Samsung Galaxy Note10 review

GSMArena team, 02 Sept 2019.

The smallest Note in a while is still 6.3 inches in diagonal

The Galaxy Note10, compact as it may be, has a 6.3-inch display with a surface area almost the size of the Note8's - a bigger phone in every direction. It's got a 2280x1080px resolution, which results in a pixel density of 401ppi. The display snobs among us insist that it is unacceptable for a Note (and we do have a point), but ultimately a consesus was reached that while not as cutting edge as it's supposed to be, the Note10's panel is plenty sharp enough.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 review

It's also plenty bright, reaching close to 800nits in Auto mode in our testing, virtually the same result as the Note10+. It was marginally less bright than its big brother when adjusting the slider manually, and with just 340-ish nits at your disposal this way. This means you're better off leaving the Auto toggle on. The Vivid color mode does get slightly brighter manually - up to 366nits in our test setup, but there's no meaningful difference in Auto.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy Note10 0 366
Samsung Galaxy Note10 (Max Auto) 0 789
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 0 381
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (Max Auto) 0 794
Samsung Galaxy S10 0 396
Samsung Galaxy S10 (Max Auto) 0 820
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 0 385
Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Max Auto) 0 793
Apple iPhone XS 0 660
Apple iPhone XS Max 0 653
Google Pixel 3 0 426
Google Pixel 3a XL 0 451
Huawei P30 Pro 0 571
Huawei P30 Pro (Max Auto) 0 605
Huawei P30 0 449
Huawei P30 (Max Auto) 0 635
LG G8 ThinQ 0 391
LG G8 ThinQ (Max Auto) 0 655
Xiaomi Mi 9 0 428
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Max Auto) 0 620
Oppo Reno 10x zoom 0 440
OnePlus 7 Pro 0 436
OnePlus 7 Pro (Max Auto) 0 616
Sony Xperia 1 0 391
Sony Xperia 1 (Max Auto) 0 665

The Note10's panel gets the Dynamic AMOLED moniker to hint at its HDR10+ video capabilities. HDR10+ video is a standard that Samsung pushes for dynamic metadata control over dynamic range allocation (like DolbyVision, but without the royalty fees) and there's not a ton of content available. HDR10 content, on the other hand,(minus the '+') is ubiquitous and the Note10 will play that just as well.

Color reproduction on the Note10 is handled using Samsung's recently introduced Natural/Vivid approach. Out of the box you get the Natural setting, which is tuned for accurate rendition of sRGB content and delivers an excellent average deltaE of 1.8 though color rendition appears a bit bland. We suspect most users will switch to Vivid mode straight away. The good news is that Vivid is just as accurate - it tests well against a DCI-P3 target, where we got an average deltaE of 3.2 for our set of test color swatches.

In both color modes we measured accurate white points, but a noticeable shift towards green for the grayscale swatches, which comes as a surprise as there is none of that on the Note 10+.

The effect got particularly pronounced as we dropped the brightness to the 200nits we carry out our battery tests at. The good news is that there's a remedy for that, at least in Vivid mode, where you get RGB sliders for adjusting the color balance - R and B around the midpoint and G all the way to the left worked for us.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 battery life

The Galaxy Note10 packs a 3,500mAh battery, just barely bigger than the Galaxy S10's 3,400mAh cell. We had our reservations going into the battery testing but as it turned out those had been unfounded. The Galaxy Note10 is pretty much its big bro's equal in our two on-screen tests with 12 hours in web browsing and 18 hours of looping videos. Sure, it can't quite match the Note10+ in voice calls and standby, where more battery simply means more hours, but we're still happy with the numbers.

The Galaxy Note10 posted an overall endurance rating of 92h, short of the Note10+'s 107h but more than respectable nonetheless.

Samsung Galaxy Note10

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Samsung Galaxy Note10 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Charging the Note10 is quite speedy with the bundled 25W adapter. Starting from flat we were looking at 57% at the 30-minute mark, while a full charge took us 1:20h. Who needs those 45 watts then, really? Okay, perhaps some of us do.

Loudspeaker

The Galaxy Note10 has a stereo speaker setup in which there's a primary driver firing downwards, and the earpiece serves as the second channel. The two speakers trade channels as you rotate the phone, so left is always left and right is always right in landscape, while portrait orientation gets you the left channel on top every time.

As we mentioned earlier, the earpiece is designed in such a way that sound comes out through a super thin slit towards the front, while the opening on the top plate serves as a port to improve the low-frequency response (within the size constraints of a smartphone, obviously).

The Note10 posted respectable numbers for loudness, really close to the Note10+, and scored an 'Excellent' mark in our test. We're also finding it subjectively one of the best sounding phones you can buy right now.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
OnePlus 7 68.1 73.1 82.2 Very Good
Oppo Reno 10x zoom 69.7 74.7 79.3 Very Good
Sony Xperia 1 69.8 74.5 81.0 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 9 70.1 74.2 81.6 Very Good
Apple iPhone XS 71.5 75.7 78.9 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 9T 70.6 74.8 81.2 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 68.4 73.7 86.3 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy Note10 70.1 72.8 85.7 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy S10e 71.2 76.8 80.6 Excellent
Apple iPhone XS Max 70.5 74.0 84.7 Excellent
Google Pixel 3 77.5 71.7 81.1 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 74.4 74.2 83.6 Excellent
LG G8 ThinQ 68.0 74.5 92.0 Excellent
Huawei P30 Pro 70.9 73.8 90.9 Excellent
Huawei P30 83.2 75.6 83.5 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy S10 82.2 74.9 85.5 Excellent
OnePlus 7 Pro 79.6 77.7 87.2 Excellent

Audio quality

Much like its Plus sibling the Samsung Galaxy Note10 has no audio jack so we tested it using the official Samsung USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. So keep in mind that if you use a different adapter, your experience may vary.

As it turned out the smaller Galaxy Note10 was louder than the Galaxy Note10+, while the clarity was identical between the two. The output was perfect with an active external amplifier, while headphones only took a small toll on stereo separation.

The loudness was great - while the Galaxy Note10+ was already above average, the smaller Galaxy Note10 did even better in both parts of the test.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+0.13, -0.06-92.892.70.00110.012-94.0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (headphones)+0.04, -0.16-92.792.70.00300.022-69.7
Samsung Galaxy Note 10++0.03, -0.06-94.094.00.00110.012-95.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (headphones)+0.03, -0.06-93.993.90.00270.023-69.9
Samsung Galaxy S10+0.03, -0.04-92.292.00.00150.0079-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S10 (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-91.991.70.00200.037-77.0
Sony Xperia 1+0.02, -0.01-93.693.50.00100.007-85.2
Sony Xperia 1 (headphones)+0.31, -0.26-92.191.90.00600.302-55.1
OnePlus 7 Pro +0.03, -0.01-93.092.60.00230.021-89.6
OnePlus 7 Pro (headphones)+0.10, -0.05-92.091.40.00340.106-74.8
Huawei P30 Pro +0.04, -0.02-90.590.40.00140.013-93.0
Huawei P30 Pro (headphones)+0.14, -0.23-90.490.30.00460.211-47.0

Samsung Galaxy 
Note 10 frequency response
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

True the consumption of its parts are unbalanced to its battery capacity. They have forgotten to upgrade nature's capacity to 10000 mAh

  • Jhaz

Ya .... the battery life of note 10 to much fast lowbat :(

  • Adi

Thank you