little well-known fact about me: I love Star Wars. When a new movie comes out, I not only see it opening night, but again the next morning so I can really watch it. So when Samsung announced it was launching a Galaxy Note 10 Plus (one of our favorite smartphones of 2019) with a Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker theme, I knew I had to get my hands on one.
This thing ain’t cheap, and it’s not for everyone, but damn if this doesn’t make me excited for The Rise of Skywalker.
First, the box.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Edition box
- What’s in the box?
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Accessories: Wired AKG earbuds and quick charger
- Samsung Galaxy Buds
- Leather case for the Note 10 Plus
- Commemorative plaque
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Samsung didn’t skimp on the box — it’s one of the coolest packages I’ve seen. On the front sleeve, you’ll find the one and only Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. Take the sleeve off, and you’ll see his repaired helmet without the hood. This is definitely one of the more interesting aesthetic choices JJ Abrams took with Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker. It looks awesome.
Flip up the lid and you’ll see your first two goodies: a leather case on the left and a commemorative plaque on the right. Below that is a slide-out compartment that houses the phone and Galaxy Buds. And of course, the whole thing is decked out in Star Wars logos and little stars.
Samsung is giving buyers the full treatment here. This box is cool, and it better be for how much it costs.
The leather case
This is a really nice leather case for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The leather is soft and feels pretty high quality. Around back you’ll find, again, a silhouette of Kylo Ren’s mask with a Star Wars logo underneath. The inside of the case is a nice microfiber material and has a First Order logo engraved in the center.
The case is nice, but I don’t think it’s the most protective case out there. The top, right, and left sides are all covered completely, but the bottom of the phone is mostly exposed. Also, the edges on the front of the case don’t extend over the display, so you won’t want to put your phone screen-down with this case on.
My favorite part of the case is actually the way it accentuates the Note 10 Plus’ camera module on the back. It lets through a bit of the red trim around the camera sensors, which provides some much-needed color accents to contrast the black-and-grey aesthetic.
The commemorative plaque
Samsung also includes a Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker commemorative plaque in the box. It doesn’t do anything; it’s just a plaque. It’s a nice plaque, though!
It’s pretty heavy and feels super solid. The whole thing has a matte texture and matches the phone quite well. It’s a simple rectangle with, you guessed it, a Kylo Ren helmet popping out on the front.
The Galaxy Buds
Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. The Star Wars Edition Note 10 Plus also comes with a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds. They’re the exact Galaxy Buds we reviewed a few months ago, but these come with a new paint job. The ‘buds and the charging case are all black, while the case has a stark red color on the inside. It’s sleek.
The Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Now to the good stuff. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus included in the box is unsurprisingly Dark Side-themed. The back and sides of the device are dark grey (it almost looks black when there’s no light shining on it), while the camera module, power button, and volume buttons are deep red. Around back, under the Samsung logo, you’ll see a big First Order logo and another Star Wars logo below that. The S Pen is also bright red, which I’m a huge fan of. If Samsung made a non-Star Wars black-and-red Galaxy Note 10, I’m sure a bunch of people would buy it.
It’s not just the hardware that Samsung customized; the software has its own Dark Side theme too. My favorite part of this whole phone is the S Pen noise. When you take out the S Pen, it sounds like you’re lighting up your lightsaber. I love it. Putting the S Pen back in its place makes it sound like you’re putting away your lightsaber. Check it out below:
Once you boot on the device, you’ll quickly notice that just about every part of this phone is Star Wars themed. The stock wallpaper that comes on the device is an up-close look at a First Order Sith Trooper from The Rise of Skywalker. If you’re not a fan, you can change it to one of the other eight Star Wars wallpaper options. Available options include a close-up of Kylo Ren’s helmet, one each of the Knights of Ren, another Kylo Ren wallpaper with his lightsaber drawn, and a trio of Sith Troopers.
The icons, settings menus, quick settings, Samsung keyboard, and navigation buttons all have their own Dark Side theme, too. The icons are black, white, and red and look very Star Wars-y. Some are just redesigns with simple lines, while the contacts icon, for instance, is a Stormtrooper helmet and the Samsung Internet icon is BB-8’s head. An odd choice, but I can’t say I hate it.
The keyboard is black and grey, and the quick settings and settings menu is made up of black, grey, and red accents. It’s easy on the eyes, so fans of dark themes will be happy here. The dialer even has its own theme, while other apps — like Samsung Messages — has a simple black-and-red theme.
Other little Star Wars-y sounds are found throughout the rest of the phone. Tapping any of the icons or hitting a navigation button triggers a generic little tech sound. It reminds me of something you’d hear when you click on a menu in a Star Wars video game. I think these sounds would get pretty annoying after a while.
Samsung also customized the boot animation, boot sound, and shutdown animation. When booting up, the Note 10 Plus shows Kylo Ren’s helmet coming together, while shutting it down looks like you’re coming out of hyperspace.
There’s also a cool Sith Trooper-inspired always-on display.
I wish Samsung would make each one of these items available for purchase separately. Don’t get me wrong — the whole big-box experience is cool — but $1,300 is a big asking price. Maybe sell the phone and leather case in one bundle and make the Galaxy Buds a separate purchase? Personally, I’d consider buying the Note 10 Plus Star Wars Edition with the leather case, but I don’t really need the Galaxy Buds.
Also, and this is a given, if you aren’t a fan of the Dark Side aesthetic or villians (though, there’s no way Ben Solo won’t be redeemed in TROS), you probably won’t be a huge fan of this one. There’s no Light Side equivalent Note 10 Plus with Rey and BB-8 plastered all over the place, but man, wouldn’t it be great if there was?
If you consider yourself a massive Star Wars fan, I don’t think you’ll be sorry with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Edition. Samsung put a lot of work into making this phone truly one of a kind. Although most of the changes are simply new color schemes and app overlays, little changes like the red S Pen (and that sweet lightsaber sound) and the shutdown animation make this phone a no-brainer for the Star Wars diehards. I can’t recommend this enough if you’re a Star Wars fan. Just be ready to pay up.