Samsung is crippling the radios and audio in the name of "safety" and "protecting the end user". Sending mine back to Samsung.
I've seen many posts on here about signal issues, both WiFi and Cell. This post will delve into some specifics. And sorry in advance that this is a long read.
Firstly, some background: I bought my first Samsung and first Note, the Note 2 and thoroughly loved the device. I've had every Note except the Note 1, Note 4 (used the Google Nexus 6 which I still have) and the Note 9 (used a OnePlus 7 Pro, which I still have). I absolutely love the Note series with the large beautiful screen, excellent cameras and of course the Pen.
So after using my Note 8 for a year and a half, I decided to try something different than Samsung because I was tired of the poor cell signal and WiFi signal. I decided to get a OnePlus 7 Pro since that company and phone has been so hyped. Well, the hype is definitely real. The phone is super-fast with little to no lag.
What I don't like or care for the most about the 7 Pro is the ugly rounded corners (besides the mediocre camera). I've always loved the square(er) corners of the Note. And when I saw the Note 10+ in a store recently and touched it, I had to have one. I got it in 3 days and wow what a sight to behold! The screen is just absolutely heavenly.
I noticed immediately while driving around with the Note 10+, my music was constantly buffering. I thought it had to do with some kind of battery optimization for the app as to why music would stop playing and keep buffering. But I had already taken care of that in the settings.
Then when I took my Note to work is when it was really noticeable. I work on the second floor offices at my job. My OnePlus has excellent cell signal. Almost always 2-3 bars (and when I'm outside, 4 full bars as the tower is nearby apparently) and easily able to stream music without issue. My Note? Nothing! For at least half the day every day, I had zero signal sitting at my desk in the same spot as I do with my OnePlus 7 Pro. The Note would just say (Emergency Calls Only - No Signal). That was infuriating. Especially with a tower nearby, and my other phone has no signal issues.
The second place I notice signal issues is with WiFi. I keep my WiFi strength turned down to keep the RF exposure low, and to keep from broadcasting my WiFi across the whole neighborhood. With my OnePlus 7 Pro, I get 2-3 bars of WiFi in my garage and the WiFi takes about 10-seconds to connect. With the Note 10+, it literally takes minutes to connect to my WiFi in the garage, barely getting 1-bar, once in a while jumping up to 2 bars then back to 1. And I realize that "number of bars don't matter", but they actually do. It's just a cop-out, and proven that they do have some significance.
Now I want to make something clear for those who don't know. Both the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Note 10+ use the same exact Snapdragon 855 SoC. As you'll see in the image HERE, the Snapdragon SoC has (among other things) the Cell radio and the BT/WiFi radios all built into the chip. And if one would look at the spec sheets for the 855 and earlier Qualcomm chips, you'd see that the radios get more powerful year after year.
I was blown away going from the garbage radios on the Note 8 to the amazing radios on the OnePlus 7 Pro. Absolutely never any cell or WiFi issues, ever. I figured that since the radios on the Qualcomm chips get more powerful every year, that the Note 10+ would be a giant step up from the radios on the Note 8. Boy was I wrong.
Samsung Crippling the Radios
That brings me to Samsung deliberately crippling these devices. The FCC has specific regulations regarding exposure to RF radiation from phones. So Samsung is turning down the power of the Cell and WiFi radios so much to keep well below the guidelines and the RF radiation lower. But this is also crippling the device. It's keeping the device from doing it's number one job: being a phone!
Samsung Crippling the Audio
Samsung has also chosen to cripple listening to music also. Just even touching the EQ one tick above the -0- line and the volume is literally cut in half. Good luck trying to listen to headphones with any kind of volume. If you go just one tick below the -0- line, then the volume gets cut about a quarter. So half of the half. Samsung does this to "protect your hearing" so that you don't listen to music too loudly.
My OnePlus 7 is not like that with the same EQ and same Dolby Atmos. The volume barely wavers at all while adjusting the EQ, and the sound is loud and it actually sounds significantly better than my Note 10.
I have two devices with virtually identical hardware. One works as it should with excellent Cell and WiFi signal and great EQ sound, while the other is being crippled to protect the user from too much RF radiation or too loud of sound.
Samsung has become like Apple: restricting or constricting how you use your devices. Now if you live in a large city where you are surrounded by cell towers and WiFi everywhere, then you'll likely not notice much of the cell signal or WiFi issue. Those of us who live in smaller cities or towns where the coverage is more sparse, we need that extra radio power that Qualcomm already provides so that our devices do what they are first and foremost intended to do: be a working phone.
I am very upset and disappointed to see Samsung has crippled these devices all in the name of "protecting the end user". So as much as I would love to have that gorgeous screen with me all the time, I'm going to have to settle for my 7 Pro: a device that actually works and isn't being crippled. That also teaches me to never buy a Samsung device again for the foreseeable future, if ever again.
I'd love to see a class-action lawsuit against Samsung for crippling their devices. These things are the most expensive Android devices on the planet. They should not have anything crippled on them for that price.