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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 preview: Everything we know so far

UPDATED: Here comes the Snapdragon 855 Plus - and air gestures

Samsung has a truly overwhelming amount of new flagship phones right now, with the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10E, and Galaxy S10 5G… and the Galaxy Fold, should it eventually ship. And here’s one more on the horizon.

It hasn’t been officially announced yet, of course, but we’re fully expecting to see a Galaxy Note 10 in a matter of weeks. 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.

(Leaked renders via WinFuture and Ishan Agarwal)

When will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 be out?

When will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 be out?

It’s official! Samsung didn’t refer to the device by name just yet, but the company just dated an Unpacked event for 7 August – and as the exclamation point-esque teaser image above shows, it’s pretty clearly a new Galaxy Note device.

We see a stylus, as expected, and also a single camera module. That’s expected to be the single, center-mounted front-facing camera in a Galaxy S10-like cutout. There has also been a rumour about a camera showing up in the S Pen itself, but we don’t have a lot of faith in that being the case.

Fact or fiction?

It’s happening! We’ll see the Note 10 (or maybe a couple of Note 10s) on 7 August.

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 the purported two models of the Note 10, we’re still curious to see where the pricing actually falls this time around.

Journalist Roland Quandt suggests that the 6.3in Note 10 will land at €999 (about £899), while the 6.7in Note 10+ will weigh in at €1149 (about £1034). We could see the actual UK prices jump up a bit higher than that, actually – but maybe it makes sense to keep the smaller Note 10 at the same price as last year and try to command more cash for the new XL edition.

Fact or fiction?

Quandt’s pricing report seems reasonable, but don’t be surprised if the actual UK pricing is a bit higher than the converted amounts.

What will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 look like?

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 followed that kind of philosophy with the Galaxy S10 as a starting point, and now the official-looking leaked renders on this page from both WinFuture and Ishan Agarwal seem to confirm that.

The sides here are interesting too, with the frame going thin along the sides and then going larger around the buttons, giving you a glimpse of the coloured (or black) glass from the side view. That’s a neat tweak.

The FCC briefly posted photos of the Galaxy Note 10 that were spotted by Slashleaks, XDA Developers, and more (see ahove) – and they’re identical to the leaked renders you’ll see all over this page. It’s real, folks. And the FCC images show no headphone port, unfortunately.

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 usual.

Fact or fiction?

It’s the real deal! This is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

What about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10’s screen?

What about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10

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.

ETNews points to a 6.75in display on the larger Note 10, and a 6.28in screen for the smaller edition. OnLeaks essentially confirms those specs, suggesting 6.75in on the Note 10 Plus and 6.3in for the standard Note 10. More recent reports have rounded the Note 10 Plus screen size up to 6.8in, however.

We expect to see another stunning Quad HD Dynamic AMOLED panel, too, with the same kind of hole-punch cutout – but now it’s in the center.

IceUniverse has since tweeted that the Galaxy Note 10 will not have a speaker/earpiece atop the display, and that it will use "sound on display" technology. That’s like what the LG G8 ThinQ offered, sending vibrations along the display to create audio output. The LG G8 ThinQ was a rather unexciting phone, but we’re expecting better things from the Note 10. And the upside, apparently, will be thinner bezel above the screen.

Fact or fiction?

Sounds like the Galaxy Note 10 Pro’s screen will be large and in charge… and the Note 10’s will be a bit smaller.

How much power will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 pack?

How much power will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 pack?

We figured that we would 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.

But with the announcement of the overclocked Snapdragon 855 Plus for later this year, that seems like an ideal fit for the Note 10. WinFuture reports that that won’t be the case, but notable leaker Evan Blass suggests that the more powerful Snapdragon will indeed make it in. Additionally, leaker IceUniverse points to a benchmark leak for a slightly-improved Exynos 9825 chip, which lightly boosts the single-core and multi-core scores over the S10’s Exynos 9820.

That chip was a little weaker than the standard Snapdragon 855, but it looks like Samsung might even the score for 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. OnLeaks suggests 12GB.

Fact or fiction?

Will the Snapdragon 855 Plus debut in the Note 10? That’d be a good way to help set the Note 10 apart from the S10+.

What kind of cameras will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 have?

What kind of cameras will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 have?

Based on the leaked renders and previous reports, it appears that the Galaxy Note 10 Pro will have four back cameras, while the smaller Note 10 will stick to three.

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.

Leaker Ice Universe suggests that Samsung will adopt a three-stop aperture system, evolving the feature from the variable aperture seen with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy models since. It will reportedly have a new f/1.8 stop between the previous f/1.5 and f/2.4 settings, perhaps offering even more nuance in delivering the ideal balance between light and detail.

IceUniverse also suggests that the Galaxy Note 10 will have the same main camera as the Galaxy S10, but that it may have additional functionality included. He also said that the Galaxy S11 will mark a new era of cameras for Samsung flagships…

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…

Both the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus appear to stick with just one front-facing camera, now center-mounted, and we think that’s a smart move after the awkwardly wider cutouts on the S10+ and S10 5G.

Fact or fiction?

A quad-camera setup makes sense given the S10 line’s upgrades this year and the Note 10 Plus’ positioning as an extra-elite model.

Is there anything else I should know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10?

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.

Leaker Evan Blass suggests that the Note 10’s pen will be capable of air gestures, giving that Bluetooth connectivity another reason to exist.

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. The leaked renders don’t show a standalone sensor anywhere.

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. Meanwhile, Galaxy Club points to leaks that suggest a comparatively paltry 3,400mAh battery pack for the smaller Note 10 – not quite the mighty Note we know and love.

Evan Blass, however, points to 3,600mAh on the Note 10 and 4,300mAh for the Note 10 Plus.

Ice Universe recently said to expect 45W fast-charging from the larger Note 10+ and 20W wireless fast-charging, with the correct adapters sold separately for both.

Fact or fiction?

It’s all coming together! There’s still a few weeks left for Galaxy Note 10 details to leak out, but we already have a strong sense of what to expect.