Samsung Galaxy Note 10: everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

With a new S-Pen that puts you in control, a huge, crystal clear screen and two-way wireless charging, the tenth-anniversary Note phone is a standout smartphone. Here’s why.

When the first Galaxy Note appeared ten years ago, it was dismissed by naysayers as ‘too big’ and lacking in mainstream appeal.

Ten phones, scores of innovations and hundreds of millions of sales later, it’s fair to say that’s not a prediction that aged well.

The new, tenth-anniversary Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are great additions to the range. And may well be the best Note phones so far.

Billed as offering a “mobile experience that's like a computer, a gaming console, a move-tech camera and an intelligent pen, all in one device", they’re do-it-all gadgets that set new standards for pocket technology.

So what’s so good about them? Here’s what you need to know.

Two sizes to choose from

Galaxy Note 10

For the first time, the Note 10 is available in two sizes.

There’s the standard Note 10, which has a 5.8-inch screen.

Or if you prefer a larger handset, there’s the Note 10 Plus that makes room for a 6.8-inch display.

Dubbed Infinity O displays, both screens take up almost the entire front of the phones, with just a tiny cutout for the front-facing cameras in the right-hand corner.

It’s a striking design and means that whichever Note 10 model you choose you get a super-sized screen in a compact smartphone.

Better still, they both feature Dynamic AMOLED technology. Which is a major upgrade from the Super AMOLED tech that has been a mainstay of Samsung phones for years.

The result is the screens are the brightest and most vivid we’ve seen on any smartphone. And they perform brilliantly in bright light too.

Struggle to sleep after using your phone late at night? The Note 10 range’s screens cut blue light by 42% to help you get your eight hours and limit eyestrain.

New S-Pen reinvents the stylus

Note 10 S-Pen

The S-Pen stylus is now more useful than ever. So you can get more done, faster.

For starters, it’s much, much better for note-taking.

Simply jot down your thoughts and notes from work meetings and the Note 10 will convert your scribbles into readable text that you can share with your colleagues. And it'll do it with just a single tap.

That’s just scratching the surface of what the new S-Pen can do, though. You can also use it as a remote control to interact with your Note 10 from afar.

It’s a feature that really comes into its own when you use it with the camera.

For starters, you can use the S-Pen as the shutter release by pressing it when you want to take a photo.

Samsung’s stylus recognises air gestures that you make with your hands too, allowing you to zoom in and out when you're taking a snap, or switch between camera modes and flip between the front and back cameras.

For example, if you press and hold the S-Pen button, and trace a clockwise or counter-clockwise circle in the air with the stylus, you can zoom in or out.

Want to flip through photos or slides in a PowerPoint presentation? That’s just a case of tracing a line to the right or left.

Air gestures work also with Spotify and YouTube, allowing you to adjust the volume remotely (just draw a line upwards) and play and pause videos. And you can bet support will be coming to more apps soon.

Cameras excel at stills and video

Galaxy Note 10

The Note 10 features three camera lenses at the rear (namely a 12-megapixel standard telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel wide lens and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens).

The Note 10 Plus goes one better and adds what’s called a Time of Flight sensor, for better depth-sensing and even more spectacular bokeh shots. That’s when you blur out the background to bring your subject into razor sharp focus.

Both Note 10 models have the same ten-megapixel front camera for selfies.

We can attest that both phones take excellent photos that are packed with colour and detail.

That goes for portraits, selfies and panoramic shots, which are enhanced massively thanks to the ultra-wide angle mode that allows you get much more of a scene in the frame.

More impressive still is that you can get really great results in all conditions. Helped in no small part by the Night Mode that effectively turns night into day and works with the back cameras, as well as the front camera.

The Note 10’s video recording capabilities are perhaps even more noteworthy.

For the first time, you can now add ‘bokeh’ background blur to videos to lend your mini movies an arty sheen.

Fancy getting creative? You can add special effects in real time as well, such as making the background monochrome while rendering your subject in vivid colour.

If you’ve seen Schindler’s List or Sin City, you’ll know just how arresting this effect can be.

You can draw on your videos as well with the S-Pen, care of a brand new feature called AR Doodle. Or add subtitles if you’re targeting arthouse cinemas with your magnum opus, insert transitions and more.

Finally, the Note 10 is equipped with a super-steady mode that eliminates camera-shake too and records in lush 4K UHD.

Long-life battery with two-way charging

Note 10 two-way charging

The standard Note 10 comes with a 3,500mAh battery, with 25W fast charging to get you juiced up when you’ve no time to spare, as well as pretty speedy 12-watt wireless charging.

The Note 10 Plus features an even larger 4,300mAh battery, in keeping with the fact that it's powering a more expansive screen.

Handily, the Plus model supports an even faster 45W fast-charge mode that’s among the fastest around, plus 15W wireless charging.

Both phones offer two-way wireless charging. What does that mean? It means that you can share your charge with your friends and family, if they’re in dire need of a battery top-up.

To do so, you simply place the phone you want to charge on the back of the Note 10 and it’ll begin transferring power instantly.

Best of all, it’s compatible with any phone with a glass back, including the more recent iPhones and Huawei handsets, as well as earlier Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones.

And you can use it to charge Samsung Galaxy Buds headphones too.

There’s a top-of-the-range 5G version

Note 10 5G

The Note 10 Plus comes in a 5G variant too.

It’ll cost you a bit more, but it gets you super-fast mobile internet speeds that’ll really let you make the most of your cutting-edge smartphone.

The result is lag-free streaming. Movie downloads that make a matter of seconds. And a smoother, more responsive online gaming experience.

Although it’s not been turned on everywhere in the UK just yet, 5G is already available in major cities and towns from the likes of Vodafone, Three, Sky Mobile, EE and O2.

Availability and pricing

You can pick up the Note 10 on a standard pay monthly contract right now and take your pick of deals from a range of networks. That’ll let you spread the cost.

We've picked out the best deals for each variant of the Note 10.

Best Note 10 deals

Best Note 10 Plus deals

Best Note 10 Plus 5G deals

Note 10 SIM free deals

Alternatively, if you’ve got cash to hand you may want to pick up the Note 10 SIM-free.

That’ll set you back £899 for the standard model or £999 for the Note 10 Plus. Want the 5G edition? You’ll need to set aside £1,099.

Of course, you'll then need a SIM-only deal to go with it. Take a look our selection of the best on our SIM only comparison page.

Think another Samsung phone might suit you better? Head to our comparison page for deals on a range of Galaxy smartphones.

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