Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus Specs: Here’s What You Get

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Forget about leaks, furtive screenshots and cryptic tweets. The Galaxy Note 10 has arrived, and we now know exactly what kind of specs Samsung's latest phablet offers — no inside sources required.

This year's Galaxy Note update actually features two phones, a departure from years past when Samsung rolled out a single version of the Note. Instead, we've got the relatively smaller Galaxy Note 10 along with the supersized Galaxy Note 10 Plus. There's also a 5G version of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus in the works, but that model isn't expected right away.

So what are you getting with the Galaxy Notes that are shipping this month? Here's a rundown of the specs for both the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.

Galaxy Note 10 Specs

Galaxy Note 10Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Price$949$1,099
Display (Resolution)6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2280x1080)6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED (3040x1440)
ProcessorSnapdragon 855Snapdragon 855
RAM8GB12GB
Storage256GB256GB, 512GB
microSD?NoYes
Rear Cameras16-MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2); 12-MP wide angle (ƒ/1.5-f/2.4); 12-MP telephoto (ƒ/2.1) 16-MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2); 12-MP wide angle (ƒ/1.5-f/2.4); 12-MP telephoto (ƒ/2.1); time-of-flight VGA
Front Camera10-MP (ƒ/2.2)10-MP (ƒ/2.2)
Battery Size3,500 mAh4,300 mAh
Charging25W; 45W optional25W; 45W optional
OS Android 9 Pie with Samsung OneUI Android 9 Pie with Samsung OneUI
ColorsAura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura BlueAura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Blue
Size5.9 x 2.8 x .31 inches6.4 x 3.0 x .31 inches
Weight5.9 ounches6.9 ounces

Price and Availability

The Galaxy Note 10 starts at $949. If you want the larger screen and time-of-flight sensor that comes with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus — more on those features in a bit — you'll pay $1,099. That's a bit of a change from the Galaxy Note 9's debut price a year ago: the Note 10 is $50 cheaper while the Note 10 Plus costs $100 more.

Preorders for the new phones start at 12:01 a.m. ET tomorrow (Aug. 8). The phones land on retail shelves on Aug. 23. We're expecting both Samsung and wireless carriers to announce Note 10 deals as preorders get underway.

Design and Display

Look at the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus side by side and it's easy to spot the most noticeable difference between the two phones. The Galaxy Note 10 has the smaller AMOLED screen at 6.3 inches, compared to the 6.8-inch display on the Note 10 Plus. To house that larger panel, the Note 10 Plus is a bigger phone. It's half-an-inch taller than the Note 10 and nearly a quarter-inch wider.

Galaxy Note 10 Plus (left) and Galaxy Note 10

Galaxy Note 10 Plus (left) and Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The different sizes become more apparent when you pick up the two phones. Though it's still a phablet with a screen larger than 6 inches, the Note 10 feels remarkably compact. It's the lighter of the two phones, at 5.9 ounces to the Note 10 Plus' 6.9-ounce weight.

You'll get a sharper screen with the Note 10 Plus, which offers Quad HD+ resolution. The Note 10 offers a resolution of 2280 x 1080, a step back from the 2960 x 1440 resolution in last year's Note 9.

The Note 10 family will be the first Samsung flagships to make do without a headphone jack. You'll also give up a microSD on the Note 10, a concession to that model's more compact design.

Cameras

If you're familiar with the camera array Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus this past spring, then you're up to speed on the Galaxy Note 10's array of shooters. Samsung didn't change any of the hardware for the Note 10's cameras, instead focusing on new software features such as new video modes.

That means a triple lens setup on the Galaxy Note. You'll have a 12-megapixel main camera that can vary between apertures of f/1.5 and f/2.4. (Alas, reports that the new phones would feature a third variable aperture didn't pan out.) The main lens is joined by a 16-MP ultrawide camera and a 12-MP telephoto lens that offers the same 2x optical zoom as before.

The Note 10 Plus' rear cameras

The Note 10 Plus' rear cameras

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You'll find those same three cameras on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but they're joined by something Samsung's calling a DepthVision camera. Think of it as a time-of-flight sensor whose job it is to figure out shooting space in certain camera modes — Portrait mode say — for better image effects and more striking shots.

Processor, Memory and Storage

Speaking of things that are unchanged from the Galaxy S10 lineup, the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus will run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor (and not the more graphics-capable Snapdragon 855+ as had been rumored). That's for U.S. versions of the Note 10, anyhow. In other markets, Samsung will use its own Exynos 9825 chipset for the phones.

The Note 10 Plus will come with more RAM — 12GB, as opposed to the 8GB of memory in the Note 10. Both phones will feature 256GB of storage, though you'll have the option of upgrading to 512GB on the Note 10 Plus. As mentioned, that larger phone will also give you the option of expanding storage via microSD slot.

Battery and Charging

A bigger phone requires a bigger battery, and that's what you'll get with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The new phone relies on a 4,300 mAh power pack to stay charged, a boost from the 4,000 mAh battery in the Note 9. The Note 10 takes a step back: it's only got a 3,500 mAh battery, but maybe its lower-resolution screen will mean less power drain than before.

No headphone jack here

No headphone jack here

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You'll be able to charge the Note 10 faster than any Galaxy phone before it. Both models will come with a 25-watt charger which should be capable of fully charging the phone in about an hour. Samsung's new phones also are capable of 45-W charging, which will top off the battery even faster, though you'll have to spring for a separate charger on top of your $949-plus phone.

As with other recent Galaxy flagships, the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus can be charged wirelessly (at 15-W speeds). The Wireless Power Share feature returns, meaning you can charge other Qi-compatible devices just by placing them on the back of the Note 10.

Special Features

The Galaxy Note lineup is all about the S Pen, and that remains the case with the Note 10. Samsung is upgrading the capabilities in the phone's stylus to let it convert your handwriting to text. New Air Actions let you change camera modes on the Note 10 by swiping your S Pen through the air; a circular motion with the S Pen lets you zoom in the camera without having to touch the on-display controls.

With DeX mode, the Note 10 can appear on a laptop screen.

With DeX mode, the Note 10 can appear on a laptop screen.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

DeX mode, which turns your Galaxy Note into a portable PC that can plug into a monitor and keyboard, returns. This time around, you'll only need a USB-C cable (either one that plugs into another USB-C port or a USB-A port) to enable DeX mode.

Outlook

The Galaxy Note 10 doesn't feel like a big departure from the Note 9 — or really the Galaxy S10 Plus that came out earlier this year. The same processor and same cameras lend the phones a "Been There, Done That" feel when you scan down the spec sheet.

As always, the distinguishing feature will be the Note 10's S Pen. Do the new capabilities make either Not 10 model a must-have for users who value productivity? We're also interested to see if the display on the Note 10 Plus — the largest screen on any non-folding Samsung phone — can let people work more efficiently on their mobile device.

We've had a little bit hands-on time with both phones, but stay tuned for our full reviews of the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.