When you decide to upgrade or switch to Galaxy Note 10, you need to know these 10 missing features of Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+. You may check this page for the top 10 new features of Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+.
For the first time, Samsung announced two models of Galaxy Note line-up: Galaxy Note 10+ and Galaxy Note 10. Galaxy Note 1o+ is a successor of Galaxy Note 9, and Galaxy Note 10 is a stripdown (budget? but still too expensive) version of Galaxy Note 10+.
As pointed in this Galaxy Note 10 review, both Galaxy Note 10 and Note 1o+ are targeted at the mainstream users (mass market), instead of the hardcore Galaxy Note users (niche market). The comparison of Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ was discussed here.
After playing around Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, we summarized the top 10 missing features that matter for traditional Galaxy Note owners.
#1. Notification LED light: the most annoying missing feature of Galaxy Note 10
When Samsung switched to the punch-hole design on Galaxy S10, they removed the notification LED light.
Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ followed this design and removed the notification LED light. This is the first Galaxy Note device without the notification LED light.
It is obvious Samsung is willing to sacrifice any features and functions if they impact the “look” of the phone.
Do we buy a phone to look or to use in 2019?
Such small convenience features in old Galaxy phones actually are a magnet for many buyers. Sadly, Samsung will eventually evolve their smartphones into a beautiful brick without any functions.
For example, you now have to check the phone screen to see whether the battery is fully charged or not when charging the Galaxy Note 10 battery.
#2. Capacitive fingerprint reader
Both Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ use an in-display fingerprint reader introduced in Galaxy S10 and S10+.
It sounds great. And of course, it “looks” great (see Galaxy Note 10 layout).
But in reality, it is a step backward because:
- It is slower than the traditional capacitive fingerprint sensor.
- It is hard to locate the area on the screen. The small working area of the in-display fingerprint reader makes it useless until you wake up the screen. FYI, if you get used to the location of the in-display fingerprint sensor on Galaxy S10 or S10+, you have to learn again because the location of the fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ is a bit higher now.
- You need to press it with force to register the scan.
Anyway, I am never a fan of the rectangular fingerprint reader in Galaxy phones. Of course, nobody likes the position of the fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Note 8.
But the problem can be easily solved with a circular cutout in a better position.
Unfortunately, Samsung tried to solve this issue with this inferior modern solution.
#3. Iris scanner
When iris scanner was introduced in Galaxy Note 7, it is a bit slow. But Samsung improved it greatly through Galaxy S8 and Note 8.
On Galaxy Note 9 (and S9), the iris scanner works great, and there are very few complaints about it.
Again, Samsung decided to remove it on Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ to save space and to make the phone “look” great. It should also help them reduce the cost.
Just like on Galaxy S10, Samsung offers face recognition as a replacement on Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+. But compared to the iris scanner, the face recognition is less accurate and slower. And you cannot use it when the light condition is not good.
#4. Headphone jack: the most controversial missing feature of Galaxy Note 10
Removing the headphone jack on Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ is a big, but stupid, move.
It is fashionable to ditch the headp[hone jack on smartphones after Apple did it. But it is just a fad.
Apple removed it to promote the expensive AirPod. It created a new revenue stream when the sales of the iPhone dropped.
HTC removed it and the company is on the death spiral. Removing the headphone jack did not attract new buyers. Instead, existing customers were leaving.
Google removed it on Pixel 2 and 3 to promote Google Assistant. They only added it on Pixel 3a ” to add flexibility” because they think buyers of Pixel 3a may not afford a wireless headset.
None of these companies removed the headphone jack with a better solution. They did it on purpose.
Some other smartphone manufactures just followed blindly.
Samsung claims they could add 100mAh battery capacity. This is laughable.
First, space saved by removing the headphone jack can only add maximum to 50mAh battery based on the size of the battery inside Galaxy Note 10.
Second, the 100mAh is less than 2.5% of the Galaxy Note 10+ battery.
Samsung also claimed that filling the hole would improve haptic feedback. This is even more ridiculous. How much improvement? How does the small hole have a significant impact on haptic feedback?
Anyway, the wireless headset is only good enough for “voice” or “sound,” but not enough for music at this time. The latency and limited bandwidth in Bluetooth indicate the wireless headset is not ready to replace wired ones.
