Samsung to skip Galaxy Note 10 camera upgrades, save tech for Galaxy S11

Samsung to skip Galaxy Note 10 camera upgrades, save tech for Galaxy S11
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 concept render

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series is shaping up to be an incredible lineup of devices. Physically, the changes may not please everyone, but the leaked specs so far look very impressive. And thanks to tipster Ice Universe, today even more details have been revealed. 

Just one front-facing camera rather than two

Due to the higher price tag that Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices typically command, the Galaxy Note 10 lineup was initially expected to inherit the two front-facing cameras found on the Galaxy S10+. According to Ice Universe, though, this won’t be the case. Instead, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Pro will reportedly feature just one selfie snapper positioned in the middle of the display. As for the resolution, it’s expected to match the 10-megapixels offered by the Galaxy S10.

Moving over to the rear of the Galaxy Note 10 series, Samsung is preparing some even bigger changes. Gone will be the horizontal camera setup found on previous Galaxy Note flagships and, in its place, should be a new two-column vertical layout which, as expected, will be home to a total of four cameras.

Compared to the Galaxy Note 9, the new additions on the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Pro look set to include a dedicated Time-of-Flight sensor and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with support for a 123-degree field of view. Accompanying these should once again be a 12-megapixel sensor paired with a 2x telephoto zoom lens.

The big camera upgrades are being reserved for the Galaxy S11

According to Ice Universe, Samsung considered introducing a 10x optical zoom system on the Galaxy Note 10 series that is considerably superior to the 5x alternative found on Huawei’s P30 Pro. Ultimately, though, the South Korean giant chose to cancel the implementation due to bulkiness, but hopefully a solution will be found for its use on future models. Samsung has also created and mass produced a 5x optical zoom system, but Ice Universe believes this will only be used on future Galaxy A models and won’t ever make it into the company’s flagships.

Regarding the primary camera, Ice Universe is predicting the presence of a 12-megapixel sensor once again. However, he believes Samsung will introduce some massive upgrades with next year’s Galaxy S11.

Although Samsung’s cameras have obviously improved over the years, the company has been using the same 1/2.55-inch 1.4um CMOS setup for years. The camera was first introduced on the Galaxy S7 and then received some improvements via software on the Galaxy S8. The following year, Samsung threw a variable aperture lens into the mix and this year the upgrades have focused on software once again. With the Galaxy S11, however, the tipster believes Samsung will introduce a larger sensor with bigger pixels, thus resulting in noticeably better photos.

New S Pen features, DeX Live, and faster charging

As you’d expect from a Galaxy Note phone, Samsung’s next flagships will arrive paired with S Pen. The upgrades are set to be largely minimal this year, but a new feature called Air Mouse has been teased. Details remain scarce at the minute, but it’ll presumably allow the S Pen to act as a mouse even when being used at distance and work in combination with a new wireless DeX mode called DeX Live that Samsung may be developing.

Another change reportedly coming to the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Pro is faster charging. This feature has been rumored for months but specifics are yet to emerge. Yesterday Samsung did announce a 100W fast charging technology, but Ice Universe shot down rumors of an implementation on the Galaxy Note 10 by jokingly asking if we “want to eat barbecue.” 

The Galaxy S10 series currently supports 15W fast charging but Samsung already offers a 25W alternative on its mid-range devices, so at very least the Galaxy Note 10 should support 25W charging. Hopefully, though, the company will give Huawei a run for its money by implementing an even faster solution.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 10
  • Display 6.3" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 3500 mAh



1. Phonehex

Posts: 765; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Good , S10 Plus is close to perfection. I wont get the Note as it's become a tad too big. S11 next phone for me in Android !!!!

8. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

It seems as though for the past couple of years Samsung has been taking the S series hardware from the first half of the year and using it in the Note series flagship for the second half of the year with a slightly larger battery. For a long time, I thought that the stylus, battery capacity and screen size of the Note series would always distinguish the Note series from the S series but Samsung has indicated otherwise. The S+ lineup has been creeping closer in screen size to the Note series. This year it won't even be an S10+ variant but just an S10 variant that will literally be on the heels of the Note series when it comes to screen size. It will be interesting to see what Samsung does to differentiate the Note 10 series from the S10 series. The stylus and slightly larger battery are a given, but many of us have read about UFS 3.0, a faster charger for all Note 10 variants, 5x optical zoom, etc.

2. pogba

Posts: 112; Member since: Jun 13, 2018

Brand loyalties aside, the note is the best device each year. Some might come close but somehow the note still manages to stay ahead of the pack. And now with huawei on the shaky, this year still brings no worthy competitor.

3. Cat97

Posts: 1920; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I hate the S10+ pill-shaped hole, it ruins the design. The Note 10 design looks close to perfection with a single centered front camera cutout. Even the back layout looks very elegant. Now put in a 5000mAh battery and you will have a beast.

6. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

I definitely like the center front camera punchout better than the S10 series layout.

22. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Same. Are there actually people that want this pill shape ruining the display to take seflies with bokeh? I'd rather have a single camera cutout. Im glad the Note10 is getting it.

4. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

So what in the world is the 10x zoom system for? The Galaxy S line will never have it because it's been known to be thinner than the Note.

5. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

I anticipate that the S12 series will have enough improvements for me to upgrade from my S10+. I was previously using the S8 Active, but Samsung's S9 series didn't improve upon the S8 series enough for me to upgrade. In my opinion, Samsung seems to have these marginal improvements years for the S series. It started with the S7 series and then the S9 series. I would lump the S8 series into this group but Samsung made some nice improvements to their Active line and that was huge for me. I anticipate that the S11 series will be one of those marginal improvement years as well following this big year that Samsung is having for their S10 series 10 year anniversary. Samsung brought its "A" game this year with the screen embedded biometrics, camera additions/improvements, power share, etc. I can see Samsung introducing 25 watt chargers as a standard charger and 5x optical zoom for the S11 series.

7. joshuaswingle

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

Major design changes but limited camera upgrades – Galaxy S6, S8, S10, S12... Major camera upgrades but minimal design changes – Galaxy S7, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S11...

11. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

A major camera upgrade by itself is a marginal improvement if I'm going to be forking out hundreds of dollars for a flagship phone. I need that major camera upgrade plus more and then some on top of that. This is why the S8 series and S10 series are more appealing to me.

12. joshuaswingle

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

It's a marginal improvement if you're coming from the device Samsung released a year earlier. But if you're coming from a model that's two years old or more you will also be receiving the new design, so overall it's a pretty big upgrade. I personally prefer to stick to the camera upgrade years, that way I benefit from the new design that was introduced a year earlier and receive all the camera goodies that I enjoy. The phone might look outdated within twelve months, but the cameras are still almost on par with the next-gen models.

20. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

So basically we do the same thing, we just upgrade on opposite years for different reasons. What improvements do you believe Samsung will make to the S11 series that would qualify as major camera upgrades?

27. joshuaswingle

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

I think replacing the primary sensor with a totally different one should produce some noticeably better results, especially in low light. I imagine the wide-angle camera could receive an upgrade too, but I think the biggest change will probably be a new optical zoom system. I'd hope a true Night Mode than can compete with Google's Night Sight will make it into the final device too, if Samsung doesn't launch one before.

9. LawnBoy

Posts: 195; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Sammy keeps fing up with their crap ass cams and mediocre AI software to try to compete w Pixel's single cam. If Google puts out a dual cam with some nifty tricks along w a large battery, it's over folks.

10. alanrock

Posts: 322; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

how much market share Pixel have ? nothing or less than that compared to Samsung ...

13. apple-rulz

Posts: 2176; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

So what? Market share doesn't matter, Pixel still has the superior camera.

15. alanrock

Posts: 322; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

5% pleasure and 95% pain, that's Pixel...

26. Dadler22

Posts: 241; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

No problems with my 3A? But we do need people to keep buying those 1200 dollar phones, thanks ALAN!

16. Dealler

Posts: 22; Member since: May 03, 2019

It will matter only when Apple will start gaining it right?

14. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

Let's call a spade a spade, Google hasn't put out a dual rear cam with some nifty tricks and a large battery. Your wishful thinking isn't going to get you any closer to what you consider to be a game changer.

17. pimpin83z

Posts: 585; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

"Just one front-facing camera rather than two" Good. I'm an adult male. No need for Snapchat & selfies. "The big camera upgrades are being reserved for the Galaxy S11" S2/Note - 8 MP/2 MP S3/Note 2 - 8+ MP/1.9 MP S4/Note 3 - 13+ MP/2 MP (1080 vs 4K video) S5/Note 4 - 16+ MP/2 MP (3.7 on the Note 4) S6/Note 5 - 16+ MP/5 MP S7/Note 7 - 12+ MP/5 MP S8/Note 8 - 12+ MP/8 MP (dual lenses on the Note) S9/Note 9 - 12+ MP/8 MP (dual lenses on the S9+ & Note) With the exception of the S4/Note 3, S5/Note 4 & S8/Note 8 there hasn't been any big camera upgrades from the S to the Note. The software is just improved. "New S Pen features, DeX Live, and faster charging" It's a Note. It's always gonna have new S-Pen features.

18. Dealler

Posts: 22; Member since: May 03, 2019

I just hope this ugly Huawei camera layout won't make it to the Note 10.


Posts: 436; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

How else would they make space for a bigger battery? There's only a few layouts that could work for camera's in the corner.

28. chenski

Posts: 773; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Lol? Apple started the vertical setup

21. Sealblaighter

Posts: 429; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Well if this is true it is really sad! I mean come on, Huawei and Oppo have 5x optical zoom, and Samsung is doing only 2x again? Who said optical zoom is not really needed?

31. luis.aag90

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

At least 3x would be fine

23. Vogue1985

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

So basically if you a note 8 or 9,it's note really worth the upgrade until the Note 11,as the Note series has just become a late Galaxy S model with a pen n extra. Anyway,want to see what the competition will bring, especially Huawei.

24. pimpin83z

Posts: 585; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

This comment couldn't be any more incorrect, especially if upgrading from the Note 8. It's May. We still don't know everything about the phone but it will be an upgrade from the previous model & definitely the one before that. And the Note doesn't have any competition.

25. Dadler22

Posts: 241; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Remember when the note series was the true flagship?

29. vickygamit

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Remove front camera for me I am ugly and I don't video call

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