Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Everything we know

The Galaxy Note 10 might not be equipped with Qualcomm's most powerful processor

note 9 s pen
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Although the Samsung Galaxy S10 range and the Samsung Galaxy Fold have already been revealed this year, Samsung still has a new Note series phone to come, and a picture of what the phone will be like is beginning to form through leaks and rumors. Here’s everything we know about the Galaxy Note 10.

Specs

The Galaxy Note 10 will almost certainly be a powerhouse, as it’s designed for productivity and media. However, rumors say it won’t be supporting Qualcomm’s newest and most powerful processor — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus.

However, it’s unlikely to be a sluggard. We’re expecting to see the same Snapdragon 855 chip as the Galaxy S10 range, probably enhanced by even more advanced cooling systems. It’s safe to say the Note 10 will be a blisteringly fast device with plenty of power.

There are rumors the Note 10 range will see a boost in battery size and charging speed. The cell capacity may increase to 4,500mAh on the so-called Pro edition, while the basic Note 10 will only have a 3,400mAh battery, according to FCC documents Nashville Chatter has claimed to have seen.

Another rumor states the Note 10’s charging speed will be a “significant upgrade.Current rumors from Ice Universe say the Note 10 will support 25W charging, which is much faster than the Galaxy S10’s 18 watts. The Note 10 Pro/Plus will support an even higher charging speed of 45W.

Design and display

The Galaxy Note 10 is beginning to take shape through leaks and rumors. The most recent rumor suggests that Samsung will finally do away with the headphone jack, after years of resisting the trend. According to photos published by the Federal Communications Commission, showing the top and bottom of the phone, the headphone jack won’t appear on the device. It seems as though the FCC shared these photos by mistake, as it has since removed them, but not before outlets like Slashleaks picked them up.

Another recent leak seemingly shows off the design of the device in all its glory, confirming previous looks at the device. The leaked render shows a device with an edge-to-edge display and a hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera. The images were published by WinFuture.

samsung galaxy note 10 news

It seems the front of Samsung’s latest device will be almost all screen, with leaker Ice Universe showing off screen protectors for the Note 10, and stating the device will have an extremely narrow “chin” bezel. This slim bezel will apparently be on a similar level to the iPhone XS — and when paired with the expected hole-punch display and curved edges, that could mean the Note 10 has barely any bezel at all.

Even more interestingly, the screen protector lacks a space for the front-facing speaker earpiece. This could mean Samsung has introduced a sound-on-display (SOD) speaker instead of a more traditional earpiece. This technology uses piezoelectric transducers behind the screen to send audio waves through the display, turning the display into a speaker, and removing the need for an additional earpiece.

The physical buttons may not be on the final version, according to a previous rumor which stated the Note 10 may use capacitive, or pressure-sensitive, buttons with textures to indicate position on the body for power, volume, and Bixby duties. This has been rumored before, and used (with varying levels of success) on phones including the HTC U12 Plus, HTC U11 and the Pixel 2.

Previously, this leak offered a look at the Note 10, complete with a centered selfie camera and a vertically stacked triple-lens camera setup around the back. According to a report from iGeekphone.com, the standard Galaxy Note 10 will feature a massive 6.66-inch display, which would make the phone’s display far larger than the current Galaxy Note 9, and similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro. The report also notes that the phone is currently code-named “Da Vinci.”

Release date and price

When it comes to a release date, the Galaxy series is usually released toward the end of the summer — and we now know when it’ll show up.

Samsung has confirmed in a tweet that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will launch at a Samsung Galaxy Unpacked on August 7. This is the date alleged by a report from CNET, and eventually verified by Samsung to Digital Trends. While the tweet doesn’t explicitly mention the Note 10 will be in attendance, the inclusion of the S Pen and a single camera lens — likely the single front-facing hole-punch selfie camera — make it fairly clear what’s coming.

