Despite some hardware launch delays Samsung had been experiencing this year, the company is pushing forward with its annual Note upgrade. Today, the company announced the new Note 10 that now comes in a few variants: a regular Note 10 and a Note 10 Plus that includes a new S Pen with Bluetooth and a gyroscope. Most notably, it’s the first Note device without a headphone jack — something that had been previously hinted at when Samsung first spoke of the future of its devices with the announcement of the Fold.
Here are some of the highlights from today’s event.
Note 10 and Note 10 Plus
So here we are: two whole new Note 10s. Both phones come with increased batteries, Dynamic AMOLED displays, in-screen fingerprint sensors, wireless charging, and three cameras in the back for regular / wide-angle and telephoto. The regular Note 10 — still bigger than the S10 — is now the smaller device with a 6.3-inch screen, while the Note 10 Plus measures in at 6.8 inches. The Note 10 Plus has an extra DepthVision camera that you can use to 3D scan objects, which you can then manipulate into interactive avatars or print as a 3D file.
The Notes also come in super fun colors, including a special edition that has an iridescent finish, which lots of phone makers have been using in recent years. There’s added gaming capabilities, too. Now in the Game Launcher on the device, users can automatically connect to Discord to chat with friends.
Still, it may be important for some to learn that the Note will not have a headphone jack. USB-C headphones will come included in the box, but the dongle will cost you another $9.99 separately.
Both devices are available for preorder at midnight starting at $949 and $1,099 for the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus, respectively. The devices will ship on August 23rd. For the first time, you can also preorder through the Microsoft store.
The S Pen now has Bluetooth, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer
The S Pen has been redesigned, and it can connect to other devices via Bluetooth so it doesn’t have to be limited for use with a Note device. It can now convert handwritten notes into a Word document, with support for multiple languages. The S Pen now has a gyroscope and an accelerometer, too, which you can use to remotely control a device from afar, such as when it’s on a tripod. You can use the pen and hover over the Note to change camera modes or rewind and fast forward a video on YouTube.
There’s also a fun AR Doodle mode now for the camera that lets you draw and / or write things into a photo. It’s essentially like making a custom filter for each individual photo.
Note 10 5G
Technically, there is also a third Galaxy Note 10, for those who want to be prepared to take advantage of 5G when it rolls out to your area. The Note 10 5G edition will start at $1,300 for the 256GB configuration. The 5G edition is basically a modified version of the Note 10 Plus size-wise and spec-wise, and is temporarily exclusive to Verizon; after the exclusivity period ends, Samsung says the 5G model will also come to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
DeX for both Mac and Windows
DeX, that platform that lets your Note behave like a computer, now works with laptops by just connecting it through a USB cord. The Note supports both Mac and Windows, and worked with Microsoft directly for a more seamless link. Notifications are mirrored onto the PC, and you can use your computer’s mouse and keyboard or interact by touch if your PC supports it.
Microsoft says its computers will soon also support calls from the PC via DeX, but did not provide a time for when we can expect it.
Galaxy Book S
As a “surprise” device, Samsung announced a new Galaxy-branded laptop. It has a 13.3-inch touchscreen, has Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chips, has up to 23 hours of battery, and runs Windows 10. It also comes with LTE connectivity, making it sort of an oversized smartphone with a full keyboard and touchpad. It charges by USB-C and comes in two colors: gray and pink.
We didn’t get a whole lot of other details about specs, but Samsung says to expect it this September for $999.
The collaboration, according to Samsung CEO DJ Koh and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, marks a new partnership between the two to enhance productivity and interaction across “all devices.” There’s more to come, so we’ll see what that means over the next 12 months.
Under Armour edition Galaxy Watch Active 2
Earlier this week, Samsung announced a new Galaxy Watch Active 2. At today’s event, it also showed off a new edition branded with Under Armour. For $309, the watch can log runs through the MapMyRun app, and it has standalone phone and audio capability. It has Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare mode, too, that lets you charge a device off the back of a Galaxy phone.
Commitment to the United Nations’ global goals
This year, Samsung pledged to make greener packaging to reduce its carbon footprint. Today, it says it is to deepen that commitment by adding an app to Samsung phones that lets users learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and raise money for the global causes the organization supports (poverty, hunger, internet connectivity, education, etc.).
Samsung says it will also sell branded accessories with proceeds going to support the UN’s initiative. It did not specify how much of the sales go directly to the UN.