With the release of any new phone, it’s natural to wonder about how it compares to its predecessor. Samsung just took the wraps off the latest additions to its vaunted Galaxy Note series. Do the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus do enough to stand above and beyond the fantastic Galaxy Note 9? Let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series vs the Galaxy Note 9.
There are two phones in 2019 Galaxy Note family: the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. There are a few key differences between the two, like the display size and resolution, battery capacity, RAM, and the camera setup — ensuring that the Plus model really earns its “Plus” moniker. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 9 was the only Note device released last year, featuring a few different storage and RAM configurations.
With each new Galaxy phone, Samsung generally issues subtle design refinements. While the general design language stays similar, there are much clearer differences between the latest Galaxy Note and its predecessor this time.
The new Galaxy Notes feature Samsung’s latest design trends, like the Infinity-O display. The punch hole camera is located on the top-center of the display and is smaller than what we saw on the Galaxy S10. There’s also less metal, with the glass draping over the sides even more than before. It’s safe to say that it’s one of the best looking Samsung smartphones around, but you’ll also have to handle it with more care.
Samsung knows how to make a good-looking smartphone, and the Galaxy Note 10 is no different.
On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 9 comes with what used to be a traditional smartphone design. There are no notches or punch hole cameras here. It’s still a gorgeous device, but just seems a little out of place in the current smartphone landscape.
Despite a significant difference in the screen size, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the Galaxy Note 9 are quite similar in size. In fact, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus manages to be thinner and lighter than the Note 9. The Galaxy Note 10 is even more compact, with a footprint more akin to the standard Galaxy S10.
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There are beautiful Dynamic AMOLED displays all around! The differences lie in the sizes and resolutions, with the Galaxy Note 9 slotting in somewhere between the two new Galaxy Notes.
The Galaxy Note 10 comes with a 6.3-inch screen with a Full HD+ resolution. The Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus offer Quad HD+ resolutions, with 6.4-inch and 6.8-inch displays respectively.
The Galaxy Note 10 series gets the expected upgrade to the 2019 flagship processing package of choice — both are powered by the Snapdragon 855. It’s a pretty decent upgrade over the Snapdragon 845 that powers the Galaxy Note 9. However, there’s no question that the Note 9 is still a powerhouse.
The storage and RAM variants might sound the same — 8GB and 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage in varying combinations — but some essential upgrades have been made. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus feature UFS 3.0 storage, which offers extremely high data transfer speeds that should help with tremendously app load times.
Keeping with other 2019 trends, Samsung moves on from the capacitive rear fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 9 to ultrasonic fingerprint sensors under the displays on the Note 10 devices. Physical fingerprint sensors are generally faster and more reliable, but it’ll be interesting to see whether Samsung has made any improvements this time around.
Removing the headphone jack is a very divisive move.
Another trend that Samsung unfortunately also followed is the removal of the headphone jack. If you’re hoping to get a Galaxy Note with one, the Note 9 is the way to go. At least expandable storage via microSD card is still available, but only on the Note 10 Plus.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is powered by a 3,500mAh battery, while the Note 10 Plus gets a 4,300mAh cell. Both battery capacities seem a little small, especially compared to the Galaxy S10 line. Smaller than expected batteries has become the norm for the Galaxy Note series though, with the Note 9 coming with a 4,000mAh unit.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus gets an extra camera sensor compared to the regular model. The quad-camera setup includes an ultra-wide 16MP sensor (f/2.2), a wide-angle 12MP camera (f/1.5-f/2.4, OIS), a 12MP telephoto lens (f/2.1, OIS), and a VGA DepthVision camera (f/1.4). The Galaxy Note 10 is identical, but without the depth sensor.
The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a 12MP wide-angle shooter with a variable aperture (f/1.5 to f/2.4) and a 12MP telephoto lens (f2.4). Samsung flagships continue to be right up there with the best of the best in terms of camera performance and versatility, so we can’t wait to put these new cameras through their paces.
You also get the same front camera with both Galaxy Note 10 devices — a 10MP shooter with an f/2.2 aperture. This gives the Galaxy Note 9 a slight advantage, at least on paper, with its 8MP with f/1.7 aperture selfie shooter.
The S-Pen has evolved over the years and continues to be a defining part of the Galaxy Note experience. It also gets better with every iteration, and the Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen is no exception. It’s slightly more ergonomic and refined this time around.
The S-Pen keeps getting better with every iteration.
The Galaxy Note 9’s S-Pen introduced a lot of new features, but the latest iteration takes things to another level. This starts with Air Actions, that are basically gesture controls that you perform by swiping. Only a handful of apps support Air Actions at launch, but the list is expected to grow rapidly.
Another feature that many have been waiting for is finally here: the ability to convert handwriting to text. You can now do so easily with the Galaxy Note 10, then export the text to a Word document, a PDF, or even an image. You will also be able to zoom and edit handwriting.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 starts at $949 in the U.S., while the Galaxy Note 10 Plus costs $1,099. If you want the full Galaxy Note experience and the advantage of a headphone jack, the Galaxy Note 9 can be yours for around $750.
That’s it for this closer look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy Note 9! There are certainly enough differences between them to consider the Note 10’s worthy upgrades. The smartphone world has changed really quickly, and while Samsung’s latest flagships are true to their Galaxy Note roots, they do a great job of keeping up with the current design and feature trends.
Which would you choose? The Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Plus, or Galaxy Note 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.