Samsung Galaxy S10+ review
What is it?
The 10th-generation version of the world’s best-selling premium Android phone series. Plus, this is the top-spec model of the three Galaxy S10 phones on sale.
Design & Construction
- The S10 series debuts a new design language for Samsung flagship phones. Granted, it’s not drastically different from what we’re seeing since the S8, but new colours, incredibly small bezels and that the hole-punch display give it a fresh vibe.
- The main attention grabber on the S10+ is that big pill-like hole punch cut out on the upper right corner of the display. to overlook. We feel that dot-sized hole punch on the regular S10 and S10e are better this because it’s a lot less intrusive.
- Otherwise, the phone is what you expect from the Galaxy S device. It’s got a curved glass construction which is held together by an aluminium frame. It looks properly premium overall.
- Our white coloured review unit reflects light from certain angles to give a sort of gradient finish. However, the effect here is a lot subtler than what you’d see on Huawei/ Honor phones.
- The display on the phone is a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED unit with a resolution of 1440 x 3040 px that results in a pixel density of 522 ppi.
- Punch colours, good sunlight legibility, great viewing angles and HDR10+ certification ensure that this is one of the best smartphone displays out there. Media consumption is a fantastic experience on this screen.
- Like typical Samsung flagships, it’s curved from both sides. Now, this may not be of much use practically, but it does elevate the aesthetics quite a bit.
- The internet is already full of cool wallpapers which disguise the phone’s hole punch in a very creative way. So, if you don’t like that big hole-punch, you’ve got options here.
- By default, all the full-screen content you consume on the S10+ will stay below the hole punch, thereby creating a giant black bar on one side. Thankfully, this can be changed in settings.
User Interface & Performance
- The Galaxy S10 series in India comes powered by the Samsung Exynos 9820 chipset. The S10+ has either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and our test unit is the former variant along with 128GB of internal storage.
All demanding apps and heavy games run perfectly fine on the device. Multitasking and app opening is also super smooth.
- What makes things better is Samsung’s new One UI software built on top of Android 9.0 Pie which makes for stutter-free user experience. The user interface looks quite different from the Samsung Experience it replaces and a lot of emphasis has been made to make one-handed usage easier.
- However, Samsung phones in the past have been notorious for slowing down over time, so let’s just hope this new software improves on this.
- The Galaxy S10+ comes with a triple rear camera setup that consists of a primary wide angle lens, an ultra-wide angle and a telephoto lens. This triple camera setup is the norm on most 2019 flagship phones because It allows you to take 3 very different photos of the very same scene.
- The primary lens is the same 12MP sensor with f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture from the Note 9. It takes great photos in most well lit scenes, but typical of Samsung cameras, it does produce slightly over saturated images.
- Night time photos on the main sensor are also well detailed with low noise levels. However, while the S10+ has a night mode, you cannot manually trigger it, the phone itself decides if it’s dark enough for the night mode to work which can be annoying.
Camera samples from the main sensor:
- In terms of videos, you can do 2160p @ 30/ 60 fps, 1080p @ 30/ 60 fps and 960 fps slow-mo at 720p. Of course, there’s also 1080p at 30fps and 60fps as well. The colour accuracy is videos is much more life-like than photos, while stabilisation is impressive too.
- The ultra-wide angle lens is the latest edition here and it’s awesome. It’s a 16MP f/2.2 sensor with a 123 degree field of view and no barrel distortion. This lens can produce some pretty awesome landscape shots, but shots need careful planning because its neither stabilised or has auto focus.
Camera samples from the ultra-wide angle sensor:
- Finally, there’s the 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens for 2x loss less zoom which takes pretty OK photos, nothing amazing here. It’s worth noting that like all telephoto lenses out there, even this one doesn’t work in low light scenarios. So, the S10+ will use digital zoom from the main camera if the environment is dimly lit.
Camera samples from the telephoto sensor:
- There are two cameras in the pill shaped cutout. One is a 10MP primary sensor and the other an 8MP depth sensor. The selfies are mediocre by flagship phone standards. The portrait photos are especially a bit disappointing because the results look cloudy and there is a loss of detail here. Overall, selfies are a weak point of the S10+.
Camera samples from the front sensor(s):
- There’s a big 4,100mAh battery on the phone so there’s no need to worry about running out of charge before the day ends, unless you’re a heavy gamer or multimedia consumer, in which case, no battery capacity is big enough for you.
- Technically, the S10+ has fast charging, but it’s still the old 15W standard in an era where other android manufacturers are offering 40W and 50W of fast charging power. So, the only phone that S10+ will charge faster than is an iPhone making it one of the slowest charging flagship Android phones around.
- The Galaxy S10 and S10+ are also the world’s first phones with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. This scanner is a lot faster and more reliable than the optical ones on other phones. It’s definitely not as quick as an old-school capacitive scanner, but you can totally live with it.
- Other good to have features like IP68 water & dust resistance, stereo speakers and wireless charging are also there. You also get Wireless Powershare, where you can wirelessly charge other Qi-enabled devices. This feature is a boon for charging your accessories, but charging phones may not be a good idea because it’ll be very slow then.
- Special mention must be made of the presence of the good old headphone jack. This goes on to prove that Samsung is a customer-centric brand and they care about what the market wants.
- To sum it up, the Galaxy S10+ is a typical Samsung all-rounder that does a few things brilliantly and other things quite well. It offers a great premium phone experience, and if you have the budget, just go for it.
- It’s not perfect though. We were underwhelmed by the front cameras and we definitely believe that charging speeds could have been faster.
Check out our Galaxy S10+ video review: