Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review

Samsung’s smaller, handier Note 10 flagship

Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Samsung Galaxy Note 10
(Image: © Future)

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Battery life

Samsung has opted to put a 3,500mAh battery inside the Note 10, and while it’s not the most stunning battery life we’ve experienced from a smartphone it’s sufficient to last you through a day of normal usage.

We did find on a few heavier days of usage that the phone would be running low at around 8PM and we’d need to put it on charge. 

Luckily, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 comes with some impressive fast charging, allowing us to plug it in for a period of about 15 minutes and gaining enough to make it through to the end of the day.

Our struggle to get a full day of life was often because we were using the phone on full brightness in order to see the display better, but if you’re using the Note 10 on automatic brightness you’re much more likely to experience a full day of use.

That’s all you’ll get here though as it won’t last you into a second day of average use unless you’re a very light user. The battery life on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is far better than the Note 10, so if you’re desperate for longer life you may want to go for that.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Future)

We ran a 90-minute video on the phone with the display on full brightness and found it dropped from 100% to 88%. That’s a solid performance, but we didn’t find that reflective of our day to day usage of the Note 10.

Wireless charging is on hand, and you’ll also be able to use Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare feature to charge compatible devices like headphones, smartwatches or other phones from your Note 10.

That’s super handy for when you have a device that has run out of battery, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds headphones. Perhaps the most exciting part of this feature though is that you can use it to recharge other smartphones.

Your friend ran out of charge while you’re in the pub? Set up your Note 10 to do PowerShare in the settings and you’ll be able to place their device on top of yours to pump it with a slight amount of battery (assuming their phone supports wireless charging).


Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you’ve used the Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus, you’ll find that the Galaxy Note 10’s camera isn’t an exciting upgrade over those phones. It’s using the same combination of a 16MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP regular lens and a 12MP telephoto lens.

These combine to deliver a fantastic photography experience, and the camera is particularly good in its automatic mode.

This isn’t the very best phone camera you’ll find at the moment, but it offers a solid enough experience that is likely to be better than your current smartphone if it’s a couple of years old.

Most of the Note 10’s improvements in the camera department are in its video recording capabilities. The image stabilization technology has been improved, and there’s a new feature called Live Focus Video, which enables you to capture ‘bokeh’ background blur effects of the kind we’re used to seeing in portrait-mode stills.

You can make a subject pop out from their background in other ways too, for example by keeping your subject in color while making the backdrop black and white – again this is an effect we’ve seen for stills, but it’s a new idea for video.

We found this to work well, but it’s not a game-changing feature that’s worth upgrading  your smartphone to get it. It’s more of a nice little extra that you can add to the list of benefits of owning a Note 10.

On the Galaxy Note 10 this is all achieved through software, but the Note 10 Plus uses a separate DepthVision lens to work its magic – so if this sounds like a must-have feature for you, it’s likely to work better on the larger phone.

Another camera feature is called AR Doodle. This enables you to write over the top of moving images. It works in a similar way to filters on Instagram or Snapchat with their augmented reality tech, but this is instead designed so you can create your own images using the S-Pen.

The front camera is in the center of the display, and it’s a 10MP sensor. We found this to work well for selfie shots and it gave a satisfactory picture for you to upload to your social media.

Camera samples

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.