Business Insider Edition

Samsung just announced 2 new Galaxy Note 10 smartphones, and one of them is smaller than the very first Galaxy Note from 2011

Antonio Villas-Boas , Business Insider US
 Aug 08, 2019, 05:56 AM
The Galaxy Note 10, left, and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

  • Samsung announced its new Galaxy Note 10 smartphones on Wednesday.
  • For the first time, Samsung is offering two sizes of its Galaxy Note smartphones.  Samsung hopes that one of the models, the standard Galaxy Note 10, will better suit and attract people who prefer smaller devices.
  • Apart from their sizes, there are only a few other minor differences. Other than that, both Galaxy Note 10 phones will offer the full-fat Note experience.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With the release of a new Galaxy Note phone from Samsung, I'd usually say "it's" here. But this time, I get to say "they're" here.

Indeed, Samsung is offering the Galaxy Note 10 in two sizes, whereas the company's Galaxy Note line has typically been available in only one size: massive.

Understandably, the traditionally large size of Samsung's Galaxy Note phones could turn off anyone who prefers smaller phones, and Samsung wants to make sure those people can get in on the Note fun too.

Funnily enough, the smaller Galaxy Note 10 has a large 6.3-inch display, but the device itself is smaller than the very first Galaxy Note, which was released in 2011 and had a smaller 5.3-inch display.

For the first time, Samsung is releasing two Galaxy Note phones in different sizes. There's also a third phone, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G.

The regular Galaxy Note 10 is the smallest of the two, with a 6.3-inch screen with a 1080p resolution. The phone itself is smaller than the original Galaxy Note from 2011, which had a 5.3-inch screen.

Spec hawks will notice and be surprised by the Galaxy Note 10's 1080p resolution compared with the sharper resolution that Samsung typically gives its smartphone displays. It doesn't really matter much in reality, as I didn't even notice while I was holding the Note 10 in my hands.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus has a massive 6.8-inch display with a sharper 1440p resolution, making it the biggest screen on a Galaxy Note phone so far.

In regard to specs, there aren't any major surprises here. On both devices, you'll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip that's turning the wheels in most of the premium flagship phones of 2019.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G is essentially the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but with 5G connectivity.

Here's the smaller Galaxy Note 10 with a 6.3-inch display ...

The regular Note 10 fits snugly in my hand, and it certainly feels closer to a one-handed device than any previous Galaxy Note.

As for RAM, the Galaxy Note 10 gets a healthy 8 GB with 256 GB of storage.

... and here's the Galaxy Note 10 Plus with a 6.8-inch display. Unsurprisingly, they're pretty much identical in design.

The Note 10 Plus doesn't feel that much bigger in the hand than the Galaxy Note 9, which has a 6.4-inch screen.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes with 12 GB of RAM and either 256 GB or 512 GB of storage.

The rectangular design and ultrathin bezels are the killer ingredients for the Note 10's supreme good looks.

The Note 10 is sharp, clean cut, and squared away. It has absurdly thin bezels all around, which I'd argue gives the Note 10 a smarter and more sophisticated look than if it didn't have any bezels at all.

Samsung's Infinity-O selfie-camera cutout is at play here, but in the center this time. Neither Note 10 models have a dual-selfie camera like the Galaxy S10 Plus has.

The "chin" has the widest bezel, but it's barely wider.

Apart from the size and RAM, the major differences between the two models are their cameras and battery sizes.

Both the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus come with a standard camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera with a 123-degree field of view and a zoomed lens.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus has an extra camera lens to better handle depth of field for things like portrait mode. Right off the bat, I wouldn't say that anyone who fancies the smaller Galaxy Note 10 will miss the fourth depth of the field camera.

As for batteries, the Galaxy Note 10 has a 3,500 mAh battery, and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has a 4,300 mAh battery.

The Galaxy Note 10 will come with superfast chargers. And here's one thing that's going to be a bummer for some: no headphone jack.

It's looking more and more likely that Samsung, one of the last holdouts of the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, is phasing out the onetime industry standard. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung ditched the headphone jack in the Galaxy S11 in 2020.

Still, perhaps a superfast charger will assuage the concerns of the wired-headphone holdout. Samsung is now including a 25-watt charger instead of the 15-watt charger that came with Samsung phones before. Essentially, that means faster charging, and it's especially useful for those quick bursts of charging when you need juice fast.

And there's more on the charging front: The Galaxy Note 10 Plus will support 45-watt charging, which should make for incredibly fast charging. Samsung's 45-watt charger will be sold separately, however.

The Note 10 can convert your handwritten notes into text, which is a big deal when it comes to making the Note 10 more useful.

This is a pretty major step forward for the Galaxy Note line: the ability to convert your handwritten notes into digital text.

Samsung says it does a good job, even with relatively tricky handwriting. The main perks are that your scribbles can be converted into a neater note that's more easily read. And perhaps even more importantly, your notes can be searched. In fact, using keywords, you'll be able to search for your notes - like you would a Google search - in their handwritten format, even before you convert them to digital text.

Samsung also added a new feature to the S Pen called "Air Actions" that lets you control the camera from a few feet away with gestures, like switching to selfie mode or video mode, and even zooming.

With Air Actions, a Note 10 user will be able to swipe the air with the S Pen to switch between different camera modes, like selfie mode and video mode. You'll even be able to make circular motions in the air with the S Pen to zoom in and out.

And, of course, you'll be able to actually take the photo by pressing the button on the S Pen.

This can be useful if you prop the Note 10 against something to take a selfie from farther away. Or, you can mount the Note 10 and use the S Pen to keep the phone itself ultrastable and void of micro-movements that could result in blurry photos, especially in low-light situations.

Samsung went wild with one of the color options for the Galaxy Note 10. The company calls this color "Aura Glow."

But the phone is also available in "Aura Black," as well as "Aura White"...

.... and "Aura Blue," which will be exclusive from Samsung's site and Best Buy.

The Galaxy Note 10 will start at $950 (R14,250) in the US, and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus at $1,100 (R16,500).

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