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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs Apple iPhone 12: Which One Stands Out?

author Luis Silva (October 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus won't cost you that much more, but it's the best of the two.

It comes with better battery life, more internal storage (256GB vs. 64GB), and external storage. But with the iPhone 12, you can get better performance (+90%).

What else do they have to offer?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus also has an Always-On, larger (+0.7") display, a telephoto lens (+39 mm), faster-charging speeds (45w vs. 20w), reverse wireless charging, and more RAM (12GB vs. 4GB). But the iPhone 12 also features a cleaner user interface and a lightweight body (32 g./1.13 oz less).

How much will the additional specs cost me?

If you're not considering going for a carrier subscription, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $69.

Is it still worth buying the Galaxy Note 10 Plus in 2021?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is still a great phone, even in 2021, as it still retains its value. That doesn't mean you should ignore other devices like the Galaxy S20 since it has better performance and more security updates.

Is the iPhone 12 still worth getting in 2021?

The iPhone 12 continues to be a rock-solid smartphone because of its good performance, good cameras, and excellent glass protection. That's why I'll continue to recommend it in 2021, but a fantastic device like the iPhone 12 Pro does have more storage and more RAM.

Keep reading for answers to all your questions about their differences, how they differ from their competition, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Apple iPhone 12

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Apple introduced its iPhone 12 model in October 2020. Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 Plus started to sell in August 2019.

In this article, we see how the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the iPhone 12 compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Device Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Release Date 2019, August 2020, October 1y.
OS Updates 3 years 6 years 3y.
Security Updates 4 years 6 years 2y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5 (IOS)(Android), which measures overall performance, the iPhone 12 was, on average, 90% quicker while finishing its tests. Do keep this number in mind, so you don't regret it later. You should be aware that apps on iOs usually run smoother because the OS is tailored for its hardware.

You should know that performance-wise, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is below the norm against similarly priced phones. While they got a score of about 2705, it has 2137. That puts it 21% below them.

We can label the Galaxy Note 10 Plus as an upper mid-range and the iPhone 12 as a high-end device.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (with the Adreno 640 GPU) and the Exynos 9825 (with the Mali-G76) are market-dependent.

There's a performance increase of about 20% on the 855 for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
SoC Exynos 9825 Apple A14
Graphics Mali-G76 MP12 Apple GPU
Geekbench 5 Score 2137
OS Android 9 (Pie) and OneUI iOS 14.1

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus front transparent png Apple iPhone 12 front transparent png

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus's display does stand out, and it wins by a significant margin.

If you're trying to keep your phone's display big, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is the one. At least it's enormous when compared to the average phone for its price range.

If you value a clean, almost notch-free screen, then at least you still have a choice here.

Considering the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, just know that 87% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 91% have an Always-On display.

Compared to the iPhone 12, 88% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 96% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Size 6.8
Resolution (px) 1440x3040
Refresh Rate 60hz 60hz 0
Dots per Inch 494.68
Always-On-Display Yes No
Notch Hole Wedge
Peak Brightness 794 nits
639 nits
Sub Tek-Score
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus back transparent png Apple iPhone 12 back transparent png

By DXOMARK's standards, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is also roughly 41 points above its rivals at about this price tag. But the iPhone 12 is the title-holder here.

The Galaxy Note 10+ has a dual aperture camera. You can choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

About the Galaxy Note 10 Plus: This camera came out of DXOMARK's labs with a score of 118. Then, if you consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, that will go up to 130. For a thorough review, click here.

Before moving on, keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 91% feature Optical Image Stabilization. On the other hand, only 22% of them feature a macro lens.

About the iPhone 12: DXOMARK's gurus gave this shooter a score of 132. Plus, combining with its wide-angle lens, we get a score of 139 points. You can click here to check it out.

Furthermore, if you must know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Moreover, only 8% of them feature a macro lens.

If you prefer, we can grade the Galaxy Note 10 Plus more as a lower high-end and the iPhone 12 more as a high-end.

You can easily add dimension to your photos on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and produce clearer pictures with this lens aperture.

Picture Quality*
Primary Camera Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Megapixels 12
Aperture 1.5
Lens 27mm
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 4 3
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 130

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 12
Aperture 2.1
Lens 52mm (2x zoom)
13mm -39
Lens Type Telephoto lens Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels 16 -
Aperture 2.2 -
Lens 12mm -
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle -
Megapixels 0.3 -
Lens Type Depth Sensor -
Score 12 7 -5
Selfie Camera Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 10
Aperture 2.2
Lens 26mm 23mm -3
Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12 vs.

