MOBILE phones have become more than just a way to ring people – why yes, I can hear you all the way back here in 2001, as it happens – and are essentially portable computers nowadays, with the associated power and usefulness.
the past few years, for the average person, there have been two factors to
consider when buying a smartphone: Whether it runs on Android or iOS, and if
it’s the former, which brand of phone to get.
are one of the better known brands, particularly for their Galaxy series of
I’ve been using Samsung phones for several
years now – a Galaxy S5 then an S8 – and have always been happy with them, with
the exception of their Bixby assistant which I disable faster than you can say
“stop trying to make fetch happen”.
The bigger sibling to the Galaxy range is
the Galaxy Note series, the latest of which is the Samsung Galaxy Note s10+ 5G,
featuring a 6.8” AMOLED screen and (as the name suggest) 5G compatibility, with
the appropriate SIM card and coverage.
Overall, the unit measures 77.2mm wide x
162.3mm high x 7.9 mm thick and weighs 196g – big enough to have a lot of
screenspace, not too big to carry around.
As a phone, it does all the phone things
you’d expect, and does them well. It has three main cameras – a 16MP ultra-wide camera, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and a 12MP
telephoto camera – as
well as a 10MP selfie/video call camera. The picture quality is very good, even
in low-light conditions
Behind the screen, it’s running a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 855 Octa-core 2840 MHz processor with 12GB of RAM and has a micro SD
slot so you’re not likely to run out of storage space.
As you may have guessed from the ‘Note’
moniker – has a stylus in it allowing you to use it as a digital notepad as
well. It’s light, it’s big enough to be useful but not so big it’s a pain to
The S-Pen stylus is more than just a
gimmick, though – it’s essentially a remote control for your phone, letting you
do a range of things including remote activating the camera shutter, volume adjustment,
playing and pausing video, and drawing or painting pictures on the screen too.
So how is the phone for mobile gaming?
Pretty good, actually.
The mobile gaming market is huge and there
are a large range of games out there for people to play, several of which are
For the purposes of this review, I picked
two of my favourites – World of Tanks:
Blitz, and Player Unknown’s
Battlegrounds – to test out on the Note 10+ 5G.
Running off Wi-Fi at home, 4G and even 5G
internet, the phone was fast, there was no lag in the games, and the controls
were responsive – in other words, the experience was very good. The big screen
and size of the phone adds to the appeal for gaming, especially when
touchscreen controls come into play.
On both games I could play smoothly with
all the settings cranked up to max, and I even got a Chicken Dinner in PUBG on
the phone, which was as surprising to me as it was to the other 99 players in
the match, and anyone else who has ever had the misfortune to have me on their
team in the game.
The 4300mAh battery provided plenty of
juice for general smartphone use and gaming, although obviously gaming drains
the battery a hell of a lot faster than scrolling through social media and discussing
stuff in group chat with your friends. Regardless, the usual “put your phone on
charge when you go to bed” regimen most people follow worked just fine and I
never had a situation where I was looking at the battery level and thinking “Oh
Of course, all of this comes with a price
tag – an RRP of $1999 – but if you’re serious about your mobile phones, that
isn’t necessarily a stumbling block.
The main drawback to the unit is that you
can’t take advantage of 5G speeds unless you’ve got coverage in your area – but
it works very well as a 4G phone too,
The Note 10+ 5G handled everything I threw
at it without complaint and I was really impressed with the phone overall. If I
was in the market for a new handset, especially with an eye to gaming or I
lived in an area with 5G coverage, this would be one of the top handsets on my
As an addendum, Samsung have also just
announced a handful of Star Wars themed Galaxy Note 10+ phones (apparently not
the 5G version reviewed here, though) is now available for pre-order with an
RRP of $1999 from the Samsung Online Store, JB Hi-Fi, and Harvey Norman online
According to Samsung, the limited edition set, available in December, will include a “Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note10+ with red S Pen, matching Galaxy Buds, a specially designed cover and a metal badge collector’s item”, along with “exclusive Star Wars-themed content including wallpapers, themes, stickers, animations; icons and custom themes and sounds for Aussie fans to enjoy”.