9 reasons you should buy Samsung's Galaxy S10 instead of the new Galaxy Note 10


Samsung Galaxy Note 10

  • Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 10, is now available.
  • But Samsung fans have a tough decision to make: The more affordable Galaxy S10, Samsung’s flagship phone for 2019, launched back in March.
  • While the Galaxy Note 10 has a higher starting price than the Galaxy S10, there are plenty of reasons to consider the more expensive phone.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Samsung’s newest, most luxurious smartphone to date — the Galaxy Note 10 — is now available.

But if you’re in the market for a Samsung phone, you have a lot to choose from.

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled four versions of its Galaxy S10 smartphone, which is its flagship device for the year. The cheapest model, the Galaxy S10e, starts at $750; we also think that’s the phone worth buying for most people. Meanwhile, the regular Galaxy S10 starts at $900, the larger S10 Plus starts at $1,000, and the 5G-enabled S10 starts at a whopping $1,300.

Read more: People are mad at Samsung for killing the headphone jack in its latest phone, but it’s a smart business decision

Samsung’s latest phone, the Note 10, is the company’s latest and greatest. But we think there are several compelling reasons to buy the Galaxy S10, which is almost six months old now, compared to the new Galaxy Note 10 that released this week.

SEE ALSO: This is the best new smartphone of 2019 so far, and it costs only $500

1. Price is by far the biggest and most important consideration here, and provides important context for how these other features compare.

To make this comparison simpler, we’re only going to compare the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10. The “Plus” models of these phones, as well as the Galaxy S10e and the 5G versions of these phones, are completely different value propositions altogether, and are worth their own separate discussions.

That said:

  • The Galaxy S10 starts at $900.
  • The Galaxy Note 10 starts at $950.

In other words: You’ll save at least $50 by going with a Galaxy S10 instead of the Galaxy Note 10.

2. The Galaxy Note 10 has a slightly larger display, but the Galaxy S10 is extremely similar, and probably more comfortable for most people.

The Galaxy S10 has a 6.1-inch AMOLED screen. The Note 10 has a 6.3-inch AMOLED.

The difference between 6.1 inches and 6.3 inches might seem notable on paper, but when you hold these phones in person, you’ll hardly notice a difference. Samsung is using its same, top-of-the-line quad-HD technology for both of these phones, and they’re a real treat to look at.

Also, while I’d call my hands medium-sized, I still prefer phones be a little smaller so they’re more comfortable to hold in one hand. I like the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.1-inch iPhone XR, for example, more than the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max. In this sense, I’d also recommend buying the phone that’s more comfortable to hold, and that’s why I like the Galaxy S10 here.

3. The Galaxy S10 has a different “hole-punch” style notch for its front-facing camera compared to the Note 10 — and it’s probably better on the S10 for more situations.

To accommodate having both an edge-to-edge display and the ability to take selfies, Samsung’s front-facing cameras for the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 look like someone took a hole-punch to it.

But on the Galaxy S10, the hole punch is off to the side. On the new Galaxy Note 10, that camera is smack dab in the middle of the display.

While it’s ultimately up to preference, I think I like the Galaxy S10’s camera design a bit more. It doesn’t seem like it gets in the way of software, and if you’re watching videos on your phone, there’s a good chance it won’t cut into your content since it’s away from the center of the screen. On the Galaxy Note 10, you might notice the hole punch more when you’re watching videos in landscape mode. 

4. The Galaxy Note 10 has a slightly bigger battery compared to the Galaxy S10, but you won’t really notice a difference.

The Note 10 lineup has bigger batteries compared to the Galaxy S10 series, but the difference is minimal. 

  • The Galaxy S10 has a 3,400 mAh battery.
  • The Galaxy Note 10 has a 3,500 mAh battery.

mAh, or milliampere hour, is a unit of measurement that describes how long a battery can hold a charge before it needs recharging — but it’s not always the greatest representation of a phone’s battery life. How software utilizes the hardware, and minimizes drain, has a greater influence on a device’s battery life.

It’s still early days for the Galaxy Note 10, so we don’t have a great picture of how long it lasts compared to the Galaxy S10 just yet, but early impressions from most critics say to expect “all-day” performance from both of these phones.

5. The Galaxy Note 10 starts with more internal storage, but the standard Galaxy S10 comes with plenty.

The Galaxy S10 comes with 128 GB of storage, with the ability to expand up to 512 GB with a microSD card.

The Galaxy Note 10 comes with more storage to start — 256 GB — but you really don’t need all that much storage. For most people, 128 GB is more than enough of space. I’m only using about 72 GB of storage on my phone, but I have more than 200 apps downloaded on it (235 to be exact).

6. Both phones have identical cameras on the front and back.

Both the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 have:

  • A 12-megapixel wide-angle lens
  • A 12-megapixel telephoto lens
  • A 16-megapixel ultrawide lens
  • A 10-megapixel selfie camera

7. You won’t notice a real difference in performance between the Galaxy S10 and Note 10. Both are running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor.

Both phones also come with 8GB of RAM, and ship with the same operating system: Android 9.0 Pie, with Samsung’s own One UI.

The Galaxy Note 10 has other chipsets that are slightly newer compared to the Galaxy S10, but they don’t seem to provide any noticeable improvement.

8. The Galaxy S10 doesn’t have an S Pen like the Galaxy Note 10 — but you don’t need a stylus.

The S Pen is pretty neat. You can use it to take notes directly on your display, even when the screen’s not on, plus it has gesture controls — so you can control your volume, for instance, or zoom the Galaxy Note 10’s camera, by moving the pen in certain ways.

But overall, you don’t really need the S Pen. I personally don’t miss handwriting, and I worry that it’s one extra accessory to misplace. It’s small, so I could imagine leaving it on a table somewhere, or dropping it on the subway. If you really want a stylus, go for it, but I honestly don’t mind typing.

9. The Galaxy S10 has a trump card on the Galaxy Note 10: It has a headphone jack.

The Note 10 is the first Samsung smartphone without a headphone jack — but if you still have a favorite pair of wired headphones, you can use those without a dongle if you buy a Galaxy S10.

While the Galaxy Note 10 is certainly Samsung’s best yet, the Galaxy S10 is so similar in so many ways — plus it’s cheaper, has a headphone jack, and might be a better fit for your needs (and hands).

We want to hear what you think about Samsung’s 2019 phones.

Do you plan on buying either the Galaxy S10, or Galaxy Note 10? Are you going to get one of the larger Plus models, or one of the 5G versions instead? Let us know. Shoot me an email at dsmith@businessinsider.com.