Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+: Which one to choose

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ were launched yesterday along with other Samsung products at the Samsung Unpacked Event in New York.

This is actually the 10th Galaxy Note device if you count the Galaxy Note Edge. Considering that the Note family is the best-of-the-best when it comes to Samsung smartphones, many Note fans usually grab the most recent device whenever it lands without giving the matter much thought. But this year some choices will have to be made in regards to the comparison of the two Note phones.

By Samsung launching two Note devices for the first time, the company needed to downgrade some of the specs and features of the standard Samsung Galaxy Note 10 to better highlight the superiority of the Galaxy Note 10+.

This leaves many us to wonder which is the better deal: buying the Note 10 or buying the Note 10+.

The standard model has 6.3 inches display with roughly the same footprint as the Galaxy S10 Plus, and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has an enormous 6.8-inch display. Notes have only gotten larger since the first model with its 5.3-inch display. 

Galaxy Note 10 displays

Both the Note 10 and Note 10+ feature what Samsung calls an “Infinity-O” display. It is an all-screen device with a small punchout circle to house the front camera. Samsung first tried this on the Galaxy S10 Series, but those devices had the hole on the top right of the screen. On the new Note Series, it sits in the center of the top edge. I feel like this is less prominent and doesn’t get in the way of indicators for WiFi, battery level and such.

Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series has no headphone jack (Boo!). This is a strange play from the company but it is probably meant to push people towards getting the Samsung Galaxy Buds. Although, Samsung did listen to its users and got rid of the dedicated Bixby button (hurray!)

Aside from the headphone jack, there is no microSD expansion on the Galaxy Note 10, but the Plus model still supports expandable storage. This is another odd thing for Samsung to eliminate the feature from one model and keep it in another, especially since the Note 10 only comes in a 256GB variant.

In terms of camera, it seems that the current Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ don’t have much of an upgrade in that department when compared to the Galaxy S10 line that came out earlier this year.

Both the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ have a 12 MP main camera, a 12 MP telephoto camera, and a 16 MP ultra-wide-angle shooter. On the front, that tiny punch-hole hides a 10 MP selfie camera. The Note 10+ has an extra DepthVision Camera, which allows it to place virtual objects in Augmented Reality with higher accuracy, make full 3D scans of real-world objects, and likely provide improved edge detection for Live Focus features.

Galaxy Note 10+ camera

Though, the contrasts between the two handsets go far beyond size, considering that the Note 10 will set you back Kes.103,999/-, while the Note 10 Plus starts at Kes.119,999/-.

Let’s examine the specs and features of each device side-by-side to get a clear picture of which phone is right for you and your pocket.

Galaxy Note 10Galaxy Note 10+
PriceKes.103,999/- Kes.119,999/-
Display6.3-inch Dynamic
AMOLED (2280 x 1080)
6.8-inch Dynamic
AMOLED (3040 x 1440)
CPUSnapdragon 855 (US);
Exynos 9825 (WW)
Snapdragon 855 (US);
Exynos 9825 (WW)
RAM8GB12GB
Storage256GB256GB, 512GB
microSD SlotNoYes
Rear cameras16-MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2);
12-MP wide-angle (ƒ/1.5-f/2.4);
12-MP telephoto (ƒ/2.1)
16-MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2);
12-MP wide-angle (ƒ/1.5-f/2.4);
12-MP telephoto (ƒ/2.1);
time-of-flight VGA
Front cameras10-MP (ƒ/2.2)10-MP (ƒ/2.2)
Battery3,500 mAh4,300 mAh
Charging25W; 45W optional25W; 45W optional
OSAndroid 9 Pie with
Samsung OneUI
Android 9 Pie with
Samsung OneUI
ColorsAura Glow, Aura White,
Aura Black, Aura Blue
Aura Glow, Aura White,
Aura Black, Aura Blue
Size5.9 x 2.8 x .31 inches6.4 x 3.0 x .31 inches
Weight5.9 ounces6.9 ounces
Fingerprint SensorIn-ScreenIn-Screen
ConnectorUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone JackNoNo
Special featuresWireless PowerShare;
water-resistant (IP68);
S Pen stylus with Bluetooth connectivity and Air actions
Wireless PowerShare;
water-resistant (IP68);
S Pen stylus with Bluetooth connectivity and Air actions

For those of you who are hardcore Note fans and are already dying to get their hands on the new flagships, you can do so by just making a pre-order now.

The funny thing is, you won’t know how much you want a mini Note until you actually hold one, so for the rest of you who want to go check the phones out first before splurging that $1000, the devices will be in stores on August 23rd.