Samsung’s powerphone goes plus-sized
A huge, mesmerising display and a new stylus that lets you write in the air: These are among the features that set aside Samsung’s new top smartphones in the Note series.
For the first time, Samsung has split its biggest flagship into two sizes, one at 6.3 inches (2080 x 1080 pixels) and another at 6.8 inches (3040 x 1440 pixels), the latter being the new Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which sports slightly better hardware and also comes in a 5G version.
This allows Samsung to keep its phablet flaghip line under the US$1,000 price mark — at least for the most basic model.
Expect to pay US$1,400 if you want the biggest and best of everything. Long one of the largest flagship phones available, Samsung’s Note series has been something of a top-spec checklist, packing as many new features as possible into one giant phablet.
The only major sacrifice Samsung appears to have made is to the headphone jack. As wireless headphones gradually replace their oldschool counterparts, Samsung has decided that even its top-of-the-range, “musthave-everything” smartphone doesn’t need the traditional 3.5-mm headphone jack.
Beyond that, the Note 10 looks to live up to its reputation of being Samsung’s topspec beast of a phone. The AMOLED screen fills almost the entire front of the phone, curving off to the sides and interrupted only by a small hole for the selfie camera at the top of the display.
A triple-lens camera array on the back comprises a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens and wide angle and zoom lenses, each with 12 MP.
To get a sophisticated bokeh effect in photos, i.e. that blur behind a person’s head in a portrait shot, then you’ll need to buy the Note 10 Plus with its depth sensor.
The Note’s signature feature, the wireless stylus, now comes in a Bluetooth version that can detect movement in the air, allowing you to control things on the screen in the air. Meanwhile some may be disappointed to see the Note 10 battery has been downgraded to 3,500 mAh, from the 4,000 mAh on the Note 9, although the Note 10 Plus is an upgrade to a 4,300 mAh battery.
The new Note range is set to go on sale with Android 9 Pie from late August onwards, starting at US$950 in the US with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB RAM. More RAM, 5G and a micro SD card slot for expandable memory are available in the Note 10, which costs at least an extra US$100. – dpa