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Galaxy Observe 10 launching Aug. 7 at Samsung Unpacked: Rumors, leaks, design, specs, worth and …

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Angela Lang/CNET

With the upcoming Galaxy Fold delayed until September (three months from its original launch date), those looking for a big-screen phone may be eyeing the premium Note 10 instead. Not only is it a pretty straightforward phone with no known screen issues, it’s also expected to be unveiled soon. Samsung confirmed that it’s launching the Note 10 on this Wednesday, Aug. 7, and the event will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The phone itself will serve as the successor to the Note 9.

Samsung has a couple of premium phones under its belt (for example, it plans to charge $2,000 if and when the Fold is eventually released), but Galaxy Note phones stand out as part of Samsung’s ultraluxe line. The first Galaxy Note launched in 2011 and the handsets are usually outfitted with an expansive screen, an embedded smart stylus called an S Pen and top-of-the-line hardware. In short, the Note represents Samsung’s best-of-the-best. 

Read: Galaxy Note 10 en español.

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For that reason, it’s no surprise there has been plenty of anticipation and curiosity surrounding the phone. Could it have 5G connectivity like the Galaxy S10 5G, or will it feature a swivel selfie camera
like the Galaxy A80? Perhaps the Note 10 will be one of the two foldable phones Samsung said it would release after the Galaxy Fold (though we highly doubt it).

We’ll know more once the event kicks off, and CNET will be on the ground covering the news. Until then, though, we’ve rounded up the most intriguing, probable and compelling rumors we’ve heard about the Note 10 so far.

And here’s what the Note 10 will have to do to impress us.

Confirmed: The Note 10 will be unveiled Aug. 7, reservations open

As previously mentioned, Samsung confirmed that the Note 10 will be unveiled on Aug. 7 in New York. But even before the event kicks off, you can already put your name down and reserve the phone. Though it doesn’t specifically mention a name, a page to reserve “the next Galaxy” is already live and you can select your carrier as well.

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Samsung’s Note invitation.


Samsung

Rumored: The Note 10 may not have a headphone jack

A purported image of a Samsung headphone dongle was leaked by SamMobile and further corroborates the rumor that the Note 10 will not have a headphone jack. This comes after German tech publication WinFuture posted another image of the Note 10, which shows the phone without the audio port. If the rumors are true, this would be a major shift in design, since Galaxy phones are among the few premium phones to still include the beloved 3.5mm audio port. 

In May, Android Police also reported that Samsung may leave out the headphone jack on the Note 10, citing a source who is “familiar with the company’s plans.” The outlet also reported that Samsung may replace physical buttons for the volume and power with pressure-sensitive edges, similar to the Pixel 3 and HTC U11.

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Rumored: The Note 10 could come in pink

The Note 10 may have a fresh coat of paint. Once again, WinFuture reported that the Note 10 will have a flamingo pink color variant, like the Galaxy S10. The phone will also have a matching pink S Pen. WinFuture claims these images are from Samsung’s official marketing, and because the shade already exists on the Galaxy S10, this rumor isn’t too far out there. Then again, who knows.

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A purported image of the Note 10 sitting pretty in pink.


WinFuture

Rumored: There may be a Note 10 Plus

YouTuber TechTalkTV tweeted out apparent images of an even bigger Note 10 Plus. The photos included a startup screen where the name “Note 10 Plus” is prominently seen. You can also see that the 10 Plus has a single hole-punch camera on the front, whereas the S10 Plus has two. On the back are three vertically stacked cameras.

Rumored: The Note 10 may have a 6.66-inch display

Samsung’s Note phones usually have generously sized displays to accommodate the S Pen stylus and stand out as productivity machines. Rumors report that the newest iteration could have the biggest screen yet at 6.66 inches, according to tech blog site igeekphone. Compare that to the Note 9, which has a 6.4-inch screen.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the overall footprint of the phone will get bigger though. As bezels get thinner and phone-makers are getting more resourceful about relocating the front-facing camera, the Note 10 could as well be the same physical size as the Note 9, but still have a bigger display.

