The Galaxy Note 10 Plus was the best Galaxy phone in years when it launched, and has even supplanted the latest Galaxy S20 Ultra in some areas. Since Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, I thought it would be a good time to compare the Note 10 to the Note 9 to see how they compare. (Here’s how the Note 20 Ultra compares to the Note 10 Plus, and the Note 10 and Note 9 to the Note 20.) You can currently find the Note 10 Plus for about $1,100 new. However, if your budget isn’t that far and you still want a Galaxy phone with peak performance, a stylus, and an all-day battery, last year’s Note 9 might be enough.
To see if you should pay more for the Note 10 Plus or less for the Note 9, I used both phones and compared them side by side for everything from camera quality to design to performance in everyday situations. Read on for the shortened version.
Want the best Android has to offer? You can find almost everything in this phone (except a headphone jack). The Note 10 Plus has an excellent 6.8-inch screen, expandable storage, and a wide-angle camera. There is also a 5G version. This is undoubtedly still an expensive phone (even after some post-launch price cuts), but the performance and all-day battery life can justify the cost.
The Galaxy Note 9 is still an excellent buy, especially if you appreciate some of the hardware options it offers on the Note 10 Plus, such as a headphone jack and iris scanner. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the newer phone, the screen still looks great and the cameras work just fine. It’s also discounted from the original release price, so it’s a much better deal.
Does the Galaxy Note 10 Plus have a headphone jack?
It doesn’t. So if you’re a fan of wired headphones, the choice is easy: the Note 9. Also, the Note 10 Plus does not include a dongle if you want to connect 3.5 mm headphones. (However, USB-C headphones are included.)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Vs Note 10 Plus – Design
The Note 9 has some other design features that the more expensive phone lacks, such as the notification light and a fingerprint scanner on the back. The Note 10 Plus has an on-screen fingerprint scanner (just like the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus before) and I found it very responsive, but there were still a few moments where it didn’t register my pressure compared to its nearly 100% accuracy of the Note 9 reader.
The way you turn off the phone is slightly different for both: the Note 9 has the power button on the right side, while the Note 10 Plus has a remap button and volume rocker on the left side of the screen. (Note: You can remap the Bixby button on the Note 9.)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Vs Note 10 Plus – Display
When it comes to display quality, both phones are excellent. The Note 10 Plus gives you more screen real estate (although the overall dimensions are similar to the Note 9) thanks to its 6.8-inch edge-to-edge Infinity-O display, with the front camera integrated at the top of the screen. screen. The 6.4-inch Note 9 screen is also great to look at, but you have to deal with bezels on the top and bottom of the phone.
I admit the Note 9 is a bit easier to use with one hand as it is slightly narrower than the Note 10 Plus, but I preferred the newer phone if I could use it with both hands: while watching videos or with the S-pen.
The Note 10 Plus’s material surfaces look great, but it’s a fingerprint magnet. As soon as I took it out of the box, I had smeared the back. You can of course use a case, but then you will lose the iridescent effect of the aura glow or the aura blue surfaces if you choose these colors.
On the other hand, you may not need to use a case as the Note 10 Plus uses Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and back to protect against drops. The Note 9 uses the previous generation Gorilla Glass 5.
Galaxy Note 10 Plus has more S Pen tricks
One reason to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note over any other Galaxy or Android phone is the pen. I didn’t find much difference between the sensitivity and accuracy of the Note 10 Plus’s S Pen compared to the Note 9, although you do get a few extra features if you go for the newer phone.
Air gestures let you control some apps (like the camera or YouTube) by pressing the S Pen button and moving the pen sideways, up and down, or even in a circle. It may seem like a gimmick on paper, but I really enjoyed using it, especially when it came to switching modes remotely on the camera or switching tracks on a music app like Spotify.
You can also use the Note 10 Plus to automatically transcribe your handwriting from the S Pen. It’s pretty accurate, although it can go wrong with particularly messy handwriting.
The Note 9 doesn’t have air movements, but it does have Bluetooth, so you can use it as a remote to take photos or further customize it for some other apps like Gallery in the Settings menu.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Vs Note 10 Plus Camera: wide-angle, economy class 10 plus
One of my favorite additions to the Note 10 Plus is the ultra-wide-angle camera that comes with the Note 10 Plus’s regular wide-angle and 2x telephoto lens. (There’s also a depth sensor camera for 3D scanning.) This setup isn’t new to the Galaxy family, though, as it’s the same camera setup as on the Galaxy S10 Plus 5G.
With the Note 9, you only get a normal wide-angle lens and a 2x telephoto lens around the back. Overall, I think the results from the cameras are pretty close, except for the wide-angle lens, which I like to use on the Note 10 Plus. The dynamic range is slightly larger with the Note 10 Plus, although for most people you will not notice much difference between photos taken on both phones in good light.
At launch, the Note 10 Plus was the only one of those phones with night mode, but now the playing field has been leveled thanks to a software update on the Note 9. It helps to brighten up the scene and bring out details in the shadows. that you would normally miss.
4K video recording is great on both. The Note 10 Plus has better stabilization with its super stable mode but is only active at 1080p. You also get live focus videos on the newer phone that lets you blur the background behind your subject to make it stand out. I thought the result looked best with the selfie camera rather than the rear camera, but it’s not a feature I’d use often and for me, it’s not worth the upgrade over the Note 9. Find a photo and video samples in the video at the top of this page.
Note 9 still has great battery life and performance
Both phones are absolute beasts when it comes to performance. Full benchmark results can be found in our Note 9 and Note 10 Plus test reports. But in real-life situations, I didn’t notice a noticeable difference between the two when recording and editing 4K videos, playing graphics-intensive games, or running a variety of apps in the background.
Your mileage varies in terms of battery life and a lot depends on how you use your phone. But for my usage, which generally included watching videos, making some calls, using maps, recording 4K video, and editing photos, I could get a whole day with between 15% and 25% battery% remaining on the Note 9 and Note 10 Plus. The Note 10 Plus has a slightly higher-capacity battery and the option of a 45-watt charger (which costs extra) for even faster charging.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Vs Note 10 Plus Specs
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9
|Display size, resolution
|6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 pixels
|6.4-inch Super AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 pixels
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)
|6.91 oz; 196g
|7.09 oz; 201g
|12-megapixel (wide angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto), 3D depth (HQVGA)
|12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
|Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, or Samsung Exynos 9825
|Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz), or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 (2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
|Up to 1TB
|Back of phone
|Wireless PowerShare; water resistant (IP68); S Pen stylus with Bluetooth connectivity and Air actions
|Water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; S Pen with Bluetooth connectivity; Iris and facial scanning
|Price off-contract (USD)
|$1,000 (128GB), $1,250 (512GB)*
|£899 (128GB), £1,099 (512GB)*
|AU$1,499 (128GB), AU$1,799 (512GB)*
* Prices at launch
So which Galaxy Note phone should I buy?
The Galaxy Note is not the flagship of Samsung for nothing. Both the Note 10 Plus and Note 9 are great devices that promise you a fantastic Android experience, especially since the older phone has received software updates, making it very similar to the newer Note. However, keep in mind that the Note 9 may not receive as many updates in the future.