News: Samsung Galaxy S10 Review, 3 Months Later: All the Little Things to Know

Samsung Galaxy S10 Review, 3 Months Later: All the Little Things to Know

The Galaxy S10 has finally been revealed to the masses, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. As the flagship to herald the tenth anniversary of the venerable Galaxy S line, the S10 has kept popular and familiar design elements like the immersive Infinity Display while employing new features like more advanced cameras to set a new standard for other OEMs to follow.

Many of the rumors regarding Samsing's flagships that we've collected throughout the year have come to fruition, while others like an in-display fingerprint sensor on the S10e have turned out to be false. That said, the Galaxy S10 line of flagship phones has an impressive spec sheet that truly makes them worthy of bearing the Galaxy S name.

Jump to a section: Review | Dates | Storage | Price | Body | Basics | Software | Skin | Display | Performance | Battery | Front Camera | Rear Camera | Audio | Media Formats | Sensors | Connectivity | Security | Box Includes

Hands-on Review

After three months with the S10+, the first thing that jumps out to me is Samsung's commendable push to address the phone's initial problems. Too often, OEMs will push an initial update before a phone's official release (after early reviewers' criticism) and take their time before pushing out another once they've heard from the masses.

But Samsung is handling the S10 differently. They have pushed several updates, including ones which made the in-display fingerprint scanner actually usable and ones which made reviewers' initial impressions of the camera's low-light performance inaccurate now.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

For those who find themselves spending hours watching videos, the S10 series is the best option available, with the S10+ being the cream of the crop. The screen is gorgeous, especially since you can take advantage of HDR content from Netflix and YouTube. The speakers are loud and clear, although I recommend installing SoundAssistant for improved control.

However, be aware that the curved display on the S10 and S10+ does get in the way when watching videos. Especially when holding the phone in landscape, accidental touches become a problem, preventing the phone from recognizing touches you actually did mean to make.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

The specs don't tell the whole story with this phone. Specifically, the S10+'s battery life is relatively average despite its massive 4,100 mAh capacity. It's the same story with the RAM, as previously opened apps will often reload when returning to them.

Samsung Adaptive Charging is still one of the slowest "fast charge" methods on the market (the technology is based on Quick Charge 2.0), and One UI, which is a significant improvement over Samsung Experience, still isn't as clean or smooth as stock Android.

Although, if there is one thing Samsung deserves praise for, it's customization. There are a few features found in One UI that would require custom ROMs on other Android phones, helping to offset the fact that you cannot root the North American variants of the S10 series.

Important Dates

The Galaxy S10 and S10+ were formally announced on February 20, 2019 during the Samsung UNPACKED event held in San Francisco.

  • Release date: March 8, 2019
  • Preorder date: February 21, 2019
  • Announced: February 20, 2019

Variants

Similar to Apple's 2018 line of iPhones, Samsung introduced three distinct S10 variants, essentially to ensure that it meets the needs of almost anyone interested in purchasing the flagship, regardless of budget and individual needs. These models are as follows:

  • Entry level: S10e
  • Mid-tier: S10
  • High-end: S10+

Storage Capacity

All The S10 variants come in numerous storage capacities, with 128 GB as the base for all three modes. From there, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, along with varying RAM capacities. All the variants support UFS 2.1, which uses 2 lanes for writing and reading data.

  • Storage available: 128 GB/ 512 GB (S10) 128 GB/512 GB/1 TB (S10+)
  • Expandable storage: microSD up to 512 GB

Price for Everything

As expected, Samsung's flagship phones can potentially put a sizable dent in your wallet, depending on the model you'd like to get. The S10 will start at $899.99, while the S10+ will set you back at least $999.99. Here are the prices:

  • S10: $899.99 (128 GB), 1149.99 (512 GB)
  • S10+: $999.99 (128 GB), $1249.99 (512 GB), $1599.99 (1 TB)

Body

The S10 and S10+ utilize premium materials all around, and feature an aluminum frame with the latest Gorilla Glass 6 for their displays and rear panels. In addition, the S10+ will come in a more premium version that features a sturdier ceramic rear panel for added durability and aesthetics.

  • Frame: aluminum, Gorilla Glass 6, ceramic (S10+)
  • Finish: Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic White and Ceramic Black

Basics

The three S10 models vary in size and thickness, with the S10e coming in as the smallest, the S10+ being the largest, and the standard S10 squarely falling in the middle of the two. All the variants feature an "Ingress Protection" rating of 6 for debris, making them totally dust-proof, and 8 for liquids, which translates to water resistance of up to one and a half meters deep for up to 30 minutes.

