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Samsung Galaxy S10+ review after one month as daily driver
Samsung produces yet another beast of a smartphone.
In a time where the battle of cutting-edge smartphones couldn't get fiercer, Samsung unleashed the biggest weapon in its arsenal in the form of the Galaxy S10+. The product which was ten years in the making has been engineered in a way that there's very little room for improvement.
- Great design
- Brilliant display
- Smooth One UI
- Powerful battery
- Hefty price
- Underwhelming low-light shots
- Accidental touches still a problem
The company stuck very close to the winning formula it found with the Galaxy S8 and S9. The smartphone has all the highlights of its precursors with some notable upgrades. It might be one of the early flagship launches of 2019, but it's pretty evident the Galaxy S10+ will be among the best to see the light of day this year.
The Galaxy S10+ might not be a radical reinvention of the Galaxy S series, but Samsung might continue with this design for a few more years to follow. For the Indian market, the Galaxy S10+ will be selling for a starting price of Rs 73,900. But is it worth burning a hole in your pocket? Let's find out in our review:
- 6.4 inches Dynamic AMOLED display (1440 x 3040 pixels)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- HDR10+, Always-on display
- Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
- Android 9.0 (Pie); One UI
- Bixby voice assistant
- Octa-core Exynos 9820 processor
- 8GB/12GB RAM
- 128GB/256GB/1TB internal storage
- 12MP + 12MP + 16MP triple rear camera
- 10MP + 8MP front facing camera
- 4100mAh Li-ion battery
The year 2019 witnessed the launch of many smartphones sporting fancy dual color tones, but Samsung thankfully restrained itself from the bizarre trend and brought a pearlescent finish that has a depth and luster.
The Galaxy S10+ has a glass sandwich design with an aluminum strip running along the edges which have become thinner in contrast to the Galaxy S9. On the front sits a 6.4-inch display which is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 6. On the sides, you get volume rockers, power key, and the Bixby button.
Samsung has managed to keep the 3.5mm alive through all its devices and the Galaxy S10+ was no exception. While OEMs are cutting ties with audio jacks to place more components, Samsung wants to make it easy for the users to use a wide range of third-party hands-free products. The rear panel houses a triple camera set up along with an LED flash.
Overall, the Galaxy S10+ is by far the most aesthetically pleasing smartphone the company has ever produced. It fits perfectly in your palms and doesn't feel too big for one hand usage. Not to mention, anything above 5-inches isn't meant for people with small palms.
Samsung always scores brownie points for its smartphone displays, however, the Galaxy S10+ takes the standards a notch higher. The Galaxy S10+ flaunts the first ever display to support HDR10+ content. It uses an Infinity-O panel that has a resolution of 1440 x 3040 pixels. The bezels have been squared-off this time similar to what we saw on the Galaxy Note 9.
With the bezels extended to the corners, the risk of accidental touches increases. Although the company added a feature to avoid accidental touches, it doesn't really come in handy. Also, there's no HDR10+ content available for phones, so the ultra-high resolution isn't much of use right now.
What makes the display even more futuristic are the laser-cut punch hole and the in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy S10+ is the company's first phone to house a punch hole display which has placed with precision and complements the overall design of the phone.
You might be thinking that the front camera will come in your way while watching videos, but honestly, that's isn't really the case. The front shooter also shows a cool graphic when in use, which means that the company is embracing the camera cutout.
Streaming video content on the Galaxy S10+ makes for an unparalleled viewing experience. The screen makes every scene look vivid and vibrant with its deep blacks and brilliant color reproduction.
Samsung came out all guns blazing with its camera setup. The Galaxy S10+ comes with a triple camera comprising a standard 12MP lens with a variable f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture is paired with a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Samsung claims to have used AI and an NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that is meant to enhance the image quality. And, it works like a charm creating some stunning photos.
The photos come out really good and capture images really fast in all situations. The camera app interface is easy and the dynamic range and color reproduction are brilliant. The transition between various modes is snappy and fluid as well.
Pictures taken in well-lit condition were as good as any other flagship smartphone camera.
