- 1. Introduction & Specs
- 2. Design & Build
- 3. Display & Audio
- 4. Software
- 5. Camera & SPen
- 6. Performance, Battery Life, Miscellaneous
- 7. Conclusion & Pricing
That provides me with a nice segue into the software. Since receiving the phone, I’ve had two software updates providing the August and September Android security patches respectively. Other things in the changelog include the aforementioned improvement to the fingerprint reader, as well as improvements to the camera, touchscreen and audio quality through wired headphones. Samsung appears to be taking software updates seriously with the Note10+, and this is an extremely welcome move. There are also reports that Samsung is already testing Android 10 on the Note10+, so hopefully that update will come shortly.
This also happens to be my first experience with Samsung’s redesigned OneUI skin, and I am generally a fan. Samsung has taken great strides in cleaning up the UI. Apps can be hidden from the app drawer, you can set a swipe down gesture on the home screen to pull down the notification shade (a must-have for a device this large), and there is an in-built dark theme dubbed “Night mode” which not only changes most of the UI black but also most notifications.
Samsung has done such a good job with the software that my complaints are mostly nit-picking at this point, and hilariously enough most of it has to do with Settings. OneUI’s Settings page looks neat but still managed to confound me, with certain settings buried deep within menus or additional options being hidden away in three dots on the upper-right corner. Samsung seems to be aware of this, and tries to help you out by including a “Looking for something else?” section at the bottom of each page to suggest items that may have been arbitrarily placed in an adjacent settings category. Thankfully, there is a search button, but sometimes this still requires you to have knowledge of what Samsung calls certain things. Searching “button” brings up no options to adjust the settings for the power button because Samsung calls it the “side key”. Even then, settings for the side key are inexplicably under “advanced features”. Many items in the settings menu that appear as toggles also have additional settings, only accessible when you click on the text and not on the toggle, which I did not find very intuitive.
I am fully aware of the ridiculousness of writing an entire paragraph to criticise the Settings menu, but it should be taken as a compliment because OneUI is so clean otherwise that I have nothing else to complain about. Hopefully Samsung will be able to clean this up to make it more user-friendly.