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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Image Credit: TechRadar
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is Samsung’s latest flagship phablet, but it wasn’t all that long ago that the company launched the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which is also big and also high-end.

So what’s new and different for the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus? What’s the same? And is the S10 Plus much of an upgrade?

To help answer all of those questions we’ve compared the specs, features and prices of these two big-screen beasts.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Galaxy Note 9 design

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 both have a curved screen, a metal frame and a glass back. They also both have their rear cameras arranged horizontally.

There are a lot of differences too though. The Galaxy Note 9 has bezels above and below the screen, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has almost no bezel at the top but instead has a cut-out for the dual-lens front-facing camera.

On the back meanwhile you’ll find a fingerprint scanner on the Note 9, but not on the S10 Plus, as it’s instead built into the screen.

As for dimensions and weight, the Galaxy S10 Plus comes in at 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm and 175g, while the Galaxy Note 9 is 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and 201g. So the Galaxy Note 9 is a taller, thicker, heavier phone than the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Galaxy Note 9 display

The Galaxy S10 Plus has tiny bezels. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Galaxy S10 Plus has tiny bezels. Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Both of these phones have a 6.4-inch screen, both use AMOLED, and both are curved. However, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has a 19:9 aspect ratio, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is 18.5:9.

There may also be a difference in the resolution, though all Samsung has said so far is that the S10 Plus has a QHD+ resolution. The Galaxy Note 9 meanwhile is 1440 x 2960, which is an example of a QHD+ resolution, so if there is a difference it’s likely to be small.

One way in which the screen on the S10 Plus definitely sounds better is in its support for HDR10+, which is an upgrade on the HDR10 supported by the Galaxy Note 9. As noted above, the Galaxy S10 Plus has smaller bezels, but it also has a cut-out in the top right corner of the screen for the camera.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Galaxy Note 9 camera and battery

The Galaxy S10 Plus has three rear cameras. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Galaxy S10 Plus has three rear cameras. Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Speaking of the camera, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has three on the back, specifically a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera (with no OIS), and a 12MP camera which has OIS and can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on the other hand has a dual-lens camera, with both a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens and a 12MP lens that can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4. Both lenses also have OIS.

So the key difference is that the Note 9 doesn’t have that third 16MP lens offered by the S10 Plus, but the other two lenses sound much the same on both phones.

There are differences to the front-facing cameras too, as the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has both a 10MP f/1.9 lens and an 8MP f/2.2 one, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has just a single 8MP f/1.7 one.

And the Galaxy Note 9 has two rear cameras. Image Credit: TechRadar

And the Galaxy Note 9 has two rear cameras. Image Credit: TechRadar

There might not be as much different when it comes to the battery though, as the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 4,100mAh one and the Note 9’s is only slightly smaller at 4,000mAh.

We’ll let you know how the one in the S10 Plus holds up once we’ve tested it fully for our review, the Note 9’s though lasts quite a long time in our tests.

One difference in the batteries is their charging skills though, as while the Galaxy Note 9 supports both fast charging and fast wireless charging, the Galaxy S10 Plus improves on the wireless speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0.

It also sports Wireless PowerShare, which lets you use some of the juice from that massive battery to wirelessly charge other devices.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Galaxy Note 9 OS and power

Both phones run Android. Image Credit: TechRadar

Both phones run Android. Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has a high-end octa-core chipset. The specific chipset should be either the Exynos 9820 or the Snapdragon 855, but Samsung hasn’t yet confirmed what regions will get which. The phone also comes with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, so it should be very powerful.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is powerful too, but on paper it’s not quite a match for the S10 Plus. It has a Snapdragon 845 (if you’re in the US) or an Exynos 9810 (in most other places). Those are the previous generations of the two chipsets, so they were top-end in 2018 but aren’t quite any more.

It also has either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on what model you opt for, so again at the top end at least that’s not a match for the Galaxy S10 Plus, but it’s still a hefty amount.

The Galaxy Note 9 benefits from its S Pen. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Galaxy Note 9 benefits from its S Pen. Image Credit: TechRadar

As for storage, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes with a choice of 128GB, 512GB or 1TB, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with 128GB or 512GB. Both phones have a microSD card slot, though.

Both phones also run Android, with the S10 Plus shipping with Android 9 Pie and the Note 9 shipping with Android 8 Oreo – but it can be updated to Android 9, so there’s not much difference there.

There are some differences in how you will interact with the phones though, since one of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is its S Pen stylus, which makes it easier to sketch and write by hand on the phone’s screen. The Galaxy S10 Plus doesn’t come with a stylus, despite having the same size display.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Galaxy Note 9 price

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus SIM-free unlocked costs $999 / £899 (roughly AU$1,400) for a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s £1,099 if you want 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and £1,399 for 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Full US and Australian pricing is still to be confirmed at the time of writing.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 meanwhile launched at $1,000 / £899 / AU$1,499 for a model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, climbing to $1,250 / £1,099 / AU$1,799 for 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

So the pricing – at least at the bottom end – is actually very similar, but having said that, many stores now stock the Galaxy Note 9 for a fair bit less than it launched at and we wouldn’t be surprised if prices drop further now that the Galaxy S10 Plus is available.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Takeaway

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has more in common with the Galaxy Note 9 than is usual for the two ranges, thanks largely to the fact that they have the same size screen.

Still, there are a number of differences between them. The Galaxy S10 Plus looks to be an upgrade in a lot of ways, with a newer chipset, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, smaller bezels, more camera lenses and potentially more RAM and storage.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the cheaper of the two and it comes with an S Pen stylus, making it potentially better suited to creatives and note-takers.