Ultra wide angle lens
The wide-angle lens on the Galaxy S10+ works perfectly and lets you capture more in one frame. You might find distortion or lack of detail in a few images, but it works fine most of the time. The image is taken at 0.5x.
Wide angle shot
This image has been captured at x1.0 and the detailing seems to be fine.
This image was taken at x2.0 and there's no pixelation in sight.
The bokeh effect
Mostly the feature works well, but we did notice the edge detection falling apart. The conditions should be really favorable to get a good bokeh effect shot.
This feature uses AI to automatically detect scenes like sunsets or people and adjust the colors best suited for the scene. For some shots, the feature brings out the perfect balance, however, a few shots looked oversaturated.
No dedicated Night Mode
The photos clicked in low-light surroundings had some noise. We've seen phones like the Google Pixel 3 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro perform better in such lighting conditions. The Galaxy S10 also smoothens the skin tone in order to reduce noise during low-light shots, making the image look weird at times. Besides, there's no dedicated Night Mode on the Galaxy S10+' camera, which is a letdown.
If you are an avid Instagramer, this is the feature you were looking for. Samsung has worked closely with the popular photo-sharing platform and introduced a dedicated mode wherein users can click an image and share it on Instagram without having to leave the camera app.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ has an Exynos 9820 processor at its heart, paired with 8GB of RAM. And, it's an absolute beast of a device. It also has a 12GB RAM variant, but for us, 8GB did more than enough without breaking a sweat. We had absolutely no issues with the app launch time or navigating through the apps. In fact, gaming on the Galaxy S10+ is a treat.
We fired some top-end games and pushed the device to its limits. The device gets a bit toasty while using heavy applications but that didn't hamper the blazingly fast performance. The device also uses a novel cooling system, which we also saw on the Note 9. The vapor chamber is ideal for long gaming sessions, and it's something you won't find on the Galaxy S10 or 10e. Moreover, the audio quality on the phone is brilliant, thanks to the two front-firing speakers. You get clear audio which doesn't get muffled by your hands.
Samsung also revamped its One UI which is wrapped around Android 9 Pie, and it lands really hard. The new UI brings an edge to the already zippy experience on the Galaxy S10+. the interface brings a subtle layout with new fonts and a convenient one hand usage mode. I personally loved the smart pop-up notifications which show selected app alerts in Facebook-like bubble on the screen style. However, some might get irritated by the process of dismissing these notifications.
Speaking of the in-display fingerprint sensor, the feature was touted to set a new benchmark for biometric authentication. The sensor uses sound waves to read the ridges of the user's fingers, so it should work with wet or sweaty fingers and it does. But, not every time and we feel more optimization is required to make it seamless. During our test, we found the OnePlus 6T to faster in terms of unlocking. With few more software updates, the ultrasonic fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S10+ could perform better.
The smartphone is juiced by a 4100mAh battery which keeps the device running for a very long time. During our time with the device, we pushed the Galaxy S10+ to its limits and used the device heavily throughout the day. Our usage included social media browsing, calling, video chats, gaming, and web browsing. But, still, we managed to have around 20% battery in the reservoir.
In case you drain the whole battery, the fast charging tech has you covered. It takes a little over one hour to fully charge up the device. Samsung has also added a unique reverse wireless charging where you can charge a device that supports wireless charging just by placing them on top Galaxy S10+' rear panel. The feature really came in handy when we wanted to charge our Galaxy Buds.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S10+ is everything you would expect from a top-of-the-line flagship. It's definitely not the last in the series but is probably the last major design change we'll witness for good.
Samsung has yet again produced a smartphone that sets the benchmark for its Android counterparts. It has the best-in-class display, a great design, the company's best ever user interface, and a bumped battery life. Like every other flagship, the Galaxy S10+ also has its flaws, but none of them would be dealbreakers.
There's no doubt that the Galaxy S10+ is priced heftily, but as they say "good things come at a price," you will have to shell out the sum. If you are someone who's looking for a snappy smartphone with a brilliant design and don't mind using big screens, then look no further - the Samsung Galaxy S10+ is what you seek.