The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the newest in a long family of Note devices that the company released in August. After four weeks of use, the Galaxy Note10+ has been an impressive business workhorse. This review goes more into detail on the productivity and business side of the Galaxy Note10+ and how Samsung has set the bar for the ultimate business and productivity device.
The baseline Note10 doesn’t have an option for 5G. However, is 5G a reason to get the Note10+ 5G and how much more can you get done with it under your belt? It is still early for 5G to be a norm and power and performance users will want the best of everything, and 5G is the fastest and lowest latency connectivity. So yes, I would go with it if 5G is supported in your hometown, where you travel to a lot, of where 5G is planned. Samsung is a leader in 5G and the Note10+ 5G will come with Qualcomm’s X50 modem that supports Non-Standalone (NSA) connections. That means that the Galaxy Note10+ 5G supports mmWave and sub-6 GHz frequencies depending on carrier support. If you think your carrier will support it, I think the extra investment is worth it. Seeing the average smartphone lifespan is nearing 3-4 years, I believe consumers would be wise to spend more to future-proof a bit. When 5G comes to more and more areas, sending a receiving data will be a sweet feature for business and productivity.
As I said before, I had the pleasure of using the Note 10+ with 4G LTE with all the bells and whistles.
I define modularity as the smartphone’s ability to morph and add value in unique use cases. Modularity is one of the hardest tech aspects to get right. It is also an aspect that is incredibly useful for a business platform. I have to give Samsung credit as the company keeps plugging away at it and improving it generation after generation. There are already enterprises successfully using DeX, particularly in law enforcement, banking, and transportation. Each generation, DeX gets better, and Samsung continues to remove objections and improve utility opening it up to more users.
The Note10+ has many features like DeX that have opened it up for businesses to adopt over other devices. These new modularity features include Your Phone integration with Link to Windows and a new version of DeX.
Your Phone with Link to Windows
Out of the box, the Galaxy Note10 has seamless integration with Microsoft’s Your Phone App and there’s no need to install any new software on the phone. I use Microsoft’s Your Phone App on a daily with the Note10+ to assist with my workflow, and Link to Windows is taking it a step further by letting you mirror the Note10 to your PC to use mobile apps via mouse and keyboard.
Link to Windows bridged the gap between productivity on my PC and productivity on my smartphone by removing the need to look at both devices. While the new DeX feature requires a cable, Link to Windows enables photo transfer, sending and receiving text messages, notifications, and the new screen mirroring over WiFi. Making all of it capable without taking on the distractions a smartphone has.
I can’t even imagine not using this combination after using it for the past four weeks.
The new DeX
There have been many DeX iterations (vertical dock, horizontal dock, HDMI cable) that enabled the Note series to become a desktop computer by connecting it to a keyboard, mouse, and display. The new DeX ups that game and allows users to plug the Note10 into a desktop or notebook computer and use its display, keyboard, and mouse. Regardless of the method, the outcome is nearly the same, but with a twist.
With the new DeX, I could easily share files and copy and paste objects between my Note10 and PC. I used the new DeX to much more easily move pictures between the Note10 and PC by dragging and dropping.
It's so interesting to think what businesses will do with their VDI and apps as DeX natively supports VMware Horizon One, Citrix Workspace, and Microsoft remote desktop. In this configuration, workers have access to every enterprise application.
I think this version of DeX will be accepted more than ever for a few reasons.
Every Note10 owner has a PC with a keyboard, trackpad, and display and will connect to it. There are no extra cables or docks or displays or keyboards required, so it’s a simple, hassle-free plugin and begin working. For a manager of retail stores that moves from site to site where there is a PC, the manager would just need to plug the Note10 into any PC of nearly any age and interact in a more meaningful way.
New productive features
Samsung is moving past the limitations of the screen by implementing software that, though, gestures and controls, take advantage of, not only the notorious S Pen, but also the cameras, the multiple directional-microphones, and the Note10+’s exclusive proximity sensors for its DepthVision camera.
The Note10 takes the Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled S Pen capabilities and improves on it by adding what Samsung calls S Pen Air Actions. The 6-axis sensor in the S Pen uses an accelerometer and gyro in the S Pen to implement a “Wii remote-like” feature that interacts with the phone. Like last year’s Note9, holding down the S Pen button will launch the camera, and a press of the button snaps a photo. Now with a flick of the wrist, the user is in control of the camera mode, the camera type (front or back), and even zooming in and out.
It is exciting to see that the S Pen has grown out of its shell of just being a pen, to being a useful workflow tool. If the S Pen is going to take up precious space within the phone, I would rather have these sexy features than not. The camera may not be the most advantageous application for the feature, but it is just an example of what it can do. Samsung has released the S Pen Remote SDK so that developers can implement S Pen Air Actions into apps and games. A meeting can be run through a PowerPoint on your Note10+ device while using the S Pen as a PowerPoint remote. Imagine sorting through your calendar, using the S pen as a wand that is connected to a computer screen via DeX. Then with a swipe up, switching to a music application to change to your favorite Harry Potter soundtrack. (That’s a joke, get it?) It is extra input like no other, and I am excited to see how S Pen Air Actions will be used in business workflows.
