Samsung Galaxy Note10+ Review

Camera & SPen

The camera on the Note10+ is excellent. Images taken have noticeably better dynamic range and detail compared to the mediocre unit on my OnePlus 6T. A dedicated night mode also does wonders for brightening up dark images without blowing out the highlights, while recovering some colour saturation and reducing noise. While it’s no Pixel Night Sight or iPhone 11’s night mode, it still performs decently. I do also wish that night mode was something that automatically kicked in when the phone detects a dark scene like in the new iPhone 11 models instead of a dedicated mode, but this is personal preference.

The versatility in the triple lens setup is to be commended, even as triple camera systems are becoming the norm on smartphones. Notably, Samsung’s processing is consistent enough that the quality of images across the ultrawide, wide and telephoto lenses are largely the same. Night mode also works across the three lenses.

The camera supports so many different capture modes that it can be dizzying (there are a total of 11: Food, Night, Panorama, Pro, Live focus, Photo, Video, Live focus video, Super Slow-mo, Slow motion, Hyperlapse), but Samsung has thankfully provided the ability to disable or rearrange the less frequently used modes. 

Video on the Note10+ is excellent. You can record 4K 60fps with excellent colour and dynamic range, and Samsung has further improved video stabilisation for a super steady shot. There is also a very feature-rich in-built video editor on the phone.

This year, the SPen has been updated to include a gyroscope, and one of the headlining new features of the SPen is the ability to do gestures with it to control certain functionalities within the camera app such as switching between modes or to the front camera. It works, and is welcome functionality, but it seems to be limited to a rather specific and rare use case.

Speaking of the SPen, it’s got all the features of the previous Notes, with some welcome improvements to the Samsung Notes app such as the ability to search specific words in handwritten text. For a more in-depth overview of the SPen’s features, check out my Galaxy Note9 review from last year.

The SPen is the defining feature of the Note, now more so than ever, and while it’s not a must-have for me personally, it is certainly welcome when the need to use it arises, like when cropping or doodling on screenshots. Unfortunately, you really need to have owned a Note to know if the SPen is something that you’d love or barely use; I wouldn’t be able to judge for you. I personally know of Note owners who constantly use the SPen, and if you’re one of those people, you’ll love the refinements that Samsung has made this year.

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