Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Samsung’s two plus-sized flagships square off head-to-head

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
(Image credit: Samsung)

Sometimes it’s hard to pick a champion. That’s particularly true at the top end of Samsung’s smartphone range, where the incredibly powerful Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has just been joined by the incredibly powerful Samsung Galaxy Note 10

S-Pen aside there are some key differences between the two devices, and that means one of these big-screened beauties may be a much better fit for you than the other. Let’s discover the details.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Future)

The new Galaxy Note 10 has a 6.3-inch dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display with a “hole punch” cut-out for the front camera. It delivers 2,280 x 1,080 at 401ppi and is HDR10+ certified. 

The Galaxy S10 Plus has a marginally bigger display – 6.4 inches – and a lot more pixels, as it has a resolution of 3,040 x 1,440. It too has a hole-punch display but the hole is in the right hand corner, not in the centre as it is on the new Note, and the hole is shorter but wider to make room for the S10’s twin lenses. 

The camera layout is different on the back too. On the Galaxy S10 Plus the lenses are arranged in a horizontal strip near the top of the device. On the Note 10 they’re arranged vertically along the left hand side.

The Note 10 is 151mm high, 71.8mm wide and 7.9mm thick, weighing 168g. The Galaxy S10 Plus is very slightly bigger and heavier but there isn’t much in it: it is 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 and weighs 175g.

As ever, the Note includes Samsung’s excellent S-Pen, which is tucked away inside the case when you don’t need it.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: Processor and storage

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Future)

Both devices have octa-core processors but the manufacturer will differ depending on your location: US, Chinese, Japanese and Latin American customers get Qualcomm Snapdragons with Adreno graphics while the rest of the world gets Samsung’s own Exynos system-on-a-chip.

The Galaxy S10 Plus comes with either the Snapdragon 855 or the Exynos 9820, while the Note 10 ships with either the Snapdragon 855+ or the Exynos 9825. 

Both phones come with 8GB of RAM (12GB in the 1TB Galaxy S10 Plus). The Note 10 has 256GB of internal storage and no microSD slot. The S10 Plus is available with 128GB, 512GB or 1TB of internal storage and supports an additional 512GB via microSD.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: Camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Future)

Where the previous Note had a dual-lens camera, the Note 10 adds a third. The main assembly now has a 16MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2, a 12MP wide-angle camera with f/1.5 to f/2.4 and a 12MP telephoto lens with f/2.1. The front camera is 10MP with f/2.2, and it’s a single-lens affair rather than the dual-lens assembly of the previous Note.

The Note 10+ adds yet another rear camera to deliver a quad-camera assembly: the fourth camera is a DepthVision camera with f/1.4 and VGA resolution. The other camera specifications remain the same.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: Battery

Where the Galaxy S10 Plus ships with a 4,100mAh battery the Note 10 gets a comparatively titchy 3,500mAh. The bigger battery has to drive the S10 Plus’s extra pixels so the difference in everyday terms probably won’t be dramatic, but we’d still expect the S10 to last a little longer than the Note 10.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: price and availability

On release, the price for the Galaxy S10 Plus was $999 / £899 / AU$1,499 for the 128GB version; $1,249 / £1,099 / AU$1,849 for 512GB and $1,599 / £1,399 / AU$2,399 for the 1TB edition with 12GB of RAM.

The LTE version of the Galaxy Note 10 costs $949 and the 5G version costs $1,049. The Note 10+ on the other hand costs $1,099 for the LTE version, and $1,299 for the 5G variant. All models go on sale on August 23, 2019.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10 Plus: verdict

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

(Image credit: Future)

In some respects comparing these two devices is a little unfair: the S10 Plus is the pinnacle of the S10 range, but the standard Note 10 is the second-top and lacks some of the specifications of its larger Note 10+ sibling. That said, the two devices start at the same price and are similarly sized, so they’re the configurations most of us will want to compare when we’re considering which one to buy.

Although the Note 10 has a very slightly faster processor and the obligatory S Pen, we think this one’s a narrow win for the S10 Plus. It has a higher resolution display, a bigger battery and a microSD slot for affordable expansion. The Note 10 is good, but the S10 Plus is better.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (