The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the tech giant's latest and greatest phone. It competes with the top iPhone and Google Pixel offerings in terms of photo and video capabilities. Since my primary Motivation for upgrading to this phone is the onboard cameras and photo/video capabilities, I'm posting this hands-on as an ongoing blog.
First, a bit of background. I've been in the digital photo and video business for two decades. I've worked with Photoshop since 1994 and I began shooting digital photos professionally around the time the Nikon D1X was released (2001). Moreover, I bought Sony's first consumer 3-CCD HD (1080i) camcorders (HDR-FX1).
With that as a starting point, I've watched consumer digital capture technology evolve with great interest. One huge and more recent shift was the gradual demise of the purpose built "prosumer" camcorder, now an endangered species. This is because cameras became much better at capturing video. This led to considerable lightening of the load in my gear bag. And yet, up until a couple of years ago, I lugged heavy gear to industry trade shows.
Of course, the more recent revolution has been in 4K capture and the incredible shrinking camera. Not to mention huge improvements in stabilization, and improvements in capture like HDR and wide color gamut that can now be shown on modern TVs. Recently, I relied on action cameras like the GoPro Hero7 Black and Osmo Pocket to capture imagery at CES 2019.
But now comes the Galaxy Note 10+ with its 3 cameras, ultra-wide angle lens and high-performance image stabilization. Technically, it has already surpassed the competition in measured performance, per dxomark.com
. As far as video/photo capture capability goes, it does both 4K HDR10+ (30p) as well as SDR 4K/60p. It also has advanced stabilization that given near-gimbal smoothness to handheld video. I'm about to find out if this is the phone that finally lets me leave all the other cameras at home.
Before getting into the cameras, a quick pit stop regarding audio: Normally I'm totally dismissive of earphones that come with phones. But, the USB-C IEMs included with the Note 10+ are AKG and they look plus feel decent. So, I plugged them into my PC and launched Room EQ Wizard. And guess what! These buds are good. They play down to 20 Hz and below, and as high as your ears can hear. Sound is balanced, bass is emphasized a bit but in a fun and catchy way, without bloat... just nice solid "strong" bass, and the rest, nice and clear and crisp. In other words, worth using! I'd even dare suggest that for many Note 10+ buyers, there's no need to spend more on aftermarket 'buds unless you want to go wireless. I'm impressed.
These AKG earbuds sound quite decent considering they came with the Note 10+
My first photos with the Note 10+ were thrilling! Finally I can shoot the ultra-wide views that previously required a separate camera. The new Night Mode delivered superb results, finding deep shadow details in scenes that look almost totally dark to the naked eye. Each shot took about 5 seconds to capture but the detail and sharpness are uncanny.
This image of a construction site shows details inside the building that looked almost totally dark to the human eye.