Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 & Note 10+ – Which Should You Get?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series, beyond the hardware and feature upgrades, is quite different from its predecessors. For the first time ever, you get to choose from two different sizes. There’s the smaller Galaxy Note 10 with a 6.3-inch display, and the higher-end Galaxy Note 10+ with a larger 6.8-inch screen.

Some folks will be more inclined to pick one over the other, but if you can’t quite make up your mind, we’ll walk you through the major differences – and similarities – between these two models.

What’s the Same?

Other than sharing the same design and aesthetics, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ also have a few key hardware and features in common, so let’s break it down.

Chipset

No matter which Note 10 device you get, you will find the Samsung Exynos 9825 chipset under the hood. This new chipset is basically the 7nm version of the Exynos 9820 SoC, which powers the Galaxy S10 smartphones. Chances are, you can expect to get the same level of performance with these two chips.

S Pen

Naturally, the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are one and the same. The new S Pen still has Bluetooth connectivity for its remote control functions, and the addition of a gyroscope and accelerometer allow you to use motion gestures with the stylus.

Camera (Sort Of)

Now, this is a bit of a mixed bag. Even though the Galaxy Note 10 smartphones feature the same triple camera system (12MP f/1.5 – f/2.4 + 12MP f/2.1 telephoto + 16MP f/2.2 wide angle), the Note 10+ has an additional time-of-flight (ToF) DepthVision Camera.

The addition of the ToF sensor gives the Note 10+’s camera system better depth perception, which would translate to better portrait shots, among other things. But, beyond that, you should get very similar camera performance with the Note 10 too.

The Differences?

Given the price gap between the two Galaxy Note 10 devices, there are obviously some differences here and there. Depending on your priorities, however, these differences may not matter that much to you.

Display

This is really the biggest difference between the Note 10 and Note 10+. The former has a 6.3-inch 1080p screen, while the Note 10+ has a bigger, sharper 6.8-inch 1440p panel. Of course, given the higher resolution of the Note 10+’s display, it’s the more impressive screen here.

That being said, unless you’re comparing both displays side by side, you won’t really notice the difference in screen quality. After all, both of these are still Dynamic AMOLED displays with support for the HDR10+ standard. Plus, the smaller display of the Note 10 isn’t all bad: not only does it consume less power, it also makes for a more compact, ergonomic smartphone.

Battery Size

Not surprisingly, the bigger Galaxy Note 10+ comes with a very generous 4,300mAh battery, while the Note 10 has a smaller 3,500mAh cell. Chances are, the Note 10+ should have better battery life, though we can only really put this to the test once we have both devices in for review.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Note 10 has a smaller, lower resolution display, which wouldn’t use up quite as much power as the Note 10+’s far bigger 6.8-inch 1440p screen. With this in mind, the difference in battery life between the two phones may not be that that far off.

RAM Capacity

Remember when we talked about how much RAM you really need in a smartphone? Well, it’s very relevant here. The Note 10 comes with 8GB of RAM, while the Note 10+ features a whopping 12GB RAM. Yes, it’s always good to have more RAM, but trust us when we say 8GB of RAM is more than enough here.

Whether you’re an avid mobile gamer or a heavy smartphone user who needs to multitask on the go, the Note 10’s 8GB of RAM would prove to be more than enough to meet your requirements. In fact, even the Galaxy S10+ “only” has 8GB of RAM.

Storage & Expandability

Unfortunately, if you want a lot of storage, you have no choice but to go for the Note 10+. Even though the regular Note 10 comes with 256GB of storage – which is plenty – it doesn’t have a microSD card slot. The Note 10+, on the other hand, still has that card slot, and there’s even a 512GB variant of the device.

Price

For most consumers, pricing is the most important factor when making their decision. For the Malaysian market, the Galaxy Note 10 retails at RM3,699, while the Galaxy Note 10+ is priced at RM4,199 and RM4,799 for the 256GB and 512GB models respectively.

What separates the Note 10 and Note 10+ is RM500, which may be worth the extra cost, considering the amount of hardware upgrades you’re getting with the bigger smartphone. That being said, RM500 is still a lot of money, and if you don’t quite fancy the big size of the Note 10+, the standard Note 10 is still a very good option.

Personally, I’m more interested with the smaller Samsung Galaxy Note 10: it is a whole new category of Note device, thanks to its compact form factor marks. Plus, it still share a number of similarities with the Note 10+, though the absence of a microSD card slot does make it less appealing.

Nonetheless, no matter which Note 10 smartphone you get, you will get a very polished, premium product. To learn more about these two devices, check out our hands-on of the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+.