The Note 10 having "only" a 1080p screen is not a big deal44
Secondly, the smaller Note 10 does comes with “only” a 1080 x 2280 pixel (FHD+) resolution while the all-out Note 10+ retains QHD+ (1440 x 3040). Now that’s an annoying hit since the Note 10 does start at $950 and Samsung has installed QHD panels on its Note phones ever since the Galaxy Note 4. It just feels less like “corner cutting” that was done to decrease the price point and more like Samsung making a conscious effort to push powerusers to shell out for the $1100 Galaxy Note 10+.
Don't panic, it'll still look sharp
Fret not, I am here to argue that 1080p is not bad one bit and you wouldn’t be bothered by it. See, even with the “inferior” FHD+ resolution, the Galaxy Note 10’s 6.3-inch display still has a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. That’s well over the “standard” which claims that the human eye can’t discern individual pixels once you hit 320 ppi and it will look sharp enough.
Now that that’s settled, the main argument that’s going to come up is “But it does matter once you put the phone in VR goggles — 1080p is clearly worse than 1440p then!”. And I agree. But here’s another set of bad news: both the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ will not support Samsung’s Gear VR goggles. That is reported by tech pundit Anshel Sag, who allegedly asked Samsung straight up whether or not the Gear VR will run with a Note 10 in it.
So yeah, the VR argument is kind of moot when Samsung itself is trying to put the VR efforts to sleep. Yes, you can argue that there are still generic VR goggles out there, based on the Google Cardboard model, which you can still use. But let’s be honest here for a bit — those never worked quite good and were nowhere as near as functional as Sammy’s Gear VR. In the words of my colleague Victor, “Mobile VR is dead”. Fans of the technology have moved on to the much more powerful, dedicated gaming machines.
It will be fine
Back to the 1080p argument — it will be fine. In fact, back in 2014 when manufacturers were slowly making the jump from FHD to QHD, many users, critics, and pundits were against that change. It was simply too much strain on the phone hardware for not much of an upgrade in sharpness. Yes, the difference between 720p and 1080p is definitely visible. 1080p to 1440p — not that much. Law of diminishing returns in full effect.
In current times, we are used to our incredibly expensive phones to have overkill specs. And, if you want to be annoyed at the fact that Samsung purposefully "downgraded" the display just to make the Note 10 "inferior", I can absolutely see the reasoning there.
But, all that said — if you want a compact Note phone, get the small Note 10 with confidence. Hey, it might even work out better for that smaller, 3,400 mAh battery. Less pixels to push = the less stress for the hardware!