along with this, using dark mode has shown consistent results and I encourage you to switch if you would like to make your battery last as long as possible.

The camera

As a blogger, having a good phone camera is of utmost importance to me. The Note 10+ has four of these, one camouflaged into the screen and the other three on the back. Migrating from a phone with a centrally mounted camera meant that I had to get used to not sticking my fingers over the cameras. They are mounted quite close to the edge of the screen meaning that your fingers may photobomb the shots every now and then.

The rear camera unit is made up of three cameras, two 12MPs and one 16MP wide angle lens. The phone allows you to easily switch between wide angle and normal along with using a bit of AI to recognize and enhance the subject of the photo. The excellent wide angle lens make for a cool perspective on shots. The front facing camera is a 10MP unit and while it is hard to take selfies with such a large phone, the Note 10+ solves this using its USP. The S-Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ smartphone and latest generation S-Pen. Image: Samsung Press Global
They can still fit a pen in there but not a headphone jack?!

The S-Pen

The famous S-Pen stylus has been a quirky feature of the Note but it’s not there just to look cool. It has a function, lots of them actually. You can use the button on it to take pictures, switch cameras, play a song and do many many other things. When the screen is turned off, you can pull out the pen and take notes on the blank screen. These can eventually be saved in the handy Samsung notes app. That is where you will find another key feature of this Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. You can choose to write out your thoughts on the notes there but while you may not recognize your own handwriting after you are done, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ will! You can tap an icon to get the phone to turn your handwriting to text, how cool is that!

The infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ S-Pen now looks sleeker than ever. Image: Samsung Press Global.
The infamous S-Pen

Before I close off, I will talk about the speakers. I am what some people would call an audiophile. I love music and am really picky about the kind of speakers I use which means that I steer clear of phone speakers as they as mostly rubbish. Not this one though, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+’s speaker performs really well but pressing the icon that says ‘Dolby Atmos’ unleashes its true capability. It’s like pressing the sport button on your car, that is where the speakers come into their own. Songs which rely heavily on bass are still not recommended but the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ does a good job of playing classic rock among others things. The Dolby Atmos setting gives the phone a theater like feel when watching your favourite shows and coupled with that super sharp display, it makes for great viewing.

Samsung have ditched the old headphone jack with this new model. No more AUX for you but you can purchase an adapter separately. Samsung have also been generous and given you a pair of AKG earphones with the appropriate jack for your phone. You can purchase the AKG tuned Galaxy Buds separately and they would certainly be my pick over the wired alternative.

The Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is a great phone and it excels at pretty much everything a phone at this price range is supposed to do. The size is still an issue but anyone who plans on buying a Samsung Galaxy Note should be aware of this already.

I still struggle to see the appeal of these flagship phones but there’s no doubting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+’s ability. I just could not justify spending this much on a phone but I did anyway!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ receives a well deserved 4/5.

Photo Credit: Samsung Press Worldwide

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