Samsung Galaxy Note10+ $1,100
Additions, subtractions to big new phone
Samsung’s big-screen Galaxy Note phone is adding even more screen. But much of the conversation will be about what the Note10 is taking away.
That’s right — now even loyalists to the world’s biggest smartphone maker will be saying goodbye to the headphone jack. As we hold on to our phones longer, it’s getting harder for a $1,000 (or more) upgrade to impress.
The Galaxy Note10 debuted at an event in New York earlier this month, where invitees could try its two versions: the $950 Note10 with a 6.3-inch screen and the $1,100 Note10+ model with a 6.8-inch screen. The latter is the venti to most other smartphones’ grande. Even the maxed-out iPhone XS Max is only 6.5 inches, measured on the diagonal.
Have we officially run out of palm? The Note10+ is the largest phone Samsung has made that also doesn’t fold up, like the $1,980 Galaxy Fold scheduled to arrive in September.
Even with the bigger screen, the Note10+ feels lighter than last year’s 6.4-inch Note9. Samsung squeezed in more screen by nipping at the bezel edges and making it a little taller. Like on the Galaxy S10 that arrived in March, there’s a hole punched through the screen for a camera, which pushes the usable screen area closer to the edge.
In lots of ways, the Note10 adopts the nice-to-have improvements featured in Samsung’s S10. The fingerprint reader has also moved from the back of the phone to its rightful place on the front, embedded inside the screen. You can also wirelessly charge a friend’s phone.
The Note10 is getting a boost to three back cameras, for normal, zoom and ultrawide shots. The Note10+ also has a fourth depth camera, which can be used for 3-D scanning.
Also notable: The S-Pen stylus upgrades. The Note10 will convert your scribbles to searchable text. You can also use the S-Pen as a kind of magician’s wand to command the phone without touching it.
Besides the headphone jack, the Note10 also loses the ability to expand storage by popping in a microSD card. You have to buy storage built-in.
All things considered, is there any reason to pine for an upgrade? At first try, the Note no longer seems a bleeding-edge phone. Seeing all the other innovation happening in other phone brands makes staying loyal to Samsung harder.
The Note10 is available for preorder and in stores Aug. 23.