This article is based on the Japanese version of Engadget and was created by machine translation.
Since the foldable smartphone "Galaxy Fold" arrived in Japan with a lot of fanfare, I feel like it was completely overshadowed, but I bought the Docomo version of "Galaxy Note 10 +". I've been using it for a little over two weeks, and now I'm going to share my impressions.
Needless to say, the Galaxy Note 10 + is Samsung's flagship phone. Unlike the Galaxy S series, which will be released in the spring, the Galaxy Note series will feature a larger screen and S pen for the fall and winter.
As we reported back in August, the Galaxy Note 10 series is available in two versions: the compact Note 10 and the more traditional Note 10 +. In Japan, only the latter is available.
▲I got the Galaxy Note 10 + on launch day. I bought the Docomo version.
It is said to inherit the conventional line, but the display size has been expanded to 6.8 inches. The Galaxy Note series was originally a big screen, but the company has managed to increase the display size over time by increasing the vertical size and reducing the bezel.
A comparison between the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Note 10 + might help. In this generation, the top and bottom bezels are thinner, and the in-camera is finally positioned inside the display. That's why it's 6.8 inches.
Therefore, the body is not enlarged as the display. When you pick it up, "fit well" is probably because it's within an acceptable range of sizes. This is because both the front and back sides are curved, making it easy to fit your hands.
Compared to the S series Galaxy, it has a square-shaped design, but the name comes from the notebook, so it makes sense. On the other hand, this design makes it a little difficult to move your fingers when holding one hand. When I hold it with my right hand, the lower left part is a little hard to push, and the palm touches the lower right part, and the application sometimes reacts.
▲The front and back edges are soft and curved, so it fits well.
The user experience here is largely dependent on the creation of each app, but I think there are a lot of mistakes when I launch Twitter apps.
Because the buttons are aligned at the bottom, several times I accidentally open a direct message when I try to read the timeline.
That said, It is not hard to imagine that it is impossible to create separate Android apps for different devices. On the other hand, notifications can be displayed by swiping at the bottom of the screen (Required), and the standard "One UI" has buttons and menus that can be touched at the bottom of the screen, consideration for one-handed operation is sufficient.
▲Depending on the application, your palm may touch the button ...
▲The One UI has touchable items at the bottom of the screen, making it easy to use with one hand.
Next is S pen, it still writes well. It's smooth enough to rival the Apple Pencil. Maybe because the base performance has been raised, I have the impression that the followability is improved compared to "Galaxy Note 8" which I used before. It's not a strict comparison, maybe it's a placebo effect ......。
The writing quality of S pen is comparable to that of Apple Pencil.
I'm a big fan of the iPad Pro, so now both my phone and tablet are pen enabled. They can be used in different situations, so they can coexist. For example, you can use the Note 10 + to take notes while standing, or the iPad Pro to proofread while sitting. If you prefer pen input, it might be better than the combination of iPhone and iPad.
▲S pen is very comfortable to write with.
However, the ability to read handwriting and convert it to fonts still needs improvement. While the recognition accuracy is high, characters written like scribble are not read naturally. Even if it's okay that it's not readable because of poor handwriting, it's a little cumbersome to convert one line at a time. I think it's good to have a function to convert notes all at once.
Also, the S pen is equipped with Bluetooth and an acceleration sensor, and it can be operated by gesture, but I am not able to use this so far. If you can lean the main body, it seems to have a little more use, but without a case, it's hard. Since there are not so many compatible applications, I don't have a chance to use it.
▲I converted the notes from the previous Rakuten mobile radio survey, but it was scribbled, so the recognition rate was about even.
▲Gesture manipulation "air action" is also not very useful.
As for the camera, it keeps the trend down. The Galaxy Note 10 + has a triple camera with super wide-angle, wide-angle, and double telephoto, as well as a ToF camera to measure distance. The iPhone 11 series made a lot of headlines, too, but the super-wide-angle camera, which can capture landscapes with a dynamic viewing angle, seems like a lot of work. When I want to take pictures of scenery, I want to switch to the super-wide-angle.
Zoom is comparable to the Pixel 4
When it comes to the user interface, the iPhone's seamless integration of two or three cameras is a winner, but the image quality is not far behind. As for the fact that you can use night mode with super-wide-angle, it's Galaxy.
▲Quad Camera Configuration
▲from top to down, Super-wide-angle, standard, telephoto camera
▲Even the casual scenery of everyday life will look more powerful if you take it in the super-wide-angle.
▲Thanks to the ToF, the background blur is accurate.
▲You can capture a glittering night by shooting in night mode.
On the telephoto side, the zooming by the hardware is twice, but even if you use the digital zoom up to about 8 times, the picture quality is relatively high.
It's a pretty good bet compared to the Pixel 4, which uses artificial intelligence to boost zoom. But it's still rough, so it's a little hard to use at work. If zooming is important to you, you can consider Huawei P30 Pro or OPPO Reno 10x Zoom.
▲I zoomed to 8x, but there was little degradation. Compared to the Pixel 4 example posted on October 22, it's pretty much the same.
In terms of differences from previous models, moving the fingerprint sensor inside the display is also a big topic. The Note 9 has a fingerprint sensor on the back, but it's still better to have it on the front when you put it on your desk or table. Even when the screen is off, you can unlock it by placing your finger in the position of the fingerprint sensor.
However, if there is no indication, the position where you put your finger will shift. Always On Display works in this situation. If this setting is set, the fingerprint mark is always displayed on the screen, so unlocking becomes smooth.
It's a trade-off with power consumption, so setting it up is a bit of a pain, but I only turn it on when it's easy to charge in the room. Always On Display can be turned on for a specified amount of time, but if you want to change the setting depending on the location, it is convenient to use "Bixby Routine" implemented from Galaxy S 10 series.
▲When Always On is set, the location of the fingerprint sensor on the screen is visible and easy to touch.
▲Always On is turned on only at home or in the office due to power consumption.
The Galaxy Note 10 + is hugely appreciated for its crispiness, S Pen's convenience, camera's cleanness, and lots of useful features, but I wonder if the battery life can be improved .......
I'm not satisfied with the battery life.
That may be because it compares to the "P 20 Pro" I used before, or the "iPhone 11" I currently use in parallel, but the Galaxy Note 10 + quickly drains the battery.
▲I got the impression that the battery runs out quickly.
It's a powerful device and the memory (RAM) is as large as 12 GB, so I don't think fuel efficiency is very good. Even during sleep, the battery is running out at a high rate, so it may be said that the power-saving performance needs improvement. This is why I hesitate to use Always On Display all the time.
That said, the original 4300 mAh battery has a lot of capacity. If you use it while saving electricity to some extent, you can use it enough from the time you arrive at work in the morning until you get home. USB PDs can be charged up to 45 watts, so if you use a compatible charger, you'll be able to get to full charge right away. It's only been 2 weeks since I started using it, but I can say it's a very satisfying device.
This article is based on the Japanese version of Engadget and was created by machine translation. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.