The Samsung Note 10 Is No Longer A ‘Compromise Free’ Phone

The Samsung Note 10 Is No Longer A ‘Compromise Free’ Phone
Image: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 range is now out of the bag and on display for the world to see. This time three models were released but it was the entry-level option that got us thinking: If you’re dropping $1499 on a phone, even if it’s the “basic” model, shouldn’t you be getting a bit more bang for you buck?

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The Galaxy Note range used to be a phone for people who refused to compromise. It cost a little more, sure, but it was also the biggest smartphone with the best display and the most features. You could rest assured that each generation would push the envelope a bit further. With the Note 10, things have changed. By launching more than one model, Samsung has relegated the standard Note 10 to ‘B-tier’ status – it’s no longer Samsung’s best phone because there’s also a Note 10+. Here are some features we feel are sorely lacking.

None of the models have headphone jacks

To start off with, nothing in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 range will feature a headphone jack, despite previous models having them. Samsung is not the first smartphone seller to do this, Apple was the first to controversially ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, but it’s never been a popular decision. While the world has begun to adopt wireless headphones, many of them still come with optional wires for older products or for those who like to switch between the two options.

Thankfully, there are adapters allowing you to plug wired headphones into charging ports to remedy this issue, but you won’t be able to charge and use wired headphones simultaneously. Limiting user experience on an expensive, high-end product won’t stop people from buying the new model but it’s not certainly not a good selling point for some.

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The entry-level won’t have a MicroSD slot

The biggest different between the Note 10 and its bigger (twin?) siblings, the Note 10+ and 5G, is its inability to expand memory. It comes with 256GB like the Note 10+ but it won’t come with a MicroSD slot meaning you’re stuck with the space you have. In terms of phone space, 256GB is a lot, especially since it’s unlikely you’ll be putting music and video content on it like the old days of the smart phone. But once that space is up, you’ll have to migrate files to a cloud service and remove unused apps.

It’s not an end of days feature but it’s not clear whether the decision to leave out the MicroSD slot was a technical decision to allow space for other slots or hardware or a business one to convince users to opt for the 10+. Either way, it’s another decision unlikely to win fans given the ‘entry-level’ is still at a steep $1499 for Australians. To get the option to add in extra space means you’ll need to pay another $200 for Note 10+, which at this price, seems like a no brainer.

Lifehacker Australia reached out to Samsung to explain their reasoning behind the lack of a MicroSD slot.

Other stuff that’s missing

While we feel the headphone jack and missing MicroSD slot are the biggest issues, the standard Note’s missing some other stuff too. While camera specs are the same across all three models, the Note 10+ and 5G both come with a VGA 3D Depth Camera, which lets you scan objects and create a 3D render from it. It’s not an essential feature but another blow to anyone only forking out for the Note 10.

RAM is 8GB on the Note while the Note 10+ and 5G get 12GB with display size another obvious difference between the models as well. The final nail in the coffin is the battery, which in the larger models, is destined to be longer-lasting.

With only a $200 difference between the Note 10 and the Note 10+, it seems the upgrades are actually worthwhile this time around. It’s just a shame that the Galaxy Note series has become the ‘no compromise’ phone for people who pay extra.

Dealhacker: Woolworths Mobile Has Already Knocked $180 Off The Galaxy Note 10

If you're looking to get your hands on Samsung's hotly coveted Note 10 models ASAP following today's announcement, you might want to consider looking outside of the box. Woolworths Mobile's pre-sale offer is looking pretty good, with a cool $180 off the RRP when you sign up to one of their Note 10 or 10+ plans. You'll also score a free pair of AKG wireless headphones valued at $499. Here are the details!

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  • If you can afford to fork out the coin for a Note 10+ then you’ve probably already got a set of amazing bluetooth headphones and decent cloud storage….
    I torrent on my phone and I never completely run out of space thanks to things like Google Photos automatically backing up my photos/videos and clearing local space.

  • I’m not sure the larger battery will give a lot more life since it’s powering a bigger screen and more ram. I’m still waiting on independent battery tests to see whether there’s much difference.

    Not that it’s going to matter anyway since the lack of headphone jack and expandable storage kills the device for me. The Note+ is just too big to use as a day to day phone so it’s not even on the cards. Hell, the base model is almost too big 🙁

    Side note: I’m also disappointed in the pre-order feature – a big set of wireless headphones. They could have included the top-rated fast charger or a Dex station or something else.

    • oh, and I nearly forgot. I’d much prefer a slim “forehead” bezel than have a punch hole for the front facing camera. Just include a slim bezel and put your camera, sensors and speakers there.

      • Yeah i dont get this idea of phone makers wanting to remove bezels entirely.

        I like a bezel, Because it gives the screen some protecting from side shocks to it. Removing the bezel just means your screen is more likely to crack

        Ill take the old style of just having a bar up top over what this and the notch.

        • Yeah I dislike the edge or wraparound style displays for that reason. And the fact you are basically always touching the screen. I live with it on an S8+ but grudgingly.

          I’m really hoping we see a decent phone with a regular “flat” screen, waterproofing, headphone & expandable storage with up to date specs soon.

          I will say, I love the Samsung cameras. I wish Sony (who ironically actually make cameras) could get theirs right. I’d probably jump back to Sony phones if they did.

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