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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs OnePlus 7 Pro: A choice that could keep you up at night

Samsung’s flagship phablet for 2019, the Galaxy Note 10, has arrived. We actually have a pair of Notes because, for the first time in the Note range’s history, there are two tiers to consider: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The ‘Plus’ model is not only bigger but more feature-packed too, which is why we thought we’d pit it against one of the strongest phones of the year, the OnePlus 7 Pro.

OnePlus, too demonstrated a change of tack with its first major launch this year; splitting the OnePlus 7 series into two models, with a Pro variant that plays host to the company’s newest technologies, not to mention an all-new design.

The story is much the same with the Note 10; the standard model features the line’s signature S Pen stylus but beyond that is a pretty run-of-the-mill high-end Android phone. It’s the Note 10 Plus that stands out with its larger, sharper screen, expandable storage and more advanced camera setup.

So has Samsung’s new Note 10 Plus got what it takes to outdo OnePlus’ best device to date? Let’s find out.

Related: Best Note 10 Deals / Best Note 10 Plus Deals

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs OnePlus 7 Pro – Size or speed?

Until we spend an extended period of time with the Note 10 Plus, we won’t actually know how well it’ll perform. What we do know is that it’s got its work cut out trying to top the OnePlus 7 Pro’s impressive capabilities.

If you want size, the Note 10 Plus is the way to go; it boats a huge 6.8-inch ‘Dynamic AMOLED’ HDR10+ display. The size makes it great for enjoying media but also grants you an expansive canvas on which to write, doodle and manipulate content using the S Pen.

Despite the Note display’s respectable 498 pixels-per-inch count, the slightly smaller (but still sizeable) 6.67-inch ‘Fluid AMOLED’ display of the OnePlus takes the cake for sharpness (516 ppi).

Obviously, there’s no native stylus support to speak of on the OnePlus 7 Pro, but the handset instead brings an impressively smooth 90Hz refresh rate to the table, which affects how motion is displayed, making for an engrossing visual experience.

Side by side, you’ll also notice that, while neither phone suffers from a notch, the Note 10 Plus features a centrally-aligned 10-megapixel front-facing camera, set into the top edge of the display. The OnePlus 7 Pro’s display, on the other hand, is pure uninterrupted glass, nothing but pixels all the way.

OnePlus has instead given the 7 Pro a 16-megapixel motorised pop-up front camera. It’s a far more elaborate solution compared to Samsung’s simple hole-punch offering but makes for a cleaner viewing experience. Its inclusion does call into question aspects like reliability and resilience though (despite OnePlus’ promises of long-term durability).

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus also features IP68 dust and water resistance, while the OnePlus 7 Pro (infamously) doesn’t have a formal IP rating.

Both displays also support in-screen fingerprints sensors; OnePlus’ solution is a more conventional optical setup, while Samsung has opted for ultrasonic tech. In everyday use, optical technology is currently faster while ultrasonic tech is more secure. The latter also doesn’t rely on light, therefore you can use it with the screen off.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs OnePlus 7 Pro – Flexible photography

Perhaps 2019 more than any other year has served as the perfect case study for the benefits of computational photography. Having a bevvy of small sensors that lean on AI smarts to offer impressive DSLR-esque images is now commonplace in the smartphone space, with the Note 10 Plus and OnePlus 7 Pro serving as the perfect poster children for the tech.

