Samsung launches 'giant' Note 10+ smartphone and Note 10
Samsung has unveiled two new flagship phones, the Note 10 and Note 10+.
It’s the first time that Samsung has split its ‘Note’ range into two models, with the company set to market the higher-end S10+ handset (€1,119) as a ‘computer’.
Most attention will settle on the larger S10+, which reclaims the work-friendly phone throne for Samsung due to its bigger screen and new engine power.
The Note 10+ has a 6.8-inch screen, the biggest on the Irish market. It’s an almost bezel-less screen, which means its overall size is not much bigger than some rival phones with smaller screens.
The smaller Note 10 (€969) has a 6.3-inch screen with a slightly lower resolution (401ppi, 2280x1080) compared to the bogger model’s display (498ppi, 3040x1440).
The higher-end model also pushes the power available beneath the hood, deploying 12GB of Ram, compared to 8GB for the Note 10. Both have Samsung’s new 7nm Exynos chip.
And there’s a big gap in battery power, with 4,300mAh made available to the Note 10+ compared to 3,500mAh for the Note 10.
There’s a 512GB storage variant available (price unavailable at time of press) for the Note 10+, whereas the Note 10 comes in one variation of 256GB.
There’s just a slight difference in the cameras between the two models. Both feature a triple lens setup of ultra-wide, wide and telephoto (2x). But the Note 10+ has a fourth depth-sensor camera to allow for portrait photography that delivers a ‘bokeh’ or depth of field effect.
Both have a single centred camera instead of the dual camera featured on Samsung’s current flagship S10 and S10+ phones.
Samsung has also updated its ‘S Pen’ stylus to use air controls. Among other things, this allows for remote control of the phone’s camera from several metres away.
There will also be an interest in the Note 10 models ditching the 3.5mm headphone port. Samsung was the last major smartphone brand to keep the headphone port on a flagship phone. Instead, the new handsets will come with the familiar 3.5mm-to-USB-C dongle.
The ‘Note’ range of smartphones has overcome the difficulties that Samsung faced in 2016 when its Note 7 device had to be recalled after a series of overheating episodes.
The Note 10 is also expected to be the last Samsung flagship device launched before it tries to relaunch its folding smartphone, the Samsung Fold. The 7.3-inch smartphone, which divides into two 4.6-inch displays, suffered technical problems with its hinge and glass, forcing Samsung to suspend its commercial release from its original April date. The Galaxy Fold will cost over €2,000 when launched later this year.
The machine, which comes with extra storage memory and three rear cameras, is designed for people who need to use a mobile screen for more than just messaging and social media.
Meanwhile, pricing for the two Samsung Note 10 phones put them squarely below that of the iPhone Xs and almost certainly below that of the upcoming iPhone 11 models.
Apple is due to launch its updated handsets early next month, with most expecting three new handsets.
The biggest change may be an additional ultra wide angle camera on the back of the flagship model, following the trend among high end handsets for triple-lens devices.
The smartphone market is under sustained competitive pressure, with flat or negative growth compared to five years ago.
The ‘upgrade cycle’ between handsets is stretching to two years and beyond in some markets as consumers spread payments for pricier phones out over longer periods.
The handset market is also grappling with potential upheaval due to trade tensions between the US and China.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments fell 3pc annually to reach 341m units in the second quarter of 2019. Samsung maintained first position with 22pc of global smartphone marketshare. Huawei was next with 1pc while Apple held 11pc in third place.