All the S10 variants will be stocked by the four major US carriers upon their release, with smaller companies like US Cellular, and even tinier MVNOs such as Boost, Cricket, and MetroPCS to follow. Major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy will also stock the flagships once they're available for sale.

  • Height: 5.9 inches (S10), 6.2 inches (S10+)
  • Width: 2.77 inches (S10), 2.92 inches (S10+)
  • Depth: 0.31 inches (S10, S10+)
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces (S10), 6.2 ounces (S10+)
  • Dust/water resistance: IP68
  • Supported carriers: T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Wireless
  • Infrared blaster: no

Software

All the S10 variants have the latest latest version of Android, 9.0 Pie pre-installed. This should come as no surprise to anyone, considering that Samsung announced its One UI skin last year. Android 9.0 Pie is a pretty big update, with gesture control navigation and new security improvements.

  • Version: Android 9.0 Pie

Skin

The S10 is running One UI on top of Android 9.0 Pie. There are tons of enhancements that Samsung has done throughout the skin to improve performance and ensure fast performance and smoother overall experience. Some of these changes include a more user-friendly layout courtesy of relocated controls as found within the Messages app and the ability to quickly switch between light and dark themes.

  • Version: One UI

Display

Thanks to the notch-less Infinity-O Display, this year's crop of Galaxy flagships are once again pushing the thresholds for display size, and have increased to 6.1 and 6.3 inches for the S10 and S10+, respectively with a resolution of 3040 x 1440 for both. The flagships now feature Dynamic AMOLED that support HDR10+, Dynamic tone mapping for more vivid details, and give out 42% less blue light.

  • Screen size: 6.1 inches (S10), 6.4 inches (S10+)
  • Screen resolution: 3040 x 1440
  • Total pixels: 4,377,600? pixels
  • Pixel density: 550 ppi (S10), 522 ppi (S10+)
  • Screen type: Dynamic AMOLED
  • Notch: no
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 88.3% (S10), 87.5% (S10+)
  • Aspect ratio: 19:9
  • Minimum brightness: 2 nits
  • Maximum brightness: over 1,200 nits
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing)
  • Color temp: 7,102 K
  • Color gamut: 142% sRGB, 113% DCI-P3

Performance

As Samsung's answer to the iPhone, the S10 comes with one of the most powerful processors out, namely the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, the SoC of choice for 2019 flagship Android phones, at least stateside. RAM size varies on the S10 depending on model and internal storage capacities, ranging from 6 GB to an impressive 12 GB, though the latter is only available on the S10+.

  • Memory: 8 GB (S11/S11+), or 12 GB of RAM (S11+)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Die size: 7 nm
  • CPU frequency: 2.8 GHz (Gold) + 2.4 GHz (Gold) + 1.7GHz (Silver)
  • CPU cores: 8 ( 4 Gold + 4 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 640
  • GPU cores: 4
  • RAM/storage configurations: 6/128 GB, 8/512 GB (S10), 6/128 GB, 8/512 GB, 12 GB/1 TB (S10+)

Battery

When it comes to battery size, the S10+ is guaranteed to get all the attention thanks to its impressive 4,100 mAh capacity. That aside, its smaller siblings are still quite impressive in their own right, and have 3,100 mAh and 3,400 mAh for the S10e and S10, respectively. Another great feature that's sure to garner attention is its Wireless PowerShare feature that lets you charge wireless accessories like the Galaxy Buds by placing them on the back of your device.

  • Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Capacity: 3400 mAh (S10), 4100 mAh (S10+)
  • Wired charging: yes, Fast Charge (20 W)
  • Wireless charging: yes
  • Reverse wireless charging: yes
Image by GregglesTV/YouTube

Front Camera

The Galaxy S10 is definitely no slouch on the front camera department, and employs a different approach to design to eliminate the notch that's become standard with almost all smartphone designs. The S10+, in particular, has a dual lens setup consisting of a 10 MP Selfie Camera and 8 MP RGB Depth Camera for its front-facing shooter.

  • Resolution: 10 MP (S10), 10 MP + 8 MP (S10+)
  • Aperture: ƒ/1.9 (S10), ƒ/1.9 + ƒ/2.2 (S10+)
  • Zoom: no
  • Flash: no, screen flash
  • Image stabilization: yes, electronic image stabilization
  • RAW support: no
  • Object detection: yes (face)
  • Formats: currently unknown
Image by MKHBD/YouTube

Rear Camera

The S10 and S10+ are almost guaranteed to hog all the spotlight camera-wise thanks to their triple-lens camera system which consist of a pair of 12 MP (telephoto and wide-angle) lenses, along with a 16 MP ultra-wide angle lens. The latter is especially nifty as it gives you the a ability to capture images in 120 degree field of view. Besides that, the new cameras also feature a Neural processing unit that automatically detects up to 30 different scenes, detects optimal angles, and level detection.