The Note10 has also improved on its ability to turn S Pen writing into texts. Digital Text Conversion has been around for a while on the Note series, and Samsung is improving it with improved AI and the ability to convert it to different formats such as a Microsoft Word Document. I’m not a huge pen user personally, but these improvements to the S Pen could turn paper and pen note-takers into switching.
Four world-facing cameras
One of the features that separate the Note10 from the Note10+ is the DepthVision camera. The Note10+ has proximity sensors next to its cameras to measure or detect an object within 2m of the camera and process 3D mapping more accurately. It can measure an object and lets you determine an objects distance, length depth, and can even create a 3D render of the object by using Samsung’s 3D Scanner application.
I imagine the 3D scanner would thrive in scenarios where mock-ups and small-scale renderings can take place in augmented reality or even sharing files. The DepthVision camera opens up a creative space for videographers and photographers to place and edit in an item into any shot. The same can be said about rendering a scale model building into an augmented reality platform all through one device. Businesses can place a 3D scanned product into augmented reality for scaling or product testing. The DepthVision camera will be convenient in various business-related applications.
The DepthVision camera is just another example of the Note10+ being the ultimate productivity and business tool. A project that needed a computer and possibly separate 3D scanner can now all be done on one device. The scan can even be 3D printed, and I imagine it would be fairly easy with the help of the new DeX software or the use of Link to Windows. The Note10+ has made product design and implementation doable all on a single device.
Apart from the DepthVision camera, the Note10+ has an Ultra-wide, a Wide, and a Telephoto camera on the back. Samsung has included the ability to focus the camera during live video as well as other effects for more artistic control of the shot. If you are a real estate agent, you need the Ultra-wide capability as you can take full room shots that you previously needed a DSLR.
The camera also has the ability to zoom into a subject, and the Note10+’s Zoom-in Mic will focus the audio into the frame. I think the live focus, Zoom-in Mic, and Super Steady features are useful features, not only for film artist but also for businesses such as recording a meeting or presentation. The Note10+ has one of the best camera setups on the market and camera features that benefit business and productivity.
Security with Knox
Samsung takes security seriously. With Samsung Knox, I believe the Note10+ is one of the most secure devices in the smartphone market. The Samsung Knox platform is built into the Note10+’s hardware for immediate protection with its multiple authentication methods. Knox has received two updates since the Note9 that further its already robust security platform. Samsung has added Dual DAR (Data-at-Rest), Knox on DeX with management, and other root improvements. Dual DAR gives the Note10+ two layers of encryption, even in a powered off or unauthenticated state. Knox on DeX puts controls for security in the DeX platform. Both of these new Knox features are good for enterprises that need extra security and take advantage of DeX in everyday business workflows.
As with prior models, the device ships with a Secure Folder that can protect business user’s personal files and shields the business from liability. Only the user has access to the Secure Folder.
Samsung’s newest design for the Galaxy Note10+ makes it one of the most durable Note phones ever. It still has the same IP68 rating as last year, which just means it is completely dust and dirt resistant and can withstand water immersion up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. However, by taking out the headphone jack and implementing a new and interesting speaker grill, it has fewer holes for water and other debris to enter and damage the phone. The speaker grill is so small that Samsung had to insert a hole at the top of the phone (near the SIM card tray) to assist with the airflow. Although this was to make room for the Infinity-O Display, it improved the durability of the phone as well. The Note10+ is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and the back for maximum protection. Corning Gorilla Glass 6 has the same hardness as Gorilla Glass 5 but is supposedly “2x better” for drops.
The Galaxy Note10+ also has one of the biggest and smartest batteries on the market. It has a 7.5% bigger battery than last year’s Note9 with 4,300mAh of juice. It has Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 and Samsung’s Power Share feature to charge devices that support WPC Qi wireless charging. At 15W, the Wireless charging 2.0 is twice as fast as the Note9’s wireless charging.
From my use of the Galaxy Note10+, I have been able to get all-day battery life with a business-related workflow. In situations where my battery was low, I knew I could rely on the Note10+, not only for its battery-saving features in One UI but also because it comes shipped with a 25W charger for a quick charge. If the 25W charger that comes in-box doesn’t impress you, Samsung sells a 45W charger separately for the Galaxy Note10+. I have one of those on order and am looking forward to using that beast. To put that into perspective, the average laptop has a 60W charger, and an average smartphone fast charger is between 12W and 15W.
The Galaxy Note10+ differentiates itself from Samsung’s other Galaxy devices and the competition at its simplest level by just including everything. While I know it is easy to look at all of the new features as gimmicky or not needed, when I look at the holistically versus individually, they come together to create the most productive device on the market which is the best for businesses.
The Note10+ starts with the brilliant basic like a highest-quality triple-lens for stills, a massive, highest-rated quality display protected by Gorilla Glass 6 and is IP68 rated. It has connectivity and extensibility like no other smartphone thanks to 5G, DeX, and Link to Windows. It has a multitude of inputs like the new S Pen and the rear DepthVision camera. Finally, it has the security with Knox that enterprises and governments require.
If you or your organization is looking to standardize on a phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ must be in your consideration set, especially if you use Windows PCs.
Note: Jacob Freyman, an intern at Moor Insights & Strategy, contributed heavily to this article.