I just got the Note 10 and actually had the same issue. What I did was to select to show only the phone contacts. I then selected all contacts and when I clicked delete I unchecked the option to Delete contacts from all linked accounts. That kept all my google contacts as is and only removed the ones saved to the phone. I would definitely backup google contacts first just in case.
That didn't work for me. I now dont have Samsung sync nor backup my contacts . This way there will be nothing appearing under contacts for device memory when one restores next time.
There are many reasons why you might NOT want to merge contacts together. The solution would be for Samsung to fix Smart Switch so it doesn't copy all of your Google contacts (and Exchange ActiveSync contacts, I noticed) to the phone's local contacts automatically. It also seems like Smart Switch might be auto-linking them. Neither is the behavior I want! Or, you know, the Samsung S10 contacts app could actually apply the actions you want to take (e.g. delete) ONLY to the contact group that's being displayed, like it USED TO work.
What's worse is that if even if you delete and re-add all of your contacts, either the phone or the OS is still linking elements of contacts together arbitrarily, even if you dismiss the "merge?" prompt you see pop up! For example, I wanted to get rid of all of my S10's local contacts just like others in this thread. So I exported all of my Google contacts from the web just in case. Then in Outlook on my PC, I exported all of my local contacts to a .pst file. (Those sync to the phone via ActiveSync and my corporate e-mail account.) Then I deleted ALL local phone contacts, all ActiveSync contacts, and all Google contacts. Then I emptied the trash on the phone. Then I rebooted the phone.
I have one contact who's in both Google and my Outlook. The Outlook version has no picture, and has some items in it like work e-mail address, etc. The Google version of that contact just has a mobile number and picture. That's how I want them - SEPARATE.
Anyway, after the phone booted back up, I restored my Outlook contacts from my PC using the .pst file, and that worked. Those contacts did sync back down to the phone. At that point, the contact on the phone correctly showed NO picture and just the work details I wanted it to. Then, on the Google site, I used the Undo Changes feature they have to restore all of my Google contacts to the state they were in an hour prior. That brought the contacts back. As soon as they synchronized back down to the phone, the ACTIVESYNC version of that contact started showing the picture that ONLY the Google version of that contact has on it. For the record, when the contacts finished their sync, I saw a pop-up letting me know that contacts were detected that had the same info on them. But I did NOT allow them to merge! Yet some details of them did anyway. I’ve also seen this with addresses, notes, and other details. This is SO frustrating, that even when I manually re-add contacts and TELL the device NOT to merge them, it does anyway. I’m not sure if Samsung or Google is at fault, but this is NOT the way I want it to work, and it’s NOT the way it used to work on Samsung Galaxy phones previously.
I have the same issue. I went from iOS to Android. But now the bigger problem for me is not when I want to save a new contact. It is asking where do I want it saved. It never asked me when I did smart switch of where all my contacts are saved originally. If anyone knows how to figure out where all my contacts are when a new user. Will he much appreciated. Thanks