We expected the Galaxy Note 10 to come at a price of around $1,000, and the most recent leaks haven’t disappointed. According to a report from Russian website Hi-tech, the phone will cost more than a thousand dollars, and will likely start in the region of $1,100 to $1,200. Of course, it’s not clear which version of the phone this will be, and it’s likely this refers to the expected Note 10 Pro — so you can expect a smaller Note 10 to come at a lower price. Still, price rises are never welcome news.

Tesla Special Edition

For a hot moment, it seemed Samsung could be pairing up with a car company to create a special edition of the Note 10 — the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Tesla Edition. Unfortunately, it was just concept render created by YouTuber Arun Maini.

samsung galaxy note 10 tesla edition model leaks 76a79d73gy1g3zodj95m4j20k80bdgmc
Credit: Weibo

The fictitious rumor came from Chinese social media site Weibo, and it’s a credit to Maini that the render is as convincing as it is. The phone shown is largely in line with general expectations for the Note 10’s design, including the vertically stacked triple-lens camera array on the rear of the phone. The combination of red and brushed metal is also quite attractive, so it’s a shame we won’t be seeing this model when the Note 10 is revealed on August 7.

Camera

What will Samsung do with the Galaxy Note 10’s camera? Samsung’s flagship phones have had a main lens with a “variable aperture” — meaning they can switch between two apertures — since the Galaxy S9, but the Note 10 could be taking that feature even further. According to leaker Ice Universe, the Galaxy Note 10 will be the first phone to come with a triple-state variable aperture.

Being able to intelligently swap between these three apertures will mean the Note 10 will be able to choose the aperture that’s best for the available light, shrinking down to f/2.4 in bright light, or opening wide to f/1.5 in low lighting. The f/1.8 aperture would work as a strong middle-ground option. Of course, this is just a rumor for the moment, but it’s worth keeping in mind, as Samsung is always looking to improve its camera systems.

But how many camera lenses will it have? The recently released Galaxy S10 and S10 came with three rear-facing lenses, but the Galaxy Note 10 may be set to follow in the footsteps of the 5G S10 though, as whispers say it will pack four lenses on the back of the phone.

For the selfie camera, Samsung may turn to a patent discovered by Android Police for the Note 10, where the camera is inside the S Pen stylus. This would enable a true all-screen experience, without the need for a pop-up camera.

That’s not all. The long shape of the S Pen may also make it the perfect place to hide an optical zoom lens. Being able to squeeze an optical zoom into the S Pen would be a real win for Samsung, but we imagine it wouldn’t be a simple goal to accomplish.

Two Galaxy Note 10 models?

According to recent rumors, Samsung might do something it’s never done before for the Note series: Release two different-sized Galaxy Note 10 models.

Leaks are casually dropping the nameNote 10 Pro,” fueling speculation that we’ll see two Note models for the first time ever. According to South Korean site The Bell, Samsung is considering launching a standard Galaxy Note 10, and a smaller Note 10 that will get a limited launch. The site notes that the smaller device will only be available in some select European markets, but it still highlights that Samsung could expand the Note lineup further in the future. Which of these is meant to be the “Pro” version is currently unknown, but it being the larger model would make sense.

Will it have 5G connectivity?

Be prepared to ask this question of every phone released this year — but there’s a very real possibility the Note 10 might release with 5G connectivity built in, much like the Galaxy S10 5G model.

Credit: XDA Developers

We’re still a while away from launch, so there’s no solid information yet. However, rumors about 5G are persisting. The latest news concerns the kernel source code for the Exynos chipset released by Samsung alongside the Galaxy S10 range.  The code makes mention of a “davinci5g” — and since the current assumed code name of the Note 10 is “Da Vinci,” this seems to point to a 5G model of the Note 10, or even that the standard Note 10 will support 5G connectivity.

Previous to this, a leak from Sammobile gives the Note 10’s model number as “SM-N975F.” While this may not seem strange, it’s more usual for the Note range’s model to end with a “0,” not a “5.” Could this errant 5 indicate 5G connectivity? It’s certainly worth keeping in mind.

We’ll update this article as we hear more about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

Updated on July 17, 2019: The Galaxy Note 10 might not use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus.

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