The Note 10 Plus’ camera setup is much the same as the Galaxy S10 series from earlier in the year, most closely matching the Galaxy S10 5G with its four-sensor arrangement.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus OnePlus 7 Pro
Dimensions  71.8 x 151 x 7.9mm 77.2 x 162.3 x 7.9mm 75.9 x 162.6 × 8.8mm
Weight 168g 196g 206g
Display 6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O, 2280 x 1080, 401ppi, HDR10+ 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O, 3040 x 1440, 498ppi, HDR10+ 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED, 3120 x 1440, 516ppi, HDR10+, 90Hz
Processor Samsung Exynos 9825/Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (market dependant) Samsung Exynos 9825/Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (market dependant) Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Rear camera Dual Pixel 12-megapixel OIS f/1.5 – f/2.4 AF
16-megapixel 123° ultra-wide f/2.2 FF
12-megapixel telephoto OIS f/2.1 AF
Dual Pixel 12-megapixel OIS f/1.5 – f/2.4 AF
16-megapixel 123° ultra-wide f/2.2 FF
12-megapixel telephoto OIS f/2.1 AF
VGA DepthVision camera f/1.4
48-megapixel OIS f/1.6 AF
16-megapixel 117° ultra-wide f/2.2 FF
8-megapixel telephoto OIS f/2.4 AF
Front camera 10-megapixel f/2.2 10-megapixel f/2.2 Pop-up 16-megapixel f/2.0
Battery 3500mAh w/ 45W fast-charging (25W charging in-box) 4300mAh w/ 45W fast-charging (25W charging in-box) 4000mAh w/ 30W fast-charging
Storage 256GB (non-expandable) 256GB/512GB (+ microSD expandable) 128GB/256GB (non-expandable)
Security In-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
In-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
In-display optical fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
Stylus BLE, 10-hour battery, motion air gestures BLE, 10-hour battery, motion air gestures None
Colours Pink, black, Aura Glow Black, white, Aura Glow Mirror Gray, Nebula Blue, Almond

A 12-megapixel main camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation) is accompanied by a 16-megapixel wide-angle sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor that offers 2x lossless optical zoom. That fourth sensor is a dedicated depth-sensing module, designed to help generate that all-important background blur in portrait images, as well as help with AR (augmented reality) experiences, where applicable.

The 7 Pro ditches anything resembling Samsung’s ‘DepthVision’ camera and features a capable triple camera arrangement of its own. While a little shakey at launch, constant software updates have turned this phone’s camera setup into a formidable entry within the smartphone photography space.

The phone’s main OIS-equipped 48-megapixel main sensor snaps high-fidelity 12-megapixel stills by default, there’s a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera, similar to the Note 10 Plus, albeit with a slightly narrower 117° field of view (compared to 123° on the Note), while the OIS-toting 8-megapixel telephoto sensor may not pack as many pixels as Samsung’s solution but does allow for 3x lossless optical zoom.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs OnePlus 7 Pro – Speed demons

Both phones are fast pieces of kit to be sure, fronted by their excellent chipsets and 12GB of RAM, in the case of the Note 10 Plus, with up to 12GB available in the OnePlus. It’s not just about speed though.

The Plus and the Pro also feature sizeable cells, with a capacious 4300mAh battery in the Note 10 Plus and a marginally smaller 4000mAh offering in the 7 Pro. Samsung has chosen to up the 15W fast-charging found in the Galaxy S10 series to outstanding 45W fast-charging in the Plus, however, you only get a 25W fast-charger in the box.

This plays to OnePlus’ benefit as the (still impressively snappy) 30W Warp Charging tech at play on the 7 Pro, trumps the Note from the off and only falls short against those users that are willing to pay Samsung a little extra for the superior 45W fast-charging adapter.

Being 2019, we’ve also reached the year of 5G. In markets like the UK where 5G is now available, OnePlus is offering a 5G variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro that lets users on the bleeding edge enjoy the fastest mobile connectivity in the world.

Related: 5G in the UK

Not to be outdone, Samsung is already offering the specialised Galaxy S10 5G, however, rather than requiring a dedicated device that sports distinctly different hardware from its namesake, the Note 10 Plus will, like the OnePlus, be available in a near-identical 5G guise this time around.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs OnePlus 7 Pro – A tough choice

Choosing between the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the OnePlus 7 Pro isn’t easy. The Note grants you the benefit of that all-important S Pen, a marginally larger battery and a bigger screen, but the technological and aesthetic combination balance that OnePlus has struck with the 7 Pro is special.

The Note is the safe choice, best for those looking for a device to help enhance their productivity, the OnePlus is the more exciting option, with a screen and performance perfectly-suited to enjoying media and gaming on the go.

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