We seriously cannot tell you how happy we are that Samsung finally unveiled the Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+, and Galaxy Note 10+ 5G earlier this week. Apart from the fact that they’re terrific new flagships that offer cutting-edge specs and killer features inside sleek new all-screen hardware, we’re just happy we can stop covering all the leaks and rumors that kept spilling over the past few months.
Now that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 flagship phablet lineup is official, there will be endless coverage comparing these hot new smartphones to every other handset under the sun. Here in the US, however, there’s really only one comparison that matters. That’s right, we need to see how the new Note 10 phones stack up against Apple’s latest iPhone lineup, and we’ll spend plenty of time on this key comparison once we start reviews Samsung’s new flagships. In the meantime, it’s clear that the Galaxy Note 10 series is packed full of exciting new features to go along with its huge design overhaul, so let’s take a look at 10 key Galaxy Note 10 features that’ll make any iPhone user jealous.
When Apple first released its tenth-anniversary iPhone X, the company’s tag line was “it’s all screen.” Needless to say, that… was a lie.
Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone XS design is sleek and beautiful, but it’s nowhere close to being “all screen.” In fact, the screen-to-body ratio on Apple’s current iPhones doesn’t even crack 90%. Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+, on the other hand, are as close as any devices in the US have come to being true all-screen smartphones.
Tied into the Galaxy Note 10’s fantastic new all-screen design is the hole-punch selfie camera, which enabled the design overhaul at least in part. The whole reason smartphones have notches is to make space for sensors like the front-facing camera. On the Note 10 series, Samsung avoided the need for thick bezels or a notch by placing the front-facing camera behind the display itself. Lots of people out there far prefer this look to the look of a large notch chopped out of the top of the screen, so it’s a feature that will be a big selling point for some people.
We love Face ID on the iPhone X and iPhone XS series. It’s so fast and it’s far more secure than a fingerprint sensor will ever be. That said, Face ID can be quite fickle for some users so there are many people out there who wish that Apple had never gotten rid of Touch ID.
Well, if you want a flagship smartphone with a fingerprint reader, the Note 10 and Note 10+ both fit the bill. Like the Galaxy S10 series, these new Samsung phones feature an ultrasonic sensor placed under the screen itself, so there’s no need for a thick bezel and a home button, or for a fingerprint reader on the back. It’s fast and accurate just like the one on the Galaxy S10, and under-display fingerprint sensors are still new enough that the shine hasn’t yet worn off.
The S Pen has been a signature feature of the Galaxy Note series since the first-generation model was released, and that obviously isn’t changing this year. The stylus still plays a major role with the Note 10, of course, and there are all sorts of unique features enabled by the S Pen and Samsung’s advanced sensors.
This one might seem unimportant since 5G networks are still in their infancy, and it definitely is unimportant if you’re an early adopter type who buys a new flagship smartphone every single year. But most people out there who spend $1,000 or more on a smartphone like the Galaxy Note 10 plan to keep it for as long as they possibly can, and flagship phones from Samsung can easily last for 3 or 4 years for most people. Sometimes they can last even longer.
So, while it’s absolutely true that having 5G support on a smartphone is just about useless in 2019, that definitely won’t be the case a couple of years from now. In other words, if you’re looking to make a futureproofed purchase that will still support the fastest available data speeds a few years from now, there aren’t any iPhones out there that fit the bill — and there still won’t be even after the iPhone 11 debuts, since it won’t support 5G connectivity.
Triple-lens and quad-lens cameras
Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max back a terrific dual-lens camera on the back, but it’s no match for the leading mobile cameras out there these days. While Apple used to be a clear leader in the space with no close rival, companies like Huawei and Google have surpassed Apple’s iPhone cameras. That goes for Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10 series as well, which offers fantastic quality but also great new features enabled by triple-lens and quad-lens cameras.
In addition to the standard dual-lens setup, the Galaxy Note 10 adds a third 123-degree ultra-wide-angle lens. Put simply, the Note 10’s camera can capture far more content in the frame than Apple’s iPhones. Then there’s the Galaxy Note 10+, which adds a fourth time-of-flight sensor that Samsung calls its “DepthVision” camera. This sensor captures much more depth data than the camera would otherwise, thus facilitating some very cool high-quality effects.
Link to Windows
Continuity is one of the greatest features of Apple’s iPhone lineup. With it, you can start a chat on your iPhone and then finish it on your Mac once you get to work. It also uses Handoff to move content like emails and web pages from one device to another, and sync things like photos across devices. It’s awesome, but there’s one big problem with it: It only works if you have a Mac, which means more than 90% of the people in the world can’t use it.
Windows is the most widely used desktop platform in the world, and Samsung’s new Note 10 and Note 10+ have a great feature called “Link to Windows.” It’s nowhere near as robust as Apple’s continuity, but it’ll let you view notifications on your Windows 10 PC, send and receive messages, and check out photos snapped on your Note 10 all without having to pick up your phone.
Samsung might’ve finally followed Apple and ditched the headphone jack, but thankfully the microSD card support is still there. Sort of.
Users won’t be very happy about this, but the Galaxy Note 10 does not support expandable storage. What’s more, it only comes with one storage option: 256GB. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 10+ comes with either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage and it also supports expandable storage thanks to a microSD slot. Only including microSD support on the more expensive model with more available storage is an odd move on Samsung’s part, but perhaps the company simply couldn’t find space for it in the smaller Note 10.
Super Fast Charging
Out of the box, Apple’s latest iPhones still only charge at 5W because that’s the charge Apple includes in the box. If you spend another $50 you can get an 18W charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable, but that’s still pretty slow by today’s standards. As for the new Galaxy Note 10 series, the Note 10+ supports Samsung’s new “Super Fast Charging” tech that shovels power at 45W. That’s 2.5 times faster than the iPhone’s maximum charging rate, and Samsung says it’ll give you a full day of usage in about 30 minutes of charging.
The jury is still out regarding just how useful Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare feature is for most users. This is the feature that lets you flip your phone upside down and use it as a wireless charger for other phones, or anything else that supports Qi wireless charging. It’s super cool though, and people who do use it are going to love it.