Note 10 Plus Brief Review - Overall, it's a great phone!
If you can put the Note 10 plus' price tag aside for a moment, I am very happy with the phones overall build quality, aesthetics, performance and functionality. This is my 3rd Galaxy note and in my opinion, the best one so far. Everyone that has seen the phone comments on how good it looks and feels to hold.
Performance wise, I'm not sure what else you could ask for in a phone, its fast, got loads of system memory (12G), lots of storage (256G + space for 256G SD card), it has no visible lag when using it, the battery performance is certainly improved & it charges faster (compared to my note 8). It has a stunning display and provides a brilliant Audio Visual experience (remember this is a phone not a Hi-Fi system). The camera's are not the best of breed, but they are very very good and provide you plenty of creative flexibility. Night mode may not be as good as some other Flagship phones, but I feel that Samsung could fix this via software upgrades. The Fingerprint scanner takes some getting used to, but is fast once you learn to place your finger in the right location and writing with the S pen is a pleasure.
There are a few Minor Issues though.
Screen Protectors - As was the case with my note 8, installing / keeping tempered glass screen protectors on the curved screen continues to be a pain, so I imagine you will have the same issues as previous models when it comes to the screen protectors lifting and making typing difficult in the longer term. I don't understand why Samsung didn't put factory installed screen protectors on the phone like the did the s10's?
3/4G Reception - I have noticed that 3G/4G reception doesn't appear to be quite as good as it was on my Note 8. At times I have experienced connectivity issues (with seemingly good signal strength and a colleague standing next to me with a different phone using the same Telco having no such issues). I found that I was forced to turn on / turn off flight mode to re-establish connectivity. I am hoping that this can be resolved with software updates.
Bloatware - Unfortunately like many phones it come preloaded with many apps that in my opinion serve no purpose, can't be uninstalled and just take up space / use the phones resources.
Keeping the phone on the latest version of Android - I hope that Samsung provide major Android OS updates (i,e, V9.X to V10.X) for longer than 2 years as this is an expensive flagship phone. I also hope Samsung and improve the speed / frequency at which critical security updates are issued.
If you are looking for a phone with a large stunning display, loads of on-board storage that can be expanded, a fast processor coupled with lots of system RAM, good battery life and fast charging capability, then I'd thoroughly recommend this phone (if it's within in your price range).
If however you are looking for a budget phone or a phone that you can use with one hand, then this probably isn't the phone for you.
Purchased in August 2019 at Amazon for $1,599.00.
Disappointing Flagship Phone
Here's a list of all the issues:
* Ultrasonic fingerprint reader slower and more cumbersome than the OnePlus 6T.
* Battery consumption I need to charge twice a day using it the same as using my OnePlus 6T.
* Screen resolution reduced and still need to charge twice a day.
* Chrome on this device dark theme settings invert Web colours making it a terrible browsing experience.
* screenshot and scroll not working.
* Half the RAM is used on system apps. I've noticed no increased speeds compared to OnePlus 6T.
* Dolby Atmos sound is terrible and has to be switched off.
* Bixby home examples given to test Bixby don't work.
* OneDrive access via My Files is slow to load and much slower than OnePlus 6T.
* Microsoft PC phone link reduces battery and has to be switched off.
* Game Booster gives no additional power benefits
* New Samsung UI has no major improvement over previous versions. Horizontal scroll. No full screen folders. No customising of icons other than Galaxy theme icons. No changing of home screen and folder grids.
* Samsung Pay does not work and Google Pay does.
* Couldn't connect to 4G when standing next to someone who's using the same network on an older phone. Wouldn't connect to 3G and couldn't load web page.
* Samsung LED Back Cover mandatory software installation. Can't uninstall. I get a notification everyday saying notifications are turned off for the cover. Not using cover because can't use dark theme for UI at the same time. Can't use the wallpaper that comes with the cover. Must use all software or deal with the notifications all the time. That cost $69.
* Can't turn off or disable unnecessary bloatware.
* I've had to switch off most of the premium features because of battery drain.
* Samsung GalaxyPlay Link still not released in time for the phone release as it's meant for this phone.
* Promoted as a cryptocurrency phone but cannot find any functionality for it.
* Samsung Dex useless. Display is blurry on my PC and I'm using a Lenovo Yoga high end model i7 9th Gen with 4K monitor.
The biggest deal breaker for me is I bought this on release date of 23 August, 2019 (18 days ago today) for $1699, and today I found a discounted student price direct from Samsung Australia Education store for the exact same model for $1189. And yes, I qualify for student prices. That's a $510 discount in 18 days of release date.
All features I bought this phone for are a complete disappointment. I do not recommend this phone. And I highly recommend OnePlus instead.
And in case you think I'm biased, look at the other reviews I've done on Samsung products and you'll quickly realise how much I "was" a loyal fan and supporter of their products. Not any more. This only emphasises my appreciation of OnePlus mobile phones, which will definitely be my next phone again.
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- MPN: SM-N975FZKDXSA and SM-N975FZSDXSA
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