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The Note 9 has a 6.4-inch screen.


Angela Lang/CNET

Rumored: The phone may have a 19:9 aspect ratio

Since we’re on the topic of screen changes, Dutch tech site Mobielkopen reported that the Note 10 will strut a new 19:9 aspect ratio. This isn’t entirely surprising given that the Galaxy S10 also has a 19:9 display. And in case you’re wondering, the current Note 9 has an 18.5:9 ratio.

Rumored: The Note 10 may have a big, big battery

Supposedly leaked photos and reports from a few publications, including tech news sites BGR and SamMobile, are saying that the Note 10 may sport a big, 4,300-mAh battery. This would be notably larger than the Note 9’s 4,000-mAh battery and the 4,100-mAh Galaxy S10 Plus.

Rumored: There may be four(!) Note 10s

Continuing off the Note 10 Plus rumor, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Samsung decided to make even more models of the Note 10. Especially considering the Galaxy S10 has three other variants of itself (S10 Plus, S10E and Galaxy S10 5G).

In addition to the larger Plus phone, which South Korean news site ETNews hinted at, other models with LTE or 5G connectivity are also speculated to be on the way, which would be a grand total of four Note 10 variants.

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Are two or four Note 10 models a possibility?


Sarah Tew/CNET

Rumored: The Note 10 may not have any buttons…

As some high-end phones move the fingerprint reader buttons from the surface of the phone to underneath the display, a phone without any physical buttons may not be a far-reaching concept. At least, that’s what could happen with the Note 10, according to ETNews.  

Citing “industry sources,” the site reports that the Note 10 could employ Force Touch technology, developed by NDT. In lieu of buttons, the phone’s edges could register different degrees of force depending on how hard you press down, which would allow you to turn on the phone or adjust the volume on a smooth, flat surface. Recently, NDT worked with Vivo to develop the Vivo iQ00 gaming phone. Further, Vivo was rumored back in January to be developing a keyless phone as well.

ETNews also predicts that Samsung will apply a buttonless design to other, more midrange Galaxy models, in addition to the Note 10.

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Rumored: …Or maybe it will have buttons?

In direct contradiction to ETNews’ reports, another rumor predicts that the Note 10 will indeed have physical buttons. According to “reliable sources” from Android Police, the phone will retain its volume rocker and power key. At this point it looks like Samsung could go either way, so we’ll have to wait for more information.

Rumored: The S Pen could have a camera of its own

Promo material for the Note 10’s S Pen.


Samsung

Don’t count on only the phone getting updates. The humble embedded stylus could get new features too, as with the Note 9 launch when Samsung updated the S Pen so it can remotely trigger the phone’s camera shutter.

This time around, rumors are going around that the Note 10’s S Pen could have a camera inside, according to tech blog Patently Mobile. Samsung apparently filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for an “electric pen device” that’s “mounted on electronic devices, such as smart phones.” The phone will have a camera with an “optical zooming function.”

Rumored: The phone could have four rear cameras

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The Galaxy S10 5G already has four rear cameras, so why not the Note 10?


Juan Garzon / CNET

Like the Galaxy S10 5G, the Note 10 could have four cameras on the back, according to tech blog site Sam Mobile. The outlet didn’t cite any specific sources except that it’s what “they heard,” so take this rumor, as well as all others, with a grain of salt.

Despite the tenuous evidence, a quad-camera setup on the Note 10 isn’t too out there. As mentioned earlier, it currently exists right now on the Galaxy S10 5G and the Note 10 will have even more room to fit such a camera system. Plus, the Note series is usually Samsung’s most premium line so the company would be consistent to outfit it with the most tech.

Originally published April 20, 2019.
Update, June 7: Adds headphone jack rumor.
Update, June 20: Adds Aug. 7 Unpacked event.
Update, June 22: Adds physical button rumor.
Update, July 10: Adds Note 10 Plus rumor.
Update, Aug. 1: Adds reservations information and pink variant rumor. Adds dongle rumor.

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