The Zimbabwean Perspective

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So after two weeks of keeping an eye out, we finally have our thoughts on the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.

You’re beautiful, but I don’t want you….

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ smartphones where released in the past two weeks to the expected amount of attention on the web and in the worldwide tech community. Now while it’s usually our nature to cover such devices just as soon as they’re unveiled, we thought we would wait this one out a bit. Why? Well, we have thoughts about the Galaxy Note 10 brothers. In fact, I’ll personally just go out and say it, these phones are almost perfect. I repeat almost perfect. And that’s exactly why in all honesty I wouldn’t buy either of them even if I had the cash to spare. Because where Samsung could’ve made the perfect smartphone, they ended up making two that miss the mark just enough to make you wonder why Samsung made the decisions that hold these devices back anyway. And thankfully, a lot of internet tech reviewers agree with us.
So if you watched the whole video above then you’ll get similar sentiments for the Note 10+. It’s an amazing device; beautiful (most beautiful device of this year actually), powerful (the OnePlus 7 Pro can take it blow for blow but still), and honestly impressive in almost every way possible. The camera is versatile and takes awesome pictures, the S-Pen is still an acquired taste that brings enough improvements for its most die-hard fans and the storage on this phone would make a spec nerd blush with excitement. The same can mostly be said about its younger brother the normal Note 10. And again, both phones on paper seem like they’re near transcendent perfect devices. But the thing is they both have small quirks that stop them from reaching that exact level of perfection, and those quirks come from petty decisions Samsung made to essentially make more money off of these two phones. First among those quirks is the removal of the headphone jack. Yes, we’re still mad about that and in all honesty you should be  too. We already talked at length about why the removal of headphone jacks is nothing but forced obsolescence for companies to make more money from smartphone accessories and cost cutting but the Note 10s cutting the headphone jack is arguably worse than when the iPhone 7 did it. The Note 10 is Samsung’s kitchen sink phone. They throw everything into it and leave nothing behind. Yet it was this phone that Samsung decided to take out one of the best parts of the Galaxy S10. It was a dumb move, doesn’t matter if Samsung is doing this to promote their wireless Galaxy Buds. In the end the headphone jack becomes one profit- hungry move for Samsung however as the fact that the phones are two to begin with is a quick money grab as well.
 Note 10+Note 10
Operating SystemAndroid 9 Pie
One UI 1.5
Android 9 Pie
One UI 1.5
Display6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
3040×1440, HDR10+
6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED
2280×1080, HDR10+
ProcessorSnapdragon 855 or Exynos 9825Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9825
Rear camera one12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV
Rear camera two16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV
Rear damera three12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV
Rear camera fourVGA DepthVision
f/1.4, 72° FoV
Front camera one10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoV
auto focus
10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoV
auto focus
45W wired
15W wireless
25W wired
12W wireless
Now let’s be fair, both Note 10s do impress, but chances are if you’re a die-hard Galaxy Note fan, then only the Note 10+ is for you, with the normal Note 10 being sort of a mid-cycle S10 replacement aimed at Christmas flagship buyers who didn’t buy the s10 or who even usually go for iPhones. This mean that while retaining the S-Pen, the note 10 has a less impressive (while admittedly still satisfactory) screen than the Note 10+, no depth sensors for some of the AR-based features the Note 10+ has and in another angering move, no SD card slot. Let’s agree on this, the normal Note 10 is not a bad phone. In fact, as far as Samsung’s “iPhone killer” attempts go, the normal Note 10 is something I would call a credible choice for Apple fans. But here’s the thing, Galaxy Note fans are arguably the furthest thing from Apple fans, and pulling out little bits of the Note 10+ just to make the normal Note 10 seem like a cheaper little brother really doesn’t make a good case for the phone. This is an experiment on Samsung’s part, and I don’t want it to fail. But I’m not happy that Samsung started it in the first place.
So before you guys call us evil for seemingly hating on the Note 10 phones, we want you guys to remember one thing: Samsung has two other amazing flagships it introduced this year in the S10 and S10+. Yes, they’re a little older, but the truth is those phones are still arguably the best flagships to get this year. In fact, comparing the Note 10+ and S10+, the only things you lose if you choose the S10+ are the Note’s beautiful features, a few extra updates (some which could likely be added through an update) and the S-Pen. And unless you’re the world’s biggest S-Pen die hard, something tells me you won’t be missing out on much else considering these phones have the same storage options, Ram options and processor. In fact, you gain an extra front camera and of course the headphone jack on the S10+, so that might be worth a few thoughts. It kind of blows up Samsung’s whole argument that the Notes are an upgrade to the S phones this year, even if Samsung is partially to blame for making the S line so good in the first place.
There’s really little reason for you to not buy the S10 Plus instead.
In the end however, we’ll come back to a few key points. First among them, we don’t hate the new Notes, but we can’t exactly say we love them either. We do think they’ll make anyone who buys them pretty happy (especially if that person hates wired headphones) , but we also think in a world with the OnePlus 7 Pro and even the S10+ now much cheaper alternatives, they aren’t the best option to buy either. Samsung basically pulled an Apple this year, and tried to see how much it can squeeze out of die-hard fans before they call foul. We don’t know how well people will take up the Note, and a part of us even hopes Samsung is successful. But personally, as someone who was hoping this would be the perfect phone and it turns out it won’t be, I’m calling foul.

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