It hit me during my long commute home while I was catching up on my 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. As Jane approached Jim Hopper's house with its fiery orange lights illuminating his silhouette, I thought to myself, "This is better than my TV."
The back of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is just as captivating as the front, especially if you opt for the Aura Glow color, which reflects all the colors of the rainbow depending on how the light hits the back of the glass. If you want something similar, but slightly smaller, check out our Galaxy Note 10 review.BERLIN WEATHER
After looking at the eye candy, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (starting at $1,099/£999) is easily one of the best Android phones. It delivers great performance, lots of new S Pen tricks - including air gestures - and above-average battery life. I also like the fast charging and pro-level video effects, and I really don't mind that the headphone jack gets the axe. However, the cameras could be better compared to the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Overall, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus one of the best big phones right now, and one of the best phones overall - if you can afford the premium. But is it right for you? You'll soon find out in our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.
The Galaxy Note 10 Plus costs $1,099 for the 256GB version (£999 / AU$1,699). You can also opt for the 512GB storage model for $1,199 (but you should definitely check out our roundup of the best Galaxy Note 10 deals before you decide). All major US wireless carriers sell the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Samsung also offers trade-ins for those who order their device through Samsung.com.
I have to give credit to Samsung. It managed to squeeze a 6.8-inch display into a design that is both thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 9, which had a 6.4-inch display. This is partly because the Galaxy Note 10 has thinner bezels, thanks to its Infinity-O display with a cutout for the front camera in the top center of the screen.
Samsung has also removed the headphone jack, which at this point feels more inevitable than controversial. It also allows the Galaxy Note 10 Plus to pack a larger battery. The good news is that Samsung packages AKG headphones in the box that use USB-C.
Make no mistake, the Note 10 Plus looks and feels like a phablet, especially compared to the regular Note 10 and its 6.3-inch screen. It's definitely a two-handed device, but it's sleek.
If you want your phone to be shiny, I'd pick up the Aura Glow version of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The silver iridescent design changes colors depending on how the light hits the back of the phone. The only problem is that the Aura Glow model picks up fingerprints quickly; I found myself wiping the back of the phone on my shirts and pants to keep smudges at bay.
For me, a close second is the Aura Blue in terms of fashion, but you can also get the more traditional Aura Black and Aura White.
I have one more nitpick. While I'm glad Samsung ditched the dedicated Bixby button found on previous models, I wish the volume controls and power button were on the right side instead of the left. After all, most people are right-handed.
Short of a foldable phone, you won't find a bigger screen on an Android phone than the 6.8-inch AMOLED panel on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. And it's a sight to behold, with the same rich colors and wide viewing angles we've come to expect from Samsung.
The screen has the same Quad HD+ resolution as before, but it's certified for HDR10+, compared to HDR10 for the Note 9. Watching the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I could make out thin wisps of hair on Rey's head, and Kylo Ren's red lightsaber crackled and popped off the screen as he shoved it into his enemies.
The center cutout or punch at the top of the Galaxy Note 10's screen isn't as offensive as the cutout on the Galaxy S10 Plus. That's because it has one front camera, compared to two on the S10 Plus, which are on the right side.
In our lab tests, the Note 10 Plus' screen turned in some of the best performance numbers we've seen. It hit 686 nits of brightness, which beats the OnePlus 7 Pro (513 nits), iPhone XS Max (606 nits) and Galaxy S10 Plus (625 nits).
The Note 10 Plus' OLED panel hit 212% of the color gamut in Vivid mode and 124.6% in Natural mode, compared to 123% for the iPhone XS Max and 180% for the OnePlus 7 Pro. The Galaxy S10 Plus was not as colorful in Vivid mode (200%) and slightly higher at 136.5% in Natural mode.
The only disappointment with this screen is that it doesn't offer a 90Hz refresh rate as some have said, which provides a smoother experience on phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro. This would be a welcome upgrade for people who have upgraded from the Note 10 to the Note 10 Plus.
The Galaxy Note 10 has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, similar to the Galaxy S10. The sensor works pretty well, but users have discovered that both the sensors on the S10 and Note 10 can be fooled by using a silicone screen protector. Another software update from Samsung reportedly fixes this issue.
The S Pen has learned a few new tricks with the Galaxy Note 10, but I'm not yet sold on how useful they are. The handwriting-to-text feature is designed to allow you to convert scribbles and import them into, say, Microsoft Word documents. The functionality generally worked during my short wait time, but the phone was occasionally missing a letter. More importantly, it just didn't feel immediate.