Samsung makes some excellent phones, and we use every single one so we can compare their features and capabilities — and help you choose the right one for you.
Biggest and best
Galaxy Note 10+
$1,100 at Samsung
- Bigger screen
- S Pen stylus
- First with new software
- Larger battery
- Faster charging
- Tougher to use in one hand
- Expensive for same core features
It’s the biggest and best phone Samsung has ever made. Note fans will love the S Pen just like before, and the rest of the phone leverages everything Samsung does well: display, hardware, specs and software features.
$833 at Amazon
- Easier to use in one hand
- Less expensive for same core features
- Headphone jack
- Smaller screen
- More noticeable screen cutout
- Dedicated Bixby button
If you don’t need the S Pen, you’re going to find exceptional value in the Galaxy S10+. It can do everything the Note 10+ can (minus the S Pen), with a slightly smaller screen, for hundreds of dollars less.
Now that the Galaxy S10+ has been out for several months, it’s received some big updates and some bigger discounts. So while the Note 10+ is easily the best smartphone Samsung sells today, is it the right phone for you to buy?
What’s the difference between the Note 10+ and S10+?
With just a handful of months separating the S10+ and Note 10+, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the phones are incredibly similar. They’re based on the same core platform, with the same processor, screen technology and resolution, cameras, fingerprint sensor, radios, water resistance, and build quality. They’re both distinctly “Samsung” phones in hardware, software, and daily use, even though some of the specifics and nuances have changed.
The phones are functionally very similar, but the Note 10+ goes all out in size and capabilities.
The Note 10+, being a bit newer, has small upgrades here and there. You get more base RAM and storage, and faster 45W wired and 15W wireless charging. There are a handful of new software features in One UI 1.5 — like new DeX software, a screen recorder, and small interface tweaks — that are debuting on the Note 10+, but most (if not all) should make their way to the Galaxy S10+ with a software update.
The rest of the differences come in the physical size of the phones. The Note 10+ gets the spec sheet benefit of a larger display and larger battery, but that cuts both ways: the Note 10+ is also noticeably taller, wider, thicker, and heavier than the Galaxy S10+. Whether this is an issue (or benefit) for you comes down to personal preference, but know that there is a notable jump in overall size when you move up to the Note 10+
And yes, there’s one line item that may be a deal-breaker for you: the Note 10+ doesn’t have a headphone jack. The S10+ is one of the few high-end phones left with the audio port.
|Operating System||Android 9 PieOne UI 1.5||Android 9 PieOne UI 1.1|
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED3040x1440, HDR10+||6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED3040x1440, HDR10+|
|Processor||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855|
|Rear Camera 1||12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV||12MP, f/1.5-2.4, OIS, 77° FoV|
|Rear Camera 2||16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV||16MP, f/2.2, 123° FoV|
|Rear Camera 3||12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV||12MP, f/2.1, OIS, 45° FoV|
|Rear Camera 4||VGA DepthVisionf/1.4, 72° FoV||n/a|
|Front Camera 1||10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoVauto focus||10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoVauto focus|
|Front Camera 2||n/a||8MP, f/2.2auto focus|
|Security||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO 7CA LTE Cat.20, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO 7CA LTE Cat.20, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Audio||USB-C||3.5 mm headphone|
|Battery||4300mAh45W wired15W wireless||4100mAh15W wired12W wireless|
|Dimensions||162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm196 g||157.6 x 74.1 x 7.4mm175 g|
|Colors||Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Blue||Flamingo Pink, Prism Blue Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Green|
The most significant difference from a functional standpoint is the S Pen. Utilizing the Note 10+’s stylus can be a game-changer if you’re committed to integrating it into your daily use. You can draw, doodle, annotate, and use handwriting-to-text recognition for notes and documents. Using the S Pen at a distance, you can trigger functions in apps with a press of the button or with dedicated gestures.
Whether that’s appealing as a feature is highly dependent on how you use your phone every day, but it’s something that the Galaxy S10+ can’t replicate.
Should you buy the Note 10+ or S10+?
The Note 10+ is great for S Pen fans, but otherwise, you should strongly consider the S10+.
There’s one question to ask here: do you need an S Pen, or are you okay without one? That’s going to make up your mind right from the top. If you’re already a Note fan, there’s no substitute for just getting the latest and greatest Note — and when you get the Note 10+, you’ll be incredibly happy with everything that it offers. At that point, you probably won’t care that it’s so expensive either.
But if you’re drawn to the Note 10+ for its size and capabilities, regardless of whether it has the stylus, then you should strongly consider the Galaxy S10+ instead. It’s functionally the same as the Note 10+ — you get a slightly smaller screen, smaller battery and will have to wait for a couple of new software features to arrive in a later update. But in return, you get a headphone jack — and you’ll pay a couple of hundred dollars less for the phone. That makes the Galaxy S10+ an incredible value for anyone who doesn’t rely on the S Pen.
Biggest and best
Galaxy Note 10+
$1100 at Samsung
One for the stylus fans.
This is the biggest and best phone Samsung has ever made, and it has the S Pen that Note fans crave. Outside of the stylus, it isn’t particularly unique compared to the S10+, though.
$833 at Amazon
An easy default choice.
For anyone that’s not a big S Pen fan, the Galaxy S10+ will be an excellent choice. It does everything the Note 10+ does in a slightly smaller package, for hundreds of dollars less.