Samsung’s flagship phone reveal for the first half of 2019 is behind us and, oh boy, was it a wild ride. We got to see not two, not three, but four new devices join the Galaxy S family — those being the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy S10 5G — and a new contender in the (bendable) form of the Galaxy Fold.
But that’s not all Samsung has in store for us, oh no. We have a new Note to look forward to — the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which should come in less than half a year if the manufacturer follows its refresh cycle accurately.
So, what’s there to be excited about? Let’s go through everything we know about the Galaxy Note 10 so far!
Table of contents:
Price and release
Four variants of the Galaxy Note 10?
With the Galaxy S10 line, Samsung went a bit overkill. Not only do we have a Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus, but also a small Galaxy S10e and a supersized Galaxy S10 5G coming down the line. That's a lot of versions of the same(ish) phone! So, what about the Galaxy Note 10?
Well, early rumors insist that we will — at the very least — see a Galaxy Note 10 5G edition launched alongside the regular 4G one. And that makes sense — 5G modem tech is still not close to being embedded within the current smartphone processors, so if a manufacturer wants to make a 5G phone, they need to make room inside for extra components that support the new connectivity. For those of us that are in no hurry to buy devices that still don't have networks to connect to, the 4G edition is the better choice, as it's usually cheaper, more compact, and / or has a bigger battery.
But there's more. Some leaksters say there will be a "Note 10 Pro" and a more budget Note 10, like a the Galaxy S10e was to the Galaxy S10 line. So, in total, we could be looking at four different Galaxy Note phones — Galaxy Note 10e, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Pro, and Galaxy Note 10 5G.
Is that a bit too much? Possibly. We are quite curious to see if these rumors turn out to be true and what Samsung plans to do in order to differentiate such a lineup.
Design — will it fold?
With the long-awaited foldable phones now being a reality, many might wonder if Samsung would take the Fold’s technology and somehow implement it in the Galaxy Note 10. Thus far, we have no reason to believe this would happen.
For one, the fold hinges are still not perfect — not on the Galaxy Fold and not on its rival, the Huawei Mate X. They are expensive, tough to make, and they leave a noticeable crease on the screen when it’s fully unfurled. Not to mention, the Galaxy Fold turned out to be... not really ready for the production line.
Secondly, Samsung itself has gone on record saying that the Note 10 will not be “the most premium” of its 2019 phones. So, it’ll probably be much more in line with what the Note 9 was, while the Galaxy Fold stays in a category of its own.
We do see the appeal in having a foldable phone with an S Pen, but it doesn't seem to be possible at this point in time. After all, the Note line is powered by a Wacom digitizer for that extremely accurate stylus experience and we are not sure if such a digitizer can be made in a foldable form that withstands thousands of flexes.
Now for the bad news — the Note 10 might just be Samsung’s first mainstream flagship (we don't consider the $1,980 Fold to be mainstream) phone with no headphone jack. This has been a long time coming and it was a pleasant surprise that the Galaxy S10 family did not implement this… lack of a feature. But it might just happen with the next Note and leaksters insist it will.
Not just a Galaxy S10 copy-paste job
The latest rumors say that Samsung doesn't want the Note 10 to just look like a Galaxy S10++. Instead, we might see a reworked design with much starker angles and reworked camera positions. According to the latest rumors, we will still get a camera punchole cutout on the screen. However, it will not be tucked away in the top right of the display. It will be right at the top center, mimicking a waterdrop-style notch without the actual waterdrop — just a tiny hole up there.
As for the back, we might see a different position altogether. Instead of having the camera module strip towards the middle of the device, rumors claim that we will see a vertical alligment towars the left edge of the phone. Samsung hasn't done this on its flagships for years, as it usually prefers a more central camera placement. So, this is fresh for a Note device.
All the colors of the rainbow
Colors have turned into a big deal as people seek out phones that allow them to accessorise and express their individualities and preferences. According to rumors, the Note 10 might have up to six colors to pick from — black, white, silver, red, pink, and the signature blue. Some of these might come in gradients, since that's the latest fad. Also, knowing Samsung's history, some colors will probably only be available in certain regions. We just hope we can get our hands on a red one. Or hey, why not pink?
With the possibility of four different Note models, there's also the chance we will get a few different screen sizes. The rumor mill is not concrete on what kind of diagonals we should expect, but word on the street is that the more affordable edition will have a 6.28-inch display, while the Pro would go up to 6.75 inches. For comparison's sake — the Note 9 has a 6.4-inch screen right now.
We don't expect the change in size would make the Pro much bigger than the current Note 9. It will probably be very similar in size, as Samsung has adopted a new design language with super-thin chins and foreheads on the phones, moving the selfie cameras in a display cutout. But that 6.28-inch "Galaxy Note 10e" will probably be a noticeably more compact version of the phone — just slightly bigger than the Galaxy S10. If that turns out to be true, fans that have been begging for a more compact Note would surely be happy! Unfortunately, some rumors say that the "small note" would only be available in some markets. Let's hope that one's wrong!
The curved "edge" displays have been a divisive topic in the fandom for some years — especially since Samsung killed the "flat screen" variants of its flagships and only went with the curved models. The one saving grace of the Note series was that Sammy recognized that using an S Pen on a display with aggressive arches towards its ends isn't optimal, so ever since the Note 7, the curves on Note phones have had a much tighter angle than on the Galaxy S line. Effectively, there was more flat area to use and a less pronounced arch at the edges of the screen.
