How’s it been like living with the Galaxy Note 10 for the past 8 months?

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I’ve been a proud owner of a Galaxy Note 10 for about 8 months now. The reasons why I chose this model over the Galaxy Note 10+ have been detailed before. I’m 8 months in and I have yet to regret my decision. I always thought the additional ToF sensor was a gimmick, and it looks like Samsung may have reached this conclusion as well.In any case, the Galaxy Note 10 has been a great mobile companion to me, but it’s not been perfect. Nevertheless, there are only a couple of things I dislike about the phone, and they pretty much boil down to my subjective experience. So without further ado, let’s get started with the software.The software got better, I love Samsung’s One UI / appsSo, how has been like living with the Galaxy Note 10 for pe past 8 months, software-wise? Pretty good, actually, and the experience only got better in time thanks to One UI 2.1 and various first-party app updates.I must give the company credit for delivering a solid software experience overall. I prefer using Samsung’s default apps to other solutions, and this means a lot. I use Samsung Internet over any other mobile browser, and I never felt like My Files needed a replacement. Contacts, Phone, Calendar, Clock, and other apps from Samsung work fine for me. I rely on Samsung Email daily instead of the Gmail app, and all in all, I never wanted to replace One UI with a different launcher.

I think Bixby Routines is a fantastic feature and I never felt like installing a third-party solution to satisfy my IFTTT desires. Likewise, the Phone Screen feature in Microsoft’s Your Phone app has been very useful sometimes, particularly when sending messages from my phone via my computer.Samsung Daily also seems to be a superior solution to Bixby Home, but I will admit I don’t use either. I think Samsung Daily could be nice when commuting because it aggregates news and information and provides a distraction, but I rarely commute, so I never find the time to use it.As you all know, the Galaxy Note 10 shipped with Android 9 but got updated to Android 10 with One UI 2.1. There are no complaints here. The UI got better and various apps got minor but various additions as well. Overall, I’m very happy with how the software experience has been steadily improved through firmware and app updates over the past 8 months.Accidental touch rejection remains an issue, but using a case ‘fixes’ itWhile the overall software experience got better, the accidental touch issues caused largely by the edge display and its thin bezels persist to this day. Perhaps there weren’t enough people complaining about this for Samsung to address it via software, or maybe it’s just the edge display’s design making this an inherent problem. More on that later.Although I would prefer using my Note 10 without a case, this accessory became an important part of my experience. It helped me get around this touch rejection issue. If you’re wondering, I’m using the SamMobile case which you can get for free if you sign up for a SamMobile premium plan. Aside from preventing accidental touches near the edges, it also saved my phone from a couple of accidental drops.I do feel like slapping a case on a beautiful phone like the Galaxy Note 10 is a bit of a shame. Especially when it flaunts the eye-catching Aura Glow finish like mine does. I sometimes remove the case just to remind myself of how slim the bezels are and how nice the paint finish is. Yet I always end up putting the case back on, after I clean off the inevitable fingerprint smudges left on the back panel.Granted, this is more of a general problem with most smartphones today, especially those wrapped in glass. Their beauty is seldom seen because people will protect their investment with a case, and who can blame them given today’s flagship prices? But the persisting accidental touch issues are just another reason for me to use a case on my Galaxy Note 10, and I wish it wasn’t so.

The more time goes by, the more I dislike the edge displayAlthough the Galaxy Note 10’s display is fantastic in terms of resolution, color reproduction, brightness and so on, the curved edge design is something I could do without. Granted, it helps the futuristic design, but after 8 months of usage, I came to the conclusion that it’s the worst design decision Samsung could’ve made for an S Pen device. Not only does it contribute to the aforementioned accidental touch issues, but it also makes the S Pen experience just a little less enjoyable.I learned living with it, but I always feel like the S Pen will slip off the Note 10 screen whenever I push it too much near the edges. This is always in the back of my mind and it spoils the experience, even if to a small degree. There’s simply no clear indication as to where the display starts to curve, unless the screen is turned off. In real-life usage, I kind of have to feel where the display starts curving with the tip of the S Pen, and it’s never a pleasant experience. I’m not saying the edge display isn’t nice in some capacity, but I really think it’s a poor match for the S Pen.That’s not to say I dislike the Edge panel, i.e., the software side of things. I actively use three Edge panels, namely Apps, Weather, and Tools. I like a clean home screen, and the Edge panels help me achieve this. The Edge panels hark back to the positive software experience I’ve had with the phone, and I would really miss this feature if Samsung would remove it in future One UI versions.

I forgot all about Air ActionsSamsung made a big deal about the Galaxy Note 10 featuring a brand new S Pen equipped with a gyroscope. Yes, it does have a gyroscope, but I kind of forgot about this characteristic until I was writing this opinion and got reminded of it. And although this article is a collection of subjective opinions, I think at least part of my forgetfulness is on Samsung’s shoulders.The only way the gyroscope comes into play with the Galaxy Note 10 S Pen is through Air Actions, and outside of testing the feature many months ago, I never made real use of it. It sounds nice on paper, but I’ve deemed it a gimmick a long time ago. Meanwhile, Samsung didn’t do much to change my perspective. I think these S Pen gestures can be useful only in highly unlikely situations when you might want to do a PowerPoint presentation from your phone. I never found myself in this scenario, so Air Actions has been rather useless to me.Air Actions/the gyroscope can also be useful if you want to take pictures from afar, as the S Pen doubles as a remote shutter button. But have I always used this instead of a timed photo? No, not really. Practical uses are very limited, and because of this, I tend to forget about Air Actions altogether. I captured timed photos on a few occasions before realizing I could’ve used the S Pen as a remote for the Camera. And while you could argue that I’m the one being forgetful, I do feel like Samsung contributed to the feature’s obscureness by not exploiting its potential 8 months down the line. It’s a shame, because a gyroscope inside an S Pen opens up a lot of opportunities to explore, but Samsung never did explore them.

Let’s talk more about my S Pen experienceI’m kind of on the fence about the S Pen, but before you write your hate comments below, allow me explain myself. I absolutely do not think Samsung should abandon the S Pen – in fact, I’m of the opinion that it would go perfectly with more devices like the Galaxy Fold. Personally though, I have to really ask myself whether or not I’d miss the S Pen if I were to switch to, say, the Galaxy S21. I think I would, but I’d also probably get over it relatively quickly.I guess this boils down to the type of workflow I have on a daily basis. It simply doesn’t require an S Pen. Outside of that, I would likely miss the ability to jot down shopping lists and the ease with which I can edit photos with the S Pen as opposed to using my fingertip. But I don’t think it would take much time for me adjust to its absence considering I’m far from an avid photographer. Would I be willing to put this to the test? Maybe not, and perhaps I will stick to the Note series for a few more years because of this. Nevertheless, there are plenty of S Pen applications that I simply stopped caring about over the past 8 months.I think the S Pen can be a great tool for aspiring artists, but I’m not one

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