BTW, in the Galaxy Note 10 box, you can find a USB-C earphone. You have to buy a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter if you want to use your existing headsets.
#5. Micro SD support on Galaxy Note 10
Galaxy Note 10+ still supports the micro SD card. But Galaxy Note 10 does not.
This is very confusing, if not annoying.
For most users, the 256GB storage is very likely sufficient. But there are many on-the-road guys need it. Some also use it to store a large collection of videos and high-fidelity music files.
Unlike the headphone jack, micro SD card support can be alleviated by larger internal storage and external USB storage. But removing an existing, and still useful for some owners, shows the ignorance of the designer.
#6. S Note app: the most unnoticed missing feature of Galaxy Note 10
S Note app is one of the most important contributions to the early success of Galaxy Note devices.
But Samsung stopped the development of the app after Galaxy Note 4.
Instead, they asked owners to migrate to the Samsung Notes app, which lacks many key features of the S Note app.
So, you can still manually install the old S Note app from the Galaxy Store. But there have been no improvements, no bug fixes, no new features in the last 5 years.
Probably, the designers and developers in Samsung did not use S Note at all. Hopefully, they were not designing Galaxy Note 10 on an iPhone.
#7. Power key
On the right side of Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, there are no buttons (see Galaxy Note 10 layout). The power key is now a confusing Side key.
The unpopular Bixby button below the volume rocker on the left side now changes the name to Side key. And it also incorporates the functions of the old power key.
But this creates unnecessary confusions and inconveniences without improving anything:
- For long-time Galaxy Note users, you need to change.
- Is it really good to put the power key on the left side? At least, I prefer phones with buttons on the right side.
- Long press the side key will activate the Bixby, not the Power button menu.
- You have to press volume down AND the side key to access the power button menu.
You may check this guide on how to use and customize the Side key/Power key on Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus.
#8. Heart rate sensor
When the heart rate sensor was added on Galaxy S5 and later Note 4, it rode the wave of fitness tracking. Of course, many owners questioned its accuracy.
In today’s standard, it is not so useful if you have to stand still and wait for one minute to gauge your heart rate. Many cheap fitness bands can do a better job.
The heart rate sensor itself maybe not so useful. But since Galaxy S9, you can use it to measure blood pressure and stress levels with the My BP Lab app. For most users who do not have a blood pressure cuff at home, it can be useful to measure blood pressure without visit the clinic. Again, the accuracy of the calculated blood pressure is not so great. But the trend is very accurate.
Both Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ removed the heart rate sensor (but keep the SpO2 sensor) probably makes the phone incompatible with the app.
#9. A flat-screen
After Galaxy Note 5, all Galaxy Note phones use the “curved” screen.
Again, the curve is just for the look. Samsung also stopped to promote the Edge screen features since Galaxy S8. But the feature is still there on Galaxy Note 10, just like the Edge screen feature on Galaxy S10 (see this page).
The problem caused by the curved screen is the reduced working area on the screen. It is hard to use S Pen on the curved part.
To make the matter worse, the screen becomes narrower and narrower. Galaxy Note got a 16:10 screen. Note II, Note 3, Note 4, Note 5, and Note 7 all used a 16:9. Note 8 and Note 9 make the screen significantly narrower to 18.5:9. And Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ got an even narrower screen of 19:9.
This means when the screen size increased from 5.7″ on Galaxy Note 5 to 6.3″ on Galaxy Note 8, the width does not increase much although the surface area increases about 15%. The curved screen makes the usable (for S Pen) width actually shorter.
For S Pen users, almost nobody likes the curved screen.
The whole smartphone industry has been in a frenzy of bezel-less or even bezel-free design in the last a few years.
Samsung actually is one of the major proponents for such a radical design. They want to challenge the limit for the purpose of the “look” or their ego. But it is not good for user experience.
When Samsung used the curved screen, part of the screen actually would be functioned as the bezel if you hold the phone naturally. To alleviate the problem of unwanted touches on the edges, the touch sensitivity on the edge area has to be lowered.
To use the phone normally, you need a sizeable bezel.
What do you think about the missing features of Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+?
If you want to share your thoughts on the missing features on Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, please share them in the comment box below.
Our overall review of Galaxy Note 10 can be found here.
If you have any questions on using Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10+, you may check our Galaxy Note 10 guides page.
The official Galaxy Note 10 user manual in different languages is listed in this post.