Samsung Galaxy Note10+ review
Curved Dynamic AMOLED with centered punch-hole
Samsung's AMOLEDs have been the centerpiece of flagship Galaxy smartphones and the Galaxy Note10+ makes no exception to the rule. The phone comes equipped with Samsung's new Dynamic AMOLED panels, which in marketing language just means better screen than last year's Super AMOLEDs.
The new screen measures 6.8" in diagonal and features a 1440 x 3040px resolution (WQHD+) with 19:9 aspect ratio. Pixel density is 498ppi and makes up for sharp and vivid picture. Of course, the display supports the HDR10+ standard as long as the source you are watching from supports the standard. Currently, the HDR10+ is very limited but the feature can serve as future-proofing.
Of course, one would argue that the punch-hole camera isn't the way to approach full-screen design but to be frank, we didn't find it as obtrusive as it appears in renders and photos. Also, Samsung did a splendid job of making it as small as possible.
Off to the tests, the Note10+ aced them all, as one would expect. The maximum brightness we were able to record is 381 nits, which can go up to 794 nits in Max Auto mode, which is pretty impressive given the screen size. Bigger screens tend to be a bit less bright than their smaller counterparts. The Galaxy S10+, for example, scored a similar 793 cd/m2 result. This is more than enough to ensure comfortable use even under direct sunlight.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
In terms of accuracy, the Vivid mode is a bit off with blue-ish whites and overblown reds, greens and yellows. The average dE2000 is 5.1, so if you prefer better color accuracy, you might want to stick to the default Natural mode. In Natural mode, the dE2000 is 2.4 with maximum deviation of just 3.4.
We can easily say that the Galaxy Note10+ features one of the best displays on the market without compromising on size. The only thing missing here is high-refresh-rate. This would have made the whole experience complete and gamers would have appreciated it too. Not to mention that it would have made the phone more competitive.
Historically, the Galaxy Note-series has always had good battery life and the Note10+ takes things up a notch by having a super slim body and a whopping 4,300 mAh battery. And despite the humongous 6.8-inch screen, the device aced our battery tests with ease. The talk time, standby and video playback scores are excellent. Only the web browsing runtime appears to be lower than expected - it's not bad but it's in stark contrast to the other tests.
Compared to its predecessor, there's a noticeable improvement in all three categories, except in web browsing. The difference between the Note10+ and S10+ is even bigger as the Note10+ offers better video playback and 3G talk time.
We ran our tests with the default Optimized battery mode but in native WQHD+ resolution.
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.
And for the first time in years, Samsung is finally bringing competitive fast charging tech to its flagship devices. The Note10+ supports two fast charging speeds - 25W and 45W. Both are pushed through a USB-C to USB-C cable complying with the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard. But it's not all sunshine and roses.
The bad news is that the handset's retail box gives you the 25W wall charger so you will have to buy the 45W brick separately and it doesn't come cheap. It's not even available for purchase yet.
The good news is that even the 25W charger is fast enough to be competitive in today's market. We ran our usual 30 minutes charging test from flat battery and we were pleasantly surprised to see 64%. That's even faster than OnePlus 7 Pro's 30W charging and falls short just a couple of percentage points to the P30 Pro's 40W SuperCharge. And keep in mind that the Note10+ has a bigger battery than both of these phones, although marginally. We can't wait to see how it performs with the 45W charger.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are looking for a 45W-compatible charger for your Note10+, the only safe way to go is Samsung's original Power Delivery 3.0 45W charger. However, if you are fine with up to 30W charging speeds, pretty much every USB PD charger would do the trick - it will get along with your Note10+ and charge it at 30W, as long as you have the proper Power Delivery 3.0 source complying with the PPS standard and a USB-C to USB-C cable too.
Speaker test (old, new one below)
Stereo loudspeakers have become a flagship standard nowadays so it's no surprise that the Galaxy Note10+ comes with a set of those. There's a bottom-firing one, as usual, while the second one doubles as an earpiece. The grille at the top bezel, however, is so small that you can barely notice it. Samsung claims that the second hole on the top side of the frame helps the second speaker. In the end, the sound comes out of three directions - the top, the bottom and the front from the earpiece.
Interestingly, when you put your finger on the hole on the top side of the frame, it doesn't sound as muffled as one would expect. Covering the earpiece does make a difference though. Either way, we were surprised by the loudness, the quality and the balance of the two loudspeakers.
Of course, since this is a phone, the lows aren't as impressive but it does a pretty good job with the mid-tones and the highs. Upon subjective hearing, we can say these are one of the best-sounding stereo loudspeakers on a phone.
In terms of loudness, it's right up there with the best too. Here are the results from our speakerphone test and how it compares to the rest of the competition.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
Speaker test (new)
Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.
The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ lost its audio jack so we resorted to the official Samsung USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for this test. This means that our findings here will only be relevant to you if you use the same adapter as adapters like this one affect the output. They don't necessarily affect it in a bad way but they add another variable to the equation as some are passive and use the phone's DAC, while others are active and have built-in DACs.
That said, the output of the Galaxy Note10+ is great both with an active external amplifier and headphones. It posted excellent scores top to bottom in both cases, with the only difference being a rather minor hike in stereo crosstalk.
Volume levels were very good too - the Note10+ didn’t set any records but was well above average in both testing scenarios.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ frequency response
You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.
i got s20 fe bro, its a beast. you should pick s20 fe.
- 01 Nov 2021
Serious advice please. Which one should I go for between note 10 plus exynos and s20 fe snapdragon? Getting both for roughly the same price. But I think the aging exynos 9825 won't be as good as sd865 in 2-3 years from now.
- 17 Oct 2021
They really need to fix the S-Pen Air Action issue. It's been a while.
- 10 Oct 2021