The Galaxy Note10 is fast approaching, and we've got a roundup and breakdown of various rumors about important, core aspects of the phone's upcoming launch and features. Check out our Q&A style guide below to learn all the latest about Samsung's new Note in an easy-to-read, digestible format.
A: August 7th
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note9 on August 9th in 2018, and it is rumored by CNET that the next Note will launch on August 7th this year. Given CNET is a large, reliable publication with a good track record on rumors, you can probably make August 7th the date you mark in your calendar. While phone launches can always be postponed, they're generally planned very well in advance and require significant venue, service, and travel arrangements to be coordinated, meaning once a date is picked, it's not trivial to change it. As it's just two days before the same time the Note9 launched last year, history is also on the side of this rumor. This seems pretty certain.
The August 7th launch date has been confirmed by none other than Samsung itself. The company sent out invitations to an Unpacked event, and the teaser image includes a stylus tip and an O-style camera hole cutout, all but saying in name that the Note10 will be the star of the show.
The Infinity O cutout display on the Note10 appears to have just one camera, as opposed to the dual camera setup on the Galaxy S10+ and and S10 5G. Given the secondary camera on those devices was used primarily for depth-sensing, it's possible Samsung has equipped the Note with a more capable front-facing sensor that doesn't need to be supplemented by additional hardware for bokeh-style self portraits. As to the stylus, the image doesn't tell us much, but it does look like the same basic tip design from last year's Note9.
We'll be at the event in New York next month bringing you coverage of Samsung's latest Note.
Design and appearance
A: Official press renders, shown below, have leaked.
Official press renders of the Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ have leaked and provide us a crystal-clear look at the upcoming phones, without the slightly-unrealistic aesthetic 3D CAD mockups tend to. You can all but rest assured the phones will appear exactly as they do in these images.
The Galaxy Note10+ in a crazy new shade.
The renders confirm that the smaller Note10 will have three rear cameras, while the Note10+ will have four (presumably, one being a depth-sending Time of Flight camera). Both phones will have what looks to be a largely unchanged version of last year's S Pen (and no, it doesn't have a camera).
The "smaller" Galaxy Note10.
The design language is largely reminiscent of the past two Galaxy Notes, the Note9 and Note8. The O-shaped camera cutout is perhaps the biggest overall visual change, along with the vertically stacked camera array, but otherwise: it looks like a Note. As to what that depth-sensing fourth camera on the larger phone will be used for in particular, we aren't yet fully aware - it's possible Samsung will have some interesting demos to show it off at Unpacked on August 7th.
Some photos of the Note10+ also leaked, though the quality of the images leaves something to be desired.
They don't tell us much, but they're shown above. We can confirm the circular, centered front-facing camera cutout (meaning the Note10 has just one front-facing camera), and it appears the larger Note10 won't be called the "Pro" after all, but the Note10+.
A: Leaks seem to suggest $999 for the Note10 and $1149 for the Note10+.
Pricing leak: Reliable leaker Roland Quandt of WinFuture.de has leaked the anticipated European pricing for the Note10 and Note10+. In short, our guesses appear accurate: Quandt say the Note10 will start at 999 Euro, while the larger Note10+ will start at 1149 Euro. Traditionally, Samsung's prices in most European nations have numerically mapped on to the US MSRPs (i.e., the conversion rate doesn't matter). That means you can probably expect the Note10 and Note10+ will be $999 and $1149 at launch in the US, respectively.
These prices are quite high, but far from being outside of the expected. The Note9 started at $999 last year, and by adding a larger model to the lineup Samsung has been able to grow the MSRP headroom of its ultra-premium handset, commanding a price typically only seen of Apple products. Still unknown is how the 5G version of the phone will be priced, but given it's rumored to be based on the Note10+, I expect $1400-1500 are good places to start.
No reliable information about the price of either the Galaxy Note10 or the larger Note10+ model (previously thought to be called the Note 10 "Pro") has yet leaked. While one Russian site claims a starting price between $1100-1200, it is possible (likely) they are converting from Russian currency so that they can publish a newsworthy figure for western readers. In reality, the best insight we can offer is to look at the phones Samsung has on sale right now.
The Galaxy S10+ went on sale at full MSRP for $1000 when it was initially announced. Samsung has since discounted it frequently, and a current sale on Samsung's official US website has it available for $900 unlocked. Given we expect two Galaxy Note10 models, I would be sincerely doubtful the "smaller" 6.28" Note10 that is rumored would be more expensive than the initial $1000 MSRP 6.4" Galaxy S10+. More likely, I expect Samsung will price the smaller Note10 at $1000 and keep the price of the Galaxy S10+ at or below $900 going forward. As for the larger 6.75" Note10+, which is rumored to add an SD card slot and an additional depth-sensing camera, I would not be surprised to see an asking price of $1150, possibly slightly more - though I'd think even $1200 would be a step too far.
