Samsung’s 10th anniversary Galaxy line-up is one of the expansive and feature rich range of devices we have seen from the South Korean giant. A total of three devices – Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e – comprise the line-up and bear the same Galaxy S10 nomenclature. Sitting in the middle, the Galaxy S10 is not as dazzling as the high-end Galaxy S10 Plus, but the 6.1-inch Infinity OLED display offers a worthy upgrade, if you still haven’t used Galaxy S9 or S8.
Here, in this Galaxy S10 review, we will see how it is different from its Plus variant and its competitors.
Design and display
If you have used the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S8, you know what the Galaxy S10 will look like. The hardware is just great. The best way to describe the Galaxy S10 is to say it is of the most refined Galaxy device from the Samsung. While plenty of phones have now have curved screens, glass backs, and aluminium frames, but the way Samsung has engineered its 10th anniversary Galaxy devices is just fantastic. With the Galaxy S10, it would not be wrong to say that Samsung has now levelled up to Apple when it comes to aesthetics and feel, and is now well ahead of Google, OnePlus, and Android smartphone makers.
The main difference you will notice between the Galaxy S10 and the S10 Plus is in the screen size. The Galaxy S10 is slightly smaller than the S10 Plus. While both the variants have same thickness, S10 is 4 mm narrower and about 8 mm shorter than the S10 Plus, which makes the S10 a lot easy on hands. The power button and volume keys are still positioned a little higher on the sides of the phone and you might have to stretch your fingers a bit.
The 6.1-inch screen on S10 is smaller than the S10 Plus’ 6.4-inch display, but is still very large, and you will hardly miss the extra screen size of the S10 Plus. Apart from the physical size, the S10’s screen is the same as the S10 Plus’s it’s a high-resolution, Infinity-O OLED panel that flows from top to the bottom and offers great viewing angles.
The screen produces rich, vibrant colours and has the same curved sides as in the S10 Plus. The Galaxy S10 supports HDR10+ content allowing consumers to see a wider gamut of colours. The smartphone reduces blue light through its TÜV Rheinland-certified Eye Comfort display which helps protect your eyes without compromising picture quality.
Thanks to the Exynos 9820 octa core processor paired up with 8GB of RAM, the S10 performs just as flawlessly as a flagship smartphone should. In your daily run of productivity apps, it will be tough to slow this phone down. Apps open smoothly and switching between them is effortless. The only performance slow-down you will notice is in the form of battery life. The S10’s has approx. 17 per cent smaller battery than the S10 Plus (3,400mAh compared to 4,100mAh). The phone lasts a whole full day without requiring a charge, but it will hardly reach the second day even with light use that S10 Plus can. This doesn’t mean, the S10 battery is poor, but if you want a large battery life, S10 Plus is the one you should go for.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is slow and less accurate than the capacitive fingerprint scanners found on many other phones, including last year’s Galaxy S9. Unlike the Google Pixel phones, iPhones, the S10 features a headphone jack. The stereo speakers also produce loud sound in games and in movies.
The Galaxy S10 also houses a dedicated button for the Bixby virtual assistant. You can also now configure this button to launch other apps and shortcuts. And while Bixby is still improving, Samsung doesn’t allow to set the button to fire up the Google Assistant, so if you want to use it, you have to download a third-party app to do so.
Over the past few years, Samsung’s bold and beautiful flagship Galaxy devices were let down by lousy software. But, it’s good to see that it’s not the case with the S10. While there is still room for improvement, but overall the One UI it looks nice, makes sense, and is mostly easy to use.
Running on Android 9.0 Pie at its core, the Samsung One UI offers a nice look and feel. Most of the important stuff you need to quickly access is available with a simple swipe down from the screen. The One UI also has Android 9 features including the Digital Wellbeing, adaptive brightness features, and the screen rotate button in the navigation bar.
The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus feature a triple camera module design. The dual-aperture lens at the back intelligently varies between an f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture. Then there is a secondary camera of 12MP having 2x telephoto lens, with an f/2.4 lens.
While the rear camera configuration is same in the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, the difference is at the front. The S10 sports a single lens on the front and the S10 Plus has a dual-camera set-up. The single lens carved out on the screen also called the punch-hole display takes up less real estate than the dual-lens cut-out of the S10 Plus.
Apart from the new camera system, the camera performance of Galaxy S10 has not improved much. While the ultrawide camera is great for putting in more landscape or people into the frame, but it goes extra which distorts the images at the edges, and Samsung needs to improve its post-processing correction to reduce the distortion.
Overall, the S10’s camera is good, offers fast focusing, and you will get great shots in almost all lighting situations.
There is also a night mode, but doesn’t turn on when you want, unlike in the Pixel. The AI scene optimiser triggers the night mode when you are really in a dark environment, but still doesn’t work as well as Google’s Night Sight.
One area where the Galaxy S110 trumps Pixel is the video department. With the Galaxy S10, you can shoot in up to 4K at 60 fps with the main camera, or 4K at 30 fps with the ultrawide or telephoto, and the video quality is impressive. The Super Steady stabilisation feature reduces camera shakes for a smooth footage, but shoots only in 1080p.
The 10MP front camera with autofocus produces very sharp images and a single tap on a screen menu you will get a little wider field of view for a group selfie.
The Galaxy S10 doesn’t offer much new from the Galaxy S9 or S8. But many people will still buy it as it is the 2019 flagship Android phone. If you are upgrading from OnePlus 6T, the extra money you will be paying will give you a great display, loud speakers, waterproofing, wireless charging, and a much better camera. And if software updates and night photography means more to you, then the Google Pixel 3XL is the one for you. But, if you can live without these things, then the Galaxy S10 is better than the Pixel in virtually every other respect.