|A participant in Samsung Electronics' unpacking event tries out the Galaxy Note 10 smartphone at Barclays Center in New York, Wednesday. / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics|
By Baek Byung-yeul
Since its debut in 2011, Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note series has successfully nurtured its fan base with its big displays and S Pen stylus.
For the latest Galaxy Note 10, which was unveiled Wednesday in New York, Samsung placed a greater emphasis on improving user productivity by upgrading its signature S Pen and offering a more PC-like experience.
The first impression of the device is its well-balanced body, making it feel much smaller as it has a near-bezel-less design while there is an in-display hole-punch for the front camera in the top-center.
The Note 10 comes in two sizes ― a 6.3-inch one and a 6.8-inch one called Note 10 Plus. Compared to its predecessor Note 9, which has been praised for its hardware performance but criticized for weighing more than 200 grams, both Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are lighter and slimmer, weighing 168 grams 196 grams respectively.
The Note 10 models could achieve the slim design that is only 7.9 milimeters thick by removing the 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
Its signature S Pen stylus has evolved once again. The device has a six-axis motion sensor comprised of accelerometer and gyroscope sensors so that users can do more things such as switching between camera modes and skipping music tracks by drawing gestures in the air with the S Pen.
What impressed this reporter is that users can convert their handwriting with the S Pen to digital text and export it to Microsoft Word and other formats including email and PDF.
The Link to Windows feature gives users an enhanced PC-like experience. The newest feature allows users to connect the Note 10 device to a Windows 10 PC with just one click. Though this feature, users can see notifications and send and receive messages across the devices. The DeX feature, a PC extension system that allows users to work seamlessly between their Galaxy phones and PCs, is also upgraded as the feature is now available for Mac.
Users can enjoy an improved Super Steady video-recording feature that stabilizes footage blurred by motion. Though it was first introduced in the Galaxy S10, Samsung said the feature has become more stabilized.
At a time when every other smartphone is getting bigger, Samsung may lose its edge with the changing trend. But the decision to release two variants seems like a smart move to draw both hardcore users who want more productivity features and light users who want to enjoy the S Pen experience but prefer not to carry a bulky device.
For those who want a smaller size, the 6.3-inch one will be the best choice. Though the device has almost the same screen size as the Note 9 with its 6.38-inch screen, the Note 10 is handier than it looks.
The 6.8-inch one offers greater 12-gigabyte RAM so that users can have more processes running at once.
Samsung said it focused on offering enhanced productivity to Note 10 users as its main customers are the "slash generation," an emerging term referring to millennials who pursue a flexible lifestyle and prefer to have multiple side jobs that can inspire their creativity.
"We have focused on enhancing productivity of users, as our main customers of the Note series are millennials who opt for multiple side jobs, so we tried to improve both software and hardware performance to help them back up their creative works," the company official said during a hands-on event for reporters in Seoul, Thursday.
The Note 10 is priced at 1.24 million won ($1,025) while the bigger one is priced at and 1.39 million won and 1.49 million won, depending on the storage size. They will go on sale here on Aug. 23.