The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is due for launch in summer 2019. The Galaxy Note 9 Samsung unveiled in August 2018 was certainly a head-turner, so how will Samsung make what's essentially the best Android phone on the market even better? We've already heard plenty of rumours in that direction, both about the Galaxy Note 10 and about the Galaxy S10 which will arrive first. Here's what we know so far.
- Apple iPhone XS Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9: clash of the smartphone titans
- These are the best smartphones that you can buy right now
Samsung Galaxy Note 10: release date and price
We haven't managed to sneak into any Samsung boardroom meetings lately, but nevertheless it seems a safe bet that the Galaxy Note 10 will break cover in August 2019, a year after the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 9.
Remember we've got the Galaxy S10 phones to come first, which we now know are going to break cover on 20 February. We should see more of the handsets and maybe a sneak preview of the Note 10 at Mobile World Congress (25-28 February), the event where the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were launched last year.
August would then be six months later, giving each flagship phone half a year to make an impact before the next one arrives. That's the template Samsung stuck to last year and we're not expecting any significant changes.
As for the price of the Galaxy Note 10, you might want to get saving: the Galaxy Note 9 went on sale for £899 / $1,000 for the lowest configuration, and we see no reason for that to drop next year (with phones like the iPhone XS Max pushing prices even higher). This is going to be one premium-level phone, so expect a premium-level price, not least because 5G tech is expected to be included.
Samsung Note 10: 5G
If current leaks are an indication, not only will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 come equipped to be used with 5G networks but it might be Samsung's first flagship 5G phone.
That's because the latest rumours say that there won't be a 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 announced at launch after all, and that Samsung's new 5G processor, the Exynos 9825, could be ready in the second half of this year, which means it could be ready in time for the Samsung Note 10 release date. Read more in our explainer Samsung Note 10 not Galaxy S10 will be Samsung's first 5G phone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10: design
By now we know Samsung's approach to the design of the Galaxy Note series: large handsets, with minimal bezels and curved screens. That means we could be looking at something like the concept phone in this video put together by mobile tech industry designer TechConfigurations, based on the speculation we've seen so far.
If this video is on the mark we're going to be getting a 6.5-inch screen – up from the 6.4 inches of the Note 9, but probably with the same 1440 x 2960 pixel resolution. The bezels have been banished to just about nothing, with a pop-up front-facing camera and an in-screen fingerprint sensor included too.
Other reports in the Asian media suggest Samsung might push the screen size to a pocket-busting 6.66 inches in a bid to stay ahead of the pack. 4K and HDR support should be included too, making this potentially one of the greatest displays ever stuck on front of a smartphone.
The concept video treats us to a look at the Note 10 in copper, light blue and purple, though it's a bit too early to speculate on the sort of hues the giant handset is going to come in. Those three choices plus black were the colours for the Note 9, so we might see a similar sort of range in 2019.
And what about a notch? The rumours suggest the Galaxy S10 phones will feature a pinhole cut out in the corner of the screen, rather than a conventional notch, but so far the indications are that the Galaxy Note 10 will stay completely notch-free. This is one of the design choices that could go either way.
We're thinking that a big display dominating the front of the device and a minimal, glass back around the rear is what we should be expecting from the Galaxy Note 10. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus should give us some more clues when they show up in the first half of the year, so we'll have a better idea in a few months.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10: specs and features
The codename "da Vinci" is being used for the Galaxy Note 10 inside Samsung, according to recent leaks, which makes us think some kind of reinvention could be on the cards. It might point to a total redesign (da Vinci was famous for his designs), or it might be suggesting that the phone will be better for creatives – the S-Pen got extra Bluetooth powers this year, so is Samsung going to give it another significant upgrade in 2019?
Inside, get ready for a major specs bump – the newly announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is likely to be on board both the Note 10 and the Galaxy S10 phones for super-fast processing (with Samsung's own Exynos equivalent used in some regions, including the UK).
It also seems that the Exynos chip could be a newer one than we'll see in the Samsung Galaxy S10, as the Exynos 9825 processor could be ready in time for the Note 10 release date. If this chipset ends up in the Note 10, then that could give the handset a boost in performance and battery life. The Galaxy S10 is tipped to be powered by the Exynos 9820.
Based on the specs of the Note 9, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage might well be the new normal by the time summer rolls around.
There's plenty of unofficial talk that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could come packing a triple-lens rear camera, taking its photo-taking capabilities up another notch. What is official is the new Galaxy A7, with three lenses on the back – if Samsung is bringing the tech to its mid-range phones in 2018, it seems like a sensible bet that it's going to be ready for its flagship phones in 2019.
The camera on the Note 10 could feature seriously impressive zoom functionality, too, now that Samsung has bought Israeli company Corephotonics, which is an expert in the field. That purchase has likely come too late for the tech to debut in the Galaxy S10, so expect it to break cover in the Note 10 instead, giving Samsung another technical achievement that it can talk up in the August launch.
Another piece of important technology that should be ready: 5G capabilities. Again, this is an innovation that's likely to come to the Galaxy S10 phones next year as well as the Galaxy Note 10 – it doesn't really matter that actual 5G networks are still in their infancy, because Samsung still gets the bragging rights and phones that are fully future-proofed.
AT&T has jumped the gun in the US by announcing that it will be bringing 5G support to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, so we know that the tech is going to be embedded in the phone – that's one Galaxy Note 10 rumour we can confirm already.
We have heard one disappointing rumour though: that the Galaxy Note 10 will be ditching the headphone jack. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus may well be the last phones from Samsung to feature a 3.5mm audio port, which is a shame (get those USB-C dongles at the ready).
Samsung Galaxy Note 10: what we want to see
We're still several months away from an actual Galaxy Note 10 launch, and we'd expect plenty more in the way of leaks and tips to appear before the big day. In the meantime, there's no harm in us listing what we hope the new phone brings.
Features we'd like to see, and which Samsung may decide to add, include a bigger battery, maybe as high as 6,000mAh. Remember these big Note screens need a lot of power to keep them running brightly, and even taking the lower power draw of next year's chipsets into consideration, some extra milliamp hours wouldn't go amiss.
In fact it sounds like the removal of the headphone jack might allow Samsung to stuff a bigger battery into the Note 10. Let's hope there is some consolation for losing the trusty 3.5mm audio port.
It seems unlikely that we'll get any kind of transparent or foldable screen technology on this particular handset, but we can dream. We know that Samsung is working on tech that makes a phone at least semi-transparent, but this kind of cutting-edge innovation may not make it to the Note series this time around.
And what about a super-strong, self-healing screen? We know that Note phones have always been pioneers in terms of their display tech (remember the Note series first introduced the curved screen edges), so the Galaxy Note 10 might well follow that tradition.
Samsung already has a patent for the technology, so again it's just a question of whether it'll be ready for 2019. At this stage it seems unlikely, but it is a safe bet that the Galaxy Note 10 will be the most advanced handset Samsung has ever put out.
Lead image: TechConfigurations