Should you buy Samsung's new Galaxy flagship?

August 15, 2019 13:42
Samsung's new phablet will appeal to people who need to use pen to jot down or to draw something on the go on a big screen. Photo: Reuters

Samsung is preparing to kick off sales of its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 10, in the market after unveiling the product in New York last week. As part of the launch plans, the tech giant is holding a press meet in Hong Kong to announce the pricing and other details.

There is talk that the suggested retail price of Note 10 will be around HK$6,998, while the bigger screen Note 10 Plus, which also has a 5G variant, will start at HK$7,998 and HK$8,998, depending on the internal storage. 

If the chatter turns out correct, the smaller screen model would represent a bargain deal for users, as the price is lower than what the market had expected previously. 

So, should you rush to get one of those devices? Well, the answer, if you ask me, would be: Hold off for now; don't upgrade just yet!

The logic is simple: why would you want to upgrade your existing handset now with the Note 10, when you can get a new crop of 5G offerings next year?

As 5G devices will become mainstream products in 2020, consumers may be better off saving their cash for early next year when Samsung will roll out its new 5G flagship. 

The Note series is one of the key elements in Samsung's product portfolio as it is the model that finds itself pitted against Apple's iPhones in the second half of each year. However, it has been positioned as a business device rather than a mass-market product, as its big screen and a stylus are seen as tools to boost productivity.

This year, Samsung launched a much larger screen Note 10 Plus in a bid to lure creative people who need to use pen to jot down or to draw something on the go on a big screen. That convenience is deemed a key selling point.

The Note 10 series packs more power and also boasts enhanced video effects as well as a front-facing camera centrally located at the top of the display for better selfies, media reports noted.

The Plus version has a bigger 6.8-inch screen and a fast-charging battery, promising a full day of use from just 30 minutes of charging.

S Pen Stylus has been redesigned to make it more functionable. For example, S Pen allows for handwritten notes taken on the device to be converted to text and exported in various formats including PDF and Microsoft Word.

Another selling point of the Note 10 is its camera. Camera rating firm DxOMark has said that the Note 10 bagged total score of 113 for the primary camera, putting it slightly ahead of that achieved by Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung‘s own Galaxy S10 5G, reported.

If you are a user who is already enjoying a 5G service, you could probably purchase the 5G version of the Note 10 Plus to enjoy fast download speed on the high-speed network.

However, we should bear in mind that the 5G phones currently being launched in the market are still the early versions of the new technology and hardware, and that upcoming models next year will be better in terms of capturing the 5G capabilities.

The first 5G phones in the market, including the early Note 10 Plus 5G devices, use Qualcomm's X50 modem, "which only taps into certain flavors of 5G", technology website cnet noted.

The next Qualcomm modem, the X55, can help the later batch of 5G smartphones provide much better 5G experience than the current devices.

Hence, it would make sense for smartphone users to wait a few months for enhanced 5G devices, rather than settle for not-yet-fully-mature product offerings available right now.

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EJ Insight writer