I deem these prices likely for one, simple reason: Apple. The 64GB iPhone XS and XS Max are priced at $1000 and $1100, respectively, and I find it extremely unlikely Samsung would price considerably higher than Apple, but for the fact that the Note10+ is expected to start at 256GB of storage, while regular version will allegedly start at 128GB. When Apple's new iPhones launch in September, they're expected to start at 128GB of storage. So, if the Note10+ does start at 256GB of capacity, that gives Samsung some breathing room to justify a price delta over $100 between the smaller and larger models, not mentioning the larger display, battery, microSD slot, and fourth rear camera. Expect 512GB and 1TB models, too, though prices on those are harder to pin down. Samsung charges a $150 premium for the 512GB S10+ over the 256GB model, and $350 on top of that for the 1TB version. So, it's entirely possible a 4G Note10+ could max out well north of $1700 in the top configuration.
As to 5G versions of the Note10+, it's a little harder. Samsung offers the Galaxy S10+ 5G in the US for $1300 on Verizon and Sprint, and it's a bit smaller (6.70") than the alleged-6.75" Note10+. While the Note will likely pack better cameras and a stylus (of course), I'm unsure if that will be enough to elevate it beyond the $1300 mark, or if the price of the S10+ 5G will simply be lowered to make room for it in carrier lineups. The carriers will have end say in how the 5G Note is priced, of course (Samsung is unlikely to sell an unlocked model in the US), so we'll have to wait and see on this one.
Models / variants
A: Three (in the US)
In the US, we have every reason to expect there will be 3 basic models of the Galaxy Note10. The smaller 6.25" Note10, the larger 6.75" Note10+, and the Note10 5G (expected to be similar size to the 4G "+"). At this time, it's unclear how many physical differences - if any - there are between the Note10+ and the 5G model, though I expect we may see the 5G variant come in a bit thicker to accommodate a larger battery. Android Police's own sources indicate that Verizon intends to launch all three versions of the phone (Note 10, Note10+, Note10 5G). At this point, the plans of other carriers are largely unknown, though I imagine some snooping for model numbers will reveal who will and will not get the 5G version of the Note.
A: Verizon, others TBD
We can confidently state Verizon will be getting the 5G version of the Note10+, likely at or very shortly after the launch of the 4G versions. Other carriers remain up in the air. Sprint seems like a good bet as it's already selling the S10 5G, so while we don't have confirmation, you can probably count them in. AT&T sells the S10 5G too... but only to business customers. AT&T seems pretty gun-shy about launching its 5G network to the public yet, so it's impossible to say whether it'll be ready enough in time for the Note10. T-Mobile has started carrying the S10 5G, making it a strong candidate for the Note 10 5G, as well. While AT&T may get a Note10 with 5G, it's hard to say when it might actually go on sale.
According to very reliable sources, we have learned that the Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ will not feature headphone jacks, a first for the Galaxy Note series. They will, however, still have proper volume and power keys. Samsung will ship a pair of AKG-branded USB-C headphones in the box with every Note10 and Note10+ in order to ease the transition to type C audio, as well as a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone dongle for those who wish to continue using their traditional headphones.
While this is a major departure for Samsung, the continued need for battery and component space inside smartphones makes the headphone jack an ever-more desirable target for removal. The big question is whether this change will carry over to the Galaxy S11 series next year, and we're not sure of that just yet.
SD card slot
A: Only the Note10+
According to a reliable source, we can confirm that only the Note10+ will have a microSD card slot. This had been previously rumored. The smaller Note10 will not have a microSD slot. As to the 5G version, we aren't certain, but I would lean in the direction it having one given we believe the Note10+ 5G will be based on the 4G Note10+. Why would Samsung remove the SD card slot from the smaller phone? It's anybody's guess - it could be a way to upsell the larger device, or a space limitation, we just don't know. It'll be the first Note without an SD card slot since the Note5.
A: Too many conflicting rumors to know, but probably between 4000-4500mAh depending on model
Rumors to date have suggested the Note10 and 10+ could have batteries ranging between 4000 and 4500mAh. One site - a not-very-reliable one, I might add - even claims both the smaller and larger Notes will share 4170mAh batteries, which seems incredibly unlikely. Samsung insider IceUniverse suggests the 4G Note10+ could have a 4500mAh battery and faster 25W charging, while Galaxy Club (not what I'd call a reputable source) even suggests the utterly improbably scenario that the smaller phone will have a 3400mAh battery.
Here's what we can tell you: it's very, very, very likely that Samsung is deliberately obfuscating the size of the battery in devices used for testing by carriers and technical assurance partners so that leakers are conflicting with one another. This is standard prototype data obfuscation, and you see it very commonly in unreleased phones during testing. Until we see specifications leaked from marketing or technical materials, these numbers are basically placeholders as far as I'm concerned, apart maybe from IceUniverse, who I am more inclined to trust.
A: We don't know about new features, but no, it probably doesn't have a camera inside.
A rumor published earlier this year set blogs on fire across the web claiming that Samsung could put a camera inside the Galaxy Note's S Pen. Speaking to our sources to date, everything indicates that the Galaxy Note10's S Pen will be largely indistinguishable from the S Pen of the Note9, which was the first major overhaul of the pen's design in some years. A hidden camera, therefore, seems incredibly unlikely. Such a feature sounds extremely finicky, expensive, and probably very unreliable. The S Pen doesn't even have a proper battery - just a supercapacitor with extremely limited life outside the phone. A camera utilizing such a tiny power source seems nigh impossible.
If there are any other topics you'd like to see covered in this post, be sure to let us know in the comments below.