Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 is expected to come with radical new camera and sound technologies

Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 is expected to come with radical new camera and sound technologies
The Note 10 and Note 10 Pro are likely to come with lots of cameras and lots of exciting imaging features

After very subtly refining the design of the Galaxy S9+ to come up with the S Pen-wielding Note 9, it looks like Samsung might actually be cooking up a radically different Galaxy Note 10 (or three or four) from the S10 lineup. Perhaps "radical" is a bit of an overstatement, but there are already highly credible rumors calling for a number of important cosmetic and under-the-hood changes, ranging from new locations for both rear and front cameras to various improvements of said imaging hardware, and yes, even thinner bezels... somehow.

The latest puzzle pieces revealed by trustworthy leaker Ice Universe, aka @UniverseIce, on Twitter further paint the Note 10 a pioneering picture, concerning two potentially groundbreaking technologies no previous Galaxy devices have offered. Without further ado, let's dig into the "what" and the "why" of these equations.

Three-stage variable aperture - a logical next step for Samsung's camera hardware


When the Galaxy S9 and S9+ were unveiled last year, most shutterbugs focused their attention on the latter model's dual shooter rear setup. But in addition to hyping that fairly obvious upgrade, Samsung took a lot of time to advertise a less conspicuous camera enhancement. Namely, you might remember that both the S9 and S9 Plus came with something called Dual Aperture.


In a nutshell, that meant the two phones could automatically switch between F2.4 aperture for photos taken in bright environments and an F1.5 shooting mode when detecting poorer lighting conditions (for instance, at night). The same neat trick was implemented into the primary camera of the Galaxy Note 9, as well as the entire Galaxy S10 family, but according to "Samsung China engineers", the Note 10 aims to go to the next level by adopting three-stage variable aperture.

While it naturally remains to be seen how that will work in real life, we expect the upgrade to further improve imaging versatility, producing sharper snapshots in intermediate use cases and not just extreme low-light or super-bright scenarios. All in all, this is yet another reason to be excited about the photography prowess of Samsung's next big thing. Let's just hope both the Note 10 and Note 10 Pro will integrate the super-advanced feature rather than the latter model exclusively getting it at a potentially much higher price point.

Sound on Display tech - inching closer to the bezelless dream


Like the Galaxy S10, the Note 10 is widely expected to drill a small hole into its "Infinity" screen to house the selfie camera rather than adopting a "conventional" notch. But apart from the centered position of the new front-facing shooter, one other thing might be different about the face of the Galaxy Note 10. A purportedly "realistic" screen cover obtained by Ice Universe strongly hints at a very narrow chin (on the same level as the latest iPhones, thus contradicting recent device depictions), as well as a clean forehead with no speaker grooves whatsoever.


That could only mean one thing, specifically that the Note 10 will come without a physical, traditional earpiece on Samsung's path to a truly "full screen" design. Taking a page from the LG G8's playbook, the phone might use its entire display as a speaker, vibrating to produce sound. While undoubtedly cool, the aptly named Sound on Display (SoD) technology is not necessarily good news for audiophiles. At least not yet.

 

Even with a bottom-firing Boombox speaker, the LG G8 ThinQ failed to wow us in terms of audio quality, as the screen vibrations were simply too quiet to help deliver crisp stereo sound. That obviously doesn't mean the Galaxy Note 10 will have the same problem, but typically, groundbreaking features like this come with initial trade-offs, so you may not want to get too excited just yet. Especially when also considering the near-certain absence of a headphone jack.

Related phones

Galaxy Note10
  • Display 6.3 inches 2280 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 8GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3500 mAh
  • OS Android 10 Samsung One UI
Galaxy Note10+
  • Display 6.8 inches 3040 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Quad camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 12GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4300 mAh
  • OS Android 10 Samsung One UI

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