Samsung has a truly overwhelming amount of new flagship phones right now, with the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10E, as well as the incoming Galaxy S10 5G and Galaxy Fold. And here's one more on the horizon.
It hasn't been announced yet, of course, but we're fully expecting to see a Galaxy Note 10 later this year. Samsung has reliably launched its extra-large, stylus-packing handset each year, and it's likewise been a reliably great phone – albeit a very pricey and fairly niche one.
With the Galaxy S10 out, now the rumour mill has pivoted towards the Note 10. What should we expect? Here's what we've heard so far.
(Samsung Galaxy Note 9 shown)
When will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 be out?
Samsung unveiled and released the Galaxy Note 9 last August, a little earlier than its usual September release window. We suspect that this was done to set it apart from Apple's usual September iPhone reveal.
And we suspect that Samsung will do it again this year. It's good to have that window without another phone sucking up all of the buzz, and August is Samsung's to own for now.
It's just an educated guess for now, but until we hear otherwise, we're expecting an August launch.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 cost?
Well, it won't be cheap. Samsung keeps pushing the price level higher for its flagship phones, with the Note 9 coming in at £899.
That's the same price that the new Galaxy S10+ arrived at, and there's always a difference in price between them. Given that, don't be surprised to see the Galaxy Note 10 push up into the £929-999 range, depending on what kinds of new features are added.
Again, strictly a guess at this point, but Samsung's certainly not going to drop the price compared to last year's Note.
What will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 look like?
In recent years, the Galaxy Note line has aligned pretty closely with the Galaxy S aesthetic. In particular, the last two years' phones have looked very close to the Galaxy S+ model.
The main differences come with slightly boxier aesthetic, and a flatter screen that isn't quite as curvy on the sides. Oh, and a slot for the S Pen stylus, of course. Early speculative renders of the Galaxy Note 10 follow that kind of philosophy with the Galaxy S10 as a starting point, but we haven't seen anything yet that looks like a legitimate render leak. It's early still, though.
Korean site The Bell reports that Samsung will release two different versions of the Galaxy Note 10, but it's not just a matter of a standard LTE and special-edition 5G edition. The site claims that Samsung plans to release a smaller version of the Note 10 for buyers who don't want an ultra-large handset but still crave a stylus.
Reportedly, the smaller edition will only be released in Europe, while the "standard" large phone will launch internationally, as usually.
Interestingly, leaker Ice Universe has teased that "Da Vinci is symmetrical" - and "Da Vinci" is the Note 10's codename. Could that mean that a front-facing camera cutout will be in the center instead of in the corner, or will it be symmetrical on other respects? We're certainly curious to see.
(Speculative render via Phone Arena)
If Samsung follows its typical trend here, we should see a boxier take on the Galaxy S10+, essentially. That sounds pretty good to us.
What about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10's screen?
Big and beautiful, we presume. Last year's phone had a 6.4in display and the year before had a 6.3in display. But since the Galaxy S10+ has matched the 6.4in size, we wonder if Samsung will go even larger for the Note 10.
Of course, the upcoming Galaxy S10 5G hits a vast 6.7in screen size, so the Note 10 might not end up being the largest of the bunch. A leak from Korean site The Bell in late 2018 suggested a 6.66in display, which could well be rounded up to be considered 6.7in.
However, in a more recent report, ETNews instead points to a 6.75in display on the larger Note 10, and a 6.28in screen for the smaller edition.
We expect to see another stunning Quad HD Dynamic AMOLED panel, too, with the same kind of hole-punch cutout in the upper corner – a double like the Galaxy S10+, most likely.
No doubt, the Galaxy Note 10's screen will be large and in charge… but we don't know exactly how large just yet.
How much power will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 pack?
We'll almost certainly see familiar tech in the Galaxy Note 10. The Galaxy S10 has Samsung's Exynos 9820 chip in Europe and some other places, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 in the U.S. and certain other territories.
We fully expect to see the same processors in the Note 10. And with Galaxy S10+ RAM ranging between 8GB and 12GB depending on model, that's probably a fair target to expect from the Note 10, as well.
(Speculative render via Phone Arena)
We have no doubt that the Note 10 will use those Android pack-leading processors.
What kind of cameras will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 have?
SamMobile reports that the Galaxy Note 10 will likely pack four back cameras, just like the upcoming Galaxy S10 5G, although it's unclear whether it'll be the exact same setup.
The Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10 5G all pack a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, 16MP ultra-wide lens, and 12MP telephoto lens, and then the S10 5G adds a time-of-flight sensor for depth mapping to enhanced augmented reality applications. If that bonus sensor signals a future ambition for Samsung, then we could well see it on more and more of its premium handsets ahead.
ETNews suggests that the larger Note 10 model will indeed have four back cameras, while the smaller edition will go for three rear cameras.
Also, while Samsung recently announced an 0.8-micrometer 64MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 image sensor, leaker IceUniverse suggests that it won't be used on the Galaxy Note 10. That's a bummer, but the Galaxy S10 and S10+ already take pretty brilliant shots without it...
A quad-camera setup makes sense given the S10 line's upgrades this year and the Note 10's positioning as an extra-elite model.
Is there anything else I should know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10?
Yeah! Last year's Galaxy Note 9 added Bluetooth connectivity to the S-Pen stylus, but this year's phone could do something even more radical: put a camera into the stylus.
Why? We're not entirely sure… but it would provide some unique capture opportunities. Samsung has patented such a feature (illustration shown) with optical zooming, although there's no indication that this feature will debut this year in the Note 10 or even make it to market. Still, that would be an interesting twist if Samsung can think up enough practical ways to use it.
Elsewhere, XDA Developers reports that the kernel source code in the Exynos 8920 chip seen in the Galaxy S10 phones hints at a 5G version of the Note 10. That shouldn't be surprising: 5G adoption is likely to spread widely as the year goes on, and Samsung already plans to lead the charge with its larger, ritzier Galaxy S10 5G model.
In fact, the CEO of leading U.S. carrier Verizon has already confirmed it, albeit prematurely. In an April earnings call, Hans Vestberg said (via The Verge), "The Note and the Galaxy coming this year will both have 5G." Again, no big surprise - but he's certainly someone who would know.
ETNews notes that both the large and small versions of the Note 10 will come in LTE and 5G editions. We're guessing that the 5G versions will be a bit pricier for buyers who don't mind spending for extra speed.
Additionally, GeeksULTD theorises that the Galaxy Note 10 could offer much-faster eUFS 3.0 storage, which will be produced in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB modules. If that's the approach, then the Note 10 could start with a much larger load of storage than usual.
We have to imagine that the Galaxy Note 10 will keep the optical in-display fingerprint sensor of the Galaxy S10 and S10+, too.
Leaker Ice Universe also suggests that the 4G "Note 10 Pro" model - presumably the larger of the two - will feature a 4,500mAh battery pack. That's 500mAh over the Note 9 and 400mAh more than the Galaxy S10+, which could help pack a bit more uptime into a charge. We have to think a 5G model might go even larger, though.
It's still too early in the rumour cycle to draw many firm conclusions, but we anticipate a riff on the Galaxy S10+ with some upgrades and hopefully productivity-minded additions in tow. We're sure to see stronger leaks and rumours over the next months, so stay tuned for updates.