Who has the best frame?

The iPhone 12 does win some points here, mainly for its weight. But that doesn't mean the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is that bad.

The iPhone 12 weighs 164 g. (5.78 oz), while its rival is 32 g. (1.13 oz) heavier. But because this is a bit relative, I've come up with an adapted "display size to phone weight ratio" score. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus got 5.3, meaning it has an acceptable score for its display size. The iPhone 12, however, has 6.9, which is pretty nice.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, on par with the iPhone 12. It should be for less than 30 minutes, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Body Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Size 162 x 77 x 7 mm
(5.71 x 2.72 x 0.25 in)
146 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.15 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
Weight 196 g. (6.91 oz)
164 g. (5.78 oz)
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Aura Glow, Aura Black, Aura White, and Aura Blue Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 92.52%
Disp.Size To Weight Score 5.3 6.9 1.5
Looks 10.0/10
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Face ID

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus does have a battery capacity of 4300 mAh versus the 2815 mAh of the iPhone 12. And according to GSMArena's tests, the former does have better battery life.

Just be aware that the Galaxy Note 10 Plus can also beat almost all devices I've analyzed. You can check here if it still is on our top 10 list with the best battery life.

Apple brought MagSafe from their Macbooks so you can effortlessly charge the new iPhones. It's convenient if you're willing to carry another charger.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus does charge quicker. That's rare because phones from this budget rarely exceed 32 watts.

Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Capacity (mAh) 4300 2815 -1485
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 84% left
79% left
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
64% left
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 74% left
64% left
Bat. To Phone Size Score 3.3 6.4 3.1
Sub Tek-Score
Fast Charging 45w
Wireless Charging 15w
Reverse Charging 9w
No -9

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Four times as much.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus comes equipped with 256GB of integrated storage and 12GB of RAM. Furthermore, other devices from this budget usually have less RAM and less storage. They're around 8GB of RAM and 150Gb of storage.

The iPhone 12 offers 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Again, you'll most likely get more RAM and more storage from most of its opponents. They usually get close to 8Gb of RAM and 143Gb of storage.

Both phones have more than enough storage and RAM for the average consumer. However, if you can't get enough of the record button, you'll find out that 64 GB won't be enough for you.

Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Internal (GB) 256GB
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) No

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

You can only get 5G with the iPhone 12.

There isn't much to say about the 3.5mm headphone jack, except that it simply isn't here. You may go for an adapter as a last resort, but it really isn't the same. Or you can also check its rivals if you're not really leaning towards any of these. Perhaps you don't mind settling with the Oppo Find X3 Lite.

You can connect the Galaxy Note 10 Plus to LTE or (LTE and) 5G networks.

Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Network LTE (also available in 5G) 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No

Which is more affordable?

Here are the best deals on some major online stores:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Reference: $949

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Apple iPhone 12

Reference: $880

Apple iPhone 12

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12 VS
Amazon - - ! -
eBay 1.35 0.98 -0.37
Best Buy - 0.93 -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.

Related articles:

Best smartphone deals

The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets

Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. Just so you have an idea, take a look at where its adversaries average. They're in the ballpark of 6.9 for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and 7.0 for the iPhone 12.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Stand Out?

If you have a Galaxy Note 10 Plus, you might want to consider keeping it a bit while longer. Although, if you got the Exynos variant, I'm not blaming you if you really want to upgrade.

Nevertheless, I'd still prefer its display and its slightly worse cameras. It has a smaller notch, it's Always-on, and despite not having a Gorilla Glass Victus protection, it has the prior version, which should be good enough.

It also has a telephoto lens, better battery life, triple the RAM, and four times the internal storage. What else could you ask for?

Oh, wait... a chipset like the one on the iPhone 12. That's right!

Pros Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Cameras
#4 Battery Life Fast Charging
#5 Fast Charging Wireless Charging
#6 Wireless Charging Glass Protection
#7 MicroSD Slot
#8 Storage
#9 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
#1 Weight Always-On-Display
#2 3.5mm Jack MicroSD Slot
#3 Price 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price
Relative Score*
Global Score Galaxy Note 10 Plus iPhone 12
Gaming Score
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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About me


My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Related Comparisons

Apple iPhone 12 Related Comparisons


"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.


"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.



As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
  • HuaweirivalP40
  • OnePlusrival8
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
  • OnePlusrival8T
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
  • OnePlusrival9
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite

 Apple iPhone 12 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
  • HuaweirivalP40
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.


About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.

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