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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10: which one should you buy?

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For the first time, Samsung has launched two versions for its famous Note phablet line, including a more compact model. If the idea is pleasant (and successful), the Galaxy Note 10 also competes directly with one of the brand's other flagships, the Galaxy S10, so which one is for you? Is one better than the other? Everything is explained in this article.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs Galaxy S10: Six of one, half a dozen of the other

Identical size and handling

Due to the few months between their announcements (February for the S10, August for Note 10), the two smartphones have more in common than differences. First of all, the size is relatively similar. In terms of numbers, the S10 has a 6.1-inch screen, the Note 10 a 6.3-inch screen. The S10 (149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm) is slightly more compact than the Note 10 (151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm) but the grip is equivalent. In other words, these smartphones are aimed at the same audience: those who want a compact (ish) smartphone.

samsung galaxy note 10 hands on test 01
The Galaxy Note 10 is basically the same size as the S10 / © NextPit


Same camera

In addition to this similarity in size, both cameras have the same configuration with a 10-megapixel front sensor and three rear sensors (12 MP + 12 MP + 16 MP). No difference is noticeable between the two models when you take pictures. Both smartphones enjoy a night mode and overall offer a very good photo experience, but are not able to compete with the new iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3 or Huawei P30 Pro.

Equivalent battery life

In terms of battery life, it is also very close (and also a little disappointing). The Note 10 and its 3,500 mAh battery offers the same result as the Galaxy S10 with its 3,400 mAh battery. This is not illogical in itself because Note 10 has a slightly larger screen and the S-Pen to recharge. Finally, there is Android Pie, with the OneUI user interface on both devices and both devices will receive Android 10 in the coming months.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy s10 camera module g3qt
There are three camera sensors on the Galaxy S10 as well / © NextPit

So, what are the differences?

The display

As usual, Samsung uses an AMOLED display for smartphones. However, the hole punch is not located in the same place. While the Galaxy S10 offers it at the top left, the Note 10 offers it in the middle. In terms of definition, the Galaxy S10 also stands out with a higher resolution: 1440 x 3040 pixels against 1080 x 2280 pixels for the Galaxy Note 10. That being said, in practice, the difference is barely noticeable, unless you are doing virtual reality with your device. In both cases, the refresh rate is limited to 60 Hz.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy s10 front g3qt
The hole punch is at the top left on the S10 / © NextPit


There's an Exynos 9825 (engraved in 7 nm) in the Galaxy Note 10, and an Exynos 9820 (engraved in 8 nm) in the Galaxy S10 and 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM in both. The two processors are extremely close in terms of power, but the Note 10 has a slight advantage over its brother. The stylus smartphone also offers more memory with 256 GB of internal storage, compared to 128 for the Galaxy S10. The latter is also made up for by the fact that it is possible to expand the memory with a microSD card, something that the Note 10 can no longer do.

S-Pen functionality

But it is above all the famous Samsung stylus, the S-Pen, that makes the real difference between the two models. This feature specific to the Note range offers more features to users. It is possible to take notes with the S-Pen, as well as use it to capture photos or perform actions on the smartphone via special gestures. Samsung has also improved the accuracy of the stylus this year.

androidpit samsung galaxy note 10 side pen
The presence of the S-Pen is the biggest difference between the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 / © NextPit

In short, this small accessory can be very practical and is missing on the Galaxy S10. However, it remains to be seen whether you need it. I know a lot of Galaxy Note owners who spend the first month using it and then never touch it again.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Samsung Galaxy S10

Small differences that are expensive

It is well known that with Samsung, smartphone prices drop quickly after their initial release. However, the Galaxy Note 10 has just been launched, and due to its recent release, its price has not yet depreciated. It is, therefore, necessary to pay $949 to get the last flagship of the brand. On the contrary, the Galaxy S10 rate has dropped significantly since its launch last March. It is possible to find the brand's star smartphone for more like $650. A difference of $300 between the two models is significant, and it is up to you to decide whether the small differences between the two models justify paying this difference. Three-hundred dollars is a lot for the S-Pen.


So in the end, which one should you buy? Two criteria must determine your choice: your budget and your usefulness of the S-Pen. In my opinion, if budget is not an issue for you, you can opt for the Galaxy Note 10. The smartphone offers a little more power than the Galaxy S10 and has the S-Pen in particular. However, if the latter is not important to you, you can go for the Galaxy S10 and spend $300 less.


The best smartphones under $1,000 

  Editor's recommendation The best iPhone The best camera phone Value for money The best foldable The most affordable
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Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined to be the head of content.

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  • TriciaRay 5
    TriciaRay Jun 18, 2020 Link to comment

    I use S8 until now :)

  • GT Ohh 14
    GT Ohh Oct 11, 2019 Link to comment

    I’m rockin the S10 and I love it. Only problem is the factory installed screen protector is too fragile, I am super careful with all my devices yet this film is so full of hairline scratches its not funny......

  • 4
    Gary Conrad Sep 27, 2019 Link to comment

    OnePlus 7T.

  • 2
    Emam Sep 26, 2019 Link to comment

    Some points would like mention, s10 slight edge on audio quality and network reception. Make sense for me because s10 is made for regular users and note series targeted more to office purposes. Lighter note, you mentioned s10 whole punch is too left, it is too right🙂.

  • David Martrano 29
    David Martrano Sep 25, 2019 Link to comment

    I use the s10+ and it's simply a pleasure to use. Plus it can be had cheaper. Outside of the s-pen there isn't much difference. On both the displays, cameras & battery are very good!

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