Samsung revealed the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ in August 2019, presenting not one, but two new Note devices.

But how do they compare to their predecessors? Here are the Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ compared to the the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Note 8 to help you decide whether the upgrade is worth it.

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Design

  • Note 10: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm, 168g
  • Note 10+: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9mm, 196g
  • Note 9: 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g
  • Note 8: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm, 195g

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ offer a hefty step forward in terms of design compared to the Note 9 and Note 8. The new devices ditch the bezels with an Infinity-O display like the Galaxy S10, offering a punch hole camera in the centre of the display at the top. The effect is that the new Note devices just appear to have more display and that's a positive.

Both the Note 10 and Note 10+ have a vertically positioned rear camera system in the top left corner, while the Note 9 and Note 8 have a horizontally aligned rear camera in the centre of the back at the top. Neither Note 10 device has a physical fingerprint sensor like the Note 9 and Note 8 either, switching to an ultrasonic under-display sensor instead for a streamlined design on the rear.

All the Note devices have a glass and metal waterproof body and a built-in S Pen. The Note 8 has an S Pen that matches the body colour of the device, while the Note 9 and Note 10 devices change things up a little here, whilst also adding Bluetooth.

In terms of size, the Note 10+ is the device closest in size to the previous Note handsets. The Note 10 meanwhile, offers the S Pen functionality in a smaller footprint closer to that of the Galaxy S10 - so it's the most different of all the devices.

Display

  • Note 10: 6.3-inches, Full HD+
  • Note 10+: 6.8-inches, Quad HD+
  • Note 9: 6.4-inches, Quad HD+
  • Note 8: 6.3-inches, Quad HD+

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 devices come in two display sizes: 6.3-inches and 6.8-inches, while the Note 9 has a 6.4-inch screen and the Note 8 has a 6.3-inch screen. The Note 10+ has a 0.4-inch larger screen within a very similar footprint to the Note 9 thanks to the lack of bezels - less forehead and chin.

All the Note devices use a Super AMOLED display but the resolutions vary. The Note 10 has the lowest resolution at 2280 x 1080 for a pixel density of 401ppi. The Note 10+ increases this to 3040 x 1440 for a pixel density of 498ppi.

Both the Galaxy Note 9 and the Note 8 have a 2960 x 1440 resolution, putting in the same ballpark as the Note 10+. All offer Mobile HDR support but the Galaxy Note 10 devices have a slightly taller aspect ratio because of the change in design.

Cameras

  • Note 10: Triple rear (wide 16MP + main 12MP dual aperture + zoom 12MP)
  • Note 10+: Quad rear (wide 16MP + main 12MP dual aperture + zoom 12MP + 3D Depth Sensor)
  • Note 9: Dual rear camera (main 12MP dual aperture + zoom 12MP)
  • Note 8: Dual rear camera (main 12MP + zoom 12MP)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 features a triple system comprising a main 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with an dual aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with an aperture of f/2.2, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with an aperture of f/2.1.

The Note 10+ offers the same, but it adds a fourth lens - a VGA DepthVision camera with an aperture of f/1.4 - to gather more depth information.

The Note 9 and Note 8 both have a dual rear camera comprised of a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. The Note 8 added the dual camera system with a zoom lens but the Note 9 evolved it, adding the dual aperture system. 

Both Note 10 models also come with a single 10-megapixel punch hole front camera, while the Note 9 and Note 8 have an 8-megapixel front camera set in the bezel.

There's been a big change in the cameras since the Note 8, but the addition of the ultra-wide angle on the Note 10 is the biggest single hardware change that matters. All these phones have great cameras, in reality.

S Pen

  • Note 10/Note 10+: Bluetooth-enabled S Pen with Air Gestures
  • Note 9: Bluetooth-enabled S Pen
  • Note 8: Standard S Pen

It's the S Pen that sets the Note apart from the Galaxy S range. The Note 10 has the most advanced S Pen offering Bluetooth connectivity to the phone and a six-axis motion controller - so you can not only use the button on the S Pen for remote control of your phone, you can use Air Gestures too. That will let you swipe through camera modes or spiral to zoom for example. 

The Note 9 offers Bluetooth so it will give remote button control, like turning pages in a presentation or taking pictures - but it's not as advanced as the Note 10.

The Note 8 sticks to contact functions, like writing and drawing, selections and features that use close proximity to the display to work. The Note 9 and 10 do everything that the Note 8 does - but whether you want those things is a different matter.

Hardware

  • Note 10/10+: Qualcomm SD855/Exynos 9825
  • Note 9: Qualcomm SD845/Exynos 9810
  • Note 8: Qualcomm SD835/Exynos 8895

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 devices run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset or the Exynos 9825, region dependant. The Note 10 has 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and it offers no microSD support for storage expansion. The Note 10+ meanwhile, has 12GB of RAM and it comes in 256GB of 512GB storage options, both of which have microSD support.

The Galaxy Note 9 comes in different variants depending on region. In the US, the Note 9 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, while in the UK it runs on the Exynos 9810. There is a choice of 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage or 8GB of RAM with 512GB storage and both have microSD support.

The Galaxy Note 8 also comes in different variants depending on the country. Those in the US will see the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, while UK users will see the Exynos 8895. There's a choice of two models, one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage and one with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. Both have microSD support though.

In the real world you'll notice a pretty big difference in speed between the Note 8 and the Note 10, but we're talking incremental steps. The Note 8 still runs very nicely, despite being a couple of years old.

Battery

  • Note 10: 3500mAh
  • Note 10+: 4300mAh
  • Note 9: 4000mAh
  • Note 8: 3300mAh

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 has a 3500mAh battery; the Note 10+ is 4300mAh. Bigger is better when it comes to batteries and we suspect the Note 10+ will be the longest lasting of the lot.

In reality, the Note 9 battery can last you through a weekend in light use, but the Note 8 can't - and that's where this older device really shows its limitation compared to the newer phones.

All offer wireless charging, but the Note 10 devices both offer reverse wireless charging, for what it's worth. The Note 10 also supports faster wired charging rates than the older devices. 

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 starts at £899/$949.99 and Note 10+ starts at £999/$1049.99. Both are now available.

The Galaxy Note 9 originally started at £799 when it first launched, though it's now available for around £650. The Note 8 originally started at £869 when it first arrived but you can now pick one of those up for around £400 - which is pretty good for a phone that's now running Android 9 and One UI - although further software support is perhaps doubtful.

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ offer big screen changes compared to the Note 9 and Note 8. They feature hardware improvements, camera improvements and extra features like reverse wireless charging, more advanced S Pen functionality and future-proofing features like 5G capable models.

The Note 9 and Note 8 look dated compared to the new devices, but they are also much cheaper than the Note 10 and Note 10+. If you're looking to upgrade from the Note 8, you'll see some big differences in the Note 10 devices, but it's rather more incremental over the Note 9.

For those looking to invest in the Note series, the Note 10+ offers all the bells and whistles, but the Note 9 is better value and still a powerful device if you aren't too bothered about the latest design and features. One thing the new Note does now offer is a smaller screen experience in the Note 10.