Galaxy Note 10 vs. S10: Honestly, we don’t think the S-Pen is worth it

Though each the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 launched final 12 months, Samsung’s 2019 flagship phones and ultraluxe telephones are nonetheless unbelievable gadgets. Both provide high-end specs that embody good AMOLED shows, highly effective cameras and ultrafast processors. In addition, now that the 2020 Galaxy S20 is out, Samsung has discounted the Galaxy S10 considerably from $900, £799 and AU$1,349 to $750, £669 and AU$1,149.

If you are deciding between the 2 telephones, we advocate the Galaxy S10. You’ll get related specs and efficiency to the Note 10 (give or take a couple of issues that we’ll go intimately about later), however at a decrease value. 

For extra about each telephones, learn CNET’s walk-through that compares these on the premise of design, digicam, efficiency and storage. And for an additional comparability, learn CNET’s Note 10 Plus vs. Note 9: Which Galaxy Note is the better buy?

Angela Lang/CNET

With its massive show, cheaper price ticket and comparable {hardware} specs to the Note 10, the Galaxy S10 is the higher worth. Currently priced at $750, £669 and AU$1,149 from Samsung, the phone’s show is a tad smaller than the Note 10’s by simply 0.2 inch, however it has the identical processor and almost the identical triple rear-camera setup. It additionally has a sharper show, a headphone jack and expandable reminiscence. What you will not have, after all, is the embedded S-Pen. But when you’re not an influence person and will not have a lot use for it anyway, go for the S10 and pocket the additional money.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S10 review.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Is the Note 10’s built-in stylus definitely worth the $200 you would be saving when you went with the Galaxy S10? To most customers who can swipe and faucet simply positive with out it, we would say no. And since most of what is below the Note 10’s hood is so just like the Galaxy S10, we would advocate going for that as a substitute. However, when you actually suppose you’d get a whole lot of use out of the S-Pen (which may do different issues than draw, like remotely take pictures and management apps), you will not be disenchanted within the $949, £869, AU$1,499 Note 10, as that is nonetheless a wonderful, albeit costly, phone.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review.


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S-Pen: The Note 10’s final profit

You cannot examine the Note 10 and the Galaxy S10 with out first addressing the previous’s one massive benefit: the S-Pen good pen stylus. Stored contained in the Note 10, the S-Pen provides additional performance to productiveness apps and options which might be baked into the phone. In addition to rapidly jotting down notes and doodles, you need to use the S-Pen as a distant, firing off the digicam’s shutter or controlling music on Spotify from a distance.

The S-Pen is actually the most important draw of the Note 10 and you must in the end determine if this is a vital sufficient instrument so that you can pay extra money for it. If you see your self utilizing the stylus usually and have the funds for the Note 10, go for it. On the opposite hand, if it is not a essential function, save your cash now and take a look at the Galaxy S10. If you are still on the fence between the 2, then learn on.

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The Note 10 is all in regards to the S-Pen


Angela Lang/CNET

Design: Galaxy S10 has a sharper display screen and headphone jack

When Samsung’s first Note phone launched, its display screen was notably a lot larger than these of the telephones that had been out throughout the time. These days, nonetheless, many telephones have generously sized screens, together with the Galaxy S10. With its 6.1-inch show and the Note 10’s 6.Three inches, you will get a big-screen expertise with both phone.

But the telephones’ shows differ in one other means. The Galaxy S10 has a sharper 1,440p decision and the next pixel density than the Note 10 (550ppi in contrast with 401ppi). Side by aspect, your eyes may not discover a distinction between 1,440p and 1,080p. But when you watch a whole lot of video or play graphics-intensive video games in your phone, the Galaxy S10’s display screen affords crisper particulars, no less than on paper.

Because the Note 10 homes its stylus pen inside, the phone is barely heavier and thicker. The phone additionally does not have a headphone jack, in contrast to the Galaxy S10. That means you will have to make use of a dongle, wi-fi headphones or USB type-C headphones to take heed to music and calls. 

