Should You Get The New Samsung Note 10 If You Own A Previous Version Of The Galaxy Note Series?
If you are wondering whether you should upgrade your Note 9 to the latest Note 10/10+ that Samsung has to offer, the quick answer is: probably not. But, if your Note 9 is not living up to your expectations or you are looking for a new phone, the new Note should be taken as a serious contender.
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Pricing and Availability
Available in Singapore since 24th August 2019, Note 10 is Samsung’s newest flagship phone. These are the retail prices upon local launch:
Galaxy Note 10 256GB – S$1,398
Galaxy Note 10+ 256GB – S$1,598
Galaxy Note 10+ 512GB – S$1,898
It is pricey, no doubt about it. Premium or top of the line smartphones launching with a price above a thousand dollars is no longer a surprise nor an abnormality. However, if you do own an older Samsung, iPhone or Huawei phone, you are in luck. The Samsung Trade Up program can help to alleviate the cost by giving you much better trade-in value on your phone, as well as an additional $100 trade-in value when you upgrade to Samsung’s newest models.
Do check out the listing on the Samsung website to find out if your device is available for trade-up! Selected phone models get to enjoy an additional $200 trade-up value so you really don’t wanna miss out on this
Note: The Trade-Up program lasts only till 30 October 2019!
The Note 10 comes in two colours, Aura Glow and Aura Black. While the Note 10+ is available in Aura Glow, Aura White and Aura Black. The names were chosen due to the colour hues and polished glass material used as the phone housing. And according to Samsung “catches the light, creating a futuristic, premium aura.” I have to admit, it is beautiful. The near bezel-less screen plus the prism effect from the housing creates a luminous effect around the phone.
However, as I saw the phone at an event, the test phone was subjected to multitudes of hands and fingers. Within an hour, the glowing sheen was replaced by distinct fingerprints, akin to a crime scene. I am unsure if it is due to the glass material or the colour, but the fingerprints were extremely obvious on the phone’s housing. The good news is you will likely have a phone case to cover it up, the bad news is the lovely housing will either be hidden or marred by fingerprints.
Note 10 is the first phone in the series to feature two differing sizes. The Note 10 comes with a sweet 6.3 inches display and the Note 10+ with a larger 6.8 inches screen. With that said, if you do own the Note 9, the base Note 10 has a slightly smaller screen size (6.4 vs 6.3 inches) and body (6.37 vs 5.94 inches).
Samsung brilliantly worked in the screen to be nearly bezel-less, resulting in a better screen-to-body size ratio. So even though the Note 10 screen may be smaller, it will SEEM larger. And if you found your Note 9 to be too large for your hands, the Note 10 may be perfect. The Note 10+ on the other hand has a similar body size to Note 9. And with a 90% screen-to-body ratio, the 6.8-inch display on the 10+ just looks stunning.
Display-wise, it would seem like the Note 9 is right in between the Note 10 and 10+. The Note 10 has a lower pixel density and resolution than the Note 9 but the Note 10+ edges out with its higher screen resolution. I will not bore you with the numbers as it barely matters. To the naked eye, you will not be able to see much of a difference. In summary, the Note 10 display is not much of an upgrade and more of a size/bezel change.
No sound jacks. Yep. Both the Note 10 and 10+ do not feature a sound port. If you are using a wired headset, keep your old phone. Although, with truly wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headsets becoming really commonplace, this may be less of an issue that I think it is.
The S Pen, a distinct feature of the Samsung Note series makes it back this time with slight changes. A button on the S Pen allows for air gestures, controlling apps with a simple flick of your wrists. I have yet to completely explore all the capabilities of the S Pen but it is easily one of the highlights of the Note series.
Battery wise, the Note 9 is once again the in-between. With Note 9 at 4000 mAh while the 10 and 10+ at 3500 and 4300 mAh respectively. Based on other reviews, it would seem that Note 9 and 10+ both have similar use times. Both phones average a full day worth of average use on a singular charge. The huge difference comes with the charging. The newer models both boast higher charge speeds, with the Note 10 at 25W and Note 10+ at 45W. The Note 9 peaks only at 15W. If you consistently use your phone for intensive apps like video capturing or mobile games, the higher charging speeds may be a big bonus.
Not one, not two, but three lenses. Note 10 introduces the three-lens camera line up to the series. A 12-megapixel lens for wide-angle, another 12-megapixel lens for telephoto and a 16-megapixel lens for ultra-wide-angle. The Note 10+ adds an extra lens labelled as “time-of-flight”, giving better depth tracking and focus for the cameras.
A dedicated Night Mode for the Note 10/10+ (a feature that is supposedly coming to the Note 9 in a future software update) really helps with taking photos at night or in the dark. It brightens up the image and makes taking photos with low lighting much easier. Video recording is great, there is much better stabilization on the Note 10/10+ and a new feature called AR doodle lets you add your drawings on your videos! There’s also a portrait mode video function called Live Focus.
Most importantly, the front-facing camera has been bumped up by two megapixels from Note 9, 8 to 10-megapixels. I sincerely doubt that will make a huge change to any current Note 9 users, however, if you have an older model, the camera is great.
With a launch price of $1,398 for the base Note 10, this is a really pricey phone. If you have a Note 9 in proper working condition, I would highly advise against paying over a grand (or a few hundred if you trade-in) for minimal upgrades. The 10+ even though much better and bigger, is also placed on a $1,598 pedestal. I personally will not recommend any Note 9 users to upgrade to the newer Note 10 series.
However, if you are a few models back and are looking to buy a new top of the line phone, the Note 10 series is great. The screen display and cameras look amazing, and charge speeds of 25W and above is ridiculously fast. The S Pen is probably the biggest change if you are coming from another brand. It is responsive and does so much with ease, swapping apps, writing, drawing etc.
Bottom line, Note 10 is a great looking phone with great features, but wait a year or so if you do not want to fork out the full price. Otherwise, the older Note 9 may be just as amazing to keep or purchase.
If you’re looking to get the Samsung Note 10 at a discount, look no further! The official Samsung store on Lazada has got you covered. Just remember to use the ShopBack app before you make your purchase!
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