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Roundup Mobile

Galaxy Note 10 rumors: Launching Aug. 7, leak details, design, specs and more

If the uncertain release of the Galaxy Fold has you on edge, perhaps it's time to consider the ultra-luxe Note 10.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung has confirmed that it's launching its premium Note 10 on Aug. 7. The event will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and for Samsung fans waiting for a large-screen phone, the successor to the Note 9 may be the one worth actually waiting for. 

That's because the future of Samsung's other big phone, the upcoming Galaxy Fold, is looking as precarious as ever. It's been more than 45 days since Samsung delayed the Fold, even though it said it fixed the screen issues some reviewers were experiencing with preproduction units.

Though Samsung has a couple of premium phones under its belt (the Fold, for example, will cost $2,000 if and when it's eventually released), Note phones stand out as part of Samsung's ultra-luxe 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. 

ReadGalaxy 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).

Samsung's announcement timeline for the Note isn't super consistent -- it's introduced Note phones in the winter, summer and fall months. Lately, however, the company has stuck to a summer unveiling, so Aug. 7 sounds entirely plausible (Samsung declined to comment). Until the company officially says something though, we've rounded up the most intriguing, probable and compelling rumors we've heard about the Note 10 so far.

Rumored: Note 10 may not have a headphone jack

Citing a source who is "familiar with the company's plans," Android Police reported that Samsung may leave out the headphone jack on the Note 10. This would be a major shift in design, since Galaxy phones are one of the few premium phones to still include the beloved 3.5mm audio port. 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.

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 punch-hole 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 a productivity machine. 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 couple of 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, 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: 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 develop 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.

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

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The S Pen may come with its own camera.

Angela Lang/CNET

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

Similar to 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.