This might change with the Galaxy Note 10, as whispers suggest Samsung will be looking to go back to a more pronounced slope for more of a "wow" effect. This could, however, only affect one of the Note 10 models, who knows? In any case, the fandom might be about to suffer another "pro-curve vs against curve" split.
Look, ma! No buttons!
A certain obscure rumor claims that the Galaxy Note 10 might be the first Samsung phone with no hardware buttons. We've see HTC attempt this with the U12, and we've recently seen Meizu try it with its "holeless" concept of a phone. Thus far... it hasn't resulted in a successful experience.
HTC's fully haptic buttons
The main issue with a no-buttons phone is the fact that you still need to have physical nubs that the user can feel with their finger, and you need to have stellar haptic feedback to "tell" the fingers when a press has actually been registered. If you don't have that tech... why bother? Just go with a good, clicky, sturdy button.
We are very doubtful that Samsung could be planning a button-less Galaxy Note 10. It's not impossible but... take this rumor with a bag of salt.
For the most part, we expect the regular Note 10 would come with the same triple camera module that the Galaxy S10 introduced — a 12 MP wide angle, 12 MP telephoto, and 16 MP ultra-wide angle set of cameras. We would also hope to see that at least the Note 10 Pro would have the ToF Camerathat is also going to be installed on the upcoming Galaxy S10 5G. Time of Flight sensors are used to accurately determine object locations and sizes much more accurately than what current tech does. This will be helpful in the areas of Augmented Reality applications and also — hopefully — even more accurate Portrait Mode effects.
There have been reports that Samsung is working on a 5x optical zoom module, which should be able to battle the crazy zoom capabilities of the newest Huawei and OnePlus phones. However, we may or may not see that tech in the Note 10, as leaksters say Samsung is saving its newest camera developments for a special phone or for next year's Galaxy S11.
There was a rumor that the Note 10 would have a 64 MP main camera, which stemmed from the fact that the company announced an ISOCELL sensor with this resolution earlier. However, that's not very likely, as these sensors have 0.8 μm pixels, which are extremely small compared to the 1.4 μm ones in its "flagship" sensors. It's not all about the megapixel count — having these big pixels makes for more light collection and much better and faster performance when lighting isn't ideal. Serial leakster IceUniverse has also refuted the rumor that Sammy would use the 64 MP sensor in the Note 10.
Hardware — return of the king?
Back in the old days, the Galaxy Note line always had something more than just a larger screen and an S Pen. It packed a hardware edge that you just simply couldn’t get on the S line of the same year. In recent years, the Notes have mostly been a “bigger Galaxy S”. But, in 2019, this may again change.
Rumor has it that the international variant of the Galaxy Note 10 will sport a new generation of Exynos 9825 processors — built on a 7 nm process, faster than their Galaxy S counterparts, as fast as the yet-unreleased Snapdragon 865, and technologically ready for the 5G era. Its storage will start at 128 GB, but we expect to see more tiers, hitting 256 GB, 512 GB, or even 1 TB.
It’s also rumored that the Note 10 will come with super-fast 12 GB RAM chips, which is more than overkill. The base version will probably have 8 GB of RAM, which is plenty enough for modern flagship phones.
New battery technologies — something to be excited about?
Reportedly, Samsung has been working on a new graphene battery to replace the current standard of Li-Ion. This is huge, as such batteries would be able to hold 45% more charge than the current Li-Ion cells. However, as time rolls by, it becomes more and more apparent that graphene batteries won't be available by the time the Note 10 rolls by.
Currently, leaksters insist that the Note 10 would sport a pretty large battery — 4,300 mAh to 4,500 mAh, depending on who turns out to be right. Might as well be both — we are, after all, expecting a few different Note 10 models. But that's not all! These extra large batteries will also be charging extra fast, reports say.
According to the latest rumors, the Note 10 would support 25 W fast charging, well above the current 15 W. Some leaksters even say it might go well above the 25 W mark and even support much faster wireless charging as well. Samsung has some pretty big competition in the likes of Oppo (OnePlus) and Xiaomi chasing the 50 W and 100 W thresholds, so it could be a good idea to upgrade on that front. Should all of this be true, the Note 10 will not only last long, but charge in extremely short periods of time!
Galaxy Note 10 price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 hit the store shelves on the 24th of August in 2018, priced at $999 for the base model. We’ve no reason to believe the Note 10 would be delayed — Samsung has enjoyed having a full month to market the Note phones and gain momentum before Apple announces its iPhones as it does every September.
As for the price, we do think we might see a slight increase. Currently, the Galaxy S10e sits at $750, the Galaxy S10 holds the $900 point, and the Galaxy S10+ took up the $1,000 slot. If these prices are anything to go by, it stands to reason that the Note 10, with all its new tech and S Pen proprietary stylus will be slightly more expensive, at $1,100. We are holding out hope that the "small note" that is being rumored might be somewhere around $900, but we really have nothing to go on right now.
Mind you, this is mostly just an educated guess, but it’s all backed up by recent trends in the smartphone industry. We’d still love to be wrong here.