Samsung’s Galaxy S devices have been the default Android flagships for many years. Despite numerous attempts by rivals to replicate some of the series’ success, the Galaxy S smartphones continue to dominate the Android flagship space by setting new benchmarks every year. 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the successful lineup and the latest flagships from Samsung does justice to the momentous occasion.
Samsung revamped the Galaxy S lineup considerably this year by launching four Galaxy S10 models: Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and the Galaxy S10 5G. While the Galaxy S10 5G is the most expensive and beefed-up model of the list, it is not a mainstream offering and will see a limited release in select markets. This makes the Galaxy S10+ the real top-end Android flagship for the general customers.
The Galaxy S10 series is a significant upgrade from the previous generations in terms of design. The difference is immediately apparent even when you compare the new devices to the Galaxy Note 9 which was released just six months ago. All the Galaxy S10 models share the same design language with tiny bezels and punch-hole cameras.
The Galaxy S10+ is made out of glass and metal, just like its predecessors. It boasts Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear side, which should make it a bit more durable on paper at least. The higher-end S10+ variants come with a ceramic back that is supposed to be more durable than the glass-clad counterparts. The device measures 74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8mm and weighs 175 grams and 198 grams for the glass and ceramic models, respectively.
On the front, there is a curved edge-to-edge Infinity-O display that also houses the industry’s first ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. The selfie camera cutout in the top-right corner of the Galaxy S10+’s display is larger than the S10 and S10e since it packs a dual-camera setup on the front. On the back, there is a horizontally-arranged triple-camera setup with an LED flash.
The button placements are similar to the previous models with the power button on the right and the volume rocker and Bixby button on the left. There is a headphone jack, speaker grille, and USB C port at the bottom, while the top side of the device houses a SIM slot. Samsung had to remove the notification LED to make the new design possible, but there is a chance the company may release a software update to make the edges of the selfie-camera cutout light up for notifications.
As to be expected from a Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S10+ is feature-packed and boasts the latest specs. It comes with a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display of 3040×1440 resolution, Exynos 9820 Octa or Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC depending on the market, Mali-G76 MP12 or Adreno 640 GPU depending on the chipset, up to 12 GB RAM and 1 TB internal storage, microSD slot that can also be used for a second SIM in select markets, triple-camera setup on the back, dual-camera system for selfies, 4100 mAh battery with fast-charging support, USB Type-C 3.1 port, IP68 certification, AKG-tuned stereo speakers, Samsung Pay with MST support, and Android 9 Pie OS with Samsung’s One UI on top. The beastly device also boasts Wi-Fi 6 support and Wireless PowerShare feature for reverse wireless charging.
You can go to our Galaxy S10+ specifications page for the complete list of specifications.
Samsung’s previous flagship devices were equipped with the best smartphone displays in the market, and it is no different even this time. The Galaxy S10+ packs a curved 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display of Quad HD+ resolution (3040×1440), which gives it a pixel density of 522 PPI. It’s an Infinity-O display, Samsung’s marketing term for screens with a cutout for cameras, with an industry-first ultrasonic in-display finger scanner built-in. It is the first HDR10+-certified smartphone display and features dynamic tone mapping for vibrant and realistic colors. Unsurprisingly, DisplayMate has ranked the Galaxy S10 display (all the variants) as the best smartphone display in the market today, with outstanding color accuracy that it calls “visually indistinguishable from perfect.”
The Galaxy S10+ is a major upgrade from its predecessors in term of camera hardware. It has a total of five cameras: three on the back and two on the front. The triple-camera setup on the back consists of a 12MP f/1.5-2.4 Dual Aperture primary lens with PDAF and OIS, a 16MP F2.2 ultra-wide lens with 123-degree FOV, and a 12MP F2.4 telephoto lens that enables 2x optical zoom. The rear cameras can shoot in 4K and HDR10+ videos which aligns nicely with the HDR10+ capabilities of its display.
The dual-camera arrangement on the front is made up of a 10MP f/1.9 primary lens with Dual Pixel Auto Focus and an 8 MP f/2.2 depth sensor for selfies with bokeh effect (what Samsung calls Live Focus). For the first time in a Galaxy device, the S10+’s front camera can also shoot in 4K.
You can check out our review of the Galaxy S10+ to know how the cameras actually fare in everyday scenarios.
On the software front, the Galaxy S10 series doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It runs Android 9 Pie out of the box with Samsung’s One UI 1.1 on top, which is a minor incremental update to the One UI 1.0 on other Samsung devices like the Galaxy S9/S9+, Note 9, etc. Digital Wellbeing and Bixby Routines are the only two new major additions here. Rest of the software experience here is similar to the other Galaxy devices with One UI.
Digital Wellbeing aims to reduce smartphone addiction by providing better usage insights and tools to control usage habits. It’s not a Samsung feature but an Android 9 Pie feature from Google. Bixby Routines are Samsung’s version of IFTTT that helps users to automate many mundane and repetitive tasks on their smartphones. While it’s not as exhaustive or powerful as Tasker or IFTTT, it has enough potential to appeal to the users who never tried such automation tools before. You can read more about the Bixby Routines here.
Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 series on February 20 at the Unpacked 2019 event in San Francisco. The new flagships were up for pre-order the next day in many markets around the world and went on sale in more than 70 countries on March 8. Samsung offered Galaxy Buds for free or at a heavily discounted price for those who pre-ordered any of the Galaxy S10 models in select markets.
The Galaxy S10+ comes in 8GB/128GB, 8GB/512GB, and 12GB/1TB storage variants. Barring the base model, the other two variants come with ceramic backs. It is available in Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Ceramic White, and Ceramic Black color options. Prices vary by region, and in the US, it is priced at $999 for the base model, $1249 for the 8GB/512GB variant, and $1499 for the 12GB/1TB version.
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