Lastly, each telephones have black and white variants, however the Galaxy S10 is available in 4 extra colours as properly: inexperienced, blue, silver and crimson. The Note 10 has one additional “fun” colour, identified particularly as Aura Glow. With its iridescent shine and hanging colour gradient, although, this third colour variant is actually, actually enjoyable.

Camera: Galaxy S10 and Note 10 are almost similar

For essentially the most half, each telephones have the identical triple rear-camera setup and video options: a 12-megapixel wide-angle digicam, a 16-megapixel ultrawide-angle shooter and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Both have a 10-megapixel front-facing digicam too.

But Samsung did tweak the digicam {hardware} barely between the 2 telephones. For the selfie and telephoto cameras, the Galaxy S10 has a set aperture lens at f/1.9 and f.2.Four respectively. The Note 10 makes use of a barely narrower f/2.1 aperture on the selfie digicam and f/2.2 on the telephoto by comparability. Generally, the bigger the aperture (or the smaller the f-stop quantity), the extra gentle the digicam can seize. This might help seize sharper low-light pictures that do not endure from digicam shake. However, regardless of the slight variations in {hardware}, in most situations, you should not discover a lot distinction in picture high quality between both of those telephones. (Note that on each telephones, the principle wide-angle digicam has a variable aperture that may shift between f/1.5 and f/2.4.)

At launch, the Note 10 did have a couple of additional digicam options that the Galaxy S10 did not have, like making use of bokeh blur on video and Night Mode on the front-facing digicam. However, a lot of these options have been ported over to the Galaxy S10 with an October 2019 update. Both telephones even have newer Galaxy S20 camera updates like Single Take and Night Hyperlapse.

For extra on picture high quality, try pictures taken with the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 right here
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Galaxy S10 and Note 10’s efficiency and battery: About equal

Both telephones have 8GB of RAM and are geared up with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, however relying on what market you are in, some fashions of the Note 10 have a Samsung Exynos 9825 processor. 

We did not run benchmark exams on these two particular telephones, however we did on the Galaxy S10 Plus and Note 10 Plus, which additionally share the identical Snapdragon 855 processor. Both telephones scored related Geekbench Four and 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited check outcomes. However, the Galaxy S10 Plus did have a decrease rating on 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited check (57,320) than the Note 10 Plus (79,190). In any case, each the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 have lightning-quick processors and there ought to be little distinction in efficiency and velocity on the subject of day-to-day duties.

Given its barely bigger display screen, it is sensible that the Note 10 has a barely bigger battery. But the Note 10’s 3,500-mAh battery really clocked in the identical 18-hour runtime because the Galaxy S10’s 3,400-mAh battery for steady video playback in Airplane mode. 

The S10 has a headphone jack whereas the Note 10 doesn’t.


Angela Lang/CNET

Storage: Note 10 does not have expandable reminiscence

One essential factor to notice is that in contrast to the Galaxy S10, the Note 10 doesn’t have expandable reminiscence. This should not be an enormous deal on condition that the phone comes with 256GB of onboard storage, however for individuals who shoot a whole lot of pictures or 4K video, that is one thing to contemplate.

Meanwhile, you need to use a microSD card with the Galaxy S10. However, it has two storage tiers that, funnily sufficient, sit under and above the Note 10’s: 128GB and 512GB. Only you’ll be able to determine how a lot storage is sufficient, however choosing the 128GB mannequin of the Galaxy S10 and investing in a microSD card later (a 128GB card runs for about $30) is the most cost effective technique to go.

Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy S10 Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Display dimension, decision 6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 pixels 6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 550ppi 401ppi
Dimensions (inches) 5.9×2.77×0.31 in 5.94×2.83×0.31 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 149.9×70.4×7.eight mm 151×71.8×7.9 mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 5.53 oz; 157g 5.93 oz; 168g
Mobile software program Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
Camera 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing digicam 10-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor or Samsung Exynos 9825
Storage 128GB, 512GB 256GB
RAM 8GB 8GB
Expandable storage Up to 512GB No
Battery 3,400 mAh 3,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen
Connector USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Yes No
Special options Wireless PowerShare; hole-punch display screen notch; water resistant (IP68) S-Pen stylus; Wireless PowerShare; hole-punch display screen notch; water resistant (IP68)

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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