The “Star Wars” Edition of the Galaxy Note 10+ doesn’t start shipping until Friday the 13th, but the force was strong, and I’ve had one for about a day. It’s one of the coolest smartphone edition models ever, and the “Star Wars” fan in me has been nerding out. While I’m normally on the light side of the force, there’s a lot to be said for this dark side theme.
When you order the Galaxy Note 10+ “Star Wars” Edition for $1,299.99, you’ll get an incredibly sleek box (and therefore a great unboxing experience), a 256GB Note 10+ in Kylo Ren black, a similarly designed pair of Galaxy Buds, a leather case embossed with a “Star Wars” design, and a commemorative metal plaque featuring none other then Kylo Ren. Samsung isn’t playing around here — it went the extra mile on pretty much everything.
Most importantly, though, this is the same Note 10+ that we fell in love with back in August. It’s still one of the best smartphones on the market. (But now the S Pen looks like a red lightsaber, and sounds like one.)
Let’s start with the box. It’s big, and the first thing you see is Kylo Ren, presented in a very cool graphic fashion — his hood is intact, along with the mask. Underneath you’ll find a “Star Wars” logo and a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ logo. Flip it to the back and you have some regulatory information, along with a list of what is included in this package. You’ll slide the top layer off to reveal the main box, and Kylo Ren’s hood disappears to reveal the mask, cracked with red marks. It’s similar to the mask that has been teased in trailers for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Even more telling, it says “I’ll show you the dark side” underneath.
Opening that up reveals a lid that stays attached and, when fully opened, is slanted back a bit. The inside of the box is filled with the sky from a galaxy far, far away, complete with a “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” logo on the top. You’re immediately presented with the leather case on the left side and the commemorative metal plaque on the right. Under the case is the manual and other paper documents to go along with the Note 10+. The SIM card popper is included here.
You’ll quickly notice that there’s a pull tab on the bottom, and this box has a full slide-out drawer that contains the Note 10+ and Galaxy Buds. The Galaxy Buds are nearly identical to the typical black model. But the inside of the case gets a red paint job. It’s pretty nice.
The real story is with the Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Edition. It’s a mostly black device all around — the color is called Kylo Ren black — with some red highlights, and it looks stunning. The power button and volume rocker are in a metallic red, while the back features an etched-in “Star Wars” logo and a First Order emblem. Both of these are in light gray and offer some nice contrast. And when the screen is in ambient mode, it shows a faint image of a Stormtrooper – pretty cool.
My favorite part, you ask? Well, that’s the red S Pen, which screams Kylo Ren red lightsaber. In fact, removing it from the Note 10+ results in a sound like a lightsaber turning on, and sliding it back in produces the sound of a lightsaber turning off. It’s these little details that really transform the experience.
That’s also not the only customization that Samsung has made here. The device comes preloaded with a full theme built around the dark side and Kylo Ren. Your lock screen is a profile shot of Kylo Ren, and unlocking gives you a Sith Stormtrooper headshot, aka a Red Stormtrooper. The phone, messages, browser and camera application icons are all in this red and black color scheme. Same goes for calculator, calendar, clock, contacts, gallery and settings. The multitasking, home and back navigational buttons are all red on black. The Super AMOLED display really shows off vibrancy and contrast quite well with this theme. So yes, while it is a custom theme, it does complete the experience.
Navigational sounds have a droid-like sound to them, and the ringtone might just send shivers down your spine — it’s the Sith sound that composer John Williams made famous, complete with horns, drums and an orchestra. Once again, Samsung, Disney and Lucasfilm really checked off the boxes.
I’ve only had a little time with the device itself, but safe to say this is a “Star Wars” dream come true. It really delivers a memorable experience, starting with an incredibly high-end, sleek and dark-side unboxing experience, followed by a phone that keeps that magic going. It makes me want to go back to Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and gets me even more excited anticipating the release of “Rise of Skywalker” on December 20. Next week, I’ll have more thoughts on the Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Edition, but for now, it’s definitely worth the price and delivers a terrific experience.
Note: The price above reflects the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.