  • Resolution: 12 + 12 + 16 MP (S10, S10+)
  • Sensor size: 1/3.6 inch (telephoto), 1/2.55 inch (wide-angle)
  • Aperture: ƒ/1.5 + ƒ/2.2 (S10E), ƒ/2.4 + ƒ/1.7 + ƒ/2.2 (S10, S10+)
  • Zoom: 2x optical, 10x digital
  • Flash: yes
  • Image stabilization: yes, optical and electrical
  • RAW support: yes
  • Lens cover: not specified
  • Object detection: yes (faces, scenes, flaws)
  • Formats: JPEG, PNG

As for video capabilities, the S10 features myriad options for you to play with. Its cameras are able to shoot videos in HDR10+ with enhanced color optimization and feature super steady filming, while fun features like Super Slow-mo have been preserved.

  • Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
  • Max frame rate: 720p HD at 960 fps, 1080p HD at 240 fps, and 4K at 60 fps
  • Slow motion: yes (Super Slow-mo support up to 1080p HD)
  • Time-lapse: yes
  • Zoom: currently unknown
  • Flash access: yes
  • Image stabilization: yes (digital)
  • Object detection: yes (faces, scenes, flaws)
  • Autofocus: yes
  • Audio: mono, stereo
  • Formats: MP4
Image by MKBHD/YouTube

Audio

In the audio department, not much is new when compared to last year's Galaxy S9 — but that's a good thing, as all three 2019 Galaxy S10 models include a 3.5 mm headphone jack, in addition to beloved features like Dolby Atmos support and AKG sound.

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack: yes
  • Stereo speakers: yes
  • Additional Mics: noise cancellation
  • Max speaker volume: currently unknown

Media Formats

The Galaxy S10 series of flagships support the same list of file types supported by the Android OS.

  • Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY
  • Video: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM

Sensors

The S10 and S10+ have the usual array of sensors like proximity sensors and gyroscopes. In addition, the flagships will also come equipped with various health-related sensors like a heart rate monitor and pedometer to compliment apps like S Health.

  • Accelerometer: yes
  • Ambient light: yes
  • Barometer: no
  • Color temperature: no
  • Compass: yes
  • Gravity: no
  • Gyroscope: yes
  • Hall: yes
  • Heart Rate: yes
  • Infrared: no
  • Laser: no
  • Pedometer: yes
  • Proximity: yes

GPS is an essential component for modern day smartphones. Obviously, all the S10 variants will have this functionality present for apps and services that rely on location tagging to work fully. There aren't any additional components to improve quality.

  • GPS: yes
  • aGPS: no
  • Glonass: yes
  • BeiDou: yes
  • Galileo: yes
  • QZSS: no

Connectivity

All the S10 models utilize all the usual connectivity technology, such as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax for up to 20% faster connectivity, and Bluetooth 5.

  • Wi-Fi version: 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax), enhanced 4×4 MIMO
  • Bluetooth version: 5
  • NFC: yes
  • Cellular: nano SIM
  • Port: USB Type-C

All the S10 variants will include the LTE Band 13, which is exclusively used by Verizon Wireless, with the remaining LTE Bands being shared between AT&T and T-Mobile. Recently, Verizon has been accepting LTE-only phones, such as the Asus ZenFone V, that don't have CDMA radios. And with VoLTE and RCS Messaging, both calls and texts are possible.

  • FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/ 19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
  • TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41/46
  • TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
  • UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
  • CDMA: BC0/BC1
  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Security

The S10 and S10+ are the first Galaxy flagships to incorporate in-display fingerprint scanners. Unfortunately, this tech doesn't extend to the budget-friendly S10e, which utilizes are more traditional sensor that also doubles as its power button, and it's mounted on the side for easier reachability.

  • Fingerprint scanner: side mounted (S10E), in-display (S10, S10+)
  • Face scanner: yes (using the front camera)
  • Iris scanner: no
  • Manual authentication: Password, PIN, passcode, pattern, swipe

Box Includes

The S10 will come with the usual goodies

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 (or S10+)
  • Samsung USB Type-C Cable
  • Samsung Power Adapter
  • 3.5 mm Earbuds
  • SIM Tray Ejector
  • Welcome Letter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety Information
Cover image via Jonathan Morrison/YouTube

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