5 Reasons to Buy the Galaxy Note 10 Plus (and 3 Reasons to Skip)

Galaxy Note 10 Plus back with S Pen
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is a beast of a phone with one of the biggest screens ever at 6.8 inches. But, at $1,100, it's also one of the most expensive phones you can buy, so this is not a purchase you should take lightly.

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review has all the benchmarks, photo comparisons and specs you need to make the right call, but if you're short on time here are five reasons to get the Note 10 Plus and three reasons to skip.

* Reasons to Buy the Galaxy Note 10 Plus *

Gorgeous and ginormous 6.8-inch display

Galaxy Note 10 Plus Display

(Image credit: Future)

At 6.8 inches, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has one of the biggest and brightest screens on a smartphone yet. It also delivers pristine picture quality. This quad HD+ panel supports HDR10+ and wowed us when we watched videos and conducted our lab tests. For instance, in Vivid mode the Note 10 Plus's screen covered more than 200% of the color gamut. Plus, that centered cutout for the camera doesn't really get in the way. 

Long battery life and fast charging

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Thanks to its beefy 4,300 mAh battery, the Note 10 Plus lasted an excellent 11 hours and 46 minutes on our web surfing battery test over 4G LTE. That's not only better than the smartphone average (10:14), it's 2 hours longer than the OnePlus 7 Pro. In fact, the Note 10 Plus landed a spot on our list of phones with the best battery life. The Note 10 Plus charges fast, too, thanks to its included 25-watt charger. You can get to 65% capacity in just 30 minutes. 

Beautiful design

Galaxy Note 10 Plus back close-up cameras

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Note 10 isn't just thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 9. It's also a lot more attractive, especially if you opt for the Aura Glow color. This treatment reflects different colors depending on how the light hits the phone. (Just beware of fingerprint smudges.) You can also get the the Note 10 Pro in white, black and blue.

New S Pen powers

Galaxy Note 10 Plus convert handwriting to text

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus has an improved S Pen that lets you do some nifty new things. For example, Air Gestures lets you change camera modes with a wave of your hand. And AR Doodle lets you draw on your subject in real time and record it for all to see. Last but not least, you can now convert handwriting to text, though you have to select the words first before converting.

Live focus comes to video and improved Super Steady

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus' cameras are pretty much identical to what you'll find on the Galaxy S10 Plus, but Samsung upped its video game on its new phablet. With Live Focus, you can blur out the background while you're shooting, which can really make your subjects pop. Or you can apply other effects, such as making the subject color and background black and white. With the improved Super Steady feature, you'll also enjoy much smoother footage than you'll get with other smartphones.

* Reasons to Skip the Galaxy Note 10 Plus *

It's pricey (and $150 more than regular Note 10)

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus starts at $1,099, which is one of the most expensive phones on the market. It's also $150 more than the regular Galaxy Note 10. Granted, the Note 10 has a much smaller display (6.3 inches versus 6.8 inches) and doesn't offer microSD storage or a fourth rear camera for depth sensing. But the regular Note 10 Plus offers the same processor, S Pen features and overall camera quality.

Camera quality is a step behind Google and Huawei

Look, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus takes detailed images, and I like that you have the versatility of choosing between an ultra-wide lens, wide-angle lens or telephoto lens for any given shot. Another plus is the Night mode, which delivered remarkable results in near darkness. The problem is that the Google Pixel 3 XL and Huawei P30 Pro offered better photo quality in our comparisons. So if you want superior photography prowess, the Note 10 Plus may not be for you. 

No headphone jack

Galaxy Note 10 Plus USB-C headphones

(Image credit: Future)

Yes, smartphones with headphone jacks are becoming a dying breed. The good news is that by removing the jack, Samsung was able to fit in a bigger battery for the Note 10 Plus. The bad news is that you won't be able to plug in your existing wired headphones without springing for a dongle. Samsung includes a wired pair of AKG buds, but you're probably better off with wireless earbuds or wireless headphones.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.