I am returning my Galaxy Note 10+: here is why

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
I am returning my Galaxy Note 10+: here is why
I was among the first people to get the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, even before the official launch, and since then, I have been using the phone as my daily driver for most of the time. Unfortunately, while there is a lot I like about it, there are a couple of things that ruin the experience for me and I have decided to return it.

There is one big reason why I couldn't live with the Note 10+ and a few other things that annoyed me.

But first, let me say that I was just as excited as the next person to try out the glitzy new Note: I find the design to be gorgeous, especially when the glass back hits the light at the right angle and turns into this fantastic, eclectic mixture of colors. I should also warn you that I am not a huge S Pen user, nor am I an artist, and those people definitely don't have much other choice, so the Note should still definitely be at the top of their wish-list.


So... why am I returning the Note 10+? One big reason: the fingerprint scanner on the Note 10+ is kind of a... disaster. It's slow, it requires more than one attempt most of the times, and it's just extremely annoying. And I get it: making a fingerprint scanner that is under the screen and that works well is an extremely daunting task, but I don't understand why Samsung persists using the obviously inferior ultrasonic fingerprint technology when rivals like Huawei and OnePlus have shown that the second generation fingerprint reader in phones like the Huawei P30 Pro and the OnePlus 7 Pro is vastly superior.


I should also note that I am using the Note with the screen protector that it comes with and it might work better when you remove the screen protector, but I really don't want to risk scratching the screen. Plus, all the other phones that I have just mentioned, I also used with a screen protector on top of the screen and they worked so much better. As it is right now, the fingerprint scanner on the Note 10+ is just too inaccurate and it has become more of a barrier between me and my device.

Other struggles and disappointments



Apart from my struggles with the fingerprint scanner on the Note 10+, there are a few things that I noticed.

1. The first one is something I mentioned in my review: having such thin bezels might actually be detrimental at times, as you get so many phantom touches when you are using the phone without a case. I used the phone with Samsung's leather case most of the time and it gives you a better grip and helps avoid phantom touches, but if you are using the phone without a case, you would find yourself accidentally tapping a wrong button, skipping a video, or something else you never intended to do. Not a dealbreaker, but certainly quite annoying.

2. Samsung has improved its interface a great deal recently, but even this new UI feels quite stuttery and nowhere nearly as smooth as a OnePlus phone with that 90-hertz display, or even a Google Pixel. Instead of smooth transitions, you get weird choppy, interrupted animations and the whole thing feels stuttery and just not very refined. This was an issue back in the day with TouchWiz, and while now the whole interface is faster, it still feels rather choppy. Funny enough, I switched to my trusty old OnePlus 5 after using the Note 10+ for a couple of weeks and it felt so much smoother, despite being nearly two years old.

3. I also lamented the lack of a headphone jack. Wireless headphones are great, but they are also one more gadget that you should charge on a daily basis and sometimes having a good old wired headset is just more convenient, especially when you are on the go.

4. Last, but not least, the Galaxy Note 10+ proved to be just too big to comfortably carry in a pocket. The sharp corners make it even worse, so much so that it's impossible to tie your shoes when you have the phone in your pocket.

All of those little inconveniences, coupled with the big disappointment with the fingerprint scanner, led to my decision to ultimately return the Galaxy Note 10+.

There are a few things that I would miss: the gorgeous display, the great camera, the quite good battery life (still not quite as good as on a Huawei P30 Pro or OnePlus 7 Pro), the beautiful styling of the phone, the plentiful on-board storage and a few more. But it's time to move on to a new phone that will get the basics, like the fingerprint scanner, right.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 10+
  • Display 6.8" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4300 mAh

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182 Comments

1. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 137; Member since: May 29, 2019

Wait until these criticisms are praises for another certain company flagship.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all Victor you love your iPhone, and even praises it's gestures. That is mostly likely the main reason that you are giving back the Galaxy Note 10+. That, and Samsung has now probably said please return our lender unit. Also Victor the other finger print scanners that you mention under the screen are camera versions. They only take a 2D image, and can easily be faked with a picture of a users finger print. The Galaxy Note 10, and just like the S10 are much more secure and users cannot fake out or try to spoof the ultrasonic finger scanner because it takes a 3D scan of a users finger. It even checks for blood flow. Now a guy named Leu from Unboxed Therapy has a video on how to greatly improve the S10 and Note 10 finger scanning capabilities. The best tip is to scan your finger in more than once. There is even settings to improve the scanning.

20. QuantumRazer

Posts: 131; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

The question is, what's the point of using the most secure type of FPS if it hinders the user experience significantly? It's good that Samsung greatly cares about the security, but there are still lot of people who are complaining about how slow and inaccurate the ultrasonic FPS on Galaxy S10 even after all these updates. It is the real, existing issue that Samsung needs to address in their future products, hopefully S11 will have an improved FPS sensor.

85. CntryGyNSD

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 09, 2019

I'm glad you pointed out the usability slant because that was the most odd thing to me about this author's reasoning for returning the phone. The fingerprint reader is exceptionally fast and responsive. I have no more issues with the in screen sensor than I did a dedicated one. If you do experience issues there are many, many articles talking about how to improve the accuracy of the sensor. It takes a tiny bit of effort to adapt to the technology and I find it SO much more convenient.

120. Housequake

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 09, 2019

HOLY CRAP, Ijust found the setting to increase touchscreen sensitivity and it makes ALL the difference in the world for the fingerprint reader. THANK YOU

130. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

I agree. Victor are you reallh trying to convince me that the note ten stutters when my note 9 which does not stutter at all? What phone were you using as a real daily driver that you own prior to the note? What wired headphones do you own and attempting to use? This article you wrote sounds like a sham. In fact as a first time reader all sorts of red flags went up while reading this.

131. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's well known that Victor is an iPhone guy. He shouldn't review a paper clip, let alone review any smartphone. I am still waiting for him to release their battery testing scripts.

166. prayastha

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

Maybe he'll review a paperweight one day and say he's returning it because iphones are way better paperweight. You know, because it is heavy and quite useless as a smartphone.

17. Ichimoku

Posts: 171; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

when I see the author of the article..

71. andrewc31394

Posts: 295; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

what about him? seems like he's just voicing an opinion which alot of people are getting butthurt at.

112. NZred

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 19, 2019

Any other writer and you'd be right, but not this one. Apple shill through and through.

170. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Definitely troll alert came up on my VPN protector reading this article..

27. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Samsung was rumored to bring in display fingerprint in S8 and I was so excited like everyone. Then we got to know the tech isn’t ready and it won’t come for yet another year. Then apple was also rumored to bring it in their anniversary iPhone but they came out with something else : FaceID. I was one of those who made fun of apple for such move but when I experienced FaceID I Was not shy to say that the next big thing is already here and apple has already brought the next level of phone unlocking mechanism and in display FPS isn’t needed anymore but Samsung didn’t drop the idea and finally brought it in S10 and no one should try to cover it up, this tech is a failure. FaceID is what companies could think after in display fps. It’s the most secure unlocking mechanism and so seamless. In display fps is a failure and Samsung will drop it soon for a FaceID ripoff. I challenge android to make in display fps better than FaceID instead of copying it in their phones.

41. drunkenjay

Posts: 1671; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

I disagree after having the iphone x, xs max and then to the s10+. I dreaded the face id yet i loved the in display fingerprint sensor. The fact that you have to move your face around to get the angle to unlock your face is impracticable and especially when i move around in asia such as japan where i use face masks regularly, its the worst place to use iphones. they also somehow make the face id useless in horizontal mode which adds to the limits of face unlock. i had problems when i first started using in display fingerprint sensor but i has grown in me rapidly. its fast, can me used without placing my face to the sensor and can be used horizontally. the only gripe i would have would be the tempered glass protector but weighing the pros and cons between both iphone and android, id prefer the android.

55. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

I think you are confused by the FaceID setup videos where you’ve to move your face around to set up FaceID but it’s just a one time step. You don’t need to move your face to unlock it, you don’t need to find angle even. You just pick up the phone and swipe up and it doesn’t fail in any scenario. If you claim that in display fps is better than FaceID then I would say you are yet to experience FaceID

139. drunkenjay

Posts: 1671; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Actually im not confused. pressing a button when you on on your desk without compared to picking up the actual phone is called getting your face on the phone at an angle. i have had my iphones x and xs max for 2 years compared to a few months on the s10+ so clearly i know what is better.

86. CntryGyNSD

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 09, 2019

I prefer a fingerprint scanner to any facial recognition software. Though I admit Apple has the best iteration of it, I feel they are too finicky in real life.

51. banglazbless

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

You challenge manufacturer to make a better indisplay fingerprint scanner than face id ripoff? Yet earlier you said that is what all manufacturer should be going with?

56. Mike88

Posts: 402; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

You should learn to read first

65. dvlprr

Posts: 68; Member since: May 08, 2019

Thank you for this.

83. Alcyone

Posts: 395; Member since: May 10, 2018

Google is about to One Up Apple. Everyone will be trailing behind the Pixel 4.

52. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1821; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I thought wireless headphones were better on the go than wired one's but I could be wrong...

171. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Are there any credible reviewers left at phone arena?

182. TenPlusGuy

Posts: 2; Member since: 2 days ago

The AP is such a prima donna!

2. ahmadkun

Posts: 586; Member since: May 02, 2016

Keep trying ..

3. bikrame

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

I was wondering why and up in bar I see next event countdown. you guys really need to change domain to PhoneArenadotcom.

4. nique0201

Posts: 62; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

I have 0 issue with my in display reader .. idk if it's because I've done multiple prints of both thumbs then 1 sort of medley where I used both! I've never had to try multiple times even when my hand was wet

44. drunkenjay

Posts: 1671; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

same, im not sure why they are complaining when it works. im pretty sure they were moving their heads around to unlock it instead of touching the actual screen.

93. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

well he did say he got it early before it came out and the tester units didnt have finished software and dont get the updates

5. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 412; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

So basically you bought the phone knowing all this upfront. Meaning you never really intended in keeping the phone. You just needed a review, couple camera comparisons, and a why you don't want the phone. Tech reviewers should really done into the devices they use granted they all have a form of bias. Not one word on Dex hmmm.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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