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Loyal iPhone user, who doesn’t know what she’s doing, reviews Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+

Loyalties were tested.

Melanie Lim |Julia Yeo | September 7, 09:09 pm

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Since 2013, I’ve been a loyal iPhone user when I got my first Apple device.

Virgin experience with an Android phone

I’ve never used an Android phone before, so I decided to try out Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10+ because this idea of an Apple user using something else is such a well-worn trope.

Now, let me re-describe the feeling that thousands or millions before me have done.

The new Samsung phone was a phone I had previously heard in passing, but didn’t really know much about.

Since I’ve had no prior experience with Android phones, I decided to experience it and weigh it against my experience with iPhones.

But here’s something you’d hear less often in such reviews: To make things fair, I decided to ask my colleague, a loyal Samsung user, to try out the Galaxy Note 10+ with me.

After several hours of fiddling around and disturbing co-workers with our antics, here are our first impressions. (New knowledge economy work, ya.)

(Disclaimer: We are not professionals. We just have access to the Internet and can string our opinions into words.)

1. User-friendliness

The iPhone is without a doubt one of the most user-friendly phones in the market. Haha, can’t believe we are writing this when so many have before us.

I’ve owned my iPhone 6 for close to four years now, and what I love most about it is how easily I can navigate my way through different apps and functions.

Because if I couldn’t, I would have owned it for two years max. Haha. This is just a joke.

After trying out the Note 10+, I am convinced that Apple users will not have an easy time getting used to this phone. (Yes, it could be because I am a klutz.)

There is a learning curve to using the Galaxy Note 10+, most notably in the myriad of functions available on the phone and in the various applications available to the user.

For instance, my colleague, someone who is a loyal Samsung user, was also trying out the AR doodle function on the phone when we had some difficulties getting from a saved video back to the AR doodle camera.

Haha. Maybe we are both klutzes. (This is our cop-out phrase so we don’t get whacked online by the Android fanatics.)

We had to go back and forth, tapping on different buttons to eventually figure out how to get there.

The iPhone is without a doubt more user-friendly than the Galaxy Note 10+, which can be quite complicated for first time Android users.

(But then again, we could be klutzes.)

2. S Pen (Stylus)

I love to draw and get creative with my photos for Instagram.

That’s a pretty hard task to do on the iPhone, as it does not come with a stylus to help me create online sketches or drawings.

(Yes, we know, Steve Jobs hates the stylus. But Apple is entering another phase of its existence.)

What I really love about the Note 10+ is its S Pen (a.k.a. stylus), which not only allows me to do things like draw or take down handwritten notes on-the-go, but also provides shortcuts to speed up my workflow.

I love saying such things on a platform owned by my employers. Because I sound like I work all the time.

Image via Melanie Lim

I especially enjoyed being able to use it like a remote control, and found it a faster and more nimble way of navigating my way through the phone.

To do work. All. The. Time.

3. Camera

I have much to rave about the camera function on the Note 10+ as well, as I believe that people who love getting creative with photo and video editing will, too.

If you don’t like to “get creative” with your photos, I’m sorry, you can skip the rest of this section and read our rating at the end.

Compared to the photos taken by my iPhone, which usually require heavy tweaking in terms of filters and lighting, the Note 10+ took clear and focused images that required little to no further editing at all.

Case in point:

Note 10+ vs iPhone 6, Image via Julia Yeo and Melanie Lim

I was thoroughly impressed by the different video functions available on the Note 10+ too, such as the AR doodle, which has a face recognition function that allows you to pin words and drawings on faces:

Gif via Julia Yeo/Note 10+

Why the need to actually do this, I can’t explain. Maybe people who are into evolutionary studies can explain.

Another function that many phone users might be interested in is the AR emoji, which allows you to create emoji versions of yourself who will then mimic your movements in real life:

Our colleague shows you how to open a tea satchet. Gif via Julia Yeo/Note 10+

Wow. Not sure why I would need something like this. But wow.

Compared to the Note 10+, Apple still has a long way to go with its camera and AR tech developments — even for its newer series of phones.

So as not to offend Apple users, I love Steve Jobs for the record. (Ashton Kutcher was okay as Steve Jobs though. Not sure about it, overall, still.)

4. Battery life

One of the huge grievances I have with my iPhone is how fast its battery depletes, owing to constant iOS upgrades, its age and overcharging on my part. (I’m a klutz.)

So, I was really pleased with how long-lasting the Note 10+’s battery is.

My colleague and I charged our Note 10+ overnight and unplugged it when we came to work at 10am.

At 4pm, the battery was still going strong at 86 percent, even after we had been using it non-stop to take photos and videos.

My iPhone, on the other hand, was down to 50 percent with barely any usage, just two hours after it had been fully charged.

While it remains to be seen if the Note 10+’s battery life will remain as strong with time and frequent usage, let’s just say we were pretty impressed by what we had seen thus far.

If not, Ah Beng handphone shop repairs, here I come.

5. Appearance

I’m a huge fan of the way iPhones look and feel, and remain so.

Whilst the Note 10+ beats the iPhone hands down in terms of durability *coughs in cracked iPhone screens*, I found it just a tad too large and clunky.

I have small hands. I admit.

It didn’t fit into my palm nicely, and I can imagine myself struggling to fit it into some of my smaller bags.

I definitely can no longer eat with one hand and use my phone with another, for sure.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ can be quite overwhelming if you consider all its features in totality, and the average phone user probably wouldn’t need so many functions on a daily basis.

But that’s like complaining about having too much money. Haha.

However, it’s a great phone for those who love creative features like drawing, photo and video editing.

And showing off in the first four days you get it.

The S Pen is probably the most unique feature of the Note 10+, and I personally have taken a liking to it since the stylus is such a convenient tool for both work and play.

For work especially. I love my job.

In terms of pricing, the Note 10+ costs S$1,598 and upwards at Samsung stores, so interested buyers may want to check their budget first.

Or just nod appreciatively, and not buy it.

So, Samsung, you haven’t won me over yet, but I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed.

If I could afford it on a whim, I would say I’m a huge fan.

Rating: 7.5/10

Read more about the Note 10 here:

5 things to know about the new S$1,398 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 & S$1,598 Note 10+

Cover image via @galaxynote10plus/IG

About Melanie Lim

Melanie likes taking and editing photos for Instagram.

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