Opinion

Why we need to be talking more about the Galaxy Note 10’s design

Much has been said and written about the Galaxy Note 10. Samsung’s latest flagship phablet brings some significant changes, and while some have been polarizing, others have been praised across the board. However, the device’s design is perhaps one of its most underappreciated attributes.

That’s partly because much of the focus was on other things in the run up to the launch. The will it/won’t it charade for the 3.5mm headphone jack or the expectation that this might be the first smartphone on the market with a three-stage variable aperture, for example. While the Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t have either of those things, it does have a truly exceptional design. The leaked renders don’t really help since people form their opinions about the design without actually seeing the device in the first place.

Galaxy Note 10 design is refinement personified

As highlighted in our Galaxy Note 10 hands-on, the new flagship’s exceptional build quality is evident the moment you hold it in your hands. The metal and glass build feels just as premium as any Samsung flagship before it, if not more. It really feels like a solid device and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants to pay $1,000-$1100 for a device that doesn’t look the part.

Samsung has a unique design challenge with the Galaxy Note series. Part of what makes a Note flagship a Note in the first place is its signature squarish silhouette. Throughout the years we have seen the design being reformed. It has been refined from the days of chunky bezels and plastics to the sleek and modern design that we love today. Samsung has managed to retain the silhouette with every generation of the Galaxy Note and that’s also the story with the Galaxy Note 10.

Even though it may feel like the Galaxy Note 10 design isn’t all that different from the Galaxy Note 9, the more you look at the new device and the more you play with it, you come to understand the nuances of what Samsung has achieved with its new flagship. It is refinement personified.

There were obvious gains to be had by adopting the Cinematic Infinity Display. It places the cutout for the camera in the middle instead of the right corner as the Galaxy S10, allowing for an edge-to-edge display with notably slimmer bezels. That’s why Samsung was able to fit a 6.8-inch display on the Galaxy Note 10+, which is only marginally taller than the 6.4-inch Galaxy Note 9. The front of the device just captivates you with beautiful glass that curves subtly around the edges and blends into the frame.

And what to say about that frame. It accentuates the Galaxy Note 10’s svelte figure and allows for a snug fit in your hand. There’s often a tradeoff between beauty and functionality, but that’s not something that we find here. Samsung has beautifully trimmed all the edges so it all looks prim and proper in a frame that’s unapologetically a Note.

There’s a whole range of beautiful colors to choose from and they absolutely complement this design. You couldn’t go wrong with either one. Yes, there are some polarizing things about the new flagship. You may not like that it doesn’t have a headphone jack or that the microSD card slot is only available on the more expensive model. What we and should appreciate, though, is that the Galaxy Note 10 is absolutely the most beautiful Android smartphone launched so far this year.

  • Model: SM-N970F
  • Dimensions: 151.0 x71.8x7.9mm
  • Display: 6.3"(160.02mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9825
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS F2.2 Telephoto & 12MP F1.5/F2.4 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide

  • Model: SM-N975F
  • Dimensions: 162.3 x 77,2 x 7.9mm
  • Display: 6.8"(172.7mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9825
  • Camera: 12 Ultra Wide: 16MP F2.2 (123°) & Wide-angle: 12MP 2PD AF F1.5/F2.4 OIS (77°) & Telephoto: 12MP F2.1 OIS (45°) & DepthVision Camera: VGA

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locarno
locarno

“really feels like a solid device and that’s a good thing.”

Drop it and we will see.

” the sleek and modern design that we love today.”

I still can see very little bezels.

“prim”

prim = primitive?

“You couldn’t go wrong with either one.”

you can with pink.

nycundrgrnd
nycundrgrnd

I know it can’t be just me, WHY IS THE REAR CAMERA SETUP NOT SYMMETRICAL?! Looking at cases, that have weird shaped cutouts have my 🧠 twisted in knots. Why not just center the ToF flash etc portion? As for the heart rate sensor removal isn’t a big deal for me. It was one of those S-Gestures from S4/Note3 days that sound neat on paper but actual utility or accuracy are questionable at best. But that damn camera setup on the back 😡🤬🤯🤯

locarno
locarno

you used heart rate sensor to took a photo ?

Davehighe
Davehighe

No one has mentioned that the bloody phone has lost the heart rate sensor on the back! Too busy talking about the loss of a headphone jack.

locarno
locarno

It still has chin.

jimruns262
jimruns262

But what about the speakers? I have heard very little about what is an important part of this or any phone.

locarno
locarno

Dual speakers betetr than S10.

preime101
preime101

It certainly looks pretty, but at the loss of ergonomics and functionality. The curved edges interfere with pen use and have no practical use. They also increase the fragility of it and make it harder to hold without accidental screen touches. Meanwhile the loss of the top and bottom bezel has also made handling in landscape mode more awkward.
I am sick and tired of manufacturers sacrificing functionality and useabty in the name of Vanity and aesthetics.

martindale
martindale

Agree 100%. The real art is to combine aesthetics and function to the benefit of both. Curved edges are a classic example of form over function. Who, looking at a photo or a document, thinks the experience is improved by rolling down the edges to distort the margins? Who, writing on a surface with a pen, feels it would be easier if the surface was anything other than flat? Samsung have long since stopped pretending that there was any functional reason for the curved edge – remember all those supposed “edge functions” on the early models? And they have reduced… Read more »

Cyril692
Cyril692

You put 6.3 instead of 6.4 inches for the note 9. I agree with your article which defines well the evolution of the design of the note 10.

Gunter2
Gunter2

It is beautiful and since I actually got my hands on my colleagues aura glow Note10 plus, I just loved it immediately. Just FYI he doesn’t have a case for it yet but in the meantime he took a flexible tpu case for his old Note9 and with a little stretch, it covers the Note10 plus nicely. He did use a scissors to cut a new rear